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what is cosmetic dentistry

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Patients often ask us, “What is cosmetic dentistry?” Sometimes they ask out of curiosity and other times because they feel self-conscious about their smile. After all, who doesn’t want to flash a confident smile? 

After learning “What is cosmetic dentistry,” the next question is usually, “Is it right for me?” The answer varies greatly from person to person. Basically, if you feel that the appearance of your smile is making you feel less confident or holding you back than cosmetic dentistry is worth considering.

A skilled dentist can fix a range of concerns including discolored, crooked, or damaged teeth. Sadly, many insurance plans do not cover cosmetic dentistry. With today’s dental techniques, more and more people opt for cosmetic dentistry.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry? — It Goes Deeper Than Beauty

Cosmetic dentistry refers to just about any dental procedure or treatment that aims to improve the appearance of the teeth and smile. Some people feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth due to genetics, injury, trauma, or a history of poor dental care or hygiene. 

It may seem trivial to some, but improving a smile’s appearance is very empowering to many people. They feel more confident when talking, laughing, or smiling and face the world with new enthusiasm. For these patients, a more attractive smile is priceless. 

Several studies indicate that people who feel self-conscious about their teeth often feel anxiety in job hunting and social situations. In some cases, this even negatively impacts their career since they avoid pursuing certain opportunities. In an American Dental Association survey, 28% of participants felt the appearance of their teeth hindered their ability to interview for a job.

Since many cosmetic dental issues are fixable, more people than ever are opting for cosmetic dentistry procedures. The following list is a brief overview of some of the most popular procedures and how they can improve the look of someone’s smile. If any of these procedures interest you, be sure to discuss them with your dentist to see whether they are appropriate for your needs. 

Invisalign and Clear Aligners for Straighter Teeth

Clear aligners like Invisalign are a popular alternative to old-school braces. Many patients prefer them due to their subtle, barely visible appearance. 

Since these aligners are removable, patients find it is easier to maintain their usual oral hygiene routine than if they wore metal braces. When using Invisalign, you simply remove the aligner and then brush and floss as normal. 

More and more adults opt for them due to the convenience and more attractive appearance of Invisalign compared to braces.

Of course, not all procedures work for every patient. See a dentist who is experienced with Invisalign to determine whether it is a good option for you. While there are new services that send aligners through the mail, we highly recommend only using them under the supervision of a dentist. The aligners need to be examined frequently and there is no substitute for having a trained professional managing the process.

Crowns Offer the Appearance of Well Formed Teeth

A crown is a custom-made cap that covers a tooth and looks like a tooth. They are usually made from either porcelain. 

Dentists use crowns to cover teeth that are damaged, have cracks, suffered from decay, are misshapen, or are too small compared to neighboring teeth. Crowns are used in both therapeutic and cosmetic dentistry. 

Thanks to modern technology some specialized practices can even offer the convenience of same-day crowns. This means many issues can be fixed with fewer visits and less discomfort. At Southview Dentistry, we use Cerec technology to fabricate your crowns in one visit.

Veneers Cover a Range of Imperfections

A veneer is a thin shell that is custom-made and fitted to the front of a tooth. They are often made from porcelain. 

Veneers improve the appearance of chipped teeth, discolored teeth, unusual spacing between teeth, or sometimes even slightly crooked teeth. 

Teeth Whitening for Your Brightest Smile

Tooth whitening might be one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures. Many people whiten their teeth at home using kits, but the safest and most effective whitening is done under the supervision of a dentist. 

Professional whitening is often the best option since the dentist uses professional-grade products applied with expertise. Dentists offer custom-made use-at-home kits which are more effective and safer than many over the counter kits that people buy on the internet.  

Whether you opt for DIY or professional whitening, be sure to discuss it with your dentist. Not everyone is a good candidate for whitening and your dentist can determine what is best for you.

Smile Makeovers are Transformative 

Sometimes someone needs multiple services to have the smile they want. In this case, a smile makeover makes the difference between feeling self-conscious and greeting the world with a confident smile!

A smile makeover can improve the following conditions:

  • Teeth that are poorly aligned
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Teeth that have gaps or are close enough to overlap
  • Missing teeth
  • Visible silver fillings
  • Stained or discolored teeth
  • Chipped or cracked teeth

Services may include any combination of cosmetic straightening, veneers, crowns, whitening, bonding, bridges or restorations. Each mouth is unique, so your dentist will come up with a makeover plan specific to your cosmetic needs, preferences, and oral health.

Next Steps If You Are Interested in Cosmetic Dentistry

We hope we answered your question about, “what is cosmetic dentistry?” Any cosmetic procedure begins with an examination and consultation. Your most beautiful and confident smile begins with an examination. 

With so many options, an experienced dentist can improve the appearance of most smiles. Of course, not every procedure works for every person. This is why it is essential to start with an examination with dentist who is skilled and experienced. Emerging techniques and technology make some procedures more widely available and affordable than they were in previous years. 

Charlotte area residents trust their smiles to Southview Dentistry. Contact us today to learn how you can have that smile you desire.