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Cosmetic Dentistry - overview

Looking for more than teeth whitening? Look for a dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry. In addition to teeth whitening, cosmetic dentists offer smile-enhancing procedures including:

  • Porcelain or Composite Veneers - Veneers are thin "shells" which are permanently fitted to and attached to your teeth to improve their appearance. As far as cost, Veneers are the most expensive, but also the most natural and longest lasting ways to a great smile!

  • Snap-on Teeth - the Snap on Smile ™, is the newest smile enhancing invention! As the name implies, these are artificial teeth that snap directly onto your regular teeth, instantly giving you a perfect smile - sort of like press-on nails for your teeth! Wear them all the time or just for special occasions, getting fitted for them causes no permanent damage to your existing teeth. You can even get the smile of a famous celebrity, such as Tom Cruise, Gwynneth Paltrow or Cameron Diaz! Not as expensive as veneers, the cost is about $2000-$3000.

  • Bonding - Bonding is a cosmetic procedure which conceals badly stained or damaged teeth by attaching a composite resin to the surface of the tooth. If much of the tooth is broken or damaged, your dentist may have to use a crown instead.

  • Replacement of fillings - It is possible to replace old amalgam ("silver") or other fillings with newer composite fillings which match your tooth color.

  • Crowns and bridges - A crown is a cap which fits over and is cemented to the tooth. It is used to fix broken teeth and following endodontic (root canal) therapy. A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It is held in place by crowns on the two teeth on either side of the gap.

  • Dental implants - Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, they won't irritate your gums and you do not need to worry about them falling out. They're as close as you can get to the look and feel of natural teeth. Prices vary depending on what your dentist has to do, but generally implants cost about as much as a bridge and last longer.

  • Gum surgery - Too much of your gums showing when you smile? Gum reduction or crown lengthening is a surgical procedure which addresses that problem.

    If too much of the tooth is showing, soft tissue grafts can be done on your gums to cover the excess tooth.

Cosmetic dentistry and teeth whitening:

If want to whiten your teeth and are planning on having other cosmetic work done (veneers, bonding) do you whiten before or after?

It's an important decision, because whitening solutions and processes do not work on synthetic materials! Most dentists recommend you whiten first so the veneers or bonding can then be matched to your whitened teeth. We recommend you discuss this thoroughly with your cosmetic dentist in order to insure the best match between your new veneers, crowns, implants or bonding and your natural teeth!