If you’re considering undergoing cosmetic dentistry, you’re probably excited and a little bit nervous. Excited about the possibilities that a radiant smile will bring. Nervous about an unknown procedure and the investment that you’re making. As dentists, our patients come to us with questions about cosmetic surgery all of the time, so we thought it might be useful to publish some of the more frequently asked questions along with what we hope will be helpful answers.
What are some of the common cosmetic dentistry procedures?
Cosmetic dentistry covers a wide range of procedures that are designed to promote a beautiful and healthy smile. Some of the more common requests that we get at our practice include whitening, bonding, veneers, and implants.
What is my recovery time with cosmetic dentistry?
Unlike other types of cosmetic procedures, cosmetic dentistry is done on an outpatient basis. Most procedures are completed in a few hours or less. More complicated or extensive procedures can be handled with multiple visits.
What types of corrections can you make with cosmetic dentistry?
We are able to fix a variety of issues. Chipped teeth can be fixed with bonding or resin. A broken tooth can be replaced with an implant. Discoloration can be corrected with a veneer or whitening. Some smiles only require small tweaks and others may be restored with multiple procedures.
Can I get my insurance to pay for part or all of my procedures?
Most insurance policies do not pay for cosmetic dentistry procedures. There are, however, times when medically necessary procedures overlap with cosmetic dentistry. As a rule, if your teeth and gums are healthy, your insurance company is not likely to pay any of the costs.
Should I Get Implants if I Just Don’t Like How My Teeth Look?
Most dentists don’t recommend replacing healthy teeth with implants. A competent cosmetic dentistry practice can offer you a number of options that will work to improve your smile without replacing healthy teeth.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are artificial teeth that attach to your jawbone. They replace your tooth entirely, and since they are attached to the jawbone, they are incredibly strong. Dental implants are crafted to look like your natural tooth and to match the teeth around them.
What is a veneer?
Veneers are crafted porcelain coverings that go over the front of the teeth. Veneers can be used to fix chipped or damaged teeth.
How long does professional teeth whitening take?
While over-the-counter products like whitening strips could take weeks, you can be in and out of your dental office in as little as 90 minutes. Teeth whitening lasts anywhere from six months to a year or more.
Do I have to be sedated?
Most cosmetic dentistry procedures can be achieved with local anesthetic or no anesthetic at all. However, you may request to be sedated for your procedure. If you are uncomfortable with dentistry, then sedation may be a good idea for more extensive procedures.
Before Getting a Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure
Do your research. Ask your dentist how long they’ve been doing the procedure you’re considering. Your dentist may have before and after images of other patients to help you decide. Importantly, you should be given an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs before you commit.