Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ

Cosmetic Dentist Serving Lakewood, Denver, Golden & Nearby Colorado

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ | Scott Greenhalgh, DDS | LakewoodA beautiful smile can improve your life in many ways. When you’re embarrassed by your teeth, you shy away from smiling, which can be off-putting to your coworkers, friends, family members, and may even impact your dating life. Cosmetic dentistry can give you a stunning smile and help you maintain good oral health. When you’re happy with the appearance of your teeth, you’re more likely to take better care of them.

If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Scott Greenhalgh in the Denver area today at (303) 988-9060 to schedule your consultation. Our cosmetic dentist and experienced staff serve patients in Denver, Lakewood, Golden, and surrounding areas of Colorado.

There are a variety of procedures and treatments involved in cosmetic dentistry, and you likely have many questions regarding your options and how they work. Some of the questions we’re often asked include:

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the aesthetics of your teeth, gums, and overall smile. There are several treatments and procedures that fall under the cosmetic dentistry category, such as:

These options, among others, treat specific aspects of your smile. If you’re unhappy with the shade or shape of your teeth or if you have a “gummy smile,” cosmetic dentistry can give you the results you’re looking for as long as you have an otherwise healthy mouth.

What are the Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry?

There are numerous benefits to enhancing your smile through cosmetic dentistry. The most noteworthy being an increased sense of confidence that carries into your everyday life. You’ll flash your new smile, which won’t go unnoticed by those around you. You may experience a boost in your career, and your dating life may improve as well—your teeth are often the first thing people notice when they meet you. Some patients report looking and feeling younger as a bright, white smile is typically associated with youth.

Cosmetic dentistry could even prevent damage to your teeth and gums. You’re more likely to take proper care of your teeth (brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with mouthwash). Correcting flaws such as cracks or missing teeth can help fight gum disease and tooth decay. Missing teeth are especially important to replace with dental implants as they can cause bone deterioration, teeth shifting, and lead to more missing teeth.

Whether you have chipped, cracked, or discolored teeth, cosmetic dentistry can restore and improve your smile, which will have a significant positive impact on your life.

What Dental Problems Can Cosmetic Dentistry Correct?

Nearly any dental problem you can imagine can be addressed in one way or another through cosmetic dentistry. Teeth that are cracked or chipped can easily be fixed with porcelain veneers, composite bonding, or dental crowns. Some of the other dental issues our dentist sees in our Lakewood office include:

  • Moderate to severe discoloration
  • Missing teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Old amalgam (silver) fillings
  • Crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Uneven gum line

These are just a few of many flaws in your smile that can be addressed using cosmetic dentistry treatments and techniques.

Why Choose Professional Teeth Whitening?

Tooth stains are one of the top complaints we hear from our patients in the Denver area. Discoloration naturally occurs as you age because your enamel (the shiny, translucent surface layer of your teeth) wears down, allowing your dentin to show through (the hard, inner tissue of your teeth that is yellow by nature), but certain lifestyle habits such as smoking and other factors can cause stains early in life. Some medications can cause tooth staining and discoloration such as antipsychotics and antihistamines. If you drink a lot of coffee, tea, or red wine, you likely struggle with tooth stains that are difficult to get rid of with over-the-counter options.

Professional tooth whitening is the only sure way to brighten your smile. Brushing with whitening toothpaste can take care of superficial stains and debris that builds up throughout your day, but the whitening agent isn’t in contact with your teeth long enough to make a lasting difference. Over-the-counter whitening trays and strips may whiten your teeth, but it will take much longer, and your results most likely won’t be consistent as they are not customized to fit your teeth. Additionally, they can damage your enamel and make your teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.

We offer two professional teeth whitening options. Zoom! Teeth Whitening uses a whitening agent that’s activated by light, giving you noticeably whiter teeth in just 90 minutes. We offer Deep Bleaching™ to work on the deeper stains and whiten your dentin. We will also give you take-home whitening kits so you can continue whitening your teeth at home.

