When meeting new people, your smile is often the first thing they notice. Having an attractive smile can help boost your confidence and make a good impression. What if your smile could use a little help, but you do not have dental insurance, or your insurance will not cover cosmetic dentistry? Fortunately, there are options to improve your smile that will not break the bank. Read on to discover some of the more budget-friendly choices to enhance your smile that we can help you with here at Hempfield Family Dental Care.
Getting your regular six-month cleanings is probably the easiest and least expensive way to improve your smile. With teeth cleaning, stains and minor imperfections are buffed out, and tartar and plaque are removed. Regular dental care also allows your dentist to assess your oral health and address any issues before they become problematic.
Old metal (amalgam) fillings can give teeth a grayish cast. Replacing them with composite, tooth-colored fillings will instantly brighten your smile.
Tooth-colored fillings are made of a blend, or “composite,” of plastic resins and silica fillers, which mimic the natural tooth structure in wear-resistance and translucency. Dental composites are durable, fracture-resistant, and able to withstand chewing pressure. The dental composite procedure is usually accomplished in one dental office visit.
Tooth Contouring and Reshaping
Tooth contouring and reshaping is a fast, inexpensive way to fix chipped, misshapen, or slightly overlapping teeth, as long as you do not have any major structural issues like cavities or broken teeth. Smoothing out bumps or pits in the enamel, or reshaping slightly overlapping teeth, can improve overall oral health as it addresses plaque and tartar in those areas. However, tooth contouring is limited to minor adjustments because removing too much enamel can weaken the teeth.
The dentist uses a special drill or high-tech laser to smooth out ridges or chips or to reshape large sections of the tooth. Since there are no blood vessels or nerves in the enamel, no pain medications are numbing agents are necessary.
Professional teeth whitening is safer, more effective, and longer-lasting than over-the-counter teeth whitening methods. It can reverse yellowing caused by aging or remove stains from dark-colored drinks and food like wine, tea, coffee, and berries, making teeth up to 10 times whiter.
Teeth whitening is not generally covered by dental insurance, but it is one of the most affordable ways to give you a better smile. The other advantage is that it gives you quick results, making it a perfect fast fix before an event.
Teeth whitening can be done in the office, or you can have custom whitening trays made from impressions of your teeth that you take home with you and use with whitening gel supplied by the dentist. The advantage of this method is that you can whiten your teeth whenever it is convenient for you, but you can still get professional level results. Use caution, however, as too much whitening can damage tooth enamel.
As we talked about in our most recent blog post, dental bonding—sometimes also known as composite veneers—is when tooth-colored resin is applied to an affected tooth or teeth. This resin is dyed and polished to match surrounding teeth and is set with ultraviolet light. Dental bonding can change the color or shape of your teeth and can be used to repair chipping, fractures, gaps, size discrepancies or slightly crooked or misshapen teeth, and can improve tooth strength. Dental bonding is painless and is usually completed in one dental visit.
Porcelain veneers are similar to dental bonding, but a medical-grade ceramic shell is applied to the teeth instead of resin. Although porcelain veneers are somewhat more expensive, they are much longer-lasting, so they may be more cost-effective in the long run.
Porcelain veneers are more resistant to staining than dental bonding or even your natural teeth. The veneers are custom made for your teeth to ensure a perfect fit and look very much like natural dental enamel. Getting veneers usually requires two visits: one for preparation and one for application.
Ready for Cosmetic Dentistry? Call Us!
Now that you know a bit more about the more affordable options in cosmetic dentistry, give us a call to schedule an appointment so we can discuss the many options available to you to provide the most attractive smile possible.
Our office staff can also help you explore financing options or what procedures your insurance covers. Hempfield Family Dental Care in Lancaster, PA, has more than 35 years of experience in helping patients with their overall dental health, and we look forward to helping with your family’s dental care needs.