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Cosmetic Dentistry – Rancho Bernardo, CA

Visit an Expert on Beautiful Smiles

Not only does Dr. Howard offer many different dental treatments to enhance your smile’s appearance, but he is one of only 466 dentists in the world that are
Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. This on top of his many years of experience helping neighbors in Rancho Bernardo and beyond achieve the smile of their dreams is exactly what makes him stand out from the rest in terms of cosmetic dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, CA. To start planning your smile makeover,
give him a call!

Actual patient with flawless smile after cosmetic dentistry


Why Choose Nelson Y. Howard, D.D.S. for Cosmetic Dentistry?

  • Durable, Natural-
    Looking Ceramic
  • Convenient
    Take-Home Whitening
  • AACD-Accredited
    Dentist Serving
    You Care

Porcelain Veneers

Patient's smile after porcelain veneers

One of the most comprehensive solutions for imperfections in teeth are Porcelain Veneers. These ultra-thin sheaths of dental ceramic are customized in every single way, ensuring that they look like a natural part of your smile and look lifelike next to your existing teeth. Everything from the color to the shape to the size are personalized to your smile, so no one other than you and your dentist will know that you have veneers placed!

Learn About Veneers

Metal-Free Dental Restorations

Closeup of smile after metal free dental restorations

Cosmetic dentistry wouldn’t be very effective it the restorations used weren’t made from tooth-colored materials! Instead of utilizing metal materials like silver, gold, nickel or copper to create dental restorations, we always utilized high-quality ceramics and composite resins. In the case of dental crowns, ceramics are molded and shaped to best fit over your damaged teeth, then custom-shaded so they blend in with your smile as closely as possible. With proper care, your metal-free restorations should last for many years.

Dental Bonding

Closeup of smile after dental bonding

When you only have minor imperfections you want to address, such as permanent stains that teeth whitening can’t fix, cosmetic cracks and chips that do not need dental fillings or crowns, or gaps that you’d prefer to fill without using orthodontics, direct bonding is a great solution. This treatment uses composite resin to treat small imperfections in teeth and often takes just one appointment to complete. With regular brushing and flossing, direct bonding can last for up to many years without any issues.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

Patient using at home teeth whitening kit

Considered to be one of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry out there, at-home teeth whitening is a fantastic solution for addressing tough stains on teeth that no amount of brushing seems to resolve. This whitening kit from Opalescence is filled with professional-grade teeth whitening gel that you won’t be able to find in stores. It’s much more powerful than the ingredients found in whitening strips and “whitening toothpastes” and gives your smile a professionally whitened appearance after about two weeks of daily use.

Learn About Teeth Whitening

Gum Recontouring/ Crown Lengthening

Actual patient smiling after gum recontouring

Is there too much gum tissue above your teeth? Feel like you have more gum tissue on your teeth than what is normal? While this appearance can develop as a result of genetics, it does not cause any harm to your oral health. However, if you wish more of your natural teeth were visible in your smile, gum recontouring is a perfect solution! To complete this treatment, we utilize our in-house soft tissue diode laser. If you need to have a restoration placed but gum tissue is getting in the way of treatment, we may also perform this procedure.

Understanding the Cost of Cosmetic Dentistry

Closeup of dental tools on money representing cost of cosmetic dentistry Rancho Bernardo

Are you ready to visit an expert on beautiful smiles? When you come see us for a cosmetic consultation, we’ll discuss your goals for your smile and evaluate your oral health. Then, we’ll be able to fully explain all your treatment options, including their estimated price. Even though cosmetic dentistry isn’t usually covered by dental insurance, we’re proud to offer a variety of services at different price points so anyone can improve their smile without breaking the bank! Read on as we cover some important information about the cost of cosmetic dentistry in Rancho Bernardo.

