What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
"Cosmetic dentistry" refers to dental work that helps improve the appearance and function of a person's teeth.
Most types of cosmetic dental procedures are eligible for a Cosmetic Dentistry Grant, including the procedures listed below. Please be aware however that basic dentistry such as cleanings, extractions, root canals and fillings are not eligible and must be paid for by the applicant. If you are unsure as to the eligibility of the procedure you are contemplating, please see below or contact us for assistance.
Eligible Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Whitening or Tooth Bleaching
Whitening, or "tooth bleaching" is the most common cosmetic dental procedure. While many whitening options are now available, dentist-supervised treatments remain the recommended procedures for lightening discolored teeth.
Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made porcelain laminates that are bonded directly to the teeth. They are an option for closing gaps or disguising discolored teeth that do not respond well to whitening procedures.
Invisalign® is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures.
Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted. When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile.
A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant and is typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth.
Dental bridges are false teeth, known as a pontics, which are fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge.
This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures. In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as many as ten years or more.
Bonding is a process in which an enamel-like dental composite material is applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted into shape, hardened and then polished.
Contouring, also known as tooth reshaping, is one of a few instant treatments now available in cosmetic dentistry. Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session.
The dental contouring procedure can even be a substitute for braces under certain circumstances. It is also a procedure of subtle changes. A few millimeters of reduction and a few millimeters of tooth-colored laminate is involved. Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of teeth.
Lumineers, similar to veneers, are thin porcelain shields that are bonded to the front of the teeth to improve the appearance of a smile. Lumineers do not require the reduction of teeth structure, unlike veneers.
Gum lift is a cosmetic dental procedure that raises and sculpts the gum line. The procedure involves reshaping the tissue and/or underlying bones to create the appearance of longer or more symmetrical teeth.
Enamel shaping removes parts of the contouring enamel to improve the appearance of the tooth. It may be used to correct a very small chip. The removed enamel is irreplaceable, and may sometimes expose dentin. It is also known as enameloplasty, odontoplasty, re-contouring, reshaping, slenderizing and stripping.