All About Cosmetic Dentistry: What You Need to Know

teeth check up with dentist
  • Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the cosmetic appearance of teeth rather than their health.
  • It is not typically covered by most insurance plans and can be an expensive option, depending on the procedure.
  • Common cosmetic dentistry procedures include teeth whitening, veneers, dental implants, and Invisalign.
  • The cost of cosmetic dentistry depends on the type of treatment needed and its complexity. 
  • Research all available options and find a highly qualified dentist before proceeding. 

Cosmetic dentistry is a type of dental care that focuses on improving the cosmetic appearance of your teeth instead of their health. As such, it’s not covered by most insurance plans and is considered an elective procedure. But cosmetic dentistry can have many benefits, including improving your smile and boosting self-confidence. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about cosmetic dentistry.

General Dentistry vs Cosmetic Dentistry

The difference between general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry is quite clear. General dentistry focuses on maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. Meanwhile, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the aesthetic look. General dentistry involves regular check-ups, cleanings, fillings, and treatment of cavities and other oral diseases. On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry includes procedures such as veneers, teeth whitening, bonding and contouring, crowns, and bridges.

young woman smiling

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Many different types of procedures are available to enhance the look and feel of your smile. Each procedure is designed to give you a more attractive smile while protecting your mouth’s overall health and function. Let’s take a closer look at some common cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Teeth Whitening

This procedure is one of the least expensive options, but results vary from person to person. The most common way that dental clinics do teeth whitening is by using bleaching agents. This usually involves applying a hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide solution to the teeth and then activating it with a special light, laser, or heat source. The bleaching agents break down the molecules in the tooth enamel responsible for discoloration. Some dentists also do laser whitening, which is faster and more expensive than regular bleaching. It involves using a laser to activate the bleaching agent and can provide results in less than an hour.


Veneers are thin tooth-colored shells bonded to teeth to improve their color, shape, and size. They require no drilling and can last up to 15 years with proper care. The average cost of dental veneers can vary greatly depending on the type and number of veneers needed. However, it is typically estimated to range between $500-$2,500 per tooth. The most affordable option for veneers is porcelain veneers, which can cost as low as $925 per tooth, while composite veneers, made from a special type of resin, can cost up to $2,500 per tooth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into the jawbone that act as anchors for artificial teeth or crowns. They look and feel like natural teeth, but they’re more expensive than other options and may require multiple visits for several months to complete treatment. Dental implants are an excellent way for people to restore their smiles and get the look they desire. They provide a permanent solution that mimics real teeth, unlike dentures or bridges, which can be taken out and require ongoing maintenance. They can also last a lifetime with proper care, making them an excellent long-term investment.


Invisalign is an increasingly popular type of cosmetic dentistry because it provides many advantages over traditional metal braces. Invisalign is a system that uses custom-made, clear plastic aligners to gradually and gently shift your teeth into place while still allowing you to eat, speak, brush, and floss usually. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, so you can still feel confident in your smile. Additionally, the treatment time is usually shorter than traditional braces, and they are typically more comfortable. Invisalign generally costs between $3,000-$8,000, depending on the complexity of your case.

dental braces check up

Possible Considerations

When considering cosmetic dentistry, it is crucial to consider the procedure’s cost, any potential risks associated with the procedure, costs, and the dentist themselves. Doing so can ensure that you get the best possible results from your cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Potential Risks

The risks associated with cosmetic dental treatments can vary depending on the procedure being performed. For instance, teeth whitening can result in tooth sensitivity or damage to the enamel if not done correctly. Veneers can also cause irritation and gum tissue infection if not done correctly. Additionally, certain types of dental implants can cause nerve damage or infection. That’s why discussing all possible risks with your dentist before undergoing any cosmetic dentistry procedure is important.


The cost of cosmetic dentistry procedures can vary greatly depending on the type of treatment needed and the complexity of a patient’s dental issues. Generally speaking, teeth whitening is one of the most affordable options, costing between $500-$1000 per tooth. Veneers are also relatively inexpensive, with porcelain veneers costing between $500-$2,500 per tooth and composite veneers costing up to $2500. Dental implants typically range from $3,000-$5,000 per implant, while Invisalign can cost between $3,000 -$8,000, depending on the complexity of your case.

Finding the Right Dentist

It is essential to take time and research all options, including finding a highly qualified and experienced dentist. To start, you can ask for referrals from friends, family, or other healthcare professionals. When researching dentists, you should check their qualifications and experience to ensure they can provide the best possible care. Additionally, make sure that the dentist’s office is clean and well-equipped. Be sure to read past patients’ reviews to better understand their experiences with the dentist.

Overall, cosmetic dentistry has many potential benefits when done correctly by experienced professionals who understand your needs and goals best! To ensure success, research all available options before committing so you can make an informed decision about what’s right for you. With the right approach, cosmetic dentistry could be just what you need for a more confident smile and healthier lifestyle!

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