Cosmetic dentistry alters and enhances the appearance and functionality of the teeth. Some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be right for you include:
- Teeth whitening is an ideal option for patients people looking to improve their smile without undergoing any major procedures. There are some DIY take home dental whiteners available on the market but the best results are typically achieved with an in-office professional treatment. Depending on the teeth whitening treatment the patient chooses, it is possible to lighten the teeth color by two (or more) shades. Keep in mind that results are temporary and last for several months depending on how well a person cares for their teeth. Professional teeth whitening costs approximately $650 per visit while DIY kits range from $100 to $400. Over the counter strips are less expensive and can be less effective.
- Porcelain veneers can help a person achieve a better smile. A porcelain shell is molded to fit over a prepared tooth to reverse the look of worn enamel, uneven alignment, chips or cracks and tooth discoloration. Please keep in mind that unlike teeth whitening, veneer application is an invasive procedure that will require a permanent alteration of the natural teeth. The cost of porcelain veneers varies from roughly $925 to $2500 per tooth. The results of porcelain veneers can last between 10 to 15 years.
- Braces tend to be a common fix for misaligned teeth but many would rather not deal with a mouth full of wire braces. There are a number of invisible braces variants including ceramic tooth-colored brackets, inside braces or clear aligners (such as Invisalign or Clear Correct). The cost of invisible braces varies from case to case and product to product so ask the cosmetic dentist for more information.
- A “gummy smile” is when an excessive amount of gum tissue is exposed when a person is smiling. This is also called excessive gingival display and is treatable in a variety of ways that include laser treatment, surgical lip repositioning, orthodontics, maxillofacial surgery and gingival sculpting. Gingival contouring treatments are often performed by periodontists, orthodontists or an oral surgeon. The cost of gingival contouring isn’t easy to estimate considering the many variables at play with the amount of the gums being show before the treatment. The best way to get an estimate is to speak with a qualified, experienced and board-certified dentist.
- Bonding is when the dentist permanently attaches the teeth to dental materials such as fillings, crowns and veneers. Direct composite bonding is used to repair chips, cracks and small gaps and the process serves as a simple and affordable aesthetic solution for a host of dental issues. The cost of bonding is based on the type of bonding the patient undergoes and whether it is part of another procedure (like veneers). The per-tooth cost of dental bonding ranges from $300 to $600 on average.
- Crowns help to preserve the functional use of damaged teeth. Crowns can straddle the line between restorative and cosmetic. Crown materials can vary and be gold, porcelain fused to metal or ceramic porcelain (which offers the highest degree of aesthetic value). Porcelain crowns employ a reduced thickness that is very durable while allowing a high degree of light transmission through the crown giving a much more natural, “tooth-like” appearance. While it is durable, the all-ceramic porcelain variety of crowns may not be required or might not be advisable for areas of the mouth that require heavy function (much like molars). The cost of porcelain crowns can range from $1000 to $3500 a tooth. Much like porcelain veneers, these crowns have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
- Dental implants are on the high end of restorative and cosmetic dentistry and give the highest level of strength and durability with natural tooth-like aesthetics. Dental implants serve as a permanent solution to tooth loss and consist of a titanium tooth root being surgically implanted in the jaw (which allows it to fuse to the bone). The unparalleled durability of the implants serves as a great base as a crown is attached on top and works as the actual tooth replacement. The dental implants cost on average between $900 and $3000 a tooth. Much like most of these procedures, costs can vary significantly depending on the case and the severity of the condition of the teeth. However, the added benefit of dental implants is longevity as the implant is permanent but the crown has to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.
Patients that are interested in undergoing any type of cosmetic dental procedure should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified dentist that is experienced in performing functional and aesthetic cosmetic dental procedures. The dentist can examine the current condition of the teeth in order to determine the best cosmetic dentistry procedure to address the issue at hand and to provide the long-lasting and natural results desired by the patient.