What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

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Many people in the world today have a desire to enhance their appearance so that they can look their best seeing as physical appearance plays a crucial part in self-esteem and life quality. 1

Cosmetic dentistry is a beauty trend that has evolved into a multifaceted profession in its approach to creating not only the perfect smile but also to enhance the appearance of dentition and facial aesthetics.

Unlike traditional dentistry, which focuses on oral hygiene and oral diseases, cosmetic dentistry is mainly focussed on elective (or desired) treatments to improve the physical appearance of the teeth, mouth and smile. During the past few years cosmetic dentistry has become more popular because of the advancements in technology and the treatments involved have become more accessible.

Selecting the right cosmetic dentist requires a lot of consideration. An increasing number of cosmetic dentists are offering cosmetic dental treatments and it is therefore of vital importance to consider all the cosmetic dentistry options available to you.

Read more: What's the Difference Between a Family Dentist and General Dentistry?

Price is another factor to think about and a cosmetic dentistry guide will provide you with information about the estimated costs of cosmetic dentistry treatments.

What are cosmetic dental treatments?

It is human nature for people to connect positive personality characteristics to the level of attractiveness of a person and, therefore, cosmetic dental procedures can help you attain the perfect look to suite your beautiful personality.

During the last 50 years or so cosmetic dentistry has experienced a significant transformation and types of cosmetic dental procedures have evolved greatly.

Cosmetic dental treatments include, but are not limited to: dental veneers, crowns, bridges, fillings, implants and tooth whitening.

Read more: Why Do I Need a Dental Bridge?

Dental veneers

Veneers are placed onto the teeth to recreate your teeth’s vibrant natural look, while also providing strength and resilience that can be compared to natural tooth enamel. They help with correcting the color of discoloured teeth and with aligning teeth that are slightly out of position or even to hide chips or cracks in the teeth. You can say that veneers can give your teeth a fresh new life!

Seeing as cosmetic dentistry needs to be practiced in the most conservative manner possible while satisfying the restorative needs and aesthetic desires of the patient, clinicians need to choose suitable materials and techniques.

Veneers have been regarded as one of the most viable options based on their longevity, strength, biocompatibility, aesthetics and conservative nature. For these reasons, the patient’s smile can be enhanced in a minimally invasive way with the use of veneers.

There are various types of veneer materials commonly used in dental practice these days. Porcelain laminate veneers are becoming increasingly popular among dental practitioners for restoration procedures and for aesthetic use.

Read more: Why Non-Surgical Gum Therapy Is The Best Bet For Those With Odontophobia

Dental crowns

If a tooth is damaged but not lost; the shape, function and appearance can be restored by using a crown. How nifty is this?

Crowns are also known as caps and they are hollow, artificial teeth used to cover teeth that have been damaged. A crown restores the tooth and it protects the tooth from any further damage. Crowns are also used to cover misshapen or discoloured teeth.

Dental bridges

A bridge is a type of dental restoration used to replace missing teeth. It spans across an area with no teeth and it is generally made of an artificial tooth that is fused between two crowns.

A bridge is firmly held in place by the teeth on each side of the missing tooth or even by adjacent dental implants. Many people prefer bridges as they are permanent dental prostheses that can’t be removed. Talk about effortless!

Dental fillings

Different types of fillings can be used to fill cavities. When you visit the dentist, your existing fillings are checked to see if they need to be replaced and your dentist will also look for signs of decay for which you may need fillings.

The types of metal dental fillings include:

  • Dental amalgam fillings

These fillings are commonly known as “silver fillings” and because of their silver colour; they are usually used to fill teeth at the back of the mouth. Amalgam fillings are a mix of metals like silver, mercury, copper and tin.

They are inexpensive and last for a long time although the silver colour may not look natural.

  • Cast gold fillings

Cast gold fillings are made from a mixture of gold and other metals like silver and copper. They are made in a dental lab and then they are sent back to your dentist who cements them into your mouth.

Gold fillings are stronger than amalgam fillings and also last for a long time, yet still, they don’t look natural and they are more expensive than other types of fillings.

