With nine specialties in the dental world, the cosmetic dentist’s proper name is by far the most difficult to pronounce: prosthodontist. We challenge anyone to say that five times fast!
While all dentists are trying to help put a beautiful smile on your face, prosthodontists are the ones that really live up to their word. Your general health dentist is going to be giving you regular cleanings and advice on basic oral health. An endodontist deals with the gums and is the one who performs root canals. Pediatric dentists try to make a trip to the dentist as painless as possible for children.
After completing dental school, all prosthodontists must complete an additional three years of training before they can step out into the real world. They’re really going the extra mile in order to make sure you’re going to have a smile on your face soon.
One quick note, despite being a growing business, the majority of cosmetic dental procedures are not covered by insurance. Of course, this varies from dentist to dentist and insurance plan to insurance plan.
But what are the ways they can help and improve your smile?
There are plenty of different ways to keep your teeth white and your smile bright, but cosmetic dentists are the ones to do it professionally.
Through laser, bleaching or even take-home treatments, cosmetic dentists can apply a variety of shades to your teeth just as you would like it.
While take-home treatments are much less expensive, they tend to be much longer, lasting up to an entire month. Office treatments can take as little as one hour before you’re out of the chair and on your way home.
Veneers are tiny little porcelain shells that can solve a number of dental problems. They are durable, and although they may need to be replaced someday, tend to last longer than other cosmetic procedures.
These porcelain shells can help those who have big spaces between teeth, chipped teeth, permanent discoloration and more.
The procedure itself takes two visits. The first visit is to have molds made on your teeth and consult with the dentist. The second visit will be veneer implantation when the veneers will be inserted.
Here is where the line between cosmetic dentists and orthodontists tends to blur a little bit, as both deal with teeth straightening. The most common form of teeth straightening is braces. Many people have already passed through the awkward stage in their life, with the “wish I could forget that” haircut and metal braces shining in the school photo.
But still, more and more people are having permanent braces inserted, either as a bar on the back of the top or bottom front four teeth.
In addition to the metal braces we all know and love, invisible braces are applied to help reshape and reform the teeth. Similar to regular braces, you’ll have to go in for adjusting and a new set in order to make sure your teeth continue to move and align properly.
Bridges replace missing teeth with artificial ones, either made out of porcelain, gold or some other material. Unlike veneers, bridges only deal with an entire missing tooth while veneers can help those who have a chipped area or discoloration on one tooth.
The bridge is actually cemented into the teeth next to the missing tooth for better support and oral hygiene is incredibly important here, so the bridge maintains its strength over time.
The new and improved form of bridges, implants have improved greatly since the turn of the new millennium but are expensive and invasive. All that said, they are the best solution for teeth replacement.
Implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone and require multiple steps before being completed. In addition, some dentists will recommend you have multiple teeth implanted in order to make sure they are more secure and safe.
Just like it sounds, bonding brings teeth closer together. Bonding is also used to fill in the space from a cavity, protect an exposed root or fill in a chipped part.
Bonding is the least invasive procedure and the most “basic” out of those listed so far. While less invasive and less expensive, bonding is more likely to wear down over time and need to be repaired or replaced.