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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
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July is Cosmetic Dental Month? It is here

Jul 05, 2012

Thanks to incredible advances in technology and dental science, cosmetic dental services have come a long way since George Washington handcrafted his own set of dentures and the Romans used urine to whiten their teeth.

Ugh. No wonder they couldn't build Rome in a day; they were too busy rinsing and spitting. Fortunately, four out of five dentists no longer recommend this form of teeth whitening, and the one that does works half days in Borneo and Timbuktu.

What exactly constitutes cosmetic dental services? Generally, cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental service that enhances an individual’s teeth, gums and overall smile. The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of teeth and how well they function.

Cosmetic dental procedures vary widely. For instance, teeth whitening, veneers and implants are some of the more common procedures people associate with cosmetic dentistry.  So are crowns, bonding (tooth-colored resin is applied and “bonds” to the tooth) and orthodontics (braces). Cosmetic procedures for gums (periodontal) can include gum grafts and gum removal.

Not all dental plans cover cosmetic services because such treatments are considered elective procedures. Interestingly, even the American Dental Association (ADA) itself doesn’t recognize cosmetic dentistry as a dental specialty, much to the chagrin of many dental professionals that consider it the “bread and butter” of their respective practices.

The ADA does recognize two significant specialties in cosmetic dentistry, though: Orthodontics (deals with irregularities of teeth and their correction) and Prosthodontics (artificial replacements for missing parts of the mouth – dental implants, dentures, veneers, crowns, and teeth whitening, and the jaw.)

This month Agent Straight-Talk wants to focus on several of these cosmetic dental services, including best practices, the advantages to each and why not all dental plans cover them.

Earlier this week Dental Wire posted a story on whether or not one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, tooth whitening, is safe.  Spoiler Alert: It is, but it is always best to consult with your dentist beforehand on the best teeth whitening option for your personal circumstances.

Beginning next week we’ll kick off the series by looking at the ins, outs and in-betweens of teeth whitening by consulting with a Southwestern dentist that has provided cosmetic dentistry services for 26 years and has placed more than 50,000 veneers, crowns and crown restorations during that time.

Until then, thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk and remember: A good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.

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Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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