The types of tooth-coloured fillings include:

  • Composite Fillings

These fillings are also called white or plastic fillings. You can’t get this kind of filling for your back teeth because they may not be durable enough.

Composite fillings are the same colour as natural teeth and they can be done quickly and easily, but they can break easily and do not last long.

  • Glass Ionomer Materials

Glass ionomer materials are used exclusively in teeth that are not used to bite down hard.

These fillings are a natural color and they contain fluoride that helps with recurrent tooth decay, however, they are not strong and they do not last long.

  • Porcelain Materials

Porcelain materials are hard and brittle and are the preferred option for most dentists. Dental porcelain is a combination of porcelain and metal that can be used anywhere in the mouth.

This kind of filling is the same natural colour as teeth and they last a long time. They are a good option even though they cost more than most other types of fillings.

Many different types of fillings can be used to fill cavities. Your dentist cares about your oral health. If you have any questions regarding fillings, talk to a dentist as soon as possible for advice on which type of filling is the best for your needs.

Dental implants

If you have missing teeth, there are several ways to replace them. Dental implants are an alternative option to bridges or dentures. They are used to replace your missing natural roots and to support your new artificial teeth. They are comfortable and look natural.

Dental implants are artificial roots made from titanium metal and they are inserted into the jaw bone in order to replace the root of a natural tooth. An artificial tooth is then attached to the implant. In other words, the implant anchors the replacement tooth in place. What a futuristic idea!

Tooth whitening

Our teeth’s natural colour is a light greyish-yellow shade, but as we age they tend to darken and their appearance may be altered by the accumulation of stains acquired from bad habits like smoking or even by certain foods or drinks that we enjoy.

Even though teeth are not actually supposed to be completely white, many people desire a brighter smile. Tooth whitening offers a speedy, non-invasive solution to enhance your smile.

A variety of whitening options have become widely available for the convenience of consumers. Such products can be separated into two categories namely surface whiteners and bleaches.

What are cosmetic dentistry costs?

Cosmetic dentistry is elective which means that it is not considered necessary from a medical point of view; therefore, many insurance companies do not offer coverage for cosmetic dentistry procedures. This may beg the question, “How much does cosmetic dentistry cost?”

The answer to this question depends on various factors like the procedure you end up choosing and the complexity of the dental work required.

Cosmetic dentistry prices can vary widely. The Consumer Guide to Dentistry provides information about typical cosmetic dentistry costs.

The cost of dental veneers depends on several factors, including:

  • The fees of the dentist carrying out the procedure
  • How skilled the dentist and the ceramist who makes the veneers are
  • The physical location where the procedure is performed
  • Your type of dental insurance
  • The materials used
  • How many teeth are being treated

Composite veneers may cost around $250 to $1500 per tooth and they may last anywhere from five to seven years.

Porcelain veneers costs

Porcelain veneers are thin ceramic shells that disguise minor tooth imperfections such as gaps, cracks and stains.

Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers. Traditional porcelain veneers may vary in costs and they are usually priced between $925 and $2,500 per tooth; however, they can last 10 to 15 years.

Dental crowns costs

The price of dental crowns depends on various factors like the technical demands of the procedure, the expertise of the dentist and the skill set of the dental technologist.

The price range of crowns can vary between $1,000 and $3,500 and they last for around 10 to 15 years although the final costs may vary depending on your unique situation.

Dental bridges costs

Dental bridges are used to replace any missing teeth.

Bridges are priced from $700 to $1,500 per tooth based on various factors like the technical demands of the procedure, the skill set of the dentist and the expertise of the dental technologist.

It is important to keep in mind that this cost is for a single artificial tooth replacement. And while you may only need to replace a single missing tooth, your bridge be more complex meaning that you might need to pay for more than one artificial tooth.

Dental fillings costs

Dental fillings are used to repair minor tooth fractures, tooth decay or surfaces of the teeth that were damaged in other ways. Costs may differ based on factors like:

  • The dentist by whom the procedure is performed
  • Location of the dental practice
  • The type of dental insurance that you have
  • The number of fillings you need

Amalgam fillings average in cost between $110 and $200 per filling and on average amalgam fillings should last for around 12 years.

