How to Get a Great Smile FAQ

I don't like my teeth or my smile — what can I do?

A wide variety of options are available to improve tooth function and how your smile looks. Check out our “Cosmetic Procedures” section to see how other patients with similar problems were helped, then look for an AACD dentist near you to get started on your new smile.

How much does it cost to get a great smile?

Like most services, cost varies based on the amount of time required and the difficulty of the procedure(s). Generally, improving a smile requires a combination of treatment options such as bleaching, reshaping gums, and using bonded materials (resin or porcelain) to improve the appearance of the teeth. A great way to start is by having a consultation with an AACD dentist to determine how you can reach your goals. Improving your smile is an investment in you.

I have dental insurance. Will it pay for my new smile?

Most dental insurance has very low total benefits per year, which may offset the cost for regular checkups, but probably won’t pay toward cosmetic services. Insurance is a business; thus, your carrier will often contract to pay for the least expensive option instead of the best solution for your particular needs or desires. Many AACD dentists will work to maximize your benefits, and may have suggestions for alternative methods of financing so you can obtain the treatment of choice.

What are some benefits of cosmetic dentistry?

A great smile should improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on the social and professional aspects of your life. Cosmetic dentistry is not just about pretty smiles though. New techniques and materials are available for back teeth as well as those seen when you smile. Now your mouth can look great, get healthy, and function better, all at the same time. Ask an AACD member dentist what’s available for you.

Why should I go to an AACD dentist?

AACD member dentists have shown a special interest in new technologies and procedures, specifically to help them achieve better results for you. The AACD provides a wide variety of educational and mentoring opportunities to assist member dentists in attaining the best possible clinical skills to help promote excellent care for their patients.

What is AACD Accreditation?

Accreditation is a rigorous test of skills in cosmetic dentistry, developed by the AACD more than 25 years ago, and supervised by the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dentists and dental laboratory technicians who carry this credential have submitted documentation and actual dental cases of exceptional work to a panel of examiners, and after a rigorous testing and peer review process, have been awarded the “AACD Accredited” designation.

How many office visits will it take to fix my teeth and improve my smile?

This varies with each individual, depending on the need. Sometimes, you can dramatically improve your oral health and appearance in just a couple of visits. Most AACD dentists will work to make your treatment as convenient as possible, perhaps choosing slightly longer visits instead of frequent trips to the office. Discuss your goals and concerns with your dentist so the best plan can be developed for your individual situation. If you start today, a new smile can be yours sooner than you think.

What will my new smile look like?

Your AACD dentist will work with you in choosing the right look for you. A smile enhancement can be made to look both dramatic and natural. Your dentist can use photographs (in a process called cosmetic imaging) and models to show you what to expect. Sometimes, trial materials can be placed directly on your teeth to help you visualize the change. Ask your dentist what can be done to give you the smile you desire.

Is my new smile permanent?

With good home care and regular visits to your dentist, modern materials can last for many years, and possibly decades. Like most things, excellent maintenance will extend the life of your dental restorations.