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Introduction to Cosmetic Dentistry

Smiling is a significant part of life and typically the first thing people notice about you. Smiling affects your mood and allows you to express emotion.

Are you embarrassed by your teeth and don’t want to smile for fear of being judged? Maybe you are considering cosmetic dentistry? Family Dentistry of Lakewood would like to help you feel confident and love your smile.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your smile, which involves your teeth, gums, and bite. The focus is on improving the aesthetics in color, shape, size, alignment, and overall smile appearance.

Although cosmetic dentistry primarily focuses on aesthetics, it can sometimes include functional benefits as well:

  • Cracks or chips in teeth

  • Fractured or broken teeth

  • Stains or discolored teeth

  • Tooth decay

  • Uneven sizes and shapes

  • Gaps or spaces between teeth

  • Missing teeth

  • Teeth that appear too long, short, or pointed

Cosmetic dentistry could be an option if you have any of the above issues or want to improve your smile. To understand what cosmetic procedure will best meet your needs, it will be essential to meet with your dentist to discuss your concerns.

At Family Dentistry of Lakewood, we pride ourselves on listening to our patients.

We strive to address your concerns and communicate effectively. We will discuss the best options for your cosmetic needs and thoroughly explain the process, risk factors, and side effects.

We utilize a three-part process to thoroughly address your oral needs and set the stage for your perfect smile.

Part One

Straightening your teeth

We can utilize clear aligners or braces, depending on your situation. Your back teeth need to be healthy, aligned, and fully functioning to set the stage for your cosmetic refinements to be successful.


Part Two

Teeth whitening/bleaching

The whitening process can be done during the ortho stage if necessary. The options during this stage are bleaching and at-home whitening kits. The at-home whitening procedures only remove surface stains, and the teeth rebound to their original color quicker than bleaching procedures done in the dentist's office.


Part Three

Shaping your teeth

Procedures we utilize to shape your teeth are veneers, crowns, and bonding. Every person is different, so we assess your situation to determine what will be the most successful. Below is a full range of services offered by Family Dentistry of Lakewood to address your cosmetic needs.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are also known as invisible aligners and are an alternative to traditional braces. They are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and apply gentle pressure to move your teeth into alignment over time. Depending on the severity of your teeth, this process can take 12-18 months.

Teeth Whitening

We have two whitening procedures we provide to our patients. The at-home option allows you flexibility with your scheduling. We create whitening trays designed for your mouth, and we provide you with a time and dosing plan.

We also offer an in-office bleaching option. This process can take several sessions (up to six months), depending on the shade of your teeth.

Crowns, Veneers, and Bonding

These procedures improve the look and function of your teeth. Crowns cover the whole tooth and can be porcelain, metal, or both. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain bonded to the front of your existing tooth. Bonding is when the dentist uses tooth-colored resin to change the shape of your teeth. The condition of your teeth will determine the best option for you. This procedure can take 2-3 weeks.

Tooth Color Fillings

Also known as white fillings and composite fillings, they are made of plastics, silica, and glass particles. These are an excellent option for people who want their fillings to look natural. We can complete this procedure in one office visit.

Gingival Re-Contouring

This procedure permanently smooths out an uneven gum line. This is especially beneficial for someone who has receding gums or “long” teeth. This procedure is completed in one office visit, but recovery time is about two weeks.


In addition to our three-part process and wide range of cosmetic based services, you can also expect the following from us:

  • We use local, American-made labs to fabricate the restorative work for the crowns and veneers.

  • We look at the entire mouth and take your whole situation into account. We will not compromise our patients and will be honest about what is possible for you. There are no quick solutions.

  • We communicate with you by discussing your wants and what you can expect from the different cosmetic procedures.

  • We document everything happening in your mouth, and if we see something that could help justify insurance coverage, we will take photos and document what is needed.

Are you ready to get started?

Contact Family Dentistry of Lakewood at 253.584.3121 to set up an appointment to discuss the best option for you. We look forward to helping you get your best smile. Stay tuned for our next blog on part one of our three-part process; straightening your teeth.


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