Cosmetic Dentistry

Appearance counts for a lot in today’s society, so you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a beautiful, brilliant smile. If you’ve been hiding your smiles to cover up missing, damaged, malformed, or discolored teeth, it’s time to consider cosmetic dentistry. A cosmetic dentist can help you get the straight, white smile that you want and deserve.

How to Prepare for Your Appointment

If this is your first time consulting a cosmetic dentist, the first thing you should expect is an in-depth consultation.

Appearance counts for a lot in today’s society, so you shouldn’t underestimate the During your initial appointment, you’ll undergo a complete exam and a review of your dental and medical history. From there, you’ll have the chance to ask questions, discuss concerns, and help your dentist come up with a personalized treatment plan that meets both your goals and your budget.

If you want to make the most out of your consultation, it’s worth taking a few moments to prepare in advance. The good news is, you’ve already put yourself on the path to a more beautiful smile by learning what to expect. Once you schedule your appointment, make sure you’re prepared by:

  • Formulating a list of questions
  • Noting down specific issues you would like to address
  • Finding pictures of the results you’d like to achieve to use as a reference
  • Taking a moment to review your budget and determine whether you’ll need financing for complex procedures
  • Checking your schedule to make sure your upcoming cosmetic treatments won’t interfere with work or family responsibilities

Don’t be afraid to take an active role in establishing your treatment plan. You should always be honest and straightforward with your dentist about not just personal expectations, but also your budget and schedule.

Some cosmetic procedures are completely non-invasive and require next to no recovery time. Tooth whitening is a perfect example. At worst, patients can expect mild tooth sensitivity or gum tenderness.

Other cosmetic procedures are more involved and require longer recovery times. Here’s what to expect from each of them:

Dental Implants
You should expect to experience some soreness and swelling of surrounding gum tissues and tenderness at the implant sites that peaks after around a day and subsides within three to five days. You may experience some lingering discomfort for up to two weeks, but should be able to return to normal daily activities such as work, chores, and exercising after two to three days.

Dental Bonding
You may experience some discomfort and tooth sensitivity for one to three days after a dental bonding procedure. Mild pain associated with dental bonding can be managed effectively by avoiding crunchy foods and hot or cold drinks. Most dentists also recommend using over-the-counter painkillers.

Gum Surgeries
Gum surgeries can cause mild to moderate discomfort, slight bleeding, bruising, and swelling. Your teeth’s roots may also be exposed, making them more sensitive to heat and cold. Your symptoms should subside within one to three days.

Dental Crowns
You may experience mild side effects like gum inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness following the placement of a dental crown, especially if placing the crown requires a root canal. However, it should only take several days to recover.

Most people require little to no recovery time following the placement of dental veneers and can return to work immediately. However, some people do experience sensitivity for one to three weeks following treatment. Avoid excessively hot or cold foods and beverages during this time.

Post-Op Care
Like recovery times, post-op care routines vary depending on the type of procedure your dentist has performed. In most cases, you can continue to brush and floss as usual, take over-the-counter medications to combat pain and inflammation, and go back to your normal eating and drinking habits the next day. However, some more invasive cosmetic procedures require extra post-op care.

Dental Implants
If your implant procedure required a gum graft, you may need to stick to a soft food diet for the following week. Your dentist might also recommend taking two to three days off from work and avoiding strenuous activities during that time. It’s also wise to avoid smoking for at least 48 hours following the surgery, as it can delay the healing process.

Gum Surgeries
As with implants, you’ll want to avoid hard or brittle foods for two to three days following your gum surgery. Brush your teeth lightly for the first few days, and avoid flossing the day of the surgery.

Dental Crowns
You should be able to eat and drink normally as soon as the anesthesia wears off. However, avoiding excessively hard or chewy foods can help to reduce soreness in the week following a root canal and crown placement.

Tooth Whitening
It’s very important to avoid stain-causing foods for the first 48 hours after a professional tooth whitening. Avoid red wine, soda, coffee, tea, berries, tobacco, and red sauces to maximize the impact of the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still confused about what cosmetic dentistry has to offer? You can find answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions below or reach out to Foothills Family Dentistry directly with your concerns.

What Does Cosmetic Dentistry Include?

The field of cosmetic dentistry includes all professional oral care procedures that improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. Some procedures focus on specific teeth or areas of the gums, while others involve replacing entire missing arches.

Who Can Benefit From Cosmetic Dentistry?

If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth, gums, or general smile look, you’re probably a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry. People often request cosmetic procedures to deal with:

  • Staining or discoloration
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Uneven teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Excess gum tissue

In most cases, insurance will not cover strictly cosmetic procedures. You may, however, be able to obtain financing through your dentist.

What Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Are Available?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to any procedure performed with the primary or exclusive intent of improving the appearance of a patient’s smile. Common procedures include:

  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Tooth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Braces
  • Enamel shaping
  • Gum grafts
  • Crowns
  • Implants

Remember, each of these procedures is different. Ask your dentist about any special considerations associated with the procedure you want to get.

Get the Smile You Deserve

Want to learn more about cosmetic dentistry or find out if you would be a good candidate for a smile restoration? Request an appointment online or call (520) 744-3480 to schedule a consultation with a qualified cosmetic dentist today.

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