Working With My Dentist
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Working With My Dentist

A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.

Working With My Dentist

3 Affordable Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Siiri Puro

When you hear the term cosmetic dentistry, you may imagine expensive procedures, such as veneers and dental implants. It's true — many cosmetic procedures are expensive, but there are others that are extremely affordable but still give you a wonderful smile. Check out these three inexpensive cosmetic dental procedures.

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is an extremely popular cosmetic dental procedure in the US. Your tooth can develop discoloration for many reasons, such as stain-causing foods/beverages (red wine, coffee, etc.), tobacco and age. Tooth whitening uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to breaks up the stains. However, different types of stains are harder to bleach. Yellow stains do well with tooth whitening, but brown and grey stains may be harder or even impossible to whiten with the bleach.

In-office whitening creates the fastest results possible. In many cases, you only need one visit to experience fantastic results with in-office whitening. In-office bleaching costs about $650. Another option is to purchase take-home trays from your dentist. These also work well, but they may take longer to produce results. The take-home trays are less expensive, costing about $400. Tooth whitening doesn't prevent re-stains, so if you continue to smoke or eat/drink stain-causing foods, you may need additional treatments in the future.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Metal fillings were once the norm, and they were great at repairing teeth after a cavity. However, there's no sugarcoating the fact that metal fillings are ugly. Tooth-colored fillings use a tooth-colored resin that can replace metal fillings or be used on new cavities. The resin can be matched to the color of your tooth, so no one will even notice you have a filling. It's a great way to give your smile a flawless look without expensive dental crowns or veneers.

Tooth-colored are still a cheap way to create a dazzling smile, but they are a little more expensive than metal fillings. A standard metal filling on one or two surfaces, costs about $50 to $150, but a tooth-colored filling on one or two surfaces can cost $90 to $250. Tooth-colored fillings, however, are healthier for your teeth. The resin bonds to teeth (unlike metal), so less healthy tooth structure is removed for the filling to fit. Metal fillings require the dentist to create a shelf to hold the filling, which is why more healthy tissue is removed.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is another affordable cosmetic procedure, and it can fix a wide range of problems. For starters, if you have tooth stains that can't be treated with tooth whitening, such as grey stains, dental bonding can hide those stains. Dental bonding is also a great option to replace cracks and chips in your teeth. The substance used in dental bonding is the same resin used to make tooth-colored fillings, so you can have a seamless finish.

During dental bonding, the dentist places the resin directly on your teeth. The dentist then uses special tools to shape the bonding material as needed. A special light hardens the material once the material is set. The dentist can use the resin to fill in one chip or use it to cover the entire front surface of your tooth. This allows dental bonding to work much like veneers. The bonding can be used to give the illusion of perfectly, straight, white teeth that have no cavities, cracks or other flaws. Dental bonding costs between $100 and $400 per tooth, which is significantly less than veneers.

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a beautiful smile. While porcelain veneers may be extremely popular, they aren't the only way to get a beautiful smile. Using tooth whitening, tooth-colored fillings and dental bonding, you can get a flawless smile that is white, straight and free of cavities, cracks and chips. For more information about any of these services, contact a dentist in your area today.