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Cosmetic dentistry is any dental work that improves the appearance of teeth, gums, and bites. Its focus is to correct or improve the dental aesthetics of tooth color, position, shape, size, alignment, and in doing so, the overall appearance of your smile. Certain dental specialists, such as surgeons, fix anatomical defects that also improve the smile. In that sense, they can be considered cosmetic specialists. Others, including family dentists, can do veneers to enhance the appearance of your smile. Most people, when they think of cosmetic dentistry, think of veneers.

Porcelain Veneers and Crowns

When it comes to achieving a great smile through cosmetic dentistry, veneers and crowns are the first lines of attack. While porcelain is considered the apex of materials; its alternative, composite, is a less expensive option.

Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers

If you have teeth that are damaged or have dulled over time, veneers are the way to go. Porcelain veneers are the epitome of cosmetic dentistry and the overall best choice. Thin and natural-looking, dentists apply porcelain veneers over prepared original teeth. A good cosmetic dentist matches the new additions to the shade and color of your other teeth.

Composite veneers, made of engineered resin, are also affixed to the outer surface of the tooth and are considerably less expensive. So why porcelain over composite? A comparison and contrast of the two:

  • Porcelain is thinner and looks more natural
  • Composites are thicker and have a less natural appearance
  • Porcelain lasts 10-20 years
  • Composite lasts 4-8
  • Porcelain is durable
  • Composite more readily chips
  • Porcelain resists yellowing
  • Composite tends to discolor over time

Cost of Porcelain vs. Composite

If cost is an issue, the composite may be the way to go. The cost of porcelain veneers ranges from $900 to $2,500 per tooth. Looking online, the cost for one or more veneers is all over the place.

The cost range of composite veneers, $250 to $1500, is also pretty erratic.

Word of Advice

Do your homework when choosing a cosmetic dentist.

  • Check out any reviews
  • See where they trained
  • Ask to view a portfolio of past work


Caps or crowns can also be used to cover broken or decayed teeth or teeth that have been chipped or damaged. Sometimes they are used for aesthetic improvement. In fitting a crown, dentists will need to drill the original tooth down; the crown is then glued over the stump. Dentists suggest this method as an alternative to veneers if the original teeth have badly deteriorated. Crowns can cost anywhere from $500 to $3000.

What About Implants?

Implants are generally suggested for missing teeth. Although the process is considered a surgical procedure, the success of an implant in the front or back of the mouth can affect facial balance and appearance. Front teeth replacement they are considered the modern hallmark of cosmetic choices over bridges or dentures. The cost of a single implant ranges from $2000 to $3000, depending on the location and expertise of the dentist.

The Douglas Family Dentistry Experience

If you live in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or the surrounding communities, Douglas Family Dentistry offers a friendly, professional environment for patients from kids to adults and seniors. Considering cosmetic dentistry? Let’s talk. Call us at 480-948-3680 or go to our website to schedule a free consultation.