Tooth-coloured fillings costs

Tooth-coloured fillings cost more than amalgam fillings. For example, the prices for resin-based composite is determined by the amount of tooth surfaces that need the material and ranges from around $135 to $240 per filling while porcelain fillings may be a bit more expensive.

Dental implants costs

This alternative to removable dentures is used to create artificial tooth roots that are attached to artificial teeth. Many people prefer dental implants as they are a permanent, non-removable solution.

Although implants are a bit more expensive than other options for tooth replacement they are much more durable and longer-lasting.

The costs of implants are different for each case, but it is estimated at around $3,000 to $4,500 depending on various factors. Patients considering restoring a full mouth with implants can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars.

Tooth whitening costs

Professional teeth whitening removes the stains caused by smoking, aging, drinking coffee and other causes. It can even brighten your teeth’s existing colour shade.

Color change in a short time period is the main benefit of in-office whitening and on average it costs about $650 per visit.

Professionally dispensed whitening kits that can be used at home can produce great results over a longer time period. These kits may cost you around $100 to $400.

Several dentists make payment plans available for cosmetic dental procedures. A good idea would be to ask your dentist about the financing options that are available.

Restorative vs. Cosmetic dentistry

Restorative dentistry is a category of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and management of diseases of the teeth, oral cavity and supporting structures.

Restorative dental care includes the rehabilitation of the function as well as the aesthetic requirements of the teeth and the oral cavity.

The co-ordination of a multi-professional network that incorporates several types of dental restoration is often used to achieve these objectives.

Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, is any dental work done to improve a person’s physical appearance (and not necessarily to improve the function) of the teeth, gums or bite.

The benefits of cosmetic dentistry are primarily focused on improving dental aesthetics in color, shape, size, position, alignment and the overall appearance of the smile.


Fortunately, improving your smile is more accessible these days because cosmetic dentistry is widely available to just about everyone. Even subtle changes in your smile could change the way you look and even the way you feel about yourself.

Talk to your dentist about cosmetic dental treatments like teeth whitening, white fillings, dental veneers and dental crowns.

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.

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It's been a while since I've been to a dentist but I'm trying to get back on track with health in general. Overall it was great going to Markham Smile Centre! The receptionist (I believe she was Kim) was friendly. The hygienist, Ying, was attentive and gentle during the cleaning; x-ray tech (forgot her name, sorry!) was great too. Dr. Sara Riad explained things with good detail. Looking forward to going back!


I was someone who was nervous and anxious about visiting the dentist, but the team at Markham Smile Centre has made me feel SO comfortable. Kim is so patient and helpful and Dr. Hwang and Rory are both so professional and wonderful. They thoroughly explain the procedure to make you comfortable beforehand and are very gentle. I now look forward to visiting the dentist!


I found this place on a whim when I was looking for a new dentist in Markham. My hygienist ying was super nice and her cleaning was very gentle yet thorough. I saw Dr.Jason and he was very nice and informative in regards to what needs to be done and provided me with all the information I needed to make a choice. Would recommend this place to anyone looking for a new dentist, they’re accepting new patients!!


I have been to many dentists in my life, Dr. Jason is easily the best dentist I have ever been too. He does everything he can to make you comfortable no matter the procedure and is a true professional, as does all the staff at Markham Smile Centre. Truly an amazing dentistry


The clinic was clean and the staff was very polite. I particularly liked the fact that everything was explained to me before going in for the procedure so I knew what to expect at each step. The dental hygienist who did the cleaning for me was also very gentle and took my concerns into consideration. I will definitely recommend them.


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Since I was little, I have always hated going to the dentist... Its always uncomfortable and unpleasant. These days, visiting the dentist isn’t so bad! Dr Jason, Rory, and the lovely staff at reception make the experience 100x better. I have had absolutely no issues with the gum graft and cleanings that I’ve gotten done here. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, even when I’m calling in or emailing a hundred questions :). I would highly recommend Markham Smile Centre.


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