Why is dentistry considered cosmetic?

All dental treatments that involve aesthetic improvements to your smile are considered cosmetic. They simply focus on the appearance of your teeth and help you restore your function and also overall oral health. Cosmetic dentistry is a broad category that encompasses a number of different dental procedures. There are some procedures that are easy to recognize as cosmetic because they only affect the appearance of the teeth.

Teeth whitening and porcelain veneers are examples of procedures that are almost always cosmetic. However, there are some dental procedures that many people don't know fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry. Three examples of this include dental implants, replacement of dark-colored fillings, and full mouth reconstruction. Dental crowns are used for numerous reasons to benefit patients, and cosmetic dentistry is one of them.

A crown is a synthetic replacement tooth that is placed over a damaged one to provide a more natural and even appearance in the mouth. Some dentists use crowns to repair damaged teeth, but they can also be used for cosmetic reasons. Restorative dentistry refers to the management and procedures that the dentist performs to keep the mouth healthy and functional. These procedures include placement of dental implants, dentures, fillings, and crowns.

This type of dentistry requires no specialization; it only refers to the preventive and corrective measures that general practice dentists take to ensure that our mouth stays as healthy as possible. Restorative dentistry is concerned first and foremost with keeping the mouth working as well as possible and, in the process of doing so, can improve the overall appearance of the smile. This is what separates restorative dentistry from cosmetic dentistry, the latter being more concerned with aesthetics. Some insurance companies consider dental implants to be cosmetic, regardless of what function the procedure may not cover.

Although dental implants can be critical to the function of your teeth, you could easily fix them with dentures, a bridge, or another less expensive tooth replacement alternative. Dental implant surgery is easily the most expensive form of tooth replacement and oral reconstruction. But that's because it's also the most complete and holistic form of tooth replacement. The implant itself replaces the tooth and its root, stopping any bone deterioration and movement of other teeth that occurs when a dental socket is left empty.

Dental bridges, even with implant anchors, and other options, such as dentures and fins, do not replace the root of the tooth. They don't actually replace the tooth like dental implants do, although your insurance company will likely consider all of these things equally as a tooth replacement. In many ways, cosmetic dentistry is similar to general dentistry. General dentistry focuses on maintaining oral health and includes routine and restorative dental procedures.

Cosmetic dentistry ensures the proper health and appearance of your teeth. It usually involves elective dental treatments to address a variety of aesthetic and health problems. Of course, there are some types of cosmetic dental procedures that would be considered purely cosmetic in nature. However, dental insurance providers consider cosmetic dentistry to be optional and therefore beyond the scope of insurance, although cosmetic jobs that also provide a functional benefit, such as restoration of dental structure, can be covered at 50 percent.

Colette Frei
Colette Frei

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