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Let's face it: We're a beauty-driven species. The Egyptians kicked off the beauty culture in 10,000 B.C. by developing cosmetic products to soften wrinkles and get rid of stretch marks. Fast forward to today and there's no doubt that more and more people are obsessed with their looks and their smiles. In lieu of expensive, time-consuming and painful cosmetic surgery, many people are now looking to cosmetic dentists for help.

Cosmetic dentistry is somewhat of a subjective label; it's not an officially recognized specialty of the American Dental Association. That means that no special training is required. In fact, all general dentists are cosmetic dentists.

Some choose to differentiate themselves from general dentists because they believe that cosmetic dentists have a greater standard of beauty, believe in the art of smile design and seek continuing education simply for the passion of creating more beautiful smiles.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

According to the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, the top cosmetic dental treatments are:

- Teeth Whitening -- Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dental procedure for lightening (bleaching) teeth.

- Dental Bonding -- Dental bonding is an option for fixing a broken tooth, chipped tooth or cracked teeth.

- Dental Implants -- Dental implants are considered by some to be more attractive than dentures for replacing missing teeth.

- Dental Veneers -- Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed for closing gaps or disguising stained teeth that don't respond well to whitening treatments.

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