Make Over Your Mouth.
From a mere cleaning to tooth whitening to "smile design," a trip to the dentist can be a cosmetic experience these days.
The Architecture of a Smile continued...
Often the jaw can be repositioned without surgery, but sometimes an oral
surgeon may need to join the team. As part of a "whole mouth
rehabilitation," as Bellen terms it, some people need to have a severely
recessed or protruding jaw corrected.
How much you want done depends on how much time you're willing to commit to
it, and how much money you have at your disposal. Strictly cosmetic dental work
isn't covered by insurance, and the cost can be steep. Veneers, for example,
may cost as little as $250 and as much as $2,000 -- per tooth.
Again, you would be paying for a lot of time in the chair. Bellen says he
sometimes works on a single patient for a full eight-hour day. What's more, the
end result can take many months to accomplish. "There are cases I have in
progress right now that have been going on for a year," he says.
But for some, an elaborate and costly production may be worth it in the end.
"People smile more when they have nice-looking teeth," Bellen says.
"Your whole face brightens up."