Cosmetic dentistry is very likely a term you have heard and whose results you have seen. This is especially true if you watch enough reality TV.

Yet, you might come up with more questions than answers if you stop to think about what is available for you when it comes to this field. No need to worry though, just smile and read on.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is professional dental care that aims to improve the look of your teeth, smile, and mouth. The main goal is an aesthetic one and most procedures are ones that people decide on themselves.

It goes without saying that the way we perceive our smile is closely linked to how we evaluate our appearance. Cosmetic dentistry aims to improve the self-confidence and attitude that patients have towards themselves and their lives.

In addition, the overall health and function of your teeth and mouth are targeted. As we age, our teeth are damaged from diet, disease, or just everyday mishaps. That can make certain things more difficult on them.

If our teeth and mouths are healthy and working efficiently, it makes it that much easier to maintain a good-looking smile.

Where do I start?

We face one common question with any choice or path we take: Where do I start? Here at Little Heroes the answer to that question is an easy one. All you have to do is contact any of the good people at our three locations in Laredo, San Juan, or Mission to set up an appointment with your new or current dentist.

What will my first appointment be like?

Your first appointment here at Heroes will consist of two different but equally important part: a conventional evaluation and one that more about the aesthetics of your procedure.

The conventional aspect of the appointment is just like it sounds, a regular trip to the dentist. Fun, I know.

You can expect to have teeth and gums checked out, as well as your bite. Your dentist will take x-rays and once you remove that heavy vest that protects you from them they will go over them with you.

The aesthetic evaluation is where you and your dentist will decide together what type of work you’re looking for, if it is a good fit for you, and what is the best way for them to make that happen. It is important to be as clear and honest as possible so that you get exactly what you want.

The best part of this first appointment is that you don’t have to wait to see what the end result will be. The dentists at Heroes have more than one way to show you what’s in store.

If you didn’t already know, computers can do just about anything, including model what your mouth and teeth will look like after a cosmetic dental procedure. No matter what path you’ve chosen, the dentist can use their computer to show you an image of the new you. Even if you change your mind, the computer is flexible enough to draw up a new projection in no time.

If you are a little old-school, or just like being able to touch something to believe in it, your dentist can also make you a 3-D model out of wax or resin. There’s something for everyone.

What kind of procedures can I get?

There are enough types of cosmetic dentistry to make up a baseball team, more or less.

Some, like dentures, most people are familiar with, especially if they have grandparents. Others, like gum lifts, are a little less common. True to its name, this type of operation involves lifting and reshaping a person’s gums. Again, fun.

At Heroes, you can find a focus in three particular types of procedures: veneers, tooth whitening, and night guards.

Veneers are layers of material that cover a tooth or multiple teeth. The intent is to either make the tooth look better (i.e. younger) or to protect it from potential damage.

Tooth whitening comes to mind first whenever we think of improving our smile. It makes sense; it is the most common form of cosmetic dentistry.

Laser whitening is the most effective form of this type of procedure, six times more. To make this happen, the patient’s gums are covered with rubber and their teeth with a bleaching agent. An argon laser beam is then fired at the teeth, activating the agent and harming no one. Science.

Night guards are designed to aid in various dental procedures, such as bleaching. They also help people who suffer from conditions like nocturnal bruxism. That is when people grind their teeth at sleep. That is both dangerous to the strength of a person’s teeth and terrifying to anyone who hears it.

How much will it cost and how do I pay?

Even a beautiful smile has a price tag. You and your dentist have no way of knowing the exact costs until you actually speak and they look at the work that will be done. This is another reason why it is important that the communication you establish is open, direct, and honest.

Unfortunately, dental insurance does not always cover cosmetic work. There are exceptions, but you will need to discuss this with your dentist.

Financing is also an option that you can explore with Heroes. The length of time you wish to make payments over raises the total cost of your work, so know what fits your budget.

How long will this take?

You might be sensing a trend by now. The length of time it will take to complete your procedure depends on the procedure itself.

Is this over now?

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