What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a general term for various procedures used to improve the appearance of teeth and gums. People choose to undergo cosmetic dental procedures for many different reasons. The ultimate goal for many patients is to improve their smile and increase confidence. Cosmetic dental imperfections can be fixed to improve the natural look and feel of your teeth.

Overtime your dental health can deteriorate to the point where preventative dental treatment is no longer helpful. For example, tooth loss is a condition that must be handled by a trained cosmetic dentist. Dental implants or bridges can be used to seamlessly replace the damaged tooth. Cosmetic dentistry treatment can be used to improve the look and function of your teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry Overview

Today teeth whitening has become one of the most common forms of cosmetic dentistry treatment. Affordable teeth whitening products can be purchased over the counter and used at home. The most effective solution is to consult with a cosmetic dentist that can offer professional results. In fact, teeth whitening is usually required before any cosmetic procedure in order to accurately match crowns and caps to your natural tooth color.

Today, dentists have the tools and technology to completely restore your smile with minimal pain or surgery. Consider how cosmetic dentistry can give you more confidence and improve your personal and professional relationships.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

  • Teeth Whitening
  • Dental Implants
  • Root Canals
  • Dental Crowns
  • Dentures

Cosmetic Dentist Near You

While cosmetic dentistry covers a wide range of treatments, not all types of procedures may be available from your local dentist. Consider consulting with a specialist. During your search for the perfect cosmetic dentist you may encounter a Prosthodontists. They are formally trained to complete cosmetic dental work. Although many standard dental practices can perform certain types of cosmetic procedures they may not offer the same treatment as cosmetic dentists.

As with all types of medical and dental treatment, always consider the past experience and reputation of any cosmetic dentistry office before undergoing treatment.

Cosmetic dental treatment can be quite invasive as well as expensive. To get the best results for your money consider only highly qualified professional cosmetic dentists. If a qualified cosmetic dentist is not available in your hometown consider extending your search to nearby cities. Use our guides to find a local cosmetic dental office near you.

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Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry treatment is completely elective. In some situations cosmetic dental work may increase the function of your teeth and improve your smile. In general, elective treatment is designed to enhance the appearance of your teeth more than anything else. There are many procedures available to restore your smile to its natural look. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can be expensive and lengthy due to the precision required to completely transform or restore your smile. Listed below are the most commonly found cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Dental Implants

Dental implants replace any missing teeth to complete the perfect smile. Unlike dentures or dental bridges, a dental implant is secured to the jaw bone with a titanium anchor. Next a crown is placed on the anchor to replace the missing tooth. The implant anchor will be permanent and the crown could last for 15 years.

Dental implants can replicate the natural look of your teeth while maintaining chewing ability and function. For those with only one or two missing teeth, implants can be an easy and affordable option. However, the success of dental implants depends on the structure and size of the jaw bone. Since the anchor must be securely attached to the bone not all dental implants are accepted on the first try.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a versatile solution to easily improve the appearance of teeth. By simply covering the front of the tooth a veneer can fix tooth discoloration and improve tooth shape. The veneer is made from a thin piece of porcelain and glued to the front surface of the tooth.

Veneers improve the appearance of teeth and remove any imperfections. Patients who suffer from chipped teeth, misshaped teeth or other minor imperfections will greatly benefit from porcelain veneers. At the end of the procedure, porcelain veneers will create a natural look, but will not be identical to real teeth.

Due to the ease of application and minimal materials used, veneers are often more affordable solution than crowns. Each veneer is custom made and created using an impression taken from your tooth. Porcelain veneers are placed in front of the tooth, whereas composite veneers are applied directly to the teeth.

Teeth Whitening

A simple teeth whitening procedure can increase the brightness of your teeth to a natural level. Many have found that teeth whitening increases confidence from improving your smile. The majority of people have positive results from teeth whitening procedures.

Since tooth enamel color greatly varies the length of the teeth whitening process will greatly vary. Some people may need to improve their teeth whiteness by only a few shades. Others who have dramatic tooth discoloration from smoking, medication or coffee and wine may need to undergo multiple teeth whitening procedures to get the desired result.

There are many teeth whitening options available from your cosmetic dentist. One of the quickest procedures is laser bleaching. This must be completed in the dental office and takes only a few hours. Similarly the Britesmile Teeth Whitening option must be performed by a cosmetic dentistry practice. Of course there is a wide range of over the counter teeth whitening options. An at-home tray bleaching set can be created by a cosmetic dentist and used daily over a period of time. Typically at-home solutions take longer to achieve significant results. Usually a few weeks to months at a time. It is however more affordable than standard teeth whitening options.

