Cosmetic Dentistry vs Orthodontics

Crooked, uneven, or poorly spaced teeth cause many people to be self-conscious about their smile. Some people assume the only way to fix their teeth is to visit an orthodontist. However, cosmetic dentistry in Hunt Valley, MD , includes numerous services that can drastically improve the appearance of the teeth without the cost and time required for orthodontics. Here's what you need to know about the main differences between orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry, and how cosmetic dentistry procedures can improve your smile.



The main goal of orthodontics is to correct the position of the teeth, not only so they look straighter and more uniform, but also to make sure the bite is correct. An improper bite can affect facial structure development, chewing effectiveness, and speech. This requires corrective braces and devices and time to correct the problems. 

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry also focuses on the appearance of the teeth in addition to providing services for basic oral hygiene. Many of the procedures a cosmetic dentist offers are meant to correct the damage caused by decay or injury that also affects how the teeth look. There are several procedures the dentist may recommend to achieve this goal.


Whitening is one of the most basic services a cosmetic dentist offers. It doesn't affect the structure or position of the teeth, but it can drastically improve the appearance of the teeth by lightening the shade. A dentist may provide a custom-molded tray for you to whiten at home, or in-office whitening may also be offered which is faster and lasts for a long time.



A porcelain veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that's attached to the front of the teeth. Veneers often are used to treat discolored or broken teeth, but they can also be placed with a few in a row to cover the appearance of uneven or misaligned teeth.


Dental bonding also can help address uneven teeth when there are gaps between them, but rather than moving the teeth with braces to get rid of the gap, the gaps themselves are filled with a tooth-colored resin. This special material is bonded directly to the teeth with a special light. The resin hardens and can be shaped to improve the overall appearance of the teeth.


Dental bridges are another common cosmetic dentistry option that's used to replace missing teeth. A bridge requires the use of crowns on the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth. One or more false teeth can then be held in place by these crowns to fill the gaps. There are other types of bridges that may use a crown on only one side, or the bridge may be held in place by a framework bonded to the back of the teeth. Some bridges may be supported by dental implants.


Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth. The process involves a few months because titanium posts must be surgically implanted into the jawbone. This post eventually fuses with the jawbone, and a small connector post called an abutment is attached to the post. A crown is eventually attached to the abutment. The result is permanent teeth that look, feel, and act like your natural teeth.

If you feel like you could benefit from one or more of these procedures, contact Maryland Elite Dentistry to learn more.

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224 Schilling Circle, Suite 272 | Hunt Valley, MD 21031

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9:00 am-5:00 pm


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