Cosmetic Dentistry

Bring out the beauty in your smile.

A crown is used when it is necessary to replace a missing portion of a tooth. It will cover and support a tooth when there is insufficient original tooth structure available due to large fillings or overall degradation of the tooth. Crowns can also be used to cover dental implants, to attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from breaking or to help restore teeth already broken.

Today’s crowns have shown vast improvement over those of the past as a result of advanced lab technologies and the development of superior ceramic materials. Crowns are now indistinguishable from real teeth and will not discolor or develop black lines at the gum line.

Once a crown is in place, it takes on a very natural feeling while restoring tooth function and appearance. Crown preparation and implementation are usually done within the space of just a few office visits and deliver years of favorable results.

Tooth bonding is a simple, pain-free, long-lasting and cost-effective dental procedure used when only a small amount of tooth structure needs attention. Examples include the closing of small gaps between teeth and the repair of some chips and cracks. It also provides protection for exposed roots caused by gum recession and furnishes a means of restoring decaying teeth with an unnoticeable filling. Bonding is a conservative method in that it involves only a minimum alteration to the original tooth enamel and allows for immediate results.

The bonding process begins with the application of a special enamel conditioner to abrade the enamel surface and allow the bonding material to adhere. A composite resin is then applied and shaped to match the contour of the natural tooth. The surface of the composite is then restored to emulate the tooth’s natural shape. Finally, the tooth is polished to attain a natural luster and appearance.

Advanced technologies have increased the strength and durability of bonding materials making it now possible to perform the bonding procedure on all teeth.

Contouring is a simple procedure in which small defects in the teeth are attended to. Small chips, worn edges, shallow pits or grooves, slight crowding, minor fractures and some overlapping can be reshaped to create a more pleasing look.

Small amounts of surface enamel are removed to compensate for the imperfection. The procedure is then completed with a smoothing and polishing of the area, including all surrounding teeth. The entire process is quick, painless and inexpensive and requires no local anesthetic.

Contouring is ideal for those satisfied with the color of their teeth but unhappy with the exact shape of their teeth or how the imperfections affect their smile.

Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made porcelain laminates that are bonded to existing teeth to create a new front surface. The tooth-colored veneers are used to fill gaps in the teeth as well as cover teeth that may be badly shaped, worn or crooked and in those instances when bleaching is just not enough or has been ineffective. Quite often veneers are also used to cover problems caused by injury. In addition, in most cases, veneers have been found to be a healthier option than a full crown.

One thing to note is the fact that veneers are irreversible because it is necessary to remove small amounts of enamel from the original teeth to accommodate the bonding process and the veneer itself. However, most would agree that there would be no desire to go back to an old smile that was unsatisfactory in the first place. By and large, veneers will retain the beautiful results without the need of additional treatment.

This process, commonly known as tooth bleaching, has rapidly become one of the most requested forms of cosmetic dentistry.

Bleaching is prescribed when teeth become stained from the continual use of products such as coffee, tea, dark sodas, cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Bleaching will also lighten teeth that have become discolored due to the normal aging process or are naturally yellow or dark.

The most common bleaching technique is an “at home” treatment proven to be simple, safe and effective. Custom-made mouth trays are utilized along with a special whitening gel that is prescribed by the doctor. The patient wears the trays for a few hours each day or overnight, depending on sensitivity levels. The patient’s progress is then closely monitored during subsequent visits to the doctