Cosmetic Dentistry Musts

By New You Editorial
Posted On Jul 22, 2016
Cosmetic Dentistry Musts

Today, cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry offers a number of different options for those who are unhappy with their smile. From bonding, veneers, dental implants, porcelain veneers, Invisalign® Orthodontics and laser teeth whitening and other procedures, cosmetic dentistry offers a complete array of cosmetic and reconstructive dental procedures to improve the overall appearance of your smile.

What You Can Expect On Your First Visit:

Your cosmetic dentist will coordinate with you to create a treatment plan that elevates your entire dental care. By treating the oral cavity as a whole, your cosmetic dentist can more effectively promote healthy functioning teeth and gums. The aesthetic component complements the fundamentals of basic oral health principles to create a balance between aesthetics and good dental health; when done correctly, one follows the other as form follows function.

Types of Restorations:

Dental Implants
Dental implants can replace missing teeth for people of all ages, young and old. Nearly everyone is a candidate for dental implants, and there are very few medical conditions that would rule out dental implant treatment. As part of your treatment evaluation, your dental team will carefully review your medical and oral health and examine the condition of your teeth and gums, as well as the amount and quality of your jawbone. Specific x-rays and study models of your teeth will help your cosmetic dentist determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are titanium components that replace missing teeth in the upper and lower jaw. The implant is surgically placed in the jaw bone to substitute for the root of the tooth. The implant is allowed to integrate into the jawbone, enabling it to be firm and stable. After several months, the implant can then be used to support an implant crown, implant fixed bridgework or implant supported dentures. The success rate of implants are high and highly predictable. Implant supported reconstructions are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement. State-of-the-art technology in implant dentistry makes it possible to provide replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.

Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays made from beautiful, naturally blending materials bring form and function together. Boost your health and your self-confidence, with this advanced cosmetic dentistry technique. Inlays and onlays are a hybrid between a crown and a filling. They are created for the optimal color, shape and size. Inlays and onlays are also a great option to protect your tooth for the long-term. A regular filling may only last a few years before being worn down. Inlays and onlays can be much more durable and may last 10 or 15 years with good care. The difference between inlays and onlays, and regular fillings, are that they can restore a larger area of decay, while still preserving your natural tooth.

Porcelain Crowns
Porcelain Crowns are restorations placed on teeth that require complete coverage either due to weakening of the tooth or due to complete structural breakdown. Crowns can be made entirely of porcelain (ceramic) or of a combination of metal and porcelain. All-porcelain crowns are usually made for the teeth that are most visible when you smile. Metal-porcelain crowns are usually made for posterior, or teeth toward the rear of your mouth On the first visit, the tooth is prepared to receive a crown, an impression is taken, and a temporary crown is placed on the prepared tooth to protect it while the permanent crown is being fabricated. The temporary crown is made of a plastic material and is inserted on the tooth with a temporary cement. On the second visit, your cosmetic dentist will try-in the final permanent crown and then cement it to the tooth. The entire procedure is done over three appointments.

Bonding
Composite resin material used in tooth bonding can match the shade, translucency and texture of your teeth can be used to fix just about any problem, including chips, cracks, discoloration, gaps, building up worn down areas and making a crooked tooth appear straight. Resin material can even be used to build an entire set of veneers. It’s a huge misconception that veneers can only be made of porcelain. In fact, there has been excellent, natural-looking results using composite resin bonding, which is a very long-lasting and versatile material. During the process, a diluted acid is applied to the tooth enamel to produce a surface which looks like a series of microscopic mountains and valleys. This area is then filled with a liquid plastic that adheres to the surface of the tooth when hardened and allows the further bonding of a composite filling material. This composite can be artistically shaped into the form and color of a natural-looking tooth. The average tooth bonding application may last from five to eight years.

Invisalign®
An alternative to traditional braces, this series of custom-fitted aligners allows you to gently move your teeth into optimal position incrementally, with less discomfort than traditional orthodontics. Clear and virtually invisible, Invisalign® offers you a great way to correct moderate misalignments with a shorter treatment time than traditional braces, and no unsightly metal wires and appliances. Another great advantage is that you can remove your Invisalign® aligners for necessary daily hygiene, special occasions, or eating and drinking. Also, you can speak normally and enjoy all of your favorite foods, without the restrictions often required for traditional orthodontics. Your cosmetic dentist will take detailed impressions of your teeth, and the Invisalign laboratory will scan the impressions with laser technology. Then models are created of what your teeth are now, and what they can be at their best. You’ll be able to see how your new, straight smile will look beforehand. Then your custom trays will be created precisely with Computer Aided Design. Unlike traditional braces, you won’t need to make long visits to receive adjustments to the appliance. You’ll simply move through your series of aligners, until you have the results you desire. Invisalign® is one of the great advancements in cosmetic dentistry available because it fits in great with patients’ lifestyles. Invisalign® is also a great option to help people who have had braces in the past, but have had their teeth shift out of position again.

Teeth Whitening
Using a solution containing 35 hydrogen peroxide, the whitening ingredient is applied to your teeth and activated by a high-intensity light to accelerate the tooth whitening process. The laser teeth whitening will last approximately one hour, then you’re on your way out the door. Your cosmetic dentist will do an examination before the tooth whitening procedure to determine if you’re an appropriate candidate. Worn-down enamel or large pulps (the inner structure of the tooth containing nerves, arteries, veins and tissues) can mean your teeth might be too sensitive to endure the treatment.

Two treatment options are available to the patient:

In-Office Whitening:

  • The high-concentration peroxide gel is applied to the teeth and activated by a special light.
  • The procedure takes about 1 hour.
  • For best results, follow with home bleaching trays a few days following the procedure.

Home Whitening:

  • A lower-concentration peroxide gel is used daily for a couple of weeks.
  • Custom-fitted mouth trays containing the gel are used for a few hours each day.

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