09 884 8262 - Northcote
09 886 5680 - The Bays
Book Appointment
Cosmetic Dentistry

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry? Types and Costs

Did you know that there are strains of bacteria in your mouth that can eat away at your tooth enamel if you don’t take good care of your dental health? This is often the case for many who do not brush or floss their teeth on a regular basis. Of course, decayed, cracked, or otherwise damaged teeth are not known to be attractive, and many people end up turning to cosmetic dentistry for help. 

There are many types of cosmetic dentistry to choose from and many different procedures to fix a wide array of dental problems. For example, porcelain veneers are very popular in the world of cosmetic dentistry as are dental crowns, teeth whitening treatments, and braces.

Keep reading to learn more about the different types of cosmetic dentistry procedures as well as the cost of cosmetic dentistry. 

What Are Dental Veneers Exactly?

Dental veneers are simply thin coverings for your teeth. They are purely cosmetic and do not help to restore function to your teeth. They are little tooth-shaped shells made of porcelain or composite resin that fit over your existing teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. 

Veneers can vary in many ways, but whatever they look like, they can do wonders to improve your smile. They can hide a wide range of dental problems such as chipped teeth, discoloured teeth, and even slightly crooked teeth. The procedure to get them is not too complicated either. 

First, it is important that you have your real teeth to start with. If you are missing teeth, there would obviously not be anything for the veneer to stick to. It is also important that you’re not suffering from any active dental problems such as gum disease or tooth decay before getting veneers. 

If you do have these conditions, it is important to get them fixed before getting your veneers. After all, veneers will not make a tooth infection or gum disease go away, even though they can hide the problem. Once your teeth are in good health, you can make an appointment to go to your local dentist and start the process. 

The Veneers Procedure

First, your dentist will help you pick a good shade for the veneers. There are many white shades to choose from and many shapes of veneers as well. Some will better fit your face shape and complexion than others. 

Usually, your dentist will pick a shade that is somewhat similar to the shade of your real teeth, if not a bit whiter. Your dentist will also examine your teeth to see how to best apply the veneers and also send for the veneers to be made especially for your teeth. That way, you will achieve the best fit and the most realistic results. 

When it’s time to apply the veneers, your dentist will first need to sand down your teeth. This is important because by roughening the surface of your teeth, it will be much easier to apply the veneers and the veneers will better adhere to your teeth. The dentist will then use a special glue or cement to attach the veneers. 

Once the adhesive dries, your veneers will be ready to go. 

Types of Veneers and Cost

The two main types of veneers are porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers. Many people debate between composite vs porcelain veneers, but is there really any difference? The first thing you should know is that porcelain veneers are much harder and more durable than composite resin veneers. 

Porcelain veneers tend to be very realistic in appearance and their shine and texture are very similar to real tooth enamel. Because they are so durable, they last around 10 years, but in some cases, they may last as long as 20 years. They are also not likely to chip or crack early on. 

Of course, it is important to avoid things that would damage them, such as chewing on ice, peanuts, or other hard substances. Porcelain veneers are also more expensive than composite resin veneers. For one porcelain veneer, you may pay around $1,000, if not $2,000. 

To get a whole set of veneers, you can imagine would be very expensive. However, you should know that dentists only apply veneers to the teeth at the front of the mouth since these are the only teeth that people can see when you smile. More than that, paying more for these veneers is often worth it in the long run, because porcelain veneers last so long without sustaining damage. 

What You Need to Know About Composite Resin Veneers

Composite veneers, on the other hand, are more affordable. These veneers may only be a few hundred dollars per tooth, although there are some cases in which they may be around a thousand. Composite resin veneers are also very realistic in appearance, but they tend not to have the same visual depth or detail as porcelain veneers do. 

Composite resin veneers are also not as strong as porcelain. These veneers tend to last less than ten years. After having them for a few years, they may start to chip or crack in various places. 

This is especially true if you don’t take care of your veneers and often eat hard or crunchy foods. However, because they are more affordable, many people end up opting for composite resin veneers anyway. Keep in mind that while composite veneers are more affordable up front, they are not more affordable in the long run. 

This is because they are much more likely to break and need replacing after a few years. Because you would need to replace these veneers more frequently over the years, you would actually be paying much more just to have them compared to porcelain veneers. For that reason, it is important to consider these differences before you choose porcelain or composite resin veneers. 

