New Year, New Smile: Your Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry

It’s no secret that your smile is the first thing people notice about you, but what if that first impression makes you feel less than confident? Cosmetic dentistry exists to help people who are less than satisfied with their grins, and a new year is the perfect time to start the journey to a new smile!

What Exactly Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a dental specialty dedicated to improving smiles. From stained or discolored teeth to gaps, cosmetic dentistry aims to make repairs to give patients better smiles. 

The Difference Between Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry

Though restorative and cosmetic dentistry sounds similar and even overlap a bit, they have unique purposes. 

Restorative dentistry focuses on building a healthy mouth. It usually involves essential treatment to make the teeth functional again. 

Cosmetic dentistry tends to be an elective treatment or something that people do to improve their smiles, but they may not necessarily need it to eat or speak. It’s more about aesthetic appeal than function.

Types of Smile Makeover Procedures 

There are several types of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Note that while there is a difference between restorative and cosmetic dentistry, many of these procedures can fall under smile restoration and dental cosmetics.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most common treatments. There are many options for teeth whitening, ranging from over-the-counter DIY kits to in-office laser whitening treatment.

Many people choose to use home whitening and DIY kits to correct staining and discoloration. However, seeing a dental professional is your best bet for optimal results. Your dentist knows your smile and can recommend the best options for your smile.

Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics offers two options for teeth whitening, including free whitening trays and laser whitening. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, contact the office nearest you to make an appointment.


Dental veneers can completely recreate a smile and tend to be responsible for many perfect celebrity smiles. From runways to red carpets, dental veneers can cover almost any imperfections to create a gorgeous grin.

The dentist prepares the teeth, usually by shaving them down a little. Then they apply thin coverings to the fronts of those teeth to create a perfect, even smile. 


Dental crowns are an example of a treatment that can be restorative or cosmetic dentistry. People can get a crown to restore a broken tooth or support a weakened tooth. Crowns can also cover a discolored tooth to improve the aesthetics of the smile.

There are different types of dental crowns to meet each patient’s unique needs. For cosmetic dentistry purposes, it’s usually a permanent crown or same-day crown, like a Cerec crown.


Clear aligners, like Invisalign, can also be used for restorative or cosmetic purposes. Some people need orthodontic treatment to improve function and create a healthier smile, but sometimes it’s more cosmetic, like correcting crooked teeth and closing small gaps. 

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring involves altering the shape of your gums. While it’s also used in restorative dentistry for people who have receding gums, it’s also part of cosmetic dentistry. For people who have “gummy smiles,” it can change everything by cutting away excess gum tissue to reveal more of your teeth. 

Dental Implants

Dental implants can restore function and aesthetics by replacing missing teeth. However, implants qualify as cosmetic dentistry because they aren’t the only option for restoring function. That said, dental implants are typically the superior choice for most people because they work like real teeth, prevent you from losing more bone, and support a healthier smile.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants and how they can improve your smile, schedule an appointment with the Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics office nearest you. 

Reasons to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

While getting a smile makeover isn’t something to take lightly, there are many reasons to consider cosmetic dentistry. 

Self-Esteem and Confidence

Do you constantly look for ways to hide your smile? Maybe you opt for the “lips closed” smile in photos. If this sounds like you, then you could do with a smile upgrade that makes you want to show off those pearly whites every chance you get!

Permanent Results

Many cosmetic dentistry treatments yield permanent results, meaning you can rest easy that your new smile is here to stay. Even though you still need to keep those regular check-ups with your dentist, you shouldn’t have to keep going back to the specialist dentist for follow-ups to keep your new smile intact. 

Improve Function and Aesthetics  

Not only will your smile look natural and gorgeous, but it can also improve your function long-term. From aligners to implants, many cosmetic procedures overlap with restorative dentistry, meaning you get a healthier smile as well.

Fix Multiple Dental Issues

Wouldn’t it be nice to fix several issues at once? Cosmetic dentistry can do just that. Many procedures solve more than one problem, like veneers covering inconsistent coloring and gaps and misshapen teeth!

Smile Makeover Process 

Before committing to a smile makeover, you might want to have an idea about what to expect from the process. Like most dental procedures, cosmetic dentistry follows similar stages.


Start by speaking to your dental team about your smile and what you would like to change. Your dentist may offer the treatment and handle the assessment in their office. If your dentist doesn’t handle the cosmetic dentistry procedure you desire, they might refer you to a specialist dentist. 

Either way, expect the dentist to examine your teeth before making any recommendations. Depending on the treatment, your dentist may request imagery.


If your dentist requests imagery before creating a treatment plan, you could get traditional x-rays or 3D scans. Some treatments, like Invisalign, typically require digital scans of your mouth, like with the iTero Element Intraoral 3D Dental Scanner that we use at Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics–a 3D scan is free with every exam!

Choose JDO for Your New Smile 

Why not let this year be the year of your smile? It’s time to do something for yourself and start your journey to the smile of your dreams. The Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics team is ready to help! Find the office nearest you and schedule an appointment.

The post New Year, New Smile: Your Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry appeared first on Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics.

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