4 Myths About Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry involves the implementation of measures to improve the appearance of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Your smile conveys your feelings, makes others feel welcomed, and reduces stress. Unfortunately, those self-conscious about their teeth may not smile in public. Cosmetic dentistry may help some patients feel more confident about their smiles.
Many people are not familiar with what a cosmetic dentist does, so a few myths have surfaced regarding what cosmetic dentistry is and what it involves.
Four myths about cosmetic dentistry
Some people mistake cosmetic dentistry for a field that deals solely with aesthetic issues. Often, many problems that affect the appearance of your smile also affect the function of your bite. For example, chipped and cracked teeth compromise the overall tooth structure. Likewise, crooked or crowded teeth may affect a person's ability to speak or chew properly. It is not uncommon to have myths surrounding a field of medicine, and cosmetic dentistry is no exception.
1. Cosmetic dentists only fix surface issues
While it is true that the majority of people visit a general dentist to fill dental caries and affix crowns and veneers, a cosmetic dentist can also perform these procedures. A lot of what a cosmetic dentist does is repair teeth that have been chipped, broken, or misshapen, so they still know how to fix issues in teeth that go beyond that surface and receive the same basic training as a general dentist.
Fixing issues such as broken or crooked teeth or an overbite or underbite may be partially cosmetic. However, failing to resolve these issues can lead to worse consequences, including pain, complete loss of a tooth, and gum disease. In addition to helping prevent future oral health issues, repairing and improving your smile leads to greater self-confidence and other positive mental health outcomes.
2. Cosmetic dentistry is prohibitively costly
Cosmetic dentistry is commonly seen as being expensive and only accessible to those who are wealthy. However, cosmetic dental procedures vary widely in cost, and advances in dental technologies have made many of these procedures less expensive than they have ever been. Materials used in cosmetic dentistry are strong, durable, and last a long time.
For more expensive procedures, many insurance companies will cover at least some of the costs. Many cosmetic dentists will work with patients to establish a financing or payment plan so that the patient does not have to pay in full at the time of the procedure.
3. Cosmetic dentistry is painful
Many people fear and avoid going to the dentist out of anxiety, and unfortunately, a cosmetic dentist can also be subject to this fear. However, simple procedures such as teeth whitening typically involve little to no pain unless your teeth are especially sensitive. For procedures that have the potential to bring more pain, cosmetic dentists can provide pain-relieving options such as nitrous oxide gas, oral sedation, or topical numbing agents for the gums. If you have anxiety about going to a cosmetic dentist, talk with them about this fear so they can let you know what to expect.
Following a cosmetic procedure, you may experience discomfort or pain. Side effects of dental implants may include bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Patients who receive multiple veneers may also experience some soreness. Cosmetic dentists provide clear aftercare instructions to limit pain and discomfort depending on the severity of your pain and the healing process.
4. Cosmetic dentistry weakens teeth
This myth is often applied to the procedure of teeth whitening, which can be harsh on the teeth if done improperly at home. However, the job of a cosmetic dentist is to strengthen your teeth and improve your oral health, not weaken it. Rest assured that a cosmetic dentist will not perform a procedure if they feel there is more risk than benefit.
Cracks and damage to the tooth's enamel can compromise the tooth's overall strength. Dentists can use porcelain veneers to enhance the smile and restore strength to your bite. Porcelain is a strong material that dentists place over the teeth to cover imperfections and improve their strength.
Cosmetic dentistry is safe, effective, and accessible to everyone. Patients may undergo various procedures, including minor whitenings to major surgeries. While many patients choose a cosmetic dentist to enhance the appearance of their smile, they also benefit from an increase in the strength and comfort of their teeth. Discuss any concerns that you have with your dentist.
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