Dr. Stephen G. Alfano practices as a dentist, serving the Newport Beach, California, and surrounding area out of Balboa Island Dentistry. He possesses a degree from the University of Texas Dental School and provides a wide range of basic dental treatments and specialized services such as cosmetic dentistry.

Cosmetic Dentistry Q & A

What’s Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is an area of dentistry that includes procedures with the sole purpose of affecting the aesthetic appearance of the patient’s teeth.

Are Cosmetic Dental Procedures Covered by Insurance?

In a majority of cases, the procedures aren’t covered since they don’t serve any medical purpose. In order to qualify for insurance coverage, a procedure needs to be necessary or help a person’s health in some way, shape or form.

What Types of Procedures Classify as Cosmetic?

Patients who want to change the appearance of their teeth may undergo procedures such as veneers, crowns, reshaping, resizing, implants, bonding or whitening. Of all cosmetic procedures, whitening is the most frequently sought.

What Are the Risks of Cosmetic Dentistry?

Some patients may experience pain or sensitivity after having a cosmetic dental procedure. However, most patients undergo a procedure and feel nothing after the procedure. With some procedures such as dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or crowns, the patient may develop pain or an infection. This occurs in patients who already have an infection, and it’s not treated adequately prior to the procedure. The infection continues until the patient requires a root canal. With a highly skilled Prosthodontist like Dr. Alfano, the risk of complication is minimized. Any procedure that introduces a foreign material, including a composite filling or crown, may lead to an unpleasant reaction.

Are the Results of Cosmetic Dentistry Permanent?

The results of a cosmetic dentistry procedure aren’t always permanent, but this is completely dependent upon the procedure. Whitening is a temporary change in the tooth’s color, and the teeth may become stained again if the patient doesn’t change certain habits or maintain the whitening with a take-home gel. Veneers tend to last up to 10 years but may last much longer. Dental implants may last a lifetime. Dental bonding lasts for quite some time as long as patients don’t partake in behaviors such as biting their fingernails or chewing on pens.