We all want to have a whiter and brighter smile. And why not? After all, your smile is the first thing that others notice. Thanks to cosmetic dentistry, there are now more options than ever to beautify your smile. However, cosmetic dentistry can become very expensive, very quickly. Therefore, we may have to pick and choose which cosmetic dental procedures are best suited to your needs and your budget. Here's an overview of different cosmetic dentistry procedures for different budgets:
Small budget: $100 or Less
If you're on a tight budget, then the first thing you should consider is a professional dental cleaning. Your dentist or hygienist can clean your teeth much better than you can. Plus, removing plaque and tartar from your teeth not only makes them healthier but also makes for a whiter and brighter smile.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products
Another easy way to enhance your smile is to use over-the-counter teeth whitening products. There are plenty of do-it-yourself bleaching products that don't require a visit to the dentist. For example, Crest Whitestrips offer a safe and proven way to bleach your teeth at a fairly reasonable price. You can also try experimenting with different whitening toothpastes, bleaching pens, or peroxide mouthwashes to see if they help whiten your smile.
Medium Budget: Up to $1,000
Professional teeth whitening
Dentists offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening treatments. With in-office teeth whitening, you spend about an hour in the dental chair to bleach your teeth. This is the most effective way to whiten your teeth. The reason is that only your dentist can use a very high concentration of bleaching gel that gives quick results. At-home teeth whitening requires that you wear custom bleaching trays filled with bleaching gel. Your dentist makes your custom trays using impressions of your teeth. Custom trays fit tightly to your teeth to directly deliver the right amount of bleaching gel to them. The best part about custom whitening trays is that they are reusable. This way, you can use your trays over and over to maintain a whiter smile for years to come (you do need to purchase more bleaching gel, but that is very inexpensive).
Another relatively affordable cosmetic dentistry procedure is dental bonding. Bonding can be used to fix broken and chipped teeth to restore their original shape. Cosmetic bonding is primarily used on the front six teeth that show most when you smile. Bonding is simple, affordable, and can typically be performed during a single pain-free session.
Replacing your silver filling with a white filling
Finally, you can enhance your smile by replacing your existing silver fillings with white fillings. Replacing old, broken fillings doesn't cost a whole lot, but it significantly improves your smile. Plus, white fillings are healthier, since they don't contain the toxin mercury.
Large budget: $1,000+
Clear aligners can be used to straighten your front teeth. There's no question that having straight teeth improves your smile. You might qualify to use clear aligners instead of braces to fix your smile. Clear aligners are more cosmetic and less painful than braces. Plus, they can be removed from your mouth whenever needed. Invisalign® is the most commonly used clear aligner brand. It is great for closing small gaps, straightening a few front teeth, and improving your smile without damaging your teeth.
The other option at this price point is to place porcelain veneers on the front teeth. Placing porcelain veneers changes the entire appearance of your smile. You can fix yellow teeth, broken teeth, and all sorts of imperfections by placing porcelain veneers on your teeth. Porcelain veneers are minimally invasive, so they also protect your teeth. Porcelain is very stain resistant and it doesn't get stained if you drink lots of tea and coffee. This means that you can continue to sip your iced latte without worrying about your teeth turning yellow again! Keep in mind, porcelain veneer treatment can get quite costly if you choose to place them on multiple teeth.
XL budget: Above $10,000
Full mouth rehabilitation
Full mouth rehabilitation involves fixing your whole mouth the correct way. This includes placing crowns on broken teeth, replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, and a few porcelain veneers to improve your smile. Full mouth rehabilitation is a big commitment, but worth it for those who need it and can also afford the treatment. Pointer: Be sure to wear a custom nightguard to protect your hefty investment once treatment is completed!
Combination of different cosmetic treatments
With a large budget, you can choose to receive a combination of different cosmetic procedures. For instance, you may want to start with a deep cleaning and get a tooth whitening to start. Afterward, you can straighten your smile using clear aligners or if they are really crooked, braces. Finally, you can place porcelain veneers and crowns to enhance the appearance of your front teeth.
Is cosmetic dentistry worth it?
We all know that cosmetic dentistry is not cheap. Spending thousands of dollars to improve your smile may not be for everyone. However, what people fail to realize is that dental health is an integral part of our overall well-being. Having a beautiful smile goes far beyond superficial looks. Healthy teeth and gums improve your well-being
- Chewing more efficiently helps your digestion to get more nutrients to your vital organs.
- Having a full set of teeth protects your TMJ to reduce, or even eliminate, tension headaches and migraines.
- A healthy mouth is a gateway to a healthy body. Many medical issues, even certain heart conditions, have been tied to poor oral health.
- A beautiful smile makes you feel better about yourself to improve your confidence.
Sure, some people seek cosmetic dentistry only to improve their appearance. However, most people who seek cosmetic dentistry do so to improve their quality of life. As you can see, investing in your smile is no different than investing in your overall well-being. Thanks to cosmetic dentistry, you can have your cake and eat it too!