5 Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry is broadly referred to any dental work that improves the appearance of teeth, gums or bite. It essentially focuses on improvement of dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment and overall appearance of mouth. (1)

There are mainly five types of cosmetic dentistry procedure that are performed to improve your appearance of teeth. They are inlays and onlays, composite bonding, dental veneers, teeth whiting, and implants.


Different cosmetic dentistry procedures are performed as per your requirement.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

If your teeth are stained, discolored, worn, chipped, misaligned, or have gaps between them, cosmetic dentistry can correct these problems and can give you a beautiful smile.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures involve non-essential or elective surgery to improve your appearance.

Types of cosmetic dentistry procedures

Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are made in the dental laboratory. These restorations are used to repair posterior teeth (teeth present in the back) with mild to moderate decay or cracked and fractured teeth that are not enough damaged to need a dental crown.  (2)

A dental inlay is similar to a restorative filling and fits inside the cusp tips of the tooth crown. A dental onlay is more extensive and covers the entire surface of the treated tooth.

Inlays and onlays are usually made from composite resin material or porcelain, which often closely matches the natural color of the tooth. They provide support and strengthen to damaged teeth, restore their shape and avoid any further decay or discoloration.

Treatment cost for inlays and onlay generally ranges from $650 to $1,200 per tooth, with an average price of $900. Most dental insurance plans cover some or most of the costs associated with inlay and onlay procedures as it aims to restore a damaged tooth.

Composite bonding

Composite bonding is a cosmetic procedure where a type of dental material known as the composite resin is shaped and molded on your teeth to give the appearance of smile straighter and whiter.

Composite bonding is used in case of chipped teeth, gapped teeth and staining in both teeth and fillings. (3) Composite bonding is a pain-free treatment that mostly requires just one visit to your dentist.

Your dentist will choose a perfect shade of resin that closely matches the color of your teeth, denoting that the results will look completely natural.

On an average, cost of dental bonding per teeth can range from $300 to $600. The cost of bonding is largely determined from the specific type of bonding you undergo and whether it is part of another procedure, like veneers.

Dental implants

A dental implant is a replacement for the tooth or the roots of a tooth after the loss of the tooth. Implants form a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth that are prepared to match your natural teeth. (4)

The dentist will surgically insert a small titanium screw into your jaw at the site of the missing tooth, which serves as the support for a crown.

In the jaw, the implant fuses to the bone in a process known as osseointegration. An artificial crown is attached on top of the implant to serve as the original tooth replacement.

Dental implants cost on average $900 to $3,000 per tooth, though costs can vary significantly from case to case. A dental implant has a benefit of its longevity, and it should last you the rest of your life.

Teeth whitening

Teeth Whitening or bleaching is the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment. Most people, who are looking to improve the aesthetics of their smile, prefer tooth whitening as it is relatively cheaper and more easily accessible. (5)

In Teeth whitening, your dentist applies a bleaching product on the dentin (the inner area of your tooth). The bleaching product allows the dentin to take up the hydrogen peroxide which whitens it and causes dentin to project a brighter and fairer color.

You can also whiten your teeth by others methods. All these methods try to remove the outer stains on the enamel. The cost of tooth whitening varies remarkably from treatment to treatment and brand to brand.

However, professional teeth whitening costs approximately $650 per visit to your dentist.

Dental veneers

A dental veneer is a wafer-thin layer of tooth-colored material that is applied to the tooth to restore localized or generalized defect like chipped, cracked, gapped or slightly misalign teeth and intrinsic discolorations to improve your appearance.

Dental veneers can be prepared from porcelain or resin composite materials. The porcelain veneers are known to resist stains much better than the veneer made from resin material.

Shells of veneers are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. People who have a habit of clenching and grinding their teeth are advised not to take porcelain veneer treatment, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip. (6)

The cost of porcelain veneers depends on a variety of factors, though it is estimated that you may need to spend roughly $925 to $2,500 per tooth. Dental veneers are worth their cost as they can last for 5 to 10 years.

Maintenance after cosmetic dentistry procedures

There is always some recovery process involved with making major adjustments to the mouth. Some cosmetic procedures will have little or no recovery time at all like porcelain dental veneers.

Some of the cosmetic procedures, like dental implants, can take months to heal. It is essential to maintain your teeth properly after the treatment to ensure that the bright smile stays just as pleasing after the initial treatment.

  • Keep your mouth clean by maintaining good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing.
  • Brush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • After treatment start with liquids and soft food before eating solid food.
  • Smoking should also be avoided as it can slow the healing process.
  • If you have veneers and bonding, then avoid consumption of alcohol for some time.
  • Visit your cosmetic dentist regularly (at least twice a year) for checking and cleaning for a long-lasting effect of the treatment.

Over to you on cosmetic dentistry procedures

Sometimes you do not have any other option but to look presentable in professions such as acting, media professional, sales, etc. Teeth play the significant part and can make and break your appearance.

Not everyone has the luck of having the perfect set of teeth. But cosmetic dentistry procedures make it possible to get rid of all kinds of staining, discolorations, misalignment, etc.

Visit a dentist and express your desire since everyone has different dental conditions. Also, do not undermine good oral practices which you may have to strictly follow after you go through any cosmetic dentistry procedure.


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