Many people associate cosmetic dentistry with famous actors. It certainly seems like only the wealthy have the right to have good teeth. There's truth to this if you only look at the cost of the big items. You would need a lot of money for capping all of your teeth, getting a full mouth of dental implants, or having your teeth covered in veneers.
However, cosmetic dentistry doesn't have to cost a bundle to benefit your life. It's all about being vigilant and making the best choices as you go along. You can have a whiter smile now and for much of your life without the big expense.
Covered by dental insurance, teeth cleanings are essentially cosmetic dentistry. If you have them done, you are more likely to have a beautiful smile. It's preventative medicine, but it's also cosmetic. The dental hygienist removes the plaque on your teeth that eats away at the enamel. This makes your smile brighter and also healthier.
On the other hand, teeth whitening is cosmetic dentistry, and it isn't covered by insurance. However, a good treatment doesn't have to cost a fortune. You should discuss it with your dentist to make sure you don't have any gum conditions that could be aggravated by the process. If you can afford a treatment at the dentist, that will be the most effective, but you can do it at home and save money while getting good results.
When you have a cavity filled, you should make sure you ask for white fillings. These look like your teeth and will be less noticeable. As you age, each white filling will blend in. Each dark filling will stand out. If you pay a little bit more for each white filling, the final result over time will be a better looking smile. It costs a bit more per tooth, but you are only doing one tooth and that should make it affordable.
Likewise, if you chip a tooth, you should have it bonded. This will ensure that it doesn't break further and will keep cavities out. Often covered by dental insurance, this isn't really just cosmetic. It is essential to your oral health.
Uneven teeth can be corrected with bonding. In that process, your dentist adds the bonding material to the tooth and smooths it out. This can eliminate gaps and make your smile more even. It isn't covered by dental insurance, but it isn't super expensive either. Remember you can spread these procedures out to make them more affordable.
If you lose a tooth, you should act quickly to get a dental implant. This isn't covered by insurance, but it isn't purely cosmetic. A lost tooth leads to bone loss. It also may cause your teeth to shift over time. If you get a dental implant, it's essentially a permanent replacement for your lost tooth. Again, it is pricey, but it isn't purely cosmetic. If you have to pay for one, you may be protecting yourself from further tooth loss and a bigger expense down the line.
As you can see by now, you shouldn't fall for the label cosmetic dentistry. This is an insurance term. Much of cosmetic dentistry isn't just for looks. It is actually good for your oral health.