What’s in a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is somewhat of a blanket term because this cosmetic dentistry option is customized to suit your needs—What’s in yours entirely relies on the aesthetic problems you’d like to address. Most smile makeovers include porcelain veneers and tooth whitening. Dr. Greenhalgh will help you decide the best way to perfect your smile during your initial dental exam and consultation.

Will My Dental Insurance Cover Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures?

Whether or not your insurance covers your chosen cosmetic treatment depends on your insurance policy. Some treatments—such as dental implants—double as restorative dentistry and are essential to maintaining good oral health. We can help you determine if your insurance coverage includes some of our cosmetic options, and if not, we offer financing options to make your dental care more affordable.

What are Porcelain Veneers and How Do They Work?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells made of porcelain, which are placed over your existing teeth to correct chips, gaps, uneven or worn down teeth. They can also help severely discolored teeth and are made to match the shade of your surrounding teeth. These porcelain shells mimic the look of your natural enamel and are crafted to fit you specifically. Porcelain veneers are considered “instant orthodontics” as they make your teeth look perfectly spaced and straight.

The process of getting porcelain veneers is fairly simple. Dr. Greenhalgh will use an imaging system to create a smile design to show what your results will look like. He’ll take an impression of your teeth, which will then be sent to a lab where skilled technicians will create a wax mold of your results. This allows you and Dr. Greenhalgh to “preview” what your smile will look like with porcelain veneers. Another option is to view a computer simulation of your smile using Smile-Vision. If you like the wax or computer mockup of your results, your porcelain veneers will be crafted for you and placed over your teeth at your next appointment.

In order to make the porcelain veneers fit over your teeth and look great, Dr. Greenhalgh will need to prepare your teeth by reducing the size of your existing teeth.

Who’s a Good Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Most men and women qualify for cosmetic dentistry. It’s important for you to have fully-grown teeth before considering an invasive cosmetic treatment. It’s also essential for you to have good oral health. Any degree of gum disease should be addressed before you have cosmetic work done, especially porcelain veneers as your gums will recede as periodontitis progresses, which will expose your underlying teeth. Tooth decay and other issues such as an infection will need to be fixed before we move forward as well.

Can Cosmetic Dentistry be Reversed?

Few patients want their new smile reversed, and this depends on what and how many cosmetic dentistry treatments you’ve had. Porcelain veneers can’t be removed as they require tooth reduction to make room for the thin shells. However, if you think you may want to remove your veneers later on, you may opt for Lumineers®, which are thinner shells (the approximate thickness of a contact lens) that give you a minimal improvement and can be reversed as they don’t require any tooth preparation.

Can Cosmetic Dentistry Fix Crooked or Crowded Teeth?

A smile makeover with porcelain veneers is a great way to help crooked or crowded teeth. Veneers can give the impression of straight, properly spaced teeth when you smile and are often considered “instant orthodontics” as they can be done without lengthy orthodontic treatment.

How Do I Choose the Right Cosmetic Dentist?

You want a cosmetic dentist who makes you feel comfortable and has the skill and experience necessary to deliver the results you’re looking for. Make sure you look at other customer reviews to learn more about the dentist. You can tell a lot about a business and physician based on the reviews of former patients. You should also look into their background and accreditations to ensure you choose a qualified cosmetic dentist.

Our cosmetic dentist earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Colorado School of Dentistry where he later became a professor. He taught implant dentistry at Denver General Hospital before starting his private practice where he focuses on cosmetic dentistry, TMJ treatment, and general, preventative, and family dentistry.

If you’re interested in improving your smile, please contact Scott Greenhalgh, DDS in the Denver area today at (303) 988-9060 to schedule your dental exam and consultation. Our cosmetic dentist and skilled staff of dental professionals serve clients in Denver, Golden, and Lakewood, Colorado.  

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