Cosmetic Dentistry Myths

First impressions are important. From your confidence in a job interview to the grin you flash your date, small details can give others an idea of what you’re like. Greeting someone with a smile can make you seem confident and make them comfortable around you. In fact, 48% of Americans say that when they meet someone new, the feature they remember most often is their smile.

Despite this, the idea of changing our appearance is often looked upon with scorn or embarrassment, misunderstood as an attempt to fit an ideal standard of beauty or current trends. The explosion of popularity that cosmetic dentistry has seen, as well as its prominence in Hollywood, has led to many myths forming about the practice.

Here are the truths behind common myths about cosmetic dentistry.

Myth 1: Cosmetic dentistry is for the vain.

Cosmetic dentistry does improve the look of your smile, but many procedures are for more than simple aesthetics. They keep your teeth healthy and can prevent pain, bone loss, difficulty chewing, or tooth decay. Even largely aesthetic procedures are not done out of vanity, but often to improve self-confidence. If you’re embarrassed to be caught in a grin, it’s normal to seek to experience the joy of a confident, effortless smile.

Myth 2: Only the rich can afford cosmetic dental work.

Modern technology has made the procedures more affordable, and many insurance companies will cover treatments with cosmetic benefits. Receiving a crown, for example, is covered by some insurance companies. This affordability is compounded by the fact that some procedures can protect you from bigger problems⎯and therefore bigger bills⎯in the future.

Myth 3: Few people get cosmetic procedures.

A staggering 89% of Americans have received a cosmetic dental procedure⎯that’s a lot more than most people realize. If you’ve ever gotten a crown put in, replaced a pulled tooth with an implant, or had a chipped tooth fixed, you’ve had a cosmetic procedure.

Myth 4: It’s obvious when someone has had cosmetic treatments.

In reality, most people wouldn’t be able to tell at all. The materials have improved so that they look like real teeth. Molds are taken so that the crown, veneer, or implant fits perfectly into your mouth; dentists even match the color of your teeth. People might notice if your teeth look nice and white, but that’s usually a good thing.

Myth 5: Single visit crowns aren’t as durable.

The truth is that modern CEREC technology allows your dentist to quickly create a crown that’s a perfect fit. Your natural teeth are both hard and flexible, qualities that the porcelain crowns’ structure mimics making them less likely to damage nearby teeth than metal crowns. Although a variety of factors make it hard to determine whether porcelain or metal is more durable, single visit crowns can outlast metal crowns and save you both time and money, as they don’t have to be ordered and shipped to the dentist’s office. The better fit to your mouth achieved with CEREC crowns means a longer-lasting crown.

Myth 6: Only braces can fix crooked teeth.

Many people think they have two options when it comes to their crooked teeth: live with a crooked smile or get braces. If your teeth are only slightly crooked, however, you might be able to get a veneer instead. While braces take two or three years to straighten your teeth and require many dentist visits, veneers offer a much faster result with less hassle.

Myth 7: It’s painful to undergo any dental procedure.

Improvements in technology, anesthesia, and numbing agents mean that most dental procedures are completed with little immediate discomfort. Bigger procedures may leave you a little sore afterward, but the days of howling in pain in a dentist’s chair are, thankfully, long gone. A large number of cosmetic dental procedures are completely painless.

Myth 8: Cosmetic dentistry can damage your teeth.

The dentists who perform cosmetic procedures want to give you a beautiful and healthy smile; they won’t do anything that they feel would damage your teeth. On the contrary, many procedures are done with the goal of preserving and protecting your teeth from damage.

Myth 9: I might as well whiten my teeth at home.

At-home whitening kits do improve the whiteness of your teeth and are pretty affordable, but like many things, you’ll get better results at the dentist. It’s wise to consult your dentist before you go too crazy with the whitening kits, as they can irritate your gums, damage your teeth, and potentially harm the good bacteria in your mouth.

Myth 10: Any dentist can do cosmetic procedures.

While more dentists are taking the necessary classes than in past decades, performing cosmetic procedures requires extra training. Dentists who offer these treatments must also take classes to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies.

Improvements in technology have helped cosmetic dentistry to look natural, be more affordable, and cause little to no discomfort. There are several reasons why you might want or need to receive a cosmetic dental procedure, all of which are very common; seeking to improve your smile is a smart way to invest in the future health of your teeth while giving yourself a boost of self-confidence.

Dr. Harrison will be happy to help you better understand how cosmetic dentistry can benefit you. Aside from restoring your beautiful smile, cosmetic dentistry can also help restore function and prevent future issues from cropping up. Schedule your appointment today to learn more.


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