cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

People seek cosmetic dentistry for a variety of reasons. Some people simply want to look younger, and cosmetic dentistry is like a dental facelift that can quickly “reverse” the natural aging process of the teeth. Others, the majority, have had unattractive teeth their whole lives and have always felt self-conscious because of them. They will rarely smile, which can often hide a warm side of their personality.

Modern dentistry offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile. The options range from porcelain veneers to braces! In many cases, a combination of these techniques is required to deliver the best results.

The dentist explains the many different techniques available in the field of cosmetic dentistry and shows you the benefits! If you have ever thought about cosmetic dentistry, this guide can be extremely helpful in understanding what is possible.

Porcelain Laminate Veneers

Veneers are custom-made porcelain wafers that the dentist places over the fronts of the teeth to enhance their appearance and also to repair damage. Veneers can dramatically change a person’s smile and help improve their self-confidence. In the 1920′s and 30′s, actors, actresses and other performers would often go to the extreme measure of having their teeth extracted and dentures (false teeth) made to improve their smile. Fortunately, this radical procedure has given way to veneers, a far more conservative approach. Veneers are what give many Hollywood movie stars that dazzling smile we see on the silver screen.

Veneers can be used to improve a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems. They can whiten stained or discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth, “correct” a crooked smile without the need for braces, repair chips and imperfections, and create a more attractive or youthful looking smile. The procedure usually involves removing only a thin amount of the outermost layer of the tooth, called the enamel. The dentist then takes molds (impressions) of the mouth. Temporary veneers are then placed for the patient to wear while the permanent veneers are being made. The procedure usually takes between one and a half and two hours.

cosmetic dentistry

cosmetic dentistry

Tooth-shaping

Tooth shaping involves removing a small amount (generally 1 to 2 millimeters) of the enamel of the teeth. Tooth shaping can shorten long teeth, round off pointed teeth, and help create a pleasing smile that gently follows the contour of the lower lip. The procedure is quick and painless (the enamel has no nerves), and is usually completed in less than 30 minutes. A small minority of patients gets slight sensitivity after tooth shaping. This can be remedied with prescription strength fluoride or in-office desensitizers. The procedure does not appear to cause any long-term damage to the teeth.

Bonded-Bridge

A bonded-bridge can replace a missing tooth in far less time and for less money than a porcelain bridge or an implant. It is basically a resin or porcelain tooth with resin or metal wings on each side of it. It is ideal for a missing tooth in the front of the mouth, where biting forces are not that strong. The procedure involves removing a small amount of the inside of the teeth on either side of the missing one and then taking an impression or mold. The laboratory makes the bonded-bridge, which can then be adhered to the backs of the teeth surrounding the missing one.

I prefer the all resin bonded bridge because it is more esthetic (no metal shows through and “grays” the surrounding teeth) and does not fall out and have to be re-cemented nearly as much as a metal bonded-bridge.

cosmetic dentistry

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