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Is There an Ideal Order to Receive Cosmetic Dental Treatments?

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

7 minute read

Cosmetic Dental treatment patient happy in dental chair

When seeking to achieve a perfect smile, you may not think too much about a specific order to undergo treatments or use your budget as a guide. However, for the best results, there are some guidelines that can help you plan your cosmetic dentistry procedures. With various cosmetic dental treatments available, understanding the ideal sequence to receive them is crucial for optimal results and efficiency. This blog will explain that while it may be obvious that cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues must be addressed first, there is also a proper order to receive the following elective and cosmetic dentistry treatments.

When Should I Get My Dental Treatment?

A beautiful smile is a calling card to the world of your joy and happiness. But dental health, like any aspect of physical health, needs to be protected. If you don’t plan, you plan to fail, and that’s why the timing of your treatments should be considered.

1. Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment, including braces or clear aligners, is often the first step in a comprehensive cosmetic dental plan. The goal of any orthodontic procedure is to correct misaligned teeth and bite issues to create a more effective and harmonious smile. By addressing alignment issues first, you lay the foundation for other cosmetic treatments to be more effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Why Start with Orthodontic Treatment?

  • Corrects Alignment Issues: Straightening teeth and adjusting bite issues provides a uniform structure for subsequent treatments.
  • Improves Oral Health: Properly positioned teeth are easier to keep clean, reducing the risk of decay and gum disease.
  • Enhances Aesthetics: A well-aligned smile creates a balanced look that can be further enhanced with other treatments.

Orthodontic treatment can take several months or years, depending on the complexity of the case. Patience and compliance with your orthodontist’s instructions are essential for the best results.

2. Dental Implant Placement (Insertion of the Posts)

Once your teeth are properly aligned, the next step is to address any missing teeth with implants. Dental implants consist of artificial roots (titanium posts) inserted into the jawbone and porcelain crowns to provide a replacement that looks, feels, and functions like natural teeth.

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • Restores Dental Function: Implants function like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile confidently.
  • Prevents Bone Loss: Missing tooth roots deprive the jaw of the stimulation necessary to prevent bone loss that often occurs with missing teeth. Dental implants comprehensively replace teeth, including roots, to preserve jawbone health.
  • Provides Stability: Implants offer a secure foundation for crowns and other prosthetic teeth, ensuring longevity and durability.
  • Natural Look and Feel: Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth. You can care for them the same way and never worry about them looking fake or losing them.

The implant placement process involves a healing period (osseointegration), during which the posts fuse with the jawbone. This healing can take several months, but it is essential for the long-term success of the implants.

If You Choose A Fixed Dental Bridge

When replacing a missing tooth with a traditional dental bridge when you have stains on your natural teeth, consider a professional teeth whitening treatment first. Dental restorations cannot be lightened after placement and may interfere with ideal whitening results later.

3. Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is best performed after orthodontic treatment and initial implant placement but before any final restorations such as crowns or veneers. Whitening your teeth at this stage ensures that your natural teeth and any subsequent restorations match in color, creating a radiant, cohesive smile.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

  • Enhances Appearance: Whitening removes stains and discoloration, making your smile look brighter and more youthful.
  • Smile Confidently: The number one reason individuals hide their teeth is because of dental discoloration. A bright smile allows you to express yourself genuinely and freely.
  • Sets a Color Baseline: Whitening establishes the desired shade for your smile, which can be matched for crowns, veneers, and bonding.

It’s important to undergo professional whitening to achieve consistent and safe results. Over-the-counter products may not provide the same level of effectiveness and can cause sensitivity or uneven coloring.

4. Crowns, Bridges, and Implant Completion

After teeth whitening, it’s time to add any necessary dental restorations, such as crowns and bridges. If dental implant posts have been placed, the process can be completed by placing crowns.

What is the Purpose of Crowns, Bridges, and Implants?

  • Restores Function and Appearance: Dental restorations restore the appearance and function of broken, decayed, or missing teeth. Your restorations are color-matched to your natural or whitened teeth to integrate with your smile seamlessly.
  • Implant Completion: Crowns on implants look and function like natural teeth, providing a stable, secure, and attractive smile.
  • Customizable: Crowns and bridges are customized to match the color, size, and shape of existing natural teeth.

Regular dental exams and proper oral hygiene habits are crucial to maintain the longevity of dental restorations.

5. Porcelain Veneers or Bonding

Porcelain veneers or dental bonding are often the final touches in a cosmetic dental treatment plan or smile makeover. These procedures address imperfections such as chips, cracks, gaps, and minor misalignments that were not corrected by orthodontics.

Why Conclude with Veneers or Bonding?

Porcelain Veneers

  • Aesthetic Perfection: Veneers provide a flawless, natural-looking finish, covering imperfections and creating a uniform smile.
  • Durability: Porcelain veneers are strong, durable, and resistant to staining, ensuring a long-lasting smile enhancement.

Dental Bonding

  • Cost-Effective: Bonding is more affordable than porcelain veneers and can be completed in a single visit.
  • Minimally Invasive: Bonding involves less removal of the natural tooth structure compared to veneers.
  • Immediate Results: Composite resin veneers can be completed in one visit, while porcelain veneers require at least two dental appointments.

Discuss with your dentist whether veneers or bonding is more suitable for your needs. Veneers are a more permanent and durable solution, while bonding is less invasive and more budget-friendly.

Final Tips for a Successful Smile Makeover


Honest and open communication with your dentist is vital. Discuss your goals, concerns, and expectations at each stage to ensure the treatments align with your desired outcome.

Patience and Commitment

Achieving a perfect smile takes time and dedication. Be patient and committed to the process, understanding that each step is essential for long-lasting and beautiful results.

Follow Post-Procedure Instructions

Following your dentist’s instructions is crucial to achieve ideal results and minimize the risk of complications, whether receiving a simple whitening treatment or replacing multiple missing teeth with implants.

Choosing the right order for cosmetic dental treatments is essential for achieving the best possible outcome. Starting with orthodontic treatment sets the foundation for a well-aligned smile, followed by dental implant placement to address missing teeth.

Professional teeth whitening ensures a bright baseline for your smile, which is then complemented by crowns and completed implants. Finally, porcelain veneers or bonding provide the finishing touches, addressing any remaining imperfections and perfecting your smile.

By following this sequence and working closely with your dental professional, you can achieve a healthy, bright, beautiful, and confident smile.

Your Beverly Hills, California Smile Makeover Specialist

Dr. Kevin Sands is a well-known and highly respected cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills, CA. His VIP treatment isn’t reserved for his celebrity patients. Learn more about your smile makeover options by calling our Beverly Hills dentist at 310.273.0111.