Cosmetic dentistry offers everything from tooth whitening to complete smile makeovers. Learn about your options here.

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t just for celebrities and the wealthy — there’s now a wide variety of options and price ranges that put a better smile within reach for millions of people.

“Cosmetic dentistry has gone mainstream,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, consumer advisor and spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA) and a dentist in private practice in Farmington, Minn. “Just about every dentist does at least some cosmetic dentistry procedures these days.”

From subtle changes to major oral surgery, there are a host of cosmetic dentistry techniques that can treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen, or missing.

So is cosmetic dentistry right for you? Here’s what you need to know before making the decision.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

While traditional dentistry addresses the health of your teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of your teeth, mouth, and smile.

“Recent advances in cosmetic dentistry allow dentists to offer everything from improved teeth whitening to translucent tooth coverings to complete smile makeovers,” says Dr. Harms. Cosmetic dentistry has been around for decades, but the materials used today are more durable and natural looking than those used in the past.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), two-thirds of patients seeking cosmetic dentistry are female, and the average amount spent on cosmetic procedures by these patients in 2007 was a little less than $4,000. However, some cosmetic dentistry procedures can cost as little as $300. Because cosmetic dentistry is considered elective rather than “necessary,” it’s not usually covered by insurance.

You can read the other half of this great article on Everyday health here: http://bit.ly/2jVoppF