When many people think of cosmetic dentistry, their minds immediately go to procedures that are designed to enhance the appearance of teeth. In fact, that is often the primary motivation for seeking these procedures. What you may not know is that cosmetic dentistry can do more. By learning a bit about this form of dentistry, you will have a better idea of what to expect. Here are some of the essentials that you should know upfront.
Not Everyone is Automatically a Candidate For Cosmetic Dentistry
It’s true that some basic cosmetic dentistry procedures are available to just about anyone. With more comprehensive procedures, there is usually some qualification process. That process is designed to take all factors into consideration that may have a negative effect on the patient.
For example, your medical history may play a role in determining if you’re a candidate for a particular cosmetic procedure. The presence of chronic conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular issues may impact which dental treatments you may receive. Typically, if you are not a candidate for one approach, there is likely an alternative that would be safer.
Cosmetic Dentistry Can Be Restorative As Well
Some people seek out family and cosmetic dentistry because there’s something about their teeth that they don’t like. Perhaps one or more teeth need straightening, or they may not be evenly spaced. Maybe the teeth are crowded. Whatever the case, this form of dentistry can help to take a condition that developed naturally and improve the appearance.
At other times, the purpose of the cosmetic procedure is to restore damaged teeth to their former appearance. This may happen when the teeth are damaged due to decay, an accident that left one or more teeth cracked or broken, or teeth that have undergone significant wear in the past. With these issues, the goal is to restore the teeth to the look that they had before those events took place.
You May or May Not Need Sedation in Order to Undergo a Procedure
With some forms of cosmetic dentistry, it will take hours to complete a procedure. Some are more invasive than others. When this is true, it’s not unusual for the dentist to use some form of sedation as well as something to deaden the gum around the tooth. That allows the patient to remain relatively calm, free of discomfort, and not be aware of how much time is passing.
This is not the case with other forms of cosmetic dentistry. For example, teeth whitening is classed as a cosmetic procedure. It happens to be one that doesn’t require deadening the gums or placing the patient under sedation. It typically takes somewhere between a half-hour and an hour. When no sedation is used, you can leave the clinic soon after the work is finished.
The Procedures Can Aid Function As Well as Improve Appearance
A lot of the focus on cosmetic and family dentistry tends to be on appearance. The goal is usually to ensure the teeth look their best. What may be overlooked is that the work can also have a positive effect on function.
For example, repairing a damaged tooth with fillings, crowns, and veneers definitely make it look better. At the same time, that restored tooth is likely to be more helpful with chewing. Depending on where the tooth is located, it may even be easier to pronounce certain words with greater ease.
Cosmetic Dentistry Can Be Part of the Treatment in Emergency Situations
If you tend to think that cosmetic dentistry is something that happens after discussions and planning dates in advance, your thoughts would be correct in a lot of cases. The thing to remember is that not all cosmetic procedures take place with a lot of advanced planning. They may also occur as part of the process of emergency dentistry.
Perhaps you sustain an injury to the teeth as the result of a fault. Some teeth are loose, one is knocked all the way out, and others are cracked. Part of seeking immediate care is to stabilize the condition and hopefully save that dislodged tooth. Along with taking care of immediate damage, approaches like adding cosmetic dentistry veneers to the cracked teeth may be necessary to prevent more damage.
Insurance May Cover the Costs of Some Cosmetic Procedures
One of the things that discourage people from seeking cosmetic dental help is the expense. There’s an idea that insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic dentistry costs at all. In fact, that’s not the case.
Certain procedures are covered under specific circumstances. This is true when an accident left you with damaged teeth. There may also be some provisions for other cosmetic procedures, especially if the conditions threaten your overall dental health. Before assuming that you can’t have a certain procedure because the insurance doesn’t cover it, check the policy terms. It may be covered after all.
Teeth Whitening is Currently the Most Popular Form of Cosmetic Dentistry
For those who love trivia, it will be fun to know that some forms of cosmetic dentistry are more popular than others. Currently, teeth whitening is at the top of the list. According to data collected from various North American dental organizations, this has been true for several years and is likely to remain the single most popular procedure in the future.
This should come as no surprise. Many who become interested in the look of their teeth and begin to look for providers of cosmetic dentistry near me do so because their teeth look dull. It can be the motivation to do more than whiten the teeth, as it may also lead people to understand they need dental care on a regular basis.
With Crowns and Veneers Being the Second Most Popular
Can you guess what happens to be the second most popular form of dentistry cosmetic treatment today? It’s the use of crowns, veneers, or a combination of the two. These are key options when it comes to restoring the look and the function of damaged teeth.
According to professionals who practice family cosmetic dentistry, crowns and veneers are often helpful in handling all sorts of issues, such as teeth that are not spaced evenly or restoring the shape of a damaged tooth. Since these are relatively simple procedures that can be performed at a clinic, it’s possible to walk in, have the work done, and emerge in a few hours with teeth that look much better.
The Procedures May Address More Than Physical Issues
Up to now, most of the information about cosmetic dental procedures has focused on the physical benefits that can come from seeing a cosmetic dentist. In fact, there’s more to it. Having one or more procedures may do a great deal for your sense of self and your general emotional well-being.
Teeth that don’t look their best can cause you to be more withdrawn in social situations. They may also interfere with the confidence in your ability to pursue specific opportunities for advancement at work. There’s also a chance that your feelings about those teeth could hinder your pursuit of romance. Once the teeth are in better shape and look nicer, you can feel free to go after whatever is it your heart desires.
There is no doubt that cosmetic dentists provide valuable services to their patients. If you are having an issue with your teeth and are unhappy with the way they look, now is the time to find a professional who can offer the best cosmetic dentistry in the area. After an examination, it will be easier to sit down, go over the treatment options, and come up with a plan that works for you.