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Cosmetic Dentistry Does Not Have To Break the Bank

Posted on March 24, 2011 | in Cosmetic Dentistry | by

Usually when we think of cosmetic dentistry we see dollar signs, and then we opt for the quick fix that will both make us feel like we took care of the problem, and didn’t have to take out a second mortgage to do so.

Just like anything else, as cosmetic dentistry procedures become more commonplace we can now seriously consider that anchorperson cosmetic smile makeover we’ve been hemming and hawwing about for years.

Ok, maybe not everyone is up for the full mouth restoration or a complete set of upper and lower porcelain veneers. Let’s take a look at some of the options available to us at our regular dentist, that won’t cost an arm and a leg, or a visit to a cosmetic dentistry specialist.

Tooth Bleaching or Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is among the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry, with most procedures done in the office and completed in an hour or two. The effects are virtually instant; we can walk into the dental office with stained teeth, and leave with white shiny chompers.

Whether it is bleaching trays or some cool space age technology requiring us to don sunglasses that would protect us from a solar storm, the thing to remember is there are options. Talk with your dentist if you are concerned about the cost of whitening or bleaching procedures that are amongst the most affordable types of cosmetic dentistry.

Tooth Shaping and Contouring

Here is another common cosmetic dentistry procedure most of us have already had, we just didn’t think of it as ‘cosmetic.’ Tooth shaping and contouring fixes crooked teeth and can eliminate small gaps in teeth, in addition to correcting small chips and cracks. Another procedure that won’t require a significant investment or more than one office visit.

Crowns and Bridges

Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist (

Crowns are commonly referred to as caps by most of us that don’t hold dental degrees; basically they cover a damaged tooth. Bridges for the most part are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth – you don’t think that’s cosmetic dentistry?

Our dentist may recommend a crown to:

– Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
– Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
– Restore a fractured tooth
– Attach a bridge
– Cover a dental implant
– Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
– Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

The above mentioned procedures account for three of the more common forms of cosmetic dentistry. And even though dental insurance won’t completely cover the treatment plan in some cases, costs are relatively affordable especially when we factor in the single office visit required for the shaping, contouring, and whitening.

Crown and bridge work often requires more time in the chair, and at least a couple appointments…unless of course your dentist has crown-in-a-day capability. Ask your dentist if they use Cerec technology for a single visit crown, and enter the world of CAD/CAM dentistry!

Source for crown & bridge info:

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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