One of the first features that most people tend to notice is your smile. Not only can it be a great icebreaker when meeting new people, but a smile can also make someone else’s day. Despite all of its benefits, there are a lot of people who avoid smiling. In fact, according to research, 57 percent of U.S. residents cover their mouths whenever they smile or laugh. And this is largely due to their insecurity.

The good news is there are ways that you can improve your smile. A cosmetic dentist can enhance your appearance and boost your confidence. While there are a lot of options to choose from, some are more popular than others.

Here are a few of the most common cosmetic dental procedures.

1. Whitening

When it comes to improving your smile, there’s hardly anything more effective than whitening. And that’s what makes this procedure one of the most popular options to date. It’s relatively easy and extremely affordable when compared to other procedures. While there are several teeth whitening products that can be purchased over the counter, the most effective treatments are done in-office with the help of trained professionals. They can ensure that you get the shade that you desire. Cosmetic dentists can guarantee as much as nine shades.

Also, when you work with professionals, the results typically last much longer. If you follow aftercare instructions, the results can last up to a year or more. The key is to practice good oral hygiene and avoid food and drinks that stain.

2. Veneers

While whitening can make a huge difference for a lot of people, there are cases in which the results aren’t as dramatic. In these instances, some patients choose to get veneers. Porcelain veneers are custom-made to fit over the teeth. They’re a great way to re-create the natural look.

The best thing about this procedure is that not only does it help to disguise discoloration, but it can also camouflage chips, cracks, uneven alignment, and worn enamel. This procedure is a bit more invasive than whitening. The dentist will use adhesive, to bond the veneer to the front of your tooth. It only takes a few in-office procedures.

3. Implants

There are times in which you may be missing teeth. In these cases, it’s a good idea to consider dental implants. Dental implants are typically made of titanium and are surgically implanted in your jaw. They look identical to your natural teeth. And they’re very secure because of your tissue and bone fuse with them.

Just as is the case with veneers, dental implants are invasive. It can take as much as 4 to 6 months for your mouth to completely heal. So this is an option that requires a lot of patience.

4. Braces

Patients who struggle with teeth that aren’t properly aligned may opt for braces. These are wire-based appliances that can be used to straighten teeth that are crowded or misaligned. This option is most popular among teenagers. However, adults can benefit from them as well. Braces can improve your bite, reduce teeth grinding, prevent periodontal disease and cavities, and make it easier to floss and brush. The amount of time in which you’re expected to wear braces will vary from person to person. There are several factors involved, such as the person’s age, their current issues, and the type of treatment they need. In most cases, you’re expected to wear braces for 18 to 24 months.

5. Onlays/Inlays

Some people struggle with a moderate amount of tooth decay. If there’s enough structure for a filling, then the dentist will preserve the tooth with an onlay or inlay. There are also referred to as indirect fillings. They’re designed to fit on top of the tooth or inside of it. The benefit of this procedure is that it helps to strengthen the teeth and prevents future decay.

6. Crowns

Crowns are one of the most widely used procedures in cosmetic dentistry. Specifically, dentists tend to recommend porcelain crowns. They’re similar to veneers in that they fit over your teeth and look very natural. They can either cover a bad tooth or be attached to an implant. This procedure requires the dentist to take a mold of your teeth and then reshape the teeth that it will be attached to. Typically, before getting your definite crown, you will need a mold and tooth reshaping. This option is usually used for the front teeth.

7. Gum Reshaping

Another common procedure in the cosmetic dentistry industry is gum reshaping. It’s also referred to as contouring. This particular treatment is recommended for individuals who have gummy smiles. Not only does it help your smile aesthetically, but it can also contribute to the health of your teeth and gums. During this procedure, dentists will make your teeth look larger to balance out the shape of your gums. They also use lasers to reshape the gums.

8. Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are another restoration option. They’re a mixture of plastic and fusion glass. During this procedure, the dentist constructs the composite filler layer by layer. Once the layer has completely hardened, the dentist fits it over your tooth. Then, he or she polishes the composite to make sure that there’s no discoloration and that it lasts for a long time.


There’s no doubt about it, your teeth can have a huge impact on your smile. Not only that, but they can also affect your level of confidence. The better they look, the more secure you feel. The good news is that if you want a nice smile, there are several options available to you. The most popular procedures involve restoration and whitening. However, ultimately, the procedure you choose will depend on your specific needs and preferences. The key is to search for a cosmetic dentist that has the level of experience and knowledge to deliver the results that you’re looking for.

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