Dental Bonding

Similar to porcelain veneers, dental bonding uses a composite material to fix minor cosmetic imperfections. One major benefit of this procedure is that bonding material can be matched to your natural tooth color.

Dental bonding is most commonly used to improve shape and appearance of front teeth. Dental bonding can also be used to remove tooth decay similar to standard dental fillings. Often the results are more natural and seamless.

Root Canals

A root canal procedure removes the infected material within a tooth. The small canals within teeth roots can become infected and spread to the rest of the tooth. In order to remove the infected area a dentist must drill in the tooth and clean out the small roots with an antiseptic solution. The tooth is then filled with a plastic material and covered with a filling or a crown. After a root canal is performed the tooth structure becomes much more fragile. A crown placed over the tooth will increase its strength and durability.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns increase the durability of teeth that are chipped or damaged. A tooth can become damaged from grinding overtime and decay. The crown will completely cover the damaged tooth and can be designed to resemble a natural tooth color. Although dental crown technology has come a long way, it is still difficult to match a tooth’s natural enamel and transparency. This results in minor cosmetic differences between a dental crown and a natural tooth.

There are 3 main types of dental crowns available. Formerly, gold crowns were the standard choice for cosmetic dentists due to their strength and flexibility. Today there are more advanced options such as resin and porcelain compounds as well as porcelain and metal combinations. Depending on the tooth that is damaged the crown material will vary. Porcelain crowns are most common on front teeth that need a natural appearance. Gold crowns are used on molars that are hidden from view when a natural look is not important.


Dentures are removable replacements for extracted teeth. Either complete or partial, dentures can be designed to look like natural teeth. Cosmetic dentistry practices will have the skills and experience to create a high-quality set of dentures. Due to the amount of work and possible surgery required it is important to seek out professional cosmetic dentist before getting your first set of dentures.

Complete dentures will replace all your teeth with a natural looking smile. Dentures are made from a resin material and are very durable. Dentures will remain natural looking with routine cleaning and care. In order to maintain a comfortable fit, each set of dentures is custom-made. Complete dentures often require all remaining teeth to be removed. Occasionally gum surgery is used to improve the fit of dentures.

Partial dentures are used to replace extracted teeth when your existing teeth can be used for support. These are still removable and offer many benefits to patients looking to improve their smile and replace missing teeth. In fact, partial dentures can help prevent additional decay and tooth damage. Similar to complete dentures, a partial set can be custom-made to match existing enamel color to improve your smile.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges fill the gap created from missing or extracted teeth. In contrast to partial dentures, a dental bridge is permanent and cannot be removed. Using adjacent teeth for support, a dental bridge holds a false tooth in place. Typically the teeth used to connect the bridge, known as abutment teeth, must have a crown placed on top. If a natural tooth is not available to receive a crown, then an implant must be used instead.

The false tooth in a dental bridge is called a pontic and is a common term in the cosmetic dentistry field. The pontic can be made of many different materials such as porcelain, gold or resin. The primary benefit of a dental bridge is that it will improve chewing functions by spreading the forces over multiple teeth. Having a pontic tooth installed will prevent any movement from surrounding teeth and help maintain the shape of your face.

Dental Fillings

For teeth that are broken and cracked, dental fillings can be used to improve their appearance. Beyond your typical fillings used to remove tooth decay, cosmetic dentistry fillings can be used to repair damage that has been caused by tooth grinding and misuse. In addition cosmetic dental fillings can be used to strengthen teeth that have been worn down.

Dental fillings are available in a various materials. Depending on the location of the tooth and necessary durability a cosmetic dentist may use different types of fillings. For instance, gold and silver amalgam fillings are normally used in the rear of the mouth. These materials are more durable and are rarely visible to others. There are however porcelain and composite resin fillings available. These are usually naturally colored to match the enamel on your teeth and are hard to recognize. In addition to the location of the filling, your cosmetic dentist will also take into account the amount of decay, the cost of the procedure and your dental insurance coverage before selecting the filling material.


Cosmetic dentistry treatment can help you improve your smile and increase your confidence. Depending on your dental needs there are many options available. From at-home treatment to sophisticated surgery a cosmetic dentist has the skills and knowledge to help you become comfortable with your smile.

Although dental treatment can be expensive, it is a great investment in yourself and your future. Studies have shown that straight teeth and a bright white smile give a better first impression on others. Consider consulting with a cosmetic dentist near you to find out what type of treatment is available to you under your current dental insurance plan. Cosmetic dentistry could be the key to your social and professional success!