Popular Cosmetic Dentistry
A beautiful smile can give you a significant confidence boost, enhance your communication skills and improve your appearance.
Your smile is the first thing others usually notice. It says a lot about you. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, we are very fortunate to be living in the twenty-first century. There are so many advancements and choices, such as bleaching, bonding, crowns and veneers. Let’s review each of them.
If you’re satisfied with the shape of your teeth but want to whiten the natural shade of your enamel, bleaching is a good choice. Teeth become discolored over time from the foods and drinks we ingest and from smoking or chewing tobacco. Even if your teeth aren’t stained, you may just want to brighten them up. Professional bleaching is a chemical procedure used to whiten teeth. The system we use in our office is safe and effective. We take impressions of your teeth and make special thin trays that custom fit your teeth. We dispense a gel containing carbamide peroxide that is placed in the trays daily. We customize the strength of the gel and recommend a time schedule depending on your individual situation. The carbamide peroxide is broken down and oxygen enters the enamel and the second layer of the tooth (dentin) and whitens the teeth. Results are often seen after the first application. Most patients bleach for one to three weeks.
Bonding is the process of using a composite resin material (white filling) to fill a tooth, change its shape, repair a chip or fill in gaps. Bonding can usually be done in one visit and the results can last for many years depending on your hygiene and chewing habits. Bonding materials are susceptible to staining so keeping your mouth clean is imperative.
Crowns, or caps, are placed over a tooth to restore its original shape and function or to improve its appearance. They are necessary when a tooth has been significantly damaged and cannot be restored with a filling. Crowns are completed after two dental visits. The first visit involves reshaping the original tooth and removing decayed and weak areas. Then, an impression of the tooth is taken. A temporary crown is then made to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is custom made in a laboratory. The second visit involves permanently cementing the new crown on the tooth. Crowns have a longer life expectancy than bonding and are stain resistant. They do take longer to complete than bonding (two visits as compared to one for bonding) and are more expensive.
Veneers are porcelain coverings that are bonded to the front of the teeth to create a beautiful smile. With today’s technology, these high-tech porcelains are strong, thin and natural. They are individually sculpted and can transform a smile. The available shades are endless. Veneers can correct tooth discoloration, gaps, and misshapen and crooked teeth. Like crowns, they are stain resistant and take two visits to complete. Unlike crowns, less of the original tooth structure has to be removed in order to fabricate them.
Which option is best?
The condition of your teeth and your desired results will determine which option is best for you. In my office we listen to your concerns and develop a treatment plan to meet your needs and fit your budget. One thing is certain, cosmetic dentistry is very exciting for dentists and patients. I experience heartfelt joy every time we hand patients a mirror to see their new smile. The positive expressions on their faces and the way their eyes light up is absolutely wonderful and keeps me inspired. Most of our patients give us a hug when they see their new smile. It makes me so happy to be in this profession. Take a look at the before and after pictures of some of the patients treated in my office. The pictures are not retouched.