Although we strive for the highest esthetic quality in all the functional dentistry we do, sometimes there is a pure esthetic need to improve one's smile. 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, 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 different whitening methods: passive tray whitening and professional strength white strips.
The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 2-3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use, or less depending on your goal whiteness. 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.
Enamel shaping involves modifying teeth to improve their appearance by removing or contouring enamel. The process, which often is combined with bonding, usually is quick and comfortable and the results can be seen immediately.
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 tooth that is 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 agents, and is known as bonding. Bonding can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have spaces between them.
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.