What Procedures Are Included In Cosmetic Dentistry?

What Procedures Are Included In Cosmetic Dentistry?

Everybody loves to have that picture-perfect Hollywood smile. It’s how they can proudly show off their pearly whites and make themselves feel confident. They won’t also shy away from exchanging conversations as they’re not ashamed to show off their teeth.

However, not everyone is naturally gifted with a perfect set of teeth. But this shouldn’t stop you from smiling, as there are plenty of ways to improve your smile—specifically cosmetic dentistry procedures. 

With proper cosmetic dentistry procedures, you can get a boost of confidence and not worry about stained teeth anymore. Moreover, there are plenty of procedures you can choose from, depending on what you need and how you want it to look. 

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is another branch of dentistry in which cosmetic dentists help improve the appearance and aesthetics of your teeth. This is solely focused on improving your smile and will not address serious oral concerns, such as cavities, decay, gingivitis, and similar concerns. Depending on what you need to do, there are plenty of cosmetic dentistry options you can choose from. 

What Are The Procedures Included?

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are plenty of procedures that you could do to improve your smile. Apart from looking for a good Cosmetic Dentist in Columbia, MO, or from wherever you are from, it’s important that you fully understand each procedure before deciding to go through with it.

The most common cosmetic dentistry procedures are the following:

Teeth Whitening

There are plenty of ways one can whiten their teeth naturally. However, they might not be as effective compared to visiting a cosmetic dental clinic. To guarantee results, going through a cosmetic tooth whitening procedure would help. 

During this process, a dentist will put a layer of gel with hydrogen peroxide on top of the enamel of the teeth and will use blue light to lift and break down the molecules that stain your teeth. However, this might raise some sensitivity issues, which might not be ideal, especially for those who are experiencing severe sensitivity issues.

  • Cost: On average, a tooth whitening procedure can range from $300 to $1000 per session
  • After Care: After going through the procedure, it’s important to avoid consuming any acid-based foods and beverages, such as soda and citrus fruits. Moreover, you should also avoid consuming strong-staining foods and drinks, such as coffee, red wine, beer, soy sauce, and chocolate. Ideally, you should choose foods that are white or light-colored to prevent stains on the enamel of your teeth. This includes rice, pasta, cauliflower, milk, potatoes, tofu, and yogurt.

Dental Veneers

A great way to improve the appearance of your smile is by using dental veneers. This procedure will make use of a thin covering over the visible area of your teeth and create the illusion of perfect-looking teeth. Depending on your choice, the cosmetic dentist can use composite resin or porcelain as the main material of your veneers. Of course, they have unique characteristics, and you can base your decision on your budget and preference. 

A dental veneer could help make your smile appear whiter. It can also help cover up any cracks or chips, fill gaps, and ensure you look well put together. Depending on the material and care, they should last for about 10 to 20 years. Moreover, they’re also a non-invasive procedure, so you shouldn’t feel any pain during the treatment.

  • Cost: Depending on the material, a dental veneer can cost between USD$925 to USD$2,500 per tooth.
  • After Care: Dental veneers are meant to be a permanent solution but might require a replacement after they’re worn out. To maximize their purpose, you should maintain good oral hygiene. You can do this by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing every night. Moreover, avoid biting into extremely hard food as the veneers can break.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns work similarly to dental veneers, only that instead of just covering the visible part of the teeth, it covers the entire tooth. Moreover, they can also be quite thicker and look a bit more obvious as they’re 2mm thick compared to veneers which are only 1mm. 

A dental crown is the best option for people with broken teeth, weak teeth, or stained teeth. It can also work to cover anything that feels unappealing for you. While most people would think that veneers would be a better option, a crown can provide better protection, especially if the tooth has severe damage or is in bad condition.

Most patients only experience mild discomfort and sensitivity after the procedure. Since they’re made of metal alloys, they can last for about 20 years, making them a great investment. 

  • Cost: On average, dental crowns cost around USD$1,000 to USD$1,500 per tooth. But if you have one due to a medical necessity, your insurance provider can cover the expenses.
  • After Care: After getting a dental crown, you should chew on the opposite side of your crown. It’s also advisable to avoid eating crunchy, hard, or sticky foods for a few days after the procedure. Moreover, you shouldn’t also eat anything within 30 minutes after the procedure to ensure the dental crown stays attached.

Dental Implant

If you have a missing tooth or need to extract one due to its poor condition, having a dental implant would be a good solution to fill those gaps. A dental implant is a surgical procedure that goes deep into your gums, allowing the dentist to put in an artificial tooth and give you a complete smile. While dentures might work well, a dental implant is more of a permanent solution. This can free you from the worries of losing your dentures as they’re permanently attached to your gums. 

You will not feel any pain during the dental implant procedure. But once the anesthesia wears off, you might feel slight pain and discomfort, which would last for seven days. 

