Top 15 Cosmetic Dentistry Options

If you are not pleased with the way your smile appears, there are several different ways to improve it. These various methods of correcting the way your teeth appear when you smile are collectively known as forms of cosmetic dentistry.

In this article, we will take a look at what cosmetic dentistry options exist and review what each of them entails.

What Are The Various Cosmetic Dentistry Options?


Orthodontics (braces) apply a steady force of pressure that slowly nudge crooked teeth into place over time. Braces are effective in straightening out teeth as the tooth socket changes shape to accommodate the shifting movement of teeth holding them firmly in place once they arrive where they should.

There are many different types of braces used ranging from metal to clear plastic “invisible” molds that push teeth into place.


cosmetic dentistry options

When there are one or more missing teeth in a row, a bridge is often used.

Dental bridges are permanent (or fixed) partial dentures. To apply, crowns are placed on the teeth on either side of the gap and artificial teeth are attached to “bridge” the gap. The bridge is cemented into place and produces a visual of a complete row of teeth. If there are just teeth on one side of the gap a cantilever bridge is used.

Composite Fillings

Older tooth fillings can chip or crack over time. Some get worn down. A composite filling replaces the silver amalgam filling with a natural-looking, tooth-colored material. As the composite material makes a tooth look as if it does not contain a filling, the filling will last a long time but is not as durable as the silver amalgam filling it replaces.


For teeth that are weak or damaged, a crown is used. It is a tooth-shaped attachment and fits over the tooth or teeth that require them. Crowns will improve the look of teeth by enhancing the size, shape, appearance, and strength of the teeth they are used on.

Crowns are available in different materials ranging from ceramics to resin, metal, and porcelain fused to metal. A crown can last between five and fifteen years and require the existing tooth to be filed down to permit the crown to be cemented over top of it as a cap.

Dental Bonding

One of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry options is dental bonding. This is where a tooth-colored resin is attached to the outer surface of a tooth or teeth. A special light applies the material and also hardens it to the teeth it is used on.

Bonding not only improves how teeth look at a fraction of the cost of many other cosmetic dentistry services, but it can be used to repair teeth that have been cracked or chipped. Bonding also closes gaps between teeth, can alter the shape of teeth, or be used as a tooth filling alternative to silver amalgam.


Dentures are removable replacements for teeth and the tissue that surrounds teeth. Dentures are available in two different types. There are complete dentures and partial dentures. As the names imply, one is used to completely replace all missing teeth where the other is intended to just replace a few missing teeth or a partial row of teeth.

The dentures that are worn for replacing teeth in your upper jawline are called uppers and the dentures used for the lower jawline are known as lowers.

Enamel Abrasion

Discolored teeth can be rectified with this procedure. Fine pumice attached to a micro-abrasion machine removes stains from the surface of affected teeth. Deep stains cannot be removed with this method, however, coffee, wine drinkers, and smokers can see results when this cosmetic dental treatment is used to remove staining.

Enamel Shaping

This procedure is fast and painless and is used to shape teeth in such a way that the appearance is improved. Enamel shaping is commonly used to remedy minor imperfections where teeth are either overcrowded or uneven. This cosmetic dental treatment is typically combined with bonding, whitening, or veneers.

Gum Grafts

Gum recession can expose the roots of teeth. This can make the affected teeth sensitive to temperature and make teeth look longer than they should. It also leaves affected teeth susceptible to developing a cavity in the tooth root.

To prevent this and bone loss, gum grafts remove the soft tissue from another part of your mouth to the exposed tooth root. This procedure improves the look of teeth and prevents damage that can start in the root and result in loss of teeth.

Gum Reshaping

Used when the gum line looks uneven or a smile appears to reveal too much gum, gum reshaping is the alternative to cosmetic tooth replacement. The procedure removes a small amount of soft gum tissue and is contoured to show more of the tooth or teeth. If needed, extra bone tissue is also removed to enhance the look of the teeth impacted by too much gum tissue.


Dental implants has become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry options available… for many reasons.

A dental implant is a titanium replacement tooth root. It is placed directly into the jawbone tissue and once healed provides a strong foundation for permanent or removable crowns to be attached. The is a perfect solution for a missing tooth or two.

However, if there are several missing teeth, implants can be used to hold removable dentures in place.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are also known as indirect fillings. They are manufactured in a laboratory and designed to perfectly fit the shape of your teeth. When there is not enough tooth material to support a complete filling due to tooth decay, indirect fillings become the logical cosmetic teeth options.

Smile Makeover

This is where more than one cosmetic dental treatment is used as a combination to correct your smile. For example, gum grafts can be used along with porcelain veneers and crowns to improve the way your teeth look in your mouth. By combining these procedures, the results can be better than just opting for one or two of the options.

Teeth Whitening

There are several different teeth whitening solutions available in the marketplace as well as at your dental office. They include such things as pastes, rinses, gels, trays, dental strips, and whitening agents that you can get through your dentist. However, teeth whitening does not always work for everyone.

If your teeth have yellow tones to them instead of gray tones, you may see better results from teeth whitening products. To be sure as to which of these cosmetic dentistry options to use to improve the look of your smile, consult your local dentist.


These wafer-thin shells are custom-made to cover the front surface of teeth. They can change the color, size, length, or shape of the teeth they are bonded to. Dental veneers for teeth are available in porcelain or a composite resin material. They are more affordable than crowns and once attached to teeth, cannot be removed.

Cosmetic Dental Financing Programs

cosmetic dental treatment

Although not all cosmetic dental procedures are covered by health insurance policies, it truly depends on your situation. Some policies will cover portions of the work performed. Several different bank loan options can be accessed to help finance cosmetic dental work.

If you do not qualify for any of these loan options, you still have a few possibilities at your disposal.

Negotiate A Better Price

Dental fees are not typically regulated by governmental bodies. This means that if your dentist quotes you a price for a specific procedure, you may be able to work on getting a better deal. You won’t know if you don’t give it a try.

Finance Through Your Dentist

It is not uncommon for dental offices to have in-house dental payment plans. If you are about to get a lot of expensive cosmetic dental work done, discuss how you can stretch out paying for the procedures with a monthly payment schedule.

Comparison Shop

Yes, you can see what kind of prices are available for the same cosmetic dental work by visiting a different dentist or two. You may find a huge difference in cost when you have quotes from more than just your regular dentist to consider.

Have The Work Done At A Dental School

So that dental students can earn experience performing various procedures, you can have dental work done at greatly reduced rates. Dental schools do this routinely and you may find a great deal on cosmetic dental treatment by going this route.

In Conclusion

Even if you were not born with the greatest smile, it should be a comfort to know that through the various cosmetic dentistry options available, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted.

The list above outlines the many different procedures available to brighten your smile and make it look spectacular. So if you have concerns about your teeth and smile, make sure that you talk to your dental professional for specific advice on the best cosmetic dentistry option for you.

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