What Are the Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry can cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,300 per tooth.

If you have ever considered cosmetic dentistry, you are not alone. In fact, the number of folks spending money on dental surgery has doubled over the last five years.

Cosmetic dentistry can serve to boost your smile, remove stains and chips, and enhance your confidence. It can help you with receding gums and inspire you to practice healthy oral hygiene. Cosmetic dentistry can also make your teeth stronger and help prevent any future damage.

The surgery can also be costly and require frequent maintenance. How do you know if cosmetic dentistry is right for you? Let’s take a look.

1. Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening can immediately take years off of your appearance. You will have a bright, youthful smile after only one non-invasive in-office visit.

Laser tooth whitening can also be expensive, costing you anywhere from $400 to $1,400. You may want to check with your insurance to see if there is any coverage available.

You may also want to see if you can get a Health Savings Account with your company to begin saving for a tooth-whitening procedure. These accounts are tax-sheltered and can help you pay for treatments not covered under insurance.

Some folks may opt instead for home tooth-whitening strips, which you can buy at your local drug store. These will lighten your teeth slowly over the course of a few weeks.

An in-office whitening, by contrast, can lighten your teeth by a few shades in less than an hour. 

Negative side effects of the treatment include increased sensitivity to certain textures and temperatures. There are also certain foods that you need to avoid after treatment. These include berries, red wine, and certain sauces.

2. Crowns

Dental Crowns are “caps” placed over decayed or damaged teeth. While it used to take two dental appointments to place a crown over a tooth, partial crowns can now be installed in less than 90 minutes thanks to 3D imaging.

Crowns can cost anywhere from $800 to $1700 per crown. A portion of this is generally covered by your insurance. You may wish to supplement the rest using an HSA or other savings account.

Crowns can support teeth that have been significantly damaged by decay. They can also protect a damaged tooth from erosion, or hold a severely splintered tooth together. 

Dental crowns are versatile and long-lasting. They do, however, require some drilling of healthy areas. They may also result in some gum recession and sensitivity.

Over time, the color of your crowns may fade to a shade that does not match your teeth.

3. Implants

What are dental implants? In short, they are artificial tooth roots that are placed in your jawbone to bond with your natural bone. They are then covered with a custom crown.

Dental implants have been successful for over 30 years. Their pros include natural looks, oral stability, and facial structure support.

They can combat sagging bone loss and the aging that comes from missing teeth. Implants can also be used to support dentures and bridges.

The cons of implants include their cost, which can be anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500. There is also a risk of infection.

4. Bonding

Bonding is relatively inexpensive compared to other cosmetic dentistry help. At only $400-$800, it doesn’t require any visits outside the lab.

Bonding requires one visit with little to no change to the original tooth. It helps to narrow the gaps between chipped, broken teeth by filling them with a porcelain or resin that matches the natural teeth. 

Bonding will usually last around five to seven years. It can also stain over time. Bonding is a good option if you are looking to make small changes to an otherwise healthy mouth.

5. Veneers

Veneers last longer than bonding, but are a bit more expensive, running between $500 and $1,900 per tooth. They are better for patients who need bigger corrections.

Dental veneers can give you a dazzling, Hollywood smile. Thin porcelain or composite shells are fitted and bonded to teeth. They are used to correct stained, chipped, crooked, or oddly-shaped teeth.

Veneers may not be for those who grind and clench their teeth. Or they may need to wear a night guard to prevent damage.

6. Orthodontics

As you age, your teeth may begin to chip and crowd. Transparent braces, as well as traditional bracket-and-wire sets, can be used to make corrections. Your options may depend upon the severity of your spacing, crowding, and bite issues.

You can keep your teeth straight and your bite properly aligned by wearing a retainer at night.

Braces are expensive, costing between $5,00 and $6,000. Your insurance may be able to cover some of the treatment. They also require a commitment to wearing them for at least one year in order to be effective.

7. Periodontal Surgery

As an alternative to other forms of cosmetic dentistry, periodontal surgery grafts gum tissue to hide and protect recessed roots. It can sculpt your gum lines into more symmetrical shapes, or change the tissue at your crown to make your teeth appear longer.

Periodontal surgery can give you a youthful smile. You can get healthier gums in a dramatic new look in under an hour. It can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000.

Periodontal surgery comes with a risk of post-surgical tenderness, infection, sensitivity, and bleeding.

Do You Need Cosmetic Dentistry? 

If you have cracked, chipped, discolored, or missing teeth, cosmetic dentistry can help restore your youthful smile in a short amount of time. Your budget, insurance plan, and health needs will determine which treatment is right for you.

For more information on lifestyle improvements, read our blog today.

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