Cosmetic Dentistry

Today, cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever, from whitening and bonding to closing spaces and restoring teeth with beautiful veneers or crowns. Dentists have a wide array of tools and techniques at their disposal for improving the look of your smile. Our doctors will complete a thorough assessment of your teeth and discuss all of your available options. Our goal is for our patients to understand all of their options that are available for creating a beautiful smile. We pride ourselves on using only the best materials and labs to create natural looking smiles that we design with you. It is possible to have cosmetic dentistry that is not obvious to others. We call this "Invisible Dentistry", and we take great care to deliver this to all of our clients.

Over time, teeth can become stained or discolored, especially after smoking, taking certain medications, or consuming foods and beverages such as coffee and tea. Using a chemical process that lifts stains out through oxidation, we can whiten your teeth in one of two ways. We can do an in-office procedure (Zoom), or provide you with a system to use at home. Teeth Whitening (at home) The home system includes a soft custom tray that ensures the right amount of whitening solution reaches your teeth. It can take approximately two to four weeks to whiten your teeth at home, depending on the strength of peroxide used and the type of discoloration.

Teeth Whitening (In-office)

Our in-office whitening procedure is done with the Zoom whitening system. This procedure can take place in one 2-hour visit. We still provide you with custom trays to take home for future touch-ups. Keep in mind, your teeth can become stained again if you continue exposing them to the same substances that originally stained them. (Coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco). We can provide you with whitening gel to help keep your teeth bright.

Bonding

Bonding may improve how your teeth look if they have excess space between them, or if they are chipped, broken, stained, or cracked.

The dentist can usually do this procedure in a single office visit by applying an etching solution followed by tooth-colored materials -- sometimes composite resins -- directly to the tooth's surface where needed. Although bonding can last for several years, it is more likely than other types of restorations to chip or become stained or just wear down.

Veneers

These custom shells, typically made of porcelain or lithium disilicate, cover the front sides of the teeth to change their color and/or shape. Veneers last longer than bonding and provide a superior appearance.

Veneers can improve teeth that:

Have spaces between them

Have become chipped or worn

Are permanently stained

Are poorly shaped

Are slightly crooked

Before bonding veneers, the dentist first takes an impression of your teeth, then tries in the veneer and allows you to see how they will look before cementing the veneer in place. We promise to never place veneers that do not meet your expectations. A beam of light helps harden the cement, which secures the veneer to your tooth. Porcelain veneers are made in a laboratory, so you need a second visit to the dentist to have them inserted.

Porcelain Crowns (Caps)

Sometimes called caps, crowns completely cover a tooth, restoring a normal shape and appearance. You may need a crown to:

Cover a misshapen or discolored tooth

Protect a weak, cracked tooth

Restore a broken or worn tooth

Cover a tooth with a large filling

Hold a dental bridge in place

Cover a dental implant

Cover a tooth that's had a root canal procedure

Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic materials. The

dentist prepares the tooth for the crown, makes molds of the tooth or takes a digital

impression, provides you with a temporary crown and then places the permanent crown at a separate time.

Permanent crowns can have a long life if you take good care of them.

Enamel Shaping and Contouring

Enamel shaping and contouring involves removing or contouring dental enamel to improve the

appearance of your teeth. Dentists may combine this process with bonding.

Often used to alter the length, shape, or position of teeth, reshaping and contouring can correct:

Crooked or overlapping teeth

Chipped and irregular teeth

Minor bite problems

You may be a good candidate for reshaping and contouring if you have normal, healthy teeth, and there's still adequate bone between your teeth to support them.

Braces

Today, people of almost all ages are benefiting from braces. Braces not only improve the look of teeth that are crooked or crowded. They can improve an irregular bite and correct jaw positioning and jaw joint disorders. Braces are worn to apply pressure to and reposition the teeth, usually over the a few months to longer for more advanced cases. To place braces, your dentist or orthodontist bonds brackets made of metal, ceramic, or plastic to your teeth. Then she places wires through the brackets, which guide the teeth into their correct positions. Sometimes, dentists can attach lingual braces to the backs of teeth, hiding them from view.

After your braces are attached -- and after each visit in which your dentist tightens your braces-- expect some discomfort for a few days. Also, regular oral hygiene becomes especially important while you are wearing braces. Risks with braces are minimal. But people with allergies to metal or latex, or those who have periodontal disease, are at greater risk for problems during treatment. Root shortening is also a problem if teeth are moved too quickly.

“Invisible” Braces

An alternative for correcting minor spacing problems involves wearing a series of clear, customized appliances called aligners, or invisible braces. Your dentist will reshape and replace them about every two weeks to progressively move your teeth. Unlike traditional braces,

aligners can be removed while eating, brushing, and flossing. Often there are two phases to treatment with braces: wearing a series of “invisible” trays, or braces, and then using a retainer to hold your teeth in their new position. Retainers can be removable or permanently bonded in behind your teeth.

Invisalign

Most adults choose Invisalign over braces. This is due to the fact that Invisalign trays are clear and can be removed when eating. We recommend wearing your Invisalign trays for 22 hours per day to ensure optimum results. Ask us about our many Invisalign options.

Bridge (Fixed Partial Denture)

A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby “bridging” the space between several teeth. Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, bridges are used to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Bridges can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination. Fixed bridges are cemented onto the teeth on either side of the space. Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient. If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges not only correct an altered bite, improve your chewing ability and speech, but they also safeguard your appearance by preventing the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.

Implants

Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss – mostly due to tooth decay, periodontitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Today, dental implants are

the standard of care. We believe they are the ideal tooth replacement option available because they maintain bone levels and look and feel like natural teeth. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Some advantages of dental implants include improved appearance, speech, comfort, and oral health. Eating will be easier and pain-free. Implants are also very durable. With good care, many implants last a lifetime. Because implants are not removable, there is no need for the messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place.

Implants have three parts:

Titanium metal, which fuses to the jawbone

An abutment, which fits over the part of the implant that sticks out from the gums

The crown, which a special restorative dentist creates for a natural, tooth-like appearance

You can get an implant to replace a tooth. Or two or more implants can provide a stable support for replacing several teeth. If you have bone loss from periodontal disease or lost teeth, the surgeon will likely need to first graft bone so the implant has something to secure to.

Having implants requires several steps, including:

  1. A comprehensive exam, X-rays, and consultation

  2. Surgical implantation of the titanium screws

  3. Taking impressions of the upper and lower jaws

  4. Making a model for the creation of the dentures or crowns

  5. Placement of the crown

  6. Follow-up exams with members of your implant team

Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position, similar to a bridge. Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed.

Other Periodontal Plastic Procedures

An array of other procedures can also improve your smile. They include procedures to help with:

An uneven gum line

Teeth that look too short or too long

Exposed roots

Indentations in your gums or jawbone

If problems like these are a concern for you, ask your dentist about your best options for correcting them and creating a smile that you can be proud of.