In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all 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. •Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth. •Improve or correct bites. •Lighten or brighten the color of teeth. •Repair decayed, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. •Replace missing teeth. •Replace old, unattractive dental treatments.
Remember, your smile speaks before you even say a word!
Direct Composite Inlay Restorations
A direct composite inlay restoration is a custom made filling made of tooth colored composite material. It therefore looks just like tooth. It is fabricated directly inside the mouth and cured in the dental laboratory. After that it is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist during the same visit.
Composite inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. They are stronger, last longer and are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays. Composite inlays can restore a tooth to its original strength if done carefully.
As with most dental restorations however, inlays require regular care and may someday require replacement. On the bright side, they are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Reasons for inlay restorations:
•Broken or fractured teeth. •Cosmetic enhancement. •Decayed teeth. •Fractured fillings. •Large fillings.
What does getting an inlay involve?
A direct inlay procedure usually requires one appointment of about 90 minutes per tooth. Your appointment will include preparing the tooth carefully, creating your custom inlay and permanently cementing the cured and polished final restoration.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration. This will then built up inside the tooth and carefully removed to be cured in a special oven.
At the end of the appointment your new inlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Normally on should not bite on it for 24 hours to allow the cement to set properly. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new inlay
A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.
As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for composite fillings:
•Chipped teeth. •Closing space between two teeth. •Cracked or broken teeth. •Decayed teeth. •Worn teeth.
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.
Non-metal Crowns (Caps)
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth. Previously they were made with a metal base which sometimes showed grey margins near the gums. Today non-metal crowns may have a base of Zirconia which is nearly as strong as steel but looks fantastic. They are also highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
Reasons for crowns:
•Broken or fractured teeth. •Cosmetic enhancement. •Decayed teeth. •Fractured fillings. •Large fillings. •Tooth has a root canal.
What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
Non-metal Fixed Bridges
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Today a Zirconium Oxyde substructure is sometimes used to create a strong and beautiful looking bridge. Porcelain bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. All porcelain bridges fall into the cosmetic dentistry group because they look much better and are tolerated better than some metal structures.
A bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
Reasons for a fixed bridge:
•Fill space of missing teeth. •Maintain facial shape. •Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position. •Restore chewing and speaking ability. •Restore your smile. •Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge
Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They 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.
As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. 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. •Crooked teeth. •Misshapen teeth. •Severely discolored or stained teeth. •Teeth that are too small or large. •Unwanted or uneven spaces. •Worn or chipped teeth.
What does getting porcelain veneers involve?
Getting veneers usually requires 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 the dentist.
On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.
You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers