Teeth that suffer from discoloration, chipping, misalignment, or gaps between them – can all be improved through various cosmetic methods, creating a brand new smile. A “dental makeover” improves the appearance of your smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures. We work with our patients to develop a treatment plan, helping them achieve their long-awaited new smile.
In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. Many realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless, and surprisingly affordable treatments.
Cosmetic dental treatments can:
Change the size, shape, and alignment of certain teeth
Millions of people are missing some or all of their teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Conventional dentures can be difficult to wear and can make chewing a difficult task. Dental implant technology has changed the way lost teeth are treated. Dental implants improve quality of life by improving the way we chew and smile. Patients who have missing teeth or loose fitting dentures can now get their teeth and smile back with dental implants.
Often, dental implant patients feel that the procedure has completely changed their life. They can now go to dinner with friends and order any food they want – chewing without the worry of their dentures shifting. Implants can also be cared for just like natural teeth, making it a nearly seamless transition. This technology has bettered lives of so many and has changed the face of dentistry.
Dentistry involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders and diseases affecting the teeth, gums, and the jaw and face region of your body.
Ideally, most general dentistry is preventative. Visiting your dentist regularly – at least once every six months – ensures proper oral hygiene and functionality. Regular checkups prevent the development of serious dental problems that may require costly treatment. Frequent visits to your dentist will allow for exceptional dental health.
We will work with you to develop a customized dental hygiene plan that includes a dental examination, tooth cleaning, X-ray, and use of other diagnostic equipment to prevent, discover, or treat problems as early as possible.
We may incorporate a variety of restorative procedures in the development of your treatment plan that will help prevent decay or disease of your teeth, mouth, gums and tongue. We also use restorative dentistry procedures to repair the effects of tooth decay, trauma, or disease in these areas of the mouth.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is a type of sedation breathed through the nose and mouth. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide.
Sedation is a process used to establish a relaxed, easy and calm state through the use of sedatives. Oral sedation dentistry maintains a level of consciousness in the patient for safety and cooperation. Regardless of the type of sedation dentistry you receive, it is important to have a responsible caregiver accompany you to the procedure. The caregiver should drive you home after the procedure is complete and stay with you for an additional two to four hours at home.
Laser treatment of your teeth means finding and removing decay with greater precision. Drilling to remove decay also takes a large portion of otherwise healthy tooth, reducing the inherent strength of the tooth and giving you a larger filling. The laser beam is delivered under a cooling air and water spray. The tooth surface is sterilized, leaving no bacteria under the filling to cause any more decay to occur.
When laser treatment is used on soft tissue, like gums, it is seldom accompanied by freezing. There is little or no bleeding, recovery time is minimal, and the gum or other tissue will heal far more quickly than surgical procedures undertaken with scalpel. Laser treatments removes less tissue than conventional surgery which results in a treatment that is less painful to the patient.
Dental bonding is an efficient, affordable process of bonding tooth-colored resin to the teeth to hide imperfections like small gaps, minor chips, and discoloration. Along with cosmetic benefits, bonding can also be used to fill cavities. Over time, the bonding may need to be touched up or replaced, but it is highly unlikely that it will fall off or break away as the resin that is bonded to the tooth is permanent. Dental bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete, and can be completed at a dental office.
Dental bonding can be used to cover up imperfections on the teeth, but it also has other benefits as well, including:
To fill in a small gap between two teeth
To repair decayed teeth by filling a cavity with tooth-colored resin
To change the shape of a tooth
To repair chips or cracks in teeth
To cover up discoloration
To protect the root of a tooth after it’s been exposed by receding gums
To make a tooth look larger than it is, which is usually done to make it match the other teeth
When a significant amount of a tooth has been lost from decay or injury, but still worth saving – a crown may be in your best interest. A crown fortifies and restores damaged teeth, letting them function and look just like natural teeth.
When a tooth is beyond repair or missing completely, a dental implant with a crown is widely considered to be the best solution. The next best thing is often a three-unit fixed bridge which uses your natural teeth on either side of the gap. Longer bridges can be used to span longer gaps.
Crowns and bridges are made by a dental technician that uses the mold of your teeth to determine the exact shape and size of the restoration. The process usually only takes a few weeks to create to help you look your best with your new smile.
The longevity of a crown or bridge depends mostly on the dental health and hygiene habits of the patient. Routine exams and cleanings as well as brushing and flossing regularly will help keep your smile looking great for years to come.
A crown or bridge can help in many different scenarios. Here are a few that may apply to your case:
A crown can cover and secure a tooth that has cracked or chipped.
A darkened or discolored tooth that doesn’t respond to whitening treatments will look bright, smooth, and polished after a crown is added.
A dental bridge will fill in spaces caused by lost or extracted teeth.
A crown will shore up a tooth that is vulnerable after root canal therapy.
Veneers are thin, custom made pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile. Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions.
Porcelain veneers can correct many cosmetic problems. They can improve size, shape, and color of teeth. They can also close spaces between teeth, as well as lengthen or shorten teeth. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Reasons for porcelain veneers:
Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile.
Severely discolored or stained teeth.
Teeth that are too small or large.
Unwanted or uneven spaces.
Worn or chipped teeth.
Getting veneers usually requires no more than two visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia required during the procedure. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and your dentist.
You will receive care instructions for veneers. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers. With the proper treatment, your porcelain veneers can last 20 years or more.
Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for tooth whitening:
Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
Yellow, brown stained teeth.
This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. The dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patients jaws during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.
And even if you wear full dentures, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to maintain your overall oral health and get early warning of serious issues such as oral cancer.
Your dentures were made to fit you precisely and, if they are cared for properly, they do not change shape. But you may sometimes find that they can become loose due to natural changes in the gums and bone supporting them. As the jawbone begins to shrink, so do the gums. If you find your dentures no longer fit properly, see your dentist as soon as possible so adjustments can be made. Trying to change the fit of your dentures yourself can damage them and make them unrepairable so this would be a costly experiment! Ill-fitting dentures repaired at home can also irritate the gums, tongue and cheeks. In an emergency, you could use denture adhesives to keep the dentures stable until you are able to see the dentist.
Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain. Partial dentures can be very stable, especially when supported by natural teeth on either side. And because they are removable, it’s easy to keep clean.
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework to hold the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place.
Missing teeth can also speed up bone loss and put the health of your gums and remaining teeth at risk. In order to prevent these issues from occurring, it is important to replace missing teeth quickly.
Partial dentures are an excellent and cost effective solution if you need to replace multiple missing teeth. At your initial consultation, your dentist will let you know whether partial dentures can be an effective tooth replacement option for you.
People with multiple or all of their teeth missing typically have complete or partial dentures; this treatment option is called Overdentures.
Overdentures are replacement teeth retained by dental implants. Overdentures were developed to help both partial and fully edentulous patients regain a quality of life, which most likely has been missing since they lost their teeth.
Overdentures offer a variety of advantages as compared to conventional dentures. While some of these advantages are purely cosmetic, all of these can affect your quality of life, making you happier and healthier.
An implant-retained overdenture can help stop the deterioration of your natural facial contours. Keeping this bone alive and stimulated is the only way to halt the resorption that naturally occurs in areas where your natural teeth have been lost.
New dentures will typically fit your mouth securely as they have been designed specifically for your gums. However as time goes on, your gum tissues will change and the fit of the denture will become more loose and more prone to movement inside your mouth. Having the denture professionally relined will help keep everything both secure and functional.
Some patients are unable to wear ordinary dentures because of tender gums or sore spots. You may recommended reline the denture with a material that stays pliable for one to two years before needing replacement. Such a material is much less likely to give the patient sore spots than the standard hard reline acrylic. Patients experiencing these problems may also consider a more permanent solution of implant retained dentures.
If dentures haven’t been serviced in a long time, a patient’s gums may be red, swollen, or misshapen. This creates problems in taking impressions for a new hard or soft reline and may lead to a denture that would extend or enhance the problem.
A temporary, medicated reline material may be recommended to allow the inflammation to subside. This reline makes the denture fit much more tightly, and is usually soft and pliable. After a few weeks, the gums return to a more normal state. The patient is then ready for his or her new denture.