Cosmetic Dentist in Missouri City
Dr. Carlos A. Alonso, DDS
Dr. Carlos Alonso is a leader in cosmetic dentistry and is located in the Missouri City/Sugar Land area across from Sienna Plantation. As a member of the teaching faculty at the Center for Aesthetic Restorative Dentistry, Dr. Alonso has not only been trained by some of the best cosmetic dentists in the world, but he also instructs other dentists on the latest techniques and procedures in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. There are many cosmetic dental clinics and offices, but what sets Dr. Alonso apart is his continued desire to improve and perfect his techniques by taking the best continuing education available, using the best materials and laboratories available, and always communicating with his patients so they have a full understanding of what their options are and what their expectations should be.
Cosmetic Dentistry is one of the most rewarding parts of Dr. Alonso’s dental practice. Patients love the results and to see the reaction that patients have to cosmetic dentistry is gratifying for Dr. Alonso.
One of the most common comments made by patients is, “I’d love to improve my smile, but how much does it cost?” The answer can be different for every patient. If a patient wants to feel better about their smile, Dr. Alonso wants to do what he can to ensure that finances are not an obstacle. When asked how much cosmetic dentistry costs, the answer always varies. It depends on the patient’s wants, needs, and expectations. One of the most important things that Dr. Alonso does with his cosmetic patients is to make sure he is on the same page with them.
It is important to understand a patient’s expectations. Without that, cosmetic dentistry becomes very difficult. With an understanding of what a patient wants, results become much more predictable. It is also important for patients to understand what the possibilities are with cosmetic dentistry. With so many advances in techniques and technology, there are often multiple options for how a patient can improve their smile. This is where the cost of cosmetic dentistry can fluctuate.
COSMETIC DENTISTRY: SOME BASIC INFORMATION
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic Dentistry is a branch of dentistry that involves enhancing a person’s smile. This can be accomplished through a number of different procedures including simple tooth re-contouring, tooth-colored bondings, porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, gum re-contouring, and porcelain crowns.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry for me?
One of the first things that people see when you meet them is your smile. Cosmetic dentistry can improve a person’s overall appearance and self-confidence. A smile can help you both personally and professionally and can give you a more youthful appearance. When a person improves their smile it can help them look younger. Overall, a nice smile can boost self-confidence and improve a person’s overall appearance.
Who is a good candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?
Virtually all adult patients that are interested in improving their smile are candidates for cosmetic dentistry. With so many advancements in dentistry, there are good options to improve everybody’s smile. It is important to have a thorough initial exam. This allows us to evaluate what options are best for you. Every patient is different, so thorough records and an evaluation is vital. Everybody’s teeth and mouths are different so what may be good for one person is not necessarily good for another. Furthermore, it is important to understand a patient’s needs and expectations. The dentist and patient must be on the same page in order to achieve a beautiful smile. It is crucial to know what all of your options are when looking to improve your smile.
Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Procedures that are considered cosmetic in nature include whitening, tooth re-contouring, orthodontics, composite or tooth-colored fillings, porcelain veneers, and porcelain crowns. The type of procedure chosen depends on the condition of the teeth, a person’s visible smile line, a person’s needs, a person’s gum condition, and overall expectations of the patient. Below are brief descriptions of the different cosmetic procedures along with a general range of cost across the dental industry:
Teeth whitening is a safe way to improve the shade of your teeth that involves wearing trays at home or, for quicker results, we offer in-office whitening solutions.
We offer four types of whitening:
- Whitening Strips
- Whitening Trays
- In-Office Whitening
- Internal Bleaching
Tooth re-contouring is a very conservative dental treatment for small chips and fractures in your teeth. Small chips to front teeth can often be an issue for patients. Grinding, clenching, and wear and tear over time can lead to small chips in your teeth. If small enough, the teeth can often be polished or re-contoured to improve the overall appearance. This is typically done without having to get the patient numb and can be very quick and easy for the patient and dentist. Often, when Dr. Alonso is already doing other cosmetic work in the front, Dr. Alonso will re-contour teeth at no charge. The re-contouring fee in our office is $174 for 1-2 teeth. With insurance coverage, this number can be much lower.
Gum re-contouring is a form of cosmetic dental treatment that can greatly improve your smile. In patients with high smile lines that show the gums, uneven gum contours can give a person’s smile an asymmetric appearance. Simple gum re-contouring can help improve a patient’s smile.
For patients with crowded, rotated, or misaligned teeth, orthodontics can be a great option. Orthodontics is the straightening of teeth. Many times, orthodontics can be a component of cosmetic dentistry that is done along with other procedures. Sometimes, orthodontics is all that is needed to improve a smile. Orthodontics is great because there is typically no tooth removal involved.
