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10 Common Questions About Cosmetic Dentistry

You’ve probably come across all kinds of information online about how to get a smile makeover or fix crooked teeth. There are so many types of dental treatments out there that they can make your head spin!



Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry questions patients ask.



1. What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?



For starters, how is what a cosmetic dentist does different from the work that the dentist you grew up visiting for tooth check-ups and cavity fillings?



Basically, a cosmetic dentist is a dental doctor who not only helps with the treatment of tooth and gum health issues (such as tooth decay or gum disease) but also helps patients achieve their dream smile.



A cosmetic dentist achieves this goal through cosmetic dentistry procedures such as tooth whitening, attaching dental crowns to damaged teeth, or reshaping the gum line. Overall, a cosmetic dentist cares about both the health and the appearance of teeth. 



2. What Problems Does Cosmetic Dentistry Solve?



There are many issues that cosmetic dentistry treatments can fix. From gummy smiles to missing teeth, there are so many smile flaws cosmetic dentistry can fix.



Whether your dental problems are rooted in an individual tooth, your bite pattern, or your gums, an experienced dentist can find the right treatment for you.



Common problems that cosmetic dentists treat include:




    • Discolored teeth



    • Cracked or otherwise damaged teeth



    • Misaligned (i.e. crooked) teeth



    • Missing teeth



    • Receding gum line



    • Incorrect bite patterns (e.g. an overbite)




3. How Does Cosmetic Dentistry Help Your Oral Health?



As the name suggests, many cosmetic dentistry procedures are primarily focused on fixing aesthetic issues. However, certain oral hygiene problems can also see improvement following cosmetic procedures.



For instance, straightening crooked teeth or replacing missing ones can make biting and chewing easier, which is better for your long-term jaw health.



To take another example, dental crowns can protect you from tooth decay, while veneers can serve as a shield for already-damaged teeth so that they don’t become worse.



Depending on which treatment process you receive, you may experience a combination of aesthetic and oral health benefits from cosmetic treatments!



4. Can a Cosmetic Dentist Fix a Tooth Gap?



Absolutely! Depending on the severity of the tooth gap, a cosmetic dentist can fix the problem using either dental bonding or veneers (for quicker solutions applied to smaller, less serious gaps), or by implementing clear aligner (e.g. Invisalign brand) orthodontics (for long-term solutions applied to larger, more severe gaps).



Bonding and veneers can last you between 4-15 years, while orthodontic treatment is essentially permanent. Either way, you have multiple cosmetic dentistry treatment options to fix a tooth gap and give you a picture-perfect smile!



5. Can a Cosmetic Dentist Help Treat Sleep Apnea?



While this may sound far-fetched at first, but know that the American Dental Association (ADA) has reported that dentists can play a part in helping patients who are suffering from sleep difficulties related to sleep apnea.



A trained and respected dentist can observe real patients and work in tandem with sleep doctors to determine if recipients could benefit from specially designed oral devices that function similarly to a mouthguard.



This just goes to show that fixing dental issues can help in other areas of your life, not just your smile!



 6. Will Tooth Whitening Damage My Teeth Enamel?




    • This is a pretty understandable question. After all, what good is it to get brighter teeth only to experience more pain and sensitivity throughout the day?




Fortunately, professional tooth whitening should give you little reason to worry about enamel damage or other side effects. A trained dentist will be able to determine what type of tooth whitening agent will work best for you, and he or she will be able to provide high-strength products that are used within appropriate safety protocols. 



7. How Long Do Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Take?



There really isn’t a single answer to this question, because every patient has different needs. And different needs mean different treatments!



On the one hand, your cosmetic dentist may be able to fix a chipped or cracked tooth in a single appointment through the use of dental bonding. On the other hand, orthodontic procedures such as Invisalign can take a year and a half to create the stunning smile that you’re looking for.



No matter how long your smile makeover process takes, your dental professional will be with you every step of the way.



8. Is Cosmetic Dentistry Painful?



It may be tempting to associate cosmetic dentistry with the fears of the dentist that you had as a little goal. However, just like receiving care from a traditional family dentist isn’t particularly painful, neither is cosmetic dentistry.



Like any dentist, cosmetic professionals have access to all of the necessary local anesthetics and other medications to make procedures as pain-free as possible.



Plus, going to a cosmetic dentist for assistance now can mean saving yourself from tooth pain, weakened enamel, and tooth decay later on down the road.



 9. How Much Does Cosmetic Dentistry Cost, and Will Insurance Pay for It?



Like many medical questions, the issue of how much cosmetic dentistry costs will depend on your individual needs as a patient. A full smile makeover is likely to cost more than a one-time tooth whitening, for instance.



As for the answer to the question of dental insurance coverage, that will be determined by whether you’re receiving a restorative or purely cosmetic treatment.



For example, a dental crown that serves to repair and protect a damaged tooth will probably be covered because it is a restorative treatment. However, whitening treatments are unlikely to be covered because they are considered purely cosmetic.



The best way to find out your cost and coverage is to schedule a consultation with a dental professional as well as talk to your dental insurance provider. 



10. How Should I Choose the Best Cosmetic Dentist for Me?



This one’s easy. Find a dentist with years of experience who provides a variety of services that are directly relevant to your unique dental need. The dentist you’re interested in should also have received glowing reviews and even professional awards for his or her expertise.



You can also check the dentist’s credentials to see if he or she has obtained advanced degrees or is currently pursuing continuing education.



Contact Stuart Curry Dentistry to Schedule an Appointment Today



Join the Stuart Curry Dentistry family for exceptional general and cosmetic dental care in Birmingham, Alabama. Proudly serving Vestavia Hills and the surrounding areas – call us today to schedule your appointment!


If you enjoyed this article, check out other article:

Which Tooth Problems Require Emergency Dental Appointments.


If you enjoyed this article, check out these other articles about general dental:
How Do You Know When You Need a Dental Crown?
Understanding the Different Types of Cosmetic Dental Procedures