Cosmetic dentistry is the art of dental procedures focused on restoring teeth to their natural looking beauty, and enhancing a smile’s esthetic appearance, while also maintaining the health and function of the teeth. Cosmetic dentistry improves your self-image; enhancing the patient’s smile often results in a positive emotional and psychological impact on a person’s life.
There are many new dental procedures and techniques used in cosmetic dentistry. They include, but are not limited to:
Dental bonding is used for many reasons, including restoration of chipped, broken or decayed teeth, to reshape or whiten your smile, or to fill in gaps between the teeth. Bonding can also be used to attach bridges and crowns.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, which is surgically anchored into the bone in order to secure a replacement tooth or bridge in place. Implants are stable and are not reliant on neighboring teeth for support. They are an ideal tooth replacement procedure because they look and feel like natural teeth. Implants are great for patients who are unable to wear dentures. Instead, the implant is placed to support cemented bridges.
Tooth whitening is a process that bleaches the enamel to lighten and remove tooth discoloration and stains from teeth. Tooth discoloration can be caused many factors, including: beverages that stain (such as coffee, teas, and colas), tobacco, trauma, tetracycline (antibiotic) staining, excessive fluoride, and nerve degeneration.
Research and clinical studies show that under the supervision of your dentist, whitening teeth with carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide is safe for both teeth and gums. These whiteners usually come in a gel form and are applied by the use of a custom-fitted mouth guard, which we will make for you, fitting your teeth precisely.
Composite resin is an acrylic-based tooth colored material made out of glass and resin. Composite resin is a favored material used by dentists in tooth fillings and for repairing defects in the teeth. Although composite fillings tend to be a little more expensive than amalgam (silver) fillings, the obvious advantage is that it is difficult to distinguish composite from natural teeth. Composites are often used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but can be used on back teeth as well.
Some advantages of using composite tooth colored fillings:
A porcelain veneer is a thin shell of ceramic material placed over the natural tooth surface. The dentist will first prepare the tooth by removing a small amount of the tooth, to allow for the thickness of the veneer. Next the dentist will take a mold of the teeth and the veneers will be fabricated from the mold. Finally, the veneers are bonded or cemented to the natural tooth.
Veneers are used to cover discoloration and imperfections. Porcelain veneers are also an effective substitution for crowns for the front teeth, as they can aesthetically change the size, color and shape of the teeth. Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining – including stains from coffee, tea, and cigarettes, and last for years.
A dental crown is tooth-shaped cap that is cemented over a tooth, in order to restore the tooth’s strength, shape and size, and improve its appearance. The crown will cover the visible portion of the tooth above and right at the gum line, once it is cemented into place.
Crowns are used to hold weak, broken or cracked teeth together to avoid further fracturing. Crowns are also used to support large fillings, attach a bridge, or cover discolored or deformed teeth. Crowns may also be placed over dental implants.
In almost all cases we use porcelain crowns. With porcelain crowns you don't see the dark line that makes older crowns unsightly.