Cosmetic dentistry encompasses not only the health of the teeth, but also their aesthetic value. Various products and procedures exist within cosmetic dentistry with the goal of improving both the well-being and visual beauty of the teeth, giving the individual a higher level of self confidence in themselves and their appearance.
Veneers are very thin, tooth-colored shells that are custom-fit and bonded to the front of the teeth to give you an attractive smile. Veneers make it possible to correct a variety of color and shape problems.
There are two kinds of veneers:
- Composite veneers: a special plastic is molded and bonded directly to the tooth in one appointment.
- Porcelain veneers: thin shells are custom-made in a lab and applied to the teeth. These require two appointments: one for taking an Impression and a second for buffing down the natural teeth so they will maintain their size with the veneers and then placing the veneers. Lumineers and Vivaneers are new kinds of porcelain veneers that are so thin they don’t require any tooth-buffing before placement.
A crown is a dental restoration that can restore a weakened or broken tooth to its original shape, size and function. Some of the best crowns available today are:
- Lava Crowns: These all-ceramic crowns use translucent zirconia that can be custom colored. Strong enough for long-span bridges, they offer an aesthetically pleasing look and perfect fit.
- Emax Crowns: A relatively new form of ceramic crown, Emax is not only particularly strong, but it can be thinned enough to use with veneers.
- Procera Crowns: An all-porcelain crown, Procera is very attractive aesthetically, but not the strongest material available, making it susceptible to breakage over time.
- Bruxzir Crowns: These crowns are make of solid zirconia without a porcelain overlay, making them resistant to chipping. They also feature a smooth surface, which offers protection from plaque.
Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. Bridges are either fixed or removable. Fixed bridges are cemented to the existing teeth and do not come out. Removable bridges can be taken out.
The filling of dental cavities with unsightly metal alloys has been used throughout the history of dentistry. Contemporary fillings, however, are usually tooth colored and practically invisible to the untrained eye. These tooth-colored fillings can be used to replace old and worn silver amalgam, gold or other metal fillings for aesthetic purposes.
These new substances have a white color and can be made from several different substances, including composite resin, glass ionomer cement (GIC), and porcelain ceramics. These materials are very resilient and long lasting in addition to their visual advantages, but can become discolored over time. Just like metal fillings, these can be set and cured within one visit to the dentist, although they may take a little bit longer.
Teeth can become stained and discolored for a myriad of reasons. Smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and taking certain medications can all make our smile less than brilliant. Thankfully, cosmetic teeth whitening can be a solution. Typical kits require nightly use of the product for one to two weeks. The toothpastes generally contain minerals designed to erode the colored food particles and stains on the tooth surface during daily brushing; toothpaste does not alter the intrinsic shade of the teeth whatsoever.
Generally, tooth bleaching is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth whitening if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. We offer Zoom!, an in-office whitening system that whitens your teeth and brightens your smile in just one hour or less.
The Zoom! chairside whitening system is a safe, effective and fast way to brighten your teeth in a single office visit. The Zoom! procedure is much more convenient than wearing trays or strips, making it a great choice for our busy patients.
ZOOM! whitening is coupled with our take-home Nite-White system to give you state-of-the-art tooth whitening. We also offer the Rembrandt™ One-Hour Smile Whitening Program. The Sapphire Plasma Arc Light from Den-Mat Corporation is the foundation of the Program. The light is used to individually whiten teeth for uniform shade consistency or for dual-arch whitening.
Dental bonding is a special filling that can restore, reshape and rejuvenate the teeth, improving both the function and the appearance of your smile. By applying a thin layer of tooth-colored plastic to the front of the tooth and sculpting it like clay, your dentist may use bonding to correct chipped or cracked teeth, broken or misshapen teeth, stained teeth or spaces between the teeth.
During the bonding treatment, an etching solution is applied to the tooth, which roughens the surface for a stronger bond between the tooth and the plastic. A thin layer of bonding resin is then placed on the surface of the tooth and sealed in place with a special light. The bonding material is then sculpted to the desired shape and colors to match your natural teeth. The results of the dental bonding procedure usually last for about ten years.
Enamel reshaping is a procedure where a tiny portion of tooth enamel is removed to subtly improve the overall appearance of the teeth and smile. Here are a few issues that enamel contouring can address:
- Teeth that are different lengths. Contouring can provide a more even smile.
- Teeth that are rough or uneven. When teeth have small imperfections, enamel contouring can often smooth things out.
- Teeth that are overlapping. In many cases, we can make it appear as if the teeth are straighter and less crowded than they are.