Cosmetic dentistry is provided by a cosmetic dentist. It consists of altering or improving the appearance of your teeth, gums, and mouth. It has been gaining popularity and is now a thriving industry.
What Is a Cosmetic Dentist?
A cosmetic dentist is the type of dentist who provides services to improve the appearance of your mouth. Just like all other types of dentists, a cosmetic dentist is required to graduate high school and obtain a bachelor's degree before attending dental school. Cosmetic dentistry is not considered a specialty yet so there typically aren't programs in dental school dedicated to the field, but they can train in the other dental programs. After completing dental school, all dentists need to become licensed before practicing. Licensing requirements will vary depending on the state you're practicing in.
Why See a Cosmetic Dentist?
A cosmetic dentist can help fix most cosmetic issues, including:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Tooth decay
- Missing teeth
- Crooked teeth
Some of the things a cosmetic dentist can fix may also cause health problems (e.g. difficulty eating or speaking) along with making someone feel self-conscious about the appearance.
What Procedures Can a Cosmetic Dentist Do?
Cosmetic dentists offer a few different services.
It's common for teeth to get stained from certain foods or smoking and cause people to feel self-conscious about their smiles. Whitening your teeth is a simple procedure. Your teeth will need to be thoroughly cleaned first. Your teeth will then be professionally bleached for a whiter smile.
Dental crowns are typically placed over a damaged or weak tooth to prevent it from breaking even more. At times dental crowns can be used to cover a discolored tooth.
If a tooth has been lost or severely damaged, it can be replaced by a dental implant. The cosmetic dentist will need to place a screw into the jaw for support before inserting the implant into the open socket. As time goes on the bone and tissue will blend with the implant as if it were a real tooth.
Dental veneers are a good tool for fixing damaged enamel or large gaps in between teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will need to remove just enough enamel from your teeth to allow the veneers to blend with your teeth. Veneers are custom-made for all patients.
Cost of Seeing a Cosmetic Dentist
The cost of seeing a cosmetic dentist will vary widely depending on the service. A trip to the dentist can cost you anywhere between $250 to $24,000. Teeth whitening will be the cheapest procedure and dental implants will usually be the most expensive. Many insurances will not offer coverage for a service if it's purely cosmetic, but some insurances do offer coverage for dental crowns and implants.