The Secret to Affordable Cosmetic Dental Services


Chances are, you’d like to enjoy a more attractive smile. In 2015, Dentistry Today reported on a “new study… the information indicated that 28 percent of people don’t show their smile when taking pictures on social media because they assume their teeth are unattractive. Also, 81 percent of people state that they believe their teeth look unattractive in photographs.” According to this study, you probably don’t feel great about the look of your smile, and you may even hide it in your selfies as a result. Furthermore, Dentistry Today reports that “42 percent of people said their smile was the first thing they would change about themselves and slightly more than one-third of the people [surveyed] said they were embarrassed by their smile.”

So, if you’re most likely unhappy with your teeth and would like to change the way they look, why haven’t you taken the plunge with cosmetic dentistry? You may assume that these sorts of treatments and procedures are simply too far out of your price range. However, this likely isn’t true. At our Houston dental practice, Dr. Cindy Flanagan and our team work to make aesthetic dentistry as accessible as possible. We want all of our patients to feel confident in their healthy, beautiful smiles!

We understand that confronting the cost of cosmetic dentistry can be difficult, and you might simply presume that these services are too expensive for you, but there are certain secrets to make enhancing your smile affordable. In the following blog, we share these tips and tricks with you.

Waiting Raises the Price of Cosmetic Dentistry

Since your mouth is such a delicate, intricate system, it requires regular care to maintain. The longer you leave oral conditions untreated, the worse they tend to get. Cavities get bigger and blacker, mild gingivitis progresses to severe periodontitis, and cracks in your enamel widen the longer you avoid seeing the dentist. As a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Public Health explains, “untreated oral diseases will not resolve if left untreated and can profoundly impact quality of life… untreated, caries and periodontitis ultimately lead to tooth loss.” With this in mind, what may have started as a relatively minor issue, such as a small cavity that could be repaired with a tooth-colored filling, can turn into a major problem that requires a dental crown or even extraction.

Unfortunately, many Americans neglect proper dental care. In 2014, a Gallup poll found that “about one in three U.S. adults… did not visit the dentist at some point in the past 12 months,” noting that “the American Dental Association recommends that adults develop a plan for dental visits with their dentist, but say even those at low risk of oral disease benefit from at least annual cleanings. Thus one in three American adults do not meet this minimum level of dental care.” At our office, Dr. Flanagan typically recommends that patients come in for preventive care appointments at least twice per year.

Failing to see a dentist regularly is not only bad for your dental health, but also your dental appearance. The longer you go without seeing a dentist, the more cosmetic work you’re likely to need if you decide you want to improve your smile’s appearance. Stains, cracks, spots, misalignment, and other aesthetic issues can accumulate and worsen. Of course, the more cosmetic considerations you have to take care of, the higher your bill is likely to be.

Therefore, one of the secrets to finding affordable cosmetic dental services is treating your teeth quickly. When you start to notice an aesthetic issue developing, you can address it for less by coming in to see your dentist right as soon as possible. In addition, since many cosmetic issues also present oral health risks, getting rapid cosmetic care can also help you preserve your dental and overall well-being.

A Gradual Approach to Beautifying Your Smile

Even if you’ve waited to work on the look of your teeth, you can still enhance it in an affordable way by seeking treatment in stages. If you’re worried about the cost of cosmetic dentistry, we recommend that you take your time. Although we live in a world that values immediate results, you don’t have to get everything fixed at once. You can spread out your smile makeover throughout the year. This makes funding it less stressful, since you can portion out a part of your monthly income toward your treatment and save for it. Dr. Flanagan and our team would be delighted to sit down with you and discuss how to plan your procedures over a matter of months or even years.

The Most Cost-Effective Options for Aesthetic Treatments

Not all cosmetic dentistry procedures are alike. Some cost much more than others. For instance, replacing every single tooth in your mouth with a custom-made dental implant-supported crown would be quite pricey. However, this type of expensive oral overhaul typically isn’t at all necessary to help you achieve the aesthetic results you want.

