This can be anything done to correct imperfections in the appearance of the mouth. Anyone who is unhappy with their smile can have it fixed. The upper teeth show, usually, only when smiling, while the lower teeth remain hidden. This is reversed when talking, with the upper teeth remaining hidden while the lower teeth show. The color, alignment, spacing as well as regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that give the overall appearance. Any of these can be repaired to give a stunning look to the mouth.
We offer a wide variety of cosmetic options. Some of these options are whitening, smile design, recontouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses two methods: passive tray whitening, and professional strength white strips.
The tray method involves having impressions taken from which fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months.
The professional white strips offered are Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal. These are a prescription strength version of the Crest Whitestrips you can find in local stores. They are worn once a day for one hour. Some patients have noticed an increase in sensitivity while wearing these strips. If this occurs, we recommend using them every other day. The sensitivity will subside when you are finished using the strips.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.
Our office also offers DURAthin veneers. DURAthin veneers are very thin porcelain veneers designed to adhere directly to the front of the teeth without removing any enamel! This means for some people, we can design the smile of their dreams without even drilling on their natural teeth.
Bonding is a term used to describe a number of procedures that involve applying composite resins to the tooth. Many people prefer this procedure over amalgam (silver) fillings since the resin color is matched to the existing tooth color. Regardless of its use, bonding can provide an attractive result.
Bonding is often completed in one visit and sometimes does not require the use of anesthesia. The process involves preparing the tooth surface with an etching solution that allow the composite resin to adhere. After matching the resin color to the existing tooth color, the resin is applied, contoured into the proper shape and hardened using a curing light. It is smoothed and polished to appear natural.
When a tooth is fractured, severely damaged by decay, or has a large old filing, a crown (also called a cap) is often placed. A crown strengthens the tooth, protects the remaining tooth structure and can improve appearance.
The procedure takes two appointments. At the first appointment the tooth is reshaped and all decay is removed. An impression is then taken and sent to a dental laboratory. The patient will then be fitted with a temporary crown to wear until the permanent crown is made, usually about three weeks. In the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is properly fitted and permanently cemented.
All ceramic or porcelain crowns provide the patient with a metal free crown that is very strong and also more esthetic, eliminating the dark line at the gum line that many patients have on older crowns.