An Exploration of Cosmetic Dentistry

An Exploration of Cosmetic Dentistry

Are you looking to enhance your smile and boost your self-confidence? Then cosmetic dentistry might be the solution you’ve been seeking. In today’s image-conscious world, the appearance of our teeth can play a significant role in how we feel about ourselves, and how others perceive us. Whether you’re struggling with discolored, crooked or missing teeth, or just want to look better, cosmetic dentistry offers a range of innovative procedures and treatments that can transform your smile.

Common Procedures in Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry provides procedures and treatments aimed at improving the appearance of your teeth, smile and overall oral aesthetics. They can focus on enhancing the color, shape, size, alignment and visual appeal of your teeth. Some of the more common procedures include:

  • Teeth whitening. This procedure can lighten your teeth’s color, remove stains and discoloration to give you a brighter, whiter smile.
  • Dental veneers. Thin shells of porcelain or composite resin are bonded to the front surface of your teeth to correct issues like discoloration, chips, gaps and misshapen teeth.
  • Dental crowns. Tooth-shaped caps cover damaged or discolored teeth, restoring their shape, strength and appearance.
  • Dental implants. Used to provide natural-looking and functional replacement teeth.
  • Dental bonding. Tooth-colored resin material is applied and shaped onto the tooth’s surface to repair chips, cracks or gaps.
  • Tooth straightening with Invisalign aligners.
  • Gum contouring or gum reshaping. Used to correct an uneven gum line by removing excess um tissue or reshaping it to create a more balanced and pleasing smile.
  • Dental bridges. Used to replace missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants.


Reasons to Choose Cosmetic Dentistry

What you choose depends upon your personal goals and dental concerns, and ultimately the decision is a personal one. The most common scenarios where cosmetic dentistry might be worth considering include:

  • Discolored or stained teeth
  • Chipped, cracked or worn teeth
  • Irregular teeth alignment or gaps
  • Missing teeth
  • Uneven gum line or gummy smile
  • Aging effects like worn or yellowed teeth


Limitations to What Cosmetic Dentistry Can Achieve

There are cases where cosmetic dentistry may not be suitable or recommended. They can include the following:

  • Severe malocclusion, meaning significant bite issues or severe misalignment of the teeth and jaw.
  • Poor oral health and underlying oral health problems such as gum disease, tooth decay or active infections. These must be prioritized prior to any cosmetic treatments.
  • Insufficient tooth structure to support a cosmetic treatment.
  • Unrealistic expectations. While cosmetic dentistry can greatly enhance the appearance of your teeth and smile, there are limitations to what can realistically be achieved.
  • Underlying systemic health conditions or habits that can negatively affect your dental health, such as uncontrolled diabetes or tobacco use.

It is important to consult with a qualified dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry to evaluate your specific dental needs and help you determine the most suitable treatment options.

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Covered by Insurance?

Cosmetic dentistry procedures are normally not covered by dental insurance because they are considered elective treatments that primarily focus on improving the aesthetics of teeth and your smile. Insurance plans typically cover dental procedures considered necessary for oral health, such as preventive care, basic restorative treatments and medically-required procedures.

However, there may be exceptions where a cosmetic procedure also offers functional benefits, such as:

  • Orthodontic treatments to correct significant bite issues
  • Dental restorations to restore functionality of a damaged or missing tooth

Check with your dental insurance provider to see what procedures are covered, and to what extent. And talk with your dentist’s office. They may be able to assist you in determining potential insurance coverage and can discuss costs and payment options with you.

Contact Dr. Sonny Kim, your Reston, VA-based Cosmetic Dentist.

If you live in Northern Virginia area, talk to Dr. Sonny Kim at Advanced Family Dentistry about your goals for cosmetic dentistry. His practice can help you improve your looks and self-esteem at affordable prices.

As your family dentist, we serve patients at all stages of life with preventive, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Contact us at 703-390-9191 to schedule your initial consultation.

Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.

Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim, DMD
11876 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 101
Reston, VA 20191
Phone: 703.390.9191
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