For more economical options, Dr. Flanagan and our team typically suggest:

  • Tooth-Colored Fillings. These restorations are an excellent combined cosmetic and medical treatment. They can both strengthen and beautify your teeth. If you have an unsightly dark cavity, we can fill it with a tooth-colored filling, expertly matched to the color of your natural enamel. In addition, if you have metal or gold fillings that you don’t like the look of, we can replace these with tooth-colored fillings.

  • Teeth Whitening.A 2012 American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey asked participants “what would you most like to improve about your smile?” and “the most common response was: whiter & brighter teeth.” Brown, yellow, or gray teeth are one of the most common cosmetic problems patients want to deal with. Imagine how much more confident you might feel if your teeth were just a few shades lighter. At Dr. Flanagan’s office, we offer both KöR Advanced Deep Bleaching and ZOOM! Whitening. These professional systems include both in-office and at-home treatments, making them convenient. They also deliver outstanding results without costing too much.

  • Invisalign. If your primary aesthetic concern is crooked or misaligned teeth, Invisalign may be a superb choice for you. While this treatment is more expensive than teeth whitening, it is a reasonable straightening option, especially since, like tooth-colored fillings, it provides both medical and cosmetic benefits. Furthermore, with Invisalign’s clear, thin aligners, you won’t have to suffer through the discomfort and noticeable appearance of traditional braces. These aligners are also removable, making it easier to eat, brush, and floss.

  • Porcelain Veneers. These thin enamel shells fit over the front and occasionally the sides of your teeth to instantly whiten and straighten them, as well as correcting their shape and size. While they are the most expensive treatment on this list, they are typically well worth the investment because they often last for many years, provide immediate outcomes, and simultaneously address numerous aesthetic problems.

These are just a few of the cost-effective cosmetic services we offer at our Houston dental office.

The Cosmetic Dentistry Process at Our Houston Dental Office

If you’re ready to beautify your smile, Dr. Flanagan and our team would be delighted to guide you through the process. While each case is unique, the steps to achieving a more attractive smile generally proceed as follows:

  1. Make an appointment. We look forward to seeing you! If it’s been six months or more since your last professional cleaning and examination, you should schedule that visit for the same day.

  2. Undergo a cosmetic dental evaluation. Dr. Flanagan will examine your teeth and gums visually and with various tools. We may also take x-rays of your teeth.

  3. Discuss your needs, concerns, and preferences. As the saying goes, “beauty is the eye of the beholder,” so it’s important to share what you want for your smile. Let Dr. Flanagan know what bothers you about its appearance, what you love about your teeth, and any other pertinent details, such as your budget. The more information you provide, the better we can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

  4. Receive your custom cosmetic treatment plan and timeline. Using the information we’ve gathered, Dr. Flanagan will create a personalized cosmetic dentistry plan for you. You’ll probably be surprised at the number of options and solutions available to improve your smile’s appearance. Dr. Flanagan will take all of your cosmetic considerations,  medical needs, and finances into account when she creates a specific combination and schedule of procedures for you. For example, she may recommend Invisalign followed by tooth whitening to correct crookedness and discoloration. As we’ve discussed above, you may also spread your treatments throughout the year to help make them more affordable.

  5. Have your cosmetic procedures. Dr. Flanagan and our team will guide you through each treatment, ensuring you are comfortable, safe, and happy with your results.

  6. Come back for additional appointments as needed. We will want to check up on your cosmetic outcomes from time to time. You may also need to undergo maintenance treatments. For instance, if you whiten your teeth, but they become stained again after a few years of coffee and chocolate, you may want to come in for a touch-up.

  7. Enjoy your new smile! This is the best part. We love seeing your confident new smile as you walk out of our office beaming.

If you’re interested in beginning this process, we’d be happy to help you! All you need to do is take the first step and schedule an appointment with Dr. Flanagan.

Contact Our Houston Dental Office Today for a Cosmetic Consultation!

Improving the look of your smile is likely more affordable than you think. Dr. Flanagan and our team are here to help you enjoy all the advantages of healthy, gorgeous teeth. Contact our Houston dental practice todayto schedule your cosmetic consultation!

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