Straightening Your Teeth With Braces or Invisalign 

Veneers are not the only cosmetic dentistry procedure out there. Another very popular type of cosmetic dentistry has to do with straightening teeth. Traditionally, metal braces have been the primary option for fixing crooked teeth. 

However, in recent years, more and more people, especially adults, have been opting for Invisalign aligners. While straightening your teeth is a cosmetic procedure, it can also come with some functional benefits. This is because having crooked or misaligned teeth can cause several dental health problems. 

For example, if your teeth are crooked, you might not be able to clean your teeth properly. This is because the bristles of your toothbrush would not be able to reach all the surfaces of your teeth. The same is true for floss.

If you’re not able to clean your teeth, your teeth will eventually become riddled with tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease. In some cases, poor dental hygiene could lead to a tooth infection, which could also impact the health of your other teeth. Having crooked teeth could also interfere with how you chew food or pronounce certain words. 

In some severe cases, crooked teeth can misalign your jaw and cause headaches or TMJ pain. By straightening your teeth, you can not only fix these problems but also achieve a more attractive smile. Metal braces tend to be more affordable than Invisalign aligners, but they are still around $6,000 or more, depending on your location. 

Your dentist will first apply the metal brackets to your teeth using special glue.

The Details

The brackets are the square parts of the braces that work to hold the wires in place. Then, the dentist will apply the wires and tighten the wires so that they apply pressure to your teeth. 

This is what causes your teeth to shift over the course of several months. You may occasionally need to go back to the dentist to keep getting your braces tightened. Once your teeth start to shift and the wires become loose, they won’t have the same teeth-straightening power. 

Invisalign works in more or less the same way, but the design of the aligners is different. Also, Invisalign can be quite expensive, sometimes around $8,000 or more. However, these aligners are much more flexible and versatile than regular braces. 

First of all, you can remove them whenever you feel like it. You should mainly only remove them to eat and brush your teeth. Eating with the aligners still in your mouth can damage them and render them useless. 

You should aim to keep the aligners in your mouth for around 23 hours every day. This will ensure that the aligners have enough time to do their job. Invisalign aligners are more expensive than traditional braces because your dentist will need to create specific moulds of your teeth and then send those moulds to a lab to receive the aligners. 

But because these aligners are designed specifically for your teeth, they are also very effective. They straighten your teeth faster than traditional braces. This is not to mention that these aligners are invisible, so you can feel more confident wearing them while out and about. 

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is another form of cosmetic dentistry that is also very popular. In fact, teeth whitening is more popular than ever before because many love the idea of having a bright white Hollywood smile. You will find that DIY tooth whitening procedures don’t do much to whiten your teeth. 

Even whitening toothpaste doesn’t do much. This is because DIY whitening tricks can only do so much. Professional teeth whitening, on the other hand, involves much stronger tools and materials. 

Usually, dentists use a special gel made out of hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. You can find hydrogen peroxide in many types of toothpaste, but only in very small concentrations. Professional hydrogen peroxide gel, on the other hand, is very concentrated and much more potent. 

When you go in for a teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will first isolate your teeth. This is important so that the gel doesn’t touch your gums or your lips, which could damage or hurt them. Then, the dentist will apply the gel across your teeth and let it sit for around 30 minutes. 

The Teeth Whitening Process

The dentist will also shine a special light on the gel to help activate it. The gel will work to eat away at the stains on the surface of your teeth and reveal the whiter tooth enamel underneath. After enough time has passed, the dentist will rinse away the gel and you can then admire your bright white teeth. 

It is important to take care of your teeth after this procedure. You should avoid things that stain your teeth, such as coffee, red wine, and fruit juices with dark pigments. You should also brush your teeth more often so that pigments from food and drinks don’t stick to your teeth and stain the enamel. 

You should also avoid getting your teeth whitened too often as this could weaken your enamel. Compared to other cosmetic dental treatments, teeth whitening isn’t that expensive. You can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 per procedure. 

Considering that you only need to get your teeth whitened every one or two years, this is not a bad deal. 

All About Cosmetic Dentistry

There are many types of cosmetic dentistry out there and the costs can vary widely. Veneers are some of the most popular cosmetic treatments out there. Veneers are simply small shell-like devices that cover your real teeth and improve your smile. 

Braces and teeth whitening procedures are also very popular. Braces may take the form of metal braces or Invisalign aligners, among others. If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry and want to get a procedure done, don’t hesitate to contact us here