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“Is a dental implant considered cosmetic?” This is one of the first questions patients ask when wondering, “Is a dental implant covered by my dental insurance?”

With nearly $6.9 billion spent on cosmetic dentistry in 2020 alone, it’s a large part of the dental industry. But that still doesn’t answer the big question: What is considered cosmetic dentistry? 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures and list other treatments that are not considered cosmetic dentistry.

What Is Cosmetic Dental Treatment?

Cosmetic dentistry prioritizes aesthetics over function. It includes any dental work that enhances the appearance of your teeth, gums, and/or bite. Below is a list of some common cosmetic dental treatments.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments. This procedure can be performed in a dentist’s office or at home using over-the-counter products. Zoom teeth whitening is a professional teeth whitening treatment we perform at Northside Dental Co. It uses a bleaching gel and special light to remove stains and discoloration from your teeth.


Invisalign is another popular cosmetic dentistry treatment. It’s a great teeth straightening option for all ages and significantly less noticeable than braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners that patients change every week to straighten their teeth gradually. Unlike braces, Invisalign can be removed when you eat, drink anything but water, and brush your teeth.


Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells bonded to the front of your teeth. They’re used to improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, stained, or misshapen. Veneers can be made from porcelain or composite resin. They’re a popular choice for people who want to improve the appearance of their smile without undergoing major dental work.

Other types of cosmetic dental treatments that you can explore more include partial dentures or flippers and bonding. Now that you know what is considered cosmetic dental treatment let’s discuss what’s not.

What Is Not Considered Cosmetic Dentistry?

In this section, we provide answers to the following frequently asked questions:

The answer to these questions is no; cosmetic dentistry and implants are mutually exclusive. Implants, as well as dental bridges, fall under restorative dentistry, not cosmetic. Restorative dentistry focuses on procedures that keep your mouth healthy and functional. 

Here’s a list of restorative dental services:

In short, any dental treatment focused on enhancing your smile’s appearance is considered cosmetic. On the other hand, restorative dentistry refers to preventative and corrective treatments that improve your oral health.

*Dental crowns are usually covered by insurance under restorative dentistry; however, front crowns are denied if there is not enough proof for medical necessity. 

**Dental bridges can be considered cosmetic depending on the circumstance, but they generally fall under the restorative dentistry category.

Schedule Your Next Cosmetic Dental Appointment With Northside Dental Co.

Now that you know more about cosmetic dentistry, it’s time to schedule your next appointment with Northside Dental Co. 

From cosmetic to restorative dentistry – and everything in between – our experienced dental team offers a wide range of dental procedures. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to dentistry. Instead, we work with you to find the best treatment type and personalize it to fit your unique needs. The result? A healthy, happy smile that you love showing off.

To schedule an appointment, book online today or call the office at 804-767-3410. Our team is always happy to answer any additional questions you may have about cosmetic dentistry.