Cosmetic Dentistry – What Is It?
Cosmetic dentistry is also known as aesthetic dentistry. While the American Dental Association doesn’t recognize cosmetic dentistry as a separate specialty, the treatments included in it are very popular.
To explain to their patients, dentists define it as the area of dentistry that deals with fixing a person’s smile and eventually, their self-image. A healthy mouth and strong teeth aren’t just important for an aesthetic purpose, but also the overall functionality.
What Types Of Procedures Are A Part Of Cosmetic Dentistry?
You can find the following cosmetic dentistry procedures at the Le Sueur Family Dental office –
One of the simplest and least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures, teeth whitening is the easiest way to brighten your smile. This treatment is non-invasive and involves the use of bleaching agents that remove discoloration from teeth and whiten them.
However, teeth whitening can be done only on natural teeth. So, any restorative work that is required is done after the teeth have been bleached so the restorations can match the new teeth.
If you’re prone to stains – especially if you’re a smoker or an avid tea, coffee, or wine drinker – you will require a whitening touch-up every couple of years.
When a tooth undergoes decay or damage, the affected portion is filled in using filling material. While amalgam is the most commonly used material, composite is more visually appealing.
The reason why composite fillings fall under the arena of cosmetic dentistry is that the filling is tooth-colored. The color of the filling can be shade-matched to the natural teeth before fixing the affected portion.
Similar to most dental restorations, composite fillings might require replacement over the years. However, they are extremely durable and will last a long time before requiring replacement.
Porcelain crowns, or tooth-colored dental crowns, are commonly known as “caps”. And similar to how they sound, they are “capped” on top of worn or damaged teeth, restoring the structure, function, and aesthetic.
Unresolved dental issues lead to many other problems such as jaw discomfort and problems with the bite. These affect the otherwise healthy teeth as well. Dental crowns take care of –
- Damaged teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Teeth with large fillings
- Teeth with a root canal
- Misshapen, chipped, discolored teeth
- Anchoring a dental bridge
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are cemented on the surfaces of the front teeth to make them visually appealing. These are made of porcelain by a dental laboratory.
Famously known as “Hollywood teeth”, veneers completely transform your smile by fixing any of the following issues –
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Severely discolored teeth
- Teeth with gaps between them
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth of unequal shapes and sizes
- Worn out teeth
Veneers last pretty long and provide you with a gorgeous-looking smile for years.
The most popular procedure among tooth replacement, dental implants are one cosmetic dentistry treatment that requires surgery. A patient has to be thoroughly examined – both physically and digitally – by their dentist before getting the nod for a dental implant.
Patients with a history of prolonged medical illnesses, those with poor oral health, and smokers are usually advised against dental implants.
The base of the implant – known as post – is surgically placed within the jaw bone at the implant site. The area is then left alone to allow the fusion between the post and jaw bone to take place. Once the fusion is complete, the tooth replacement is topped off on the post, filling in the space in the mouth.
When properly taken care of, dental implants can last you all your life.
Are Cosmetic Dental Procedures Safe?
As long as you are visiting a cosmetic dentist that is experienced and licensed to offer their services, no evidence suggests that cosmetic dental procedures aren’t safe.
Most cosmetic dentistry procedures are non-invasive (except for dental implants) and pretty low-risk. And with the experts at Le Sueur Family Dental, you’re in extremely capable hands.
Why Are Dental Implants Considered Cosmetic Surgery In The US?
Dental implants are advised when you have lost a tooth – either due to decay or trauma. As mentioned earlier, surgery is performed to place the implant post into the jaw bone. The reason why this procedure is considered cosmetic surgery because dental implants impact your smile.
The way your smile looks changes when a missing tooth is replaced. And since dental implants are peak cosmetic rehabilitation, the surgery associated with them is considered cosmetic surgery.
Does Insurance Cover The Procedures In Cosmetic Dentistry?
Most cosmetic dentistry procedures are elective and not essential. And it is for this purpose that dental insurances do not cover their cost. However, if a particular procedure is medically necessary, your insurance might cover a part of the cost.
Speak to an insurance expert for the answers that you’re looking for.
Alternatively, if you don’t have dental insurance, you can take advantage of Le Sueur’s Family Dental Plan.
How Do I Find An Expert In Cosmetic Dentistry?
Finding a dentist that caters to your requirements doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Make a list of the nearby dental offices offering cosmetic procedures and shortlist based on people’s experiences. Ask people you know or patient testimonials online.
However, nothing beats taking a trip to the dental office in question. Schedule an appointment with the dentist and ask them two important questions –
How much experience do they have?
Since the branch has been developed over time, it is important that the dentist has substantial experience in the field. Ask for before and after pictures of previous pictures to get an idea of their work.
Are they accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry?
If the dentist in question is accredited by the AACD, it is a great sign that they’re extremely qualified to restore your smile!
If you’d like to know more about the cosmetic dentistry procedures at Le Sueur Family Dental, schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. David Tycast. Call us at (507) 665-6812 or fill this form and we’ll get back to you at the earliest!