  • Cost: A dental implant can cost between USD$1,500 to USD$6,000 per tooth. Moreover, some insurance companies can accommodate dental implants, helping you save costs.
  • After Care: After your dental implant, you should avoid touching the area with your fingers or tongue for at least 48 hours. You shouldn’t also do any strenuous exercise within the first 48 hours after your implant. Moreover, you should only consume soft food to avoid adding stress to your gums and implants. Avoiding hot and spicy foods would also be helpful. You can return to your normal diet after three to four days but avoid adding too much pressure until your implants are fully healed.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that uses composite resin that matches the color of a person’s natural teeth color. It can help hide chips and cracks and allow it to look new. It can also help close gaps between the teeth for a fuller look. Moreover, it can also help manipulate the appearance and shape of one’s teeth by making them look longer and more rectangular. This would work best for people with naturally small teeth or odd-edge forms. 

The dental bonding procedure is almost painless, as you won’t feel anything. This won’t require any anesthesia as it’ll only involve the surface of your mouth. However, you might feel slightly more sensitive to hot and cold drinks or food right after the procedure. You can always take an over-the-counter pain reliever if you experience this side effect. 

  • Cost: Depending on your tooth’s condition, it can range from USD$100 to USD$400 per tooth.
  • After Care: After your dental bonding, you need to treat your teeth as usual. This means that you should continue practicing good oral health practices. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, using fluoride-based toothpaste, and avoiding habits that could wear down the composite. Such habits include biting your fingernails or chewing down a pen or toothpick.

Invisalign Braces

Another popular cosmetic dentistry that you might want to consider is Invisalign braces. A dental brace uses special metals that help promote proper teeth alignment. While braces are more effective in providing straighter teeth as it has more force, Invisalign works faster. Moreover, they can also hide the appearance of using metals as it doesn’t use one. All you have to do is wear dental jackets that look almost impossible so no one would notice you’re wearing one unless they take a close look. 

Invisalign will not cause any pain. Depending on your teeth’s condition, the process can take from six to 18 months. During this period, you shouldn’t remove the aligners throughout the entire day. However, you need to remove them when you need to eat or drink something (apart from water). But most of the time, you should keep them on. Moreover, you also need to change your tray every one to two weeks. Each set of aligners will help manipulate your teeth’s alignment, allowing for a straighter smile. 

  • Cost: Depending on the frequency and condition of your mouth, Invisalign may cost from USD$1,800 to USD$9,500.
  • After Care: Invisalign will require you to wear them for at least 22 hours a day. The only time you can remove them is when you need to eat or drink a beverage aside from water. You shouldn’t also bite down on anything, as it can cause your aligners to break. Once you remove your aligners, you should continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly and provide the utmost care.

After you’re done with your Invisalign treatment, you’ll need to wear retainers for at least three to six months. This will help hold your teeth in shape and prevent them from returning to their original form. 

Source: Pixabay

Gum Contouring

There are some cases wherein a person’s gum might have a different shape and size than the rest of their mouth. There are also some instances wherein the gums show too much when a person smiles, making their teeth appear lower, or their lips go higher. Gum contouring or gingival contouring is the process wherein a cosmetic dentist manipulates the appearance of the gums and makes them look more even.

In most cases, gum contouring is permanent and will not require another treatment. During this process, you’ll need to go through anesthesia to block out any pain. However, you might feel a tenderness once the anesthesia goes away.

  • Cost: Depending on the severity of the case, this can cost from USD$50 to USD$350.
  • After Care: After a gum contour procedure, you should only eat soft and cool foods for the first few weeks. This includes eggs, yogurt, soft vegetables, pasta, and ice cream. The goal here is to be gentle with your gums and avoid putting too much pressure on them. You should avoid eating hot and spicy foods until they’re fully healed. It’ll also be helpful to avoid fruits with seeds, such as kiwis and dragon fruits.

Moreover, you should also be gentle with how you brush your teeth. Switching to soft bristles would be helpful. If you’re using mouthwash, switch to an alcohol-free solution to avoid stinging the gums.

Tooth Contouring

If you find that your tooth is too large or oddly shaped, then you might want to consider tooth contouring. This process involves removing some of your tooth’s enamel for proper reshaping. The procedure aims to alter the appearance, shape, and length of your tooth and allow them to look more even. 

Since there are no nerves on your tooth’s enamel, you shouldn’t feel any pain during this procedure. However, this might risk your teeth from becoming sensitive as you’re removing a protective layer that usually helps block out any painful sensation. 

  • Cost: The treatment usually costs around USD$50 to USD$300 per tooth. Depending on the effect of your odd-shaped tooth, your insurance company might be able to cover the expense.
  • After Care: After your tooth contouring procedure, you should gently brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’ll also be helpful to switch to non-abrasive toothpaste for a gentle cleaning process. You should also avoid chewing ice and very hard food items as they can further damage your remaining enamel. This would also be the perfect time to quit smoking as this can cause more harm to your tooth.


There are multiple cosmetic dentistry procedures to choose from. Depending on the corrections you need—whether that be on your tooth or gums, there’s a proper procedure for you. Going through a cosmetic dentistry procedure can help boost your confidence and get you that perfect white smile you’ve always wanted.

While the process might be quite costly, and some might be a bit painful, the result would surely make every penny worth it. However, don’t forget to follow the right aftercare procedures. Your new implants and braces need the proper level of care and maintenance to achieve the results you truly envisioned.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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