Cosmetic Procedures
Your smile speaks for you
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 are aimed at improving your looks while restoring some sort of defect. They 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.

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 be built up on the tooth and carefully removed to be cured in a special oven.

At the end of the appointment your new inlay will be precisely cemented into place.  A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure that your bite is comfortable.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment.  Normally one should not bite on it for 24 hours to allow the cement to set properly. Good oral hygiene techniques, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will lengthen the life of your new inlay

Composite Fillings
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.  We will gladly discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.  Composite fillings , are the most widely used restorations 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 have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last for about 10 years, giving you a confident, 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 cavity will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully etched with acid before the new filling is placed. A bonding agent is then placed which allows the filling material to chemically stick to the tooth surface. The composite material will then be placed in thin layers, shaped, and cured with a strong white light. After final shaping and polishing the filling is complete, 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.

Composite fillings look great and work extremely well. As with all dental work however, they do need great care.  Good oral hygiene techniques, eating habits, and regular dental visits will prolong the life of your new filling.

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.  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.
Teeth with root canal treatment.

What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include preparation of the tooth, taking highly accurate impressions and fabricating a temporary crown.  The temporary crown will protect your tooth for approximately four weeks until your new crown is back from the dental laboratory.

While the tooth is anaesthetized, we will prepare it by removing any decay and shaping it to accommodate the crown.  After these steps are accomplished, an impressions is taken and your temporary crown placed with temporary cement. At the end, the temporary crown will be adjusted to ensure you are biting comfortably.

The whole procedure normally takes about one hour to complete. During the time that you wear the temporary crown care should be taken to avoid had or sticky food that may damage or dislodge your temporary crown. The cement is designed to stay soft so that it can be removed again. 

At your second appointment your tooth will be anaesthetized, the temporary crown removed, the tooth cleaned, and your new crown will be fitted. This  ensures that the spacing and bite are accurate. After that it will be cemented with a permanent cement.

You will be given follow up instructions and encouraged to have regular professional cleanings to care for your new crown.
Non-metal Fixed Bridges
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is a proven way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges.  We will discuss the best options for your particular case.  The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain covering a metal frame.  Today a Zirconium Oxyde substructure is sometimes used to create a strong and beautiful looking bridge. Porcelain bridges are very 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 crowns over two or more anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) that are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Fixed bridges cannot be removed by the patient, are highly durable and will last for many years. However they may need replacement after 10 - 15 years 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.  The technique is similar to getting a crown. While the teeth are numb, the anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown.  Next, an  impression is taken 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 4 weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully fitted, adjusted, and cemented after a proper fit.  

You will receive instructions on how to clean under and around the bridge at the end of your treatment.  Proper homecare with brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new bridge
Porcelain Veneers 
Veneers are very thin shells of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made by a professional dental laboratory.  They are bonded onto the front surface of teeth to correct small defects and tooth abnormalities. In this way they can create a beautiful and attractive smile.

Veneers can reshape your teeth. If the tooth is reasonably sound they can be alternatives to crowns. Because very little tooth structure is removed they provide ideal solutions for treating dental conditions in the visible area of your mouth.

As with other dental restorations, veneers are very delicate and may someday need replacement.  If cared for, 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.  An impression of the teeth is taken. After the tooth shade (color) is choosen the impressions will be sent to the laboratory.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleaned with special liquids to achieve a clean surface. After careful preparation cement is placed in the veneer and the restoration seated into position. The cement is then cured with a strong white light. Cleaning off excces cement, followed by polishing the cement lines completes the procedure..

Veneers are delicate structures. Being conscious of them together with proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will prolong the life of your new veneers