Traditionally, orthodontics is accomplished with metal braces and sometimes, metal braces are the best and most predictable choice. Orthodontics can also be accomplished with clear retainers. Some commonly known names for these include Invisalign and Clear Correct. These clear retainers incrementally move teeth into position. Trays are usually replaced every three weeks until the desired result is achieved. These are a great choice for patients who want to avoid traditional metal braces and that want a more cosmetic alternative. The cost in our office for orthodontics with clear aligners ranges from $2,500-$5,000 depending on how many aligners are needed. With insurance coverage, this number can be much lower.
Tooth-colored fillings, or bondings, on front teeth are another great option to improve your smile. For teeth with small chips, fractures, or cavities, a filling will many times be the best option. There are many benefits to tooth-colored fillings. Many times, they are a very conservative option that requires little and sometimes no tooth removal, thus preserving much of your natural tooth structure. The fillings are blended into the natural tooth so that they are virtually undetectable.
The cost for these fillings can range from $150-$226. We find that insurance will cover this procedure much of the time which significantly lowers the patient’s cost. Bondings are not ideal for every situation, however. The larger the amount of tooth a filling is replacing, the less successful the treatment is and the more benefit you would receive from a porcelain restoration.
With some small fractures, a tooth-colored filling material can be bonded to the teeth in order to correct small chips and minor stains on front teeth.
Porcelain veneers are frequently utilized to improve a patient’s smile. Discolored, fractured, decayed, rotated, short and misshapen teeth can be treated with porcelain veneers. A porcelain veneer is a porcelain facing that is bonded to the tooth. A minimal amount of tooth structure is removed to create the space for porcelain. Porcelain is then bonded to the front of the teeth in order to provide the most natural-looking restoration that dentistry has to offer. Porcelain veneers cost on average about $1,300 per tooth throughout the dental industry. Our price for a veneer is approximately $1,334.
Porcelain crowns will sometimes be the restoration of choice to improve a smile. Porcelain crowns are very similar to porcelain veneers except they cover the crown of the tooth entirely. Porcelain crowns are also aesthetically excellent and can look the same as veneers. In cases where multiple teeth are treated, veneers and crowns can be combined to create an aesthetically excellent result where the patient is unable to detect the difference between the two restorations. Porcelain crowns are often utilized in situations where there are larger fractures, larger areas of decay, and more of the overall tooth is already missing. Porcelain crowns are also placed on top of implants when replacing missing teeth.
The average price of a crown is about $1,500 throughout the dental industry. Our price for a single crown is $1,042. We find that insurance typically covers a portion of the crowns which significantly lowers the patient’s cost.
When a tooth is missing, this creates a space in your smile. In order to replace this space, a porcelain bridge is an option. A porcelain bridge is a dental procedure where the teeth on either side of the space are crowned. Between these crowned teeth, a tooth is added to create one solid piece that involves three teeth. This piece is then cemented and creates a beautiful replacement for a missing tooth.
Another option to replace a space in a person’s smile is a dental implant. A dental implant is a titanium screw in the form of a tooth root that is placed in the bone of the jaw. A porcelain crown is then placed over the top of the implant. This is an excellent way to conserve tooth structure because you restore the space without drilling on adjacent teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cosmetic dentistry worth the time and the cost?
Absolutely! I’ve had many patients that have come in that are afraid to smile because they are embarrassed of their teeth. Nobody should ever be afraid to smile. The most gratifying part of cosmetic dentistry is seeing people that are afraid to smile leave the office with a huge smile. It really can be a life-altering occurrence. A beautiful smile can brighten your day and it very simple.
The cost of cosmetic dentistry can vary. Because there are so many procedures within cosmetic dentistry, it is hard to give a cost without evaluating each case individually. Typically, cosmetic dentistry can be done without a large investment in time. Tooth re-contouring can sometimes be done in a couple of minutes while full-mouth veneers or crowns can sometime only take 2-4 appointments.
How long will my new smile last?
With good oral hygiene and regular cleanings, your smile can last the rest of your life. One thing to consider is if you grind your teeth. If so, your smile can still last a long time with a bite guard
How quickly will I be able to complete my cosmetic dentistry treatment?
An initial comprehensive exam should be completed first to understand all aspects of your bite and smile as well as dental health. It is important to not overlook things such as gum disease and cavities when evaluating a smile. It is also vital to have good photographs of your initial smile. A thorough consultation is also necessary. Maybe the most important aspect of a successful cosmetic case is communication. Having the dentist and patient on the same page and with the same expectations is a must. After these steps are completed, you are ready to get started. A comprehensive exam can usually last 1½-2 hours and a consultation can be done as soon as the next day.
The amount of time required to complete a cosmetic case can be as quick as a couple of minutes to sometimes multiple appointments. Things like tooth re-contouring can take as little as a couple of minutes. Whitening your teeth can sometimes be done at home or in about an hour in the office. Veneers and crowns usually take a couple appointments.