Let's face it: We're a beauty-driven species. The Egyptians kicked off the beauty culture in 10,000 B.C. by developing cosmetic products to soften wrinkles and get rid of stretch marks. Fast forward to today and there's no doubt that more and more people are obsessed with their looks and their smiles. In lieu of expensive, time-consuming and painful cosmetic surgery, many people are now looking to cosmetic dentists for help.
Cosmetic dentistry is somewhat of a subjective label; it's not an officially recognized specialty of the American Dental Association. That means that no special training is required. In fact, all general dentists are cosmetic dentists.
Some choose to differentiate themselves from general dentists because they believe that cosmetic dentists have a greater standard of beauty, believe in the art of smile design and seek continuing education simply for the passion of creating more beautiful smiles.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
According to the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, the top cosmetic dental treatments are:
- Teeth Whitening -- Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dental procedure for lightening (bleaching) teeth.
- Dental Veneers -- Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed for closing gaps or disguising stained teeth that don't respond well to whitening treatments.
Cosmetic Dentistry Costs
You might be wondering if cosmetic dentistry costs more than routine dental care. Truth is that cosmetic dentistry prices may differ from one dentist to the next and from one procedure to the next. Keep in mind that the cost of care factors in the use of high-quality materials, top-notch dental labs and the time and effort of your dentist.
The good news is that if you have dental insurance, some cosmetic dentistry costs may be covered by your plan. Talk with the staff at your dentist's office to determine the specific cosmetic dentistry prices. Most offices are willing to work with dental insurers or have payment plans available to make cosmetic dentistry costs an affordable option for everyone.
How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist
Don't let cosmetic dentistry prices guide your choice in a dentist because cheaper isn't necessarily better. Be sure to look at a cosmetic dentist's book of "before and after" photos; inquire about his or her participation in continuing education courses; and ask for references