What Is Cosmetic Dentistry: Your Ultimate Guide

Are you happy with the way your smile looks? If you’re like many people, you might not be.

Studies show that as many as one-third of Americans are unhappy with their smiles. In addition, 48% of people have untagged themselves from a photo on Facebook because of how their smile looked.

Regardless of the dental issue that you feel is holding you back, cosmetic dentistry can help you feel more confident.

But what is cosmetic dentistry, exactly? Today we’re going to answer that question and many more.

Keep reading to learn all about cosmetic dentistry.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Most of the time, when you visit a dentist, the operations you undergo are meant to improve the overall quality of your teeth. Coincidentally, most of those also help your smile look its best.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures, on the other hand, seek to improve the appearance of your smile. They won’t harm your mouth in any way (provided you go to a reputable and experienced cosmetic dentist), but appearance is the primary priority, while health and function are secondary.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures can benefit people of all ages. As they help improve your smile, cosmetic dentistry is one of the most effective ways to take your self-confidence to the next level.

What Makes the Procedures Worth It?

Many people considering cosmetic dentistry might fear that the procedures are expensive. While that’s not always the case, most people would agree that the cosmetic dentistry cost is a small price to pay for what you get out of it.

Depending on the procedure you decide on, your results can last for years or even decades. If you’re someone who often struggles to feel comfortable about your smile, cosmetic dentistry will seem like a miracle.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the prices for many procedures have decreased in recent years. While they may have been out of the budgets of most people a decade or so ago, they’re accessible and affordable today.

Common Types of Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry is a bit of an all-encompassing term. It refers to several distinct dental procedures.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common ones.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the cosmetic dental procedure that dentists recommend for patients the most. It’s quick, simple, and highly effective.

When whitening your teeth, dentists use a bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide in conjunction with powerful and bright lights. This takes off years’ worth of stains and gives you a brighter and vivid smile as soon as the procedure is finished.

Getting your teeth whitened by a dentist will give you much better results than if you try to do it at home yourself.

Composite Bonding

Do you have cracks, gaps, or other minor issues in your teeth? If so, you might be an ideal candidate for composite bonding.

In this procedure, dentists use a composite resin material to change the appearance of your teeth. As the materials they use match your teeth, the procedure looks natural.

Keep in mind that if you have problems like decaying teeth, dentists might have to clean out the problem first. However, after doing that, composite bonding can help ensure that everything looks clean and beautiful.


Have you ever noticed how many Hollywood celebrities have perfect teeth? While some of them may have pearly whites that are au natural, many of them have veneers.

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that dentists slip on top of your teeth. They look real, but they can cover up teeth that are cracked, discolored, or otherwise damaged. You can choose to have them set on top of individual teeth or your entire smile.

Once veneers are on your teeth, you don’t have to worry about them for quite a while. Provided you have good dental hygiene, they can last for up to ten years.

Dental Crowns

While veneers can help treat minor dental problems, they’re not enough to cover teeth that have extensive damage or problems. That’s where dental crowns come in.

Unlike veneers which only cover the front of your teeth, dental crowns completely encapsulate them. Crowns last longer than any other type of dental procedure. If you take good care of them, there’s no reason you can’t have them for more than 15 years.

Dental crowns are often a last resort type of procedure. If veneers, bonding, and other types of treatment are enough to resolve the problem, dentists will use crowns.

To learn more about dental crowns and other types of cosmetic dentistry procedures, find out more here.

Inlays and Onlays

Think of inlays and onlays as partial crowns. As their nickname suggests, this form of treatment falls somewhere between a filling and a crown. While dentists use it to treat more serious dental issues, it’s still a step down from a dental crown.

Inlays and onlays are great for cracks and chips. Dentists fill them into the center of your teeth. Like the other procedures on this list, they resemble your actual teeth.
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Besides improving the appearance of your smile, inlays and onlays help prevent you from getting cavities and other problems in the future.

A Beautiful Smile, a Beautiful You

What is cosmetic dentistry? As this guide explains, it’s something that can transform your life.

If you’re interested in upgrading your smile, consider finding a cosmetic dentist near you. They’ll be able to help you solve any dental problems you have, helping your self-confidence soar to levels you didn’t know possible.

Are you looking to learn more about cosmetic dentistry and other topics? If you are, make sure to check out the rest of our site for more great content.

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