Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry Q & A

Westwood Dental Arts Center

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on treatment and procedures to improve the appearance of teeth. In some cases, cosmetic treatments can also be restorative.

What types of procedures are considered cosmetic?

The most popular types of cosmetic procedures include:

  • teeth whitening
  • veneers
  • tooth-colored fillings
  • tooth-colored crowns
  • Invisalign or traditional braces

Many patients choose to have their old, dark, metal fillings replaced with tooth-colored materials or covered with tooth-colored crowns so their teeth appear natural and unrestored.

Can over-the-counter products offer the same whitening effects as professional bleaching?

No. Over-the-counter products are not as strong or as effective as in-office whitening procedures, and because they require multiple treatments, they can also cause prolonged periods of tooth sensitivity. In-office treatments use advanced technology to achieve deeper, longer-lasting effects while minimizing sensitivity.

Can cosmetic treatments improve the health of my teeth?

Yes, some cosmetic treatment can improve the health of your teeth and gums. For instance, by replacing old, worn fillings with newer materials designed to bond more effectively with the tooth surface, you can help bacteria from getting in around the filling edges. Newer crowns are designed to help teeth stay stable and veneers can help cover cracks that can provide a place for decay-causing bacteria to hide. Orthodontic treatments can also close gaps to prevent cavity formation and align your teeth and bite pattern to avoid tempomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) and the painful symptoms it can cause.

Will my insurance cover cosmetic procedures?

In most cases, cosmetic procedures will not be covered by your insurance; however, if procedures are part of an initial restoration, your insurance may cover part of the costs. Our office staff can work with you to develop a payment plan that works within your budget.

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