What Cosmetic Dental Service is Right for Me?

woman enjoying her smile after paying for cosmetic dentistry Rancho Bernardo

What are you looking to change about your teeth? Cosmetic dentistry can help you improve their size, shape, color, or even a combination of these factors! We’re happy to offer numerous different cosmetic services that can help you get the smile of your dreams while still fitting into your budget. A few of our most popular options include:

  • Dental Bonding – This quick, easy, and cost-effective service is ideal for correcting minor flaws in the teeth, like chips, cracks, stains, and gaps. It’s important to keep in mind that it will need to be redone every several years.
  • At-Home Teeth Whitening – Our teeth whitening treatments are a reliable and affordable way to make a big difference in your smile from the comfort of home! While the whitening will take years of staining off your smile for up to a year, it naturally won’t change the shape or size of your teeth.
  • Veneers – Veneers are one of the more costly cosmetic services available, but for good reason. They can correct all manner of dental imperfections with truly flawless results. Plus, veneers are stain-resistant and can last 15 years or longer.
  • Gum Recontouring – If your teeth seem small or your smile looks “gummy,” gum recontouring can quickly and easily remove excess tissue to reveal the natural beauty of your smile. While this won’t physically change anything about your teeth, it can make a huge difference in your appearance, as well as your candidacy for other cosmetic services.

Cosmetic Dentistry Can Be An Investment Worth Making

hand holding tooth and coins representing cost of cosmetic dentistry in Rancho Bernardo

Cosmetic dentistry is about so much more than improving the appearance of your smile. In fact, getting the pearly whites of your dreams could potentially boost nearly every aspect of your life! Studies show that those with a beautiful smile are statistically more likely to make a good first impression, get a second date, and land a job or raise. Plus, you’ll be naturally more inclined to smile, which researchers have found to be linked to lower stress, higher self-confidence, and better overall health.

How to Make Cosmetic Dentistry Affordable

receptionist and patient discussing how to pay for cosmetic dentistry in Rancho Bernardo

Dental insurance rarely covers cosmetic dentistry. However, that doesn’t mean that your smile has to be financially out of reach! We’re proud to partner with CareCredit, a third-party financing company, to offer a variety of payment plans. These low- to no-interest plans can help break up the cost of your treatment into smaller, more manageable chunks that fit into your monthly budget. To learn more about the cost of improving your smile with cosmetic dentistry or to apply for CareCredit financing, don’t hesitate to contact us online or at (760) 599-6559.

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs


Cosmetic dentistry is a big investment, so it's normal to have a few concerns before you're ready to move forward. Your cosmetic dentist in Rancho Bernardo, Dr. Nelson Y. Howard, understands you might be a little apprehensive. He'll explain everything during your consultation, and you can also contact our office if you have any questions. While you wait for your appointment, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions to help determine if cosmetic dentistry is right for you.


Which Cosmetic Procedures Are Right for Me?

Every mouth and situation is unique, so there's no way to know which procedures you'll need without first having your consultation. Your cosmetic dentist will examine your mouth and learn more about your goals to recommend a treatment plan, like:

  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Metal-Free Dental Restorations
  • Dental Bonding
  • At-Home Teeth Whitening
  • Gum Recontouring

Does Cosmetic Dentistry Hurt?

Your comfort is always our top priority. A local numbing agent may be used to block any pain signals, but it isn't always necessary. You may feel some unusual sensations or pressure, but you will not have any outright pain. Depending on your procedure, your mouth may be a little tender for a couple of days after the effects of any numbing medications dissipate. You can manage it with an over-the-counter pain reliever and applying a cold compress. Your dentist will review any additional aftercare instructions before you go home, like eating soft foods.

How Long Does Cosmetic Dentistry Last?

Every procedure has a different life expectancy and many factors will affect the duration of your results. You can get the most from your investment by committing to your oral hygiene. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. Use waxed dental floss to clean between each tooth at least once daily. It's best to break any bad habits that can damage your results, like chewing on your fingernails or using your teeth in place of scissors. Limit your consumption of sugars and starches to keep cavities away. Besides caring for your mouth at home, visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. We will keep your teeth and gums healthy to ensure your stunning smile lasts.

Can I Use My Dental Insurance for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Most dental insurance will not cover cosmetic dentistry because it is considered elective, but there are exceptions. Your benefits may include your consultation or any diagnostic imaging. Your insurance may also pay some of the expenses for any medically necessary procedures. A member of our office will work on your behalf with your dental insurance to maximize any applicable coverage. They will explain how your policy is being used and your payment options for any remaining balance, like CareCredit. We will help you find the solutions you need to invest in a flawless smile while staying within your budget.