“Is the bite to your wallet worth it?” BU Today asks its readers when it comes to evaluating their options for cosmetic dentistry procedures. Considering that teeth are one of the first things we notice about other people, it’s no surprise that procedures meant to improve the appearance of teeth have been fairly popular over the last several decades.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry, Exactly?
This broad term refers to any procedure that is done with the intent of improving the appearance of the mouth, teeth, gums or bite. Certain procedures like tooth whitening are entirely about improving the appearance, while others, like orthodontia (braces), have visual as well as health benefits.
Are you interested in knowing more about your options for improving your teeth? Here are a few common questions people have when they’re interested in giving their smile a lift.
Does Cosmetic Dentistry Hurt?
I’ve read teeth whitening reviews that say it hurts — a lot! Is this true for many people?
To whiten your teeth, a dentist will apply a hydrogen peroxide bleaching solution. The reason people sometimes experience pain is that the bleach can also open up small pores in your tooth, reaching the inner dentin layer and causing short-term sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, you should always go to a dentist for this procedure. Many people experience pain after having the treatment applied by an inexperienced layperson, or by doing it themselves and leaving the solution on too long.
How Much does Teeth Whitening Cost?
You can get a home-kit for teeth whitening that will typically cost $30 to $50. The downside to these solutions is that they have a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide, and your gums will have no protection from chemical burns. A dentist can help you get more powerfully brightened teeth, and this costs an average of about $250 per treatment.
What are Dental Implants?
Can I use them to replace ugly teeth?
A dental implant replaces missing or badly damaged teeth. The implant is comprised of a titanium screw, inserted into the jawbone. After this area heals, a fake tooth, known as a crown, is attached to the top, mimicking the look and feel of a real tooth. Although implants are a great alternative to bridges and dentures, they shouldn’t be used as a way to get rid of “bad looking” teeth — most dentists recommend keeping your original teeth for as long as they remain relatively healthy.
Do you have any questions about cosmetic dentistry? Let us know in the comments or take a look at our Dental FAQ’s.