What’s a Cosmetic Dentist, Anyway?

A cosmetic dentist is someone who helps your dental health by performing a variety of dental procedures that keep your teeth healthy and give you a great smile.

“Cosmetic dentistry covers a big field,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix Cosmetic Dentistry office. “Your dentist can reshape your teeth, bond them, add veneers, crowns, or contour your gums for better health and a better appearance,” she says.

cosmetic dentistThere is also a difference between aesthetic improvement and cosmetic improvements. According to DentalFearCentral.org, “A distinction can be made between aesthetic dentistry, which implies restoring teeth to their normal appearance as found in nature, and cosmetic dentistry, which is improving the color, shape or arrangement of teeth to make things look better to the eye of the beholder.”

Both aesthetic and cosmetic changes can improve your confidence, your mood, and your general health. If your teeth are chipped or crooked, you may have trouble eating and chewing your food. That’s not something to leave alone, when repair is neither complicated nor painful.

Defining cosmetic work is also a question of who is doing the defining. “A white filling in a back molar may not be important to someone who isn’t meeting the public,” says Dr. Ford, “but to a singer, whose open mouth is shown on a close-up on TV, those white fillings are important to a feeling of confidence.”

Your insurance company may or may not cover cosmetic dentistry. In general, companies whose workers are in high-visibility, high-profile jobs often cover cosmetic care because good cosmetic work such as veneers, bleaching, and gum contouring creates a youthful look and a bright smile, which is important for high-confidence jobs, meetings, and presentations.

Cosmetic dentists must also be dedicated to the ideals of the patient, making sure their final look is not only well done, but is pleasing to the patient. That means both patient and dentist must be good communicators and be able to explain what they want, need and what is possible.

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