Cosmetic dentistry involves repairing teeth that are discolored, chipped, broken, or misshapen or have gaps between them. If you want to feel more confident in your smile and alleviate the pain that can come with misaligned or broken teeth, then cosmetic dentistry might be something that you would want to pursue.
Things to ask about cosmetic dentistry treatments
If you are visiting a cosmetic dentist for the first time, there are certain things that you should ask regarding your treatment, just as you would with any other dental professional.
What services do you offer?
One of the first things to ask a cosmetic dentist is what services they provide to patients. If the dentist does not offer what you are looking for, then the appointment will be a waste of your time and money. Some of the services that a cosmetic dentist might provide include:
- Teeth whitening, which mitigates the appearance of stains and discoloration on the teeth and gives patients a brighter smile
- Implementing dental crowns, which are caps that are placed over teeth to restore their strength, size, and shape
- Placing dental veneers, which help improve the appearance of the front of the teeth
- Providing inlays and onlays, which are made from a variety of materials, such as gold or composites, and fill spots on the teeth that have damage or decay
If you have a procedure in mind that you want to go through with in order to enhance your smile and the health of your teeth, make sure that the cosmetic dentist performs that procedure before going any further in your treatment.
What are your costs?
Many people do not have dental insurance, or only have dental insurance that covers specific items that may or may not include cosmetic dentistry. Even though cosmetic dental surgeries have many oral health benefits, they are often seen as elective procedures that are not necessarily important to overall health and wellness.
With the rise of new medical technologies and the growing popularity of cosmetic treatments, cosmetic dentistry is not as prohibitively expensive as it once was. However, it is still vital to know what any treatments could cost in order to avoid surprise bills from the dental clinic. Costs will vary depending on the treatment you select and the experience level of the dentist.
What are the side effects?
Cosmetic dental procedures are very safe, but as with any treatment, they can come with certain risks and side effects. Your dentist will tell you the pros and cons of each procedure, and you can decide together whether or not that treatment is worth it.
Teeth whitening can have side effects such as discomfort or increased sensitivity to the teeth for a few days. This side effect varies from person to person, however, and usually goes away on its own. The implementation of dental veneers may come with side effects like discomfort, inflamed gums, and risk of injury to the pulp of the teeth. While purely a cosmetic risk, there is also the possibility that a veneer will not perfectly match the color of your natural teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will only perform a procedure if they believe the benefits outweigh any risks involved.
Can I be sedated?
If you get nervous at the dentist, the option of being sedated might make or break your decision to undergo a cosmetic dental procedure. Make sure that you and your dentist are on the same page regarding sedation options before you agree to a cosmetic procedure.
What do I need to do after my treatment?
While preparing for an upcoming dental visit can be nerve-wracking, it is equally important that you plan for what to do after your visit. For example, if you will be under sedation during your procedure, it might be necessary to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment. After getting a dental veneer or filling, you will likely need to avoid eating sticky or hard foods and stay away from very hot or cold beverages.
Plan ahead for how you will take care of yourself after your dental treatment. Good self-care will reduce the risk of complications and help ensure that your procedure is a success that you can enjoy for years to come.
Cosmetic dentistry is a growing field, and there is much to know about the procedures and outcomes it can provide. By asking smart questions, you can be a better advocate for your own oral health.
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