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Lifetime Smiles July 12th, 2007


What Is Cosmetic Dentistry Anyway?

Baglio & McDonaldCosmetic Dentistry. A common phrase today. Most of the signs outside dental offices have it. Magazines recommend it. And, of course, the many "makeover" reality shows claim it's absolutely necessary to improve your appearance, and your life.

But what IS cosmetic dentistry? And what will it really do? And the biggie, how much does it cost? I will try to answer some of these questions in this column and the next one.
Most people would guess that the term relates to making your smile look better, but it actually goes even further than that. A better definition would be to make your face look better by changing your mouth. The classical advertisement for cosmetic dentistry usually shows someone smiling, but by changing the teeth, we can also make the mouth more attractive during times when the face is resting. Sometimes we can even eliminate some of the wrinkles around the mouth by changing the teeth, or plump up one or both lips, reversing the thinning that comes with age.

Every case is different. What each person wants to achieve is unique to that individual. Many times patients will come in with a preconceived notion of what changes they would like. However, a dentist who is skilled and experienced in cosmetic dentistry can often make suggestions that wouldn't have been otherwise considered. Occasionally that same experience allows us to point out the pitfalls of the patient's original plan. The classic example of this is the patient that has unrealistic expectations about how white or bright they expect their teeth to be after cosmetic dental treatment. Many patients want teeth as white as possible. Experienced cosmetic dentists will take into consideration the appearance of any other teeth not treated, the patients complexion, how much the teeth show in the smile, and other things when recommending a shade that is both a cosmetic improvement and a natural look.

One other change that frequently occurs after cosmetic dentistry is a change in the patient's personality. Someone who has been quiet and shy, who never smiled and only talked when necessary becomes outgoing, joyful and confident. A new person. I love my job.

In the next column I will list a few of the types of treatment that we use to achieve these results and give some examples of the costs.

Thomas P. Baglio, DDS & Rabee McDonald, DMD

General and Cosmetic Dentistry
1060 E. Grand Ave
Escondido, CA 92025 760.747.1811.





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