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Everything You Want To Know About Cosmetic Dentistry

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic Dentistry is the term dentists use to describe dental procedures that can improve the appearance (but not necessarily the health) of your teeth. Simply put, most cosmetic dental procedures are non-essential, but they can offer a wide range of benefits, including making regular cleaning easier, improving a patient’s confidence and even reducing bruxism (grinding).

It’s important to note that Cosmetic Dentistry is not a recognized specialty of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia, but many dentists refer to themselves as Cosmetic Dentists or specialists in this field because they have received specialty training in one or more areas of dental medicine that are recognized specialties and are also considered cosmetic, or non-essential procedures. For instance, many Cosmetic Dentists are also Orthodontists, specializing in the straightening of teeth.

Find a Cosmetic Dentist near you here. If your local 123 Dentist Member Clinic doesn’t offer the cosmetic service you need, we can refer you to another clinic that does, digitally transferring your patient file for a seamless transition.


Beautiful smiles


General Dentistry Versus Cosmetic Dentistry

General Dentistry, which is the term we use to collect common procedures such as cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions and other similar procedures, are always available at your 123 Dentist Member Clinics. Cosmetic procedures are added benefit procedures that offer you and your family more options for a healthier, more beautiful smile, but all of our clinics’ first priorities are our patients’ dental health.

Improvements in Cosmetic Procedures

Across the field of dentistry, improvements have made procedures quicker, more effective and in many cases pain free. Laser teeth whitening and gum treatments are painless and don’t require anesthetic. For more complicated procedures such as implants, we offer sedation and use state-of-the-art lasers for making precise incisions. The improvements to the field, and to cosmetic procedures in particular, mean that getting that perfect smile is pain and anxiety free.

Confidence and Your Smile

Why do people elect for dental work that isn’t necessarily going to improve their overall dental health? The answer is quality of life. A smile really is important when it comes to your work, a night out with friends and of course, that dreaded first date. Knowing you’re confident in your smile makes it easier to do so, and multiple studies have shown the scientific benefits of smiling day to day.

The fact is, it’s easier to smile when you aren’t embarrassed about crooked, stained or chipped teeth. That unsightly gap or those receding gums can be fixed in almost every case. Imagine a job interview where you can confidently smile at your prospective employer or a date where you can show your best side without worrying about how you look.

Beyond simply removing the need to hide unsightly teeth, Cosmetic Dentistry can actually give you something to smile about, and improve your confidence.


Specific Treatments

What is considered a cosmetic procedure versus a general dentistry procedure or an orthodontic procedure can sometimes vary from dentist to dentist. This is a list of treatments that are often considered cosmetic procedures by our dentists. If you have questions about any of the procedures, would like to know more or would like to know which 123 Dentist Community Members offer the procedures, contact us today or follow the links below to enquire at a specific clinic.

Whitening Treatments

There are a few different forms of whitening treatments, from bleaching to laser treatments that can lighten your teeth up to 16 shades. Learn more about Whitening and find a list of clinics here.

Orthodontics (Straightening Teeth)

Traditional braces and Invisalign are offered at most 123 Dentist clinics. Depending on what you need, your dentist will recommend the right treatment approach for you or refer you to a specialist. Begin by speaking to your current dentist and learn more about Invisalign in our previous blog.


Veneers are exactly how they sound, thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of a tooth, often times in cases where a single tooth or a group of teeth has been discoloured more than others, or as an alternative to orthodontics. Veneers have improved over time and our dentists are able to match veneers to your real teeth so no one will ever notice. The treatment requires shaving off a part of your tooth and be warned that eventually the veneer will require replacement or repair as the porcelain wares away. Learn more about veneers at your dentist and by clicking here.

Crowns & Bridges

Bridges fill space between large gaps and missing teeth and are not exclusively cosmetic. As a more affordable, less evasive procedure to implants and orthodontics, they help to improve the appearance of teeth without replacing or straightening. Similarly, Crowns help to cap and repair chipped or cracked teeth, restoring them to their normal shape. CERAC porcelain crowns can be completed in one visit and sometimes assist in large fillings. To find out more about crowns and bridges, click the links.

Implants (Replacing Teeth)

In severe cases of tooth decay, or due to injury or age, one or several teeth may require replacement. Implant technology has improved over the years and now false teeth can match the rest of your smile for a natural, blended look. For more information on implants and for a full list of clinics, click here.

Bruxism (Grinding Teeth)

There are a number of causes to teeth grinding, or bruxism and cosmetic procedures are not the only solution, but porcelain inlays or onlays and straightening might help improve your bite and limit unconscious grinding. To find out more about treatments for bruxism, consult with your current 123 Dentist.


Select 123 Dentist Member Clinics offer Botox. See the list of clinics here.




Your Dental Health and Cosmetics

While it is true that Cosmetic Dentistry is largely about the aesthetic, it can improve your oral health. Orthodontic procedures make it easier for you to floss and reach in between your teeth and likewise, repairing cracked, chipped or decaying teeth with cosmetic procedures does reduce the chance of infection and further decay. Reducing bruxism (grinding) can improve the long-term strength or your teeth. These are just a few of the ways Cosmetic Dentistry improves the health of your teeth.


Your Dental Age

As you age, your teeth decay. As always, the best way to stave off the effects of aging is practicing good, preventative dental care. Regular visits to your 123 Dentist Community Member and flossing and brushing daily are your best and first defence against the effects of aging. Smoking, heavy drinking, sports injuries and in some cases genetics can get in the way. Sometimes, no matter how good your oral health is, you can’t stop the effects of aging teeth. And sometimes, those teeth will betray your true age and make you look older than you are or than you feel.

Cosmetic Dentistry and all of the procedures our network of highly skilled dentists offer can give you the smile you’ve always wanted, and in most cases there is very little that cannot be accomplished, from a full set of implanted teeth to a full set of porcelain veneers, no matter what the challenge is, our dentists at 123Dentist are ready to give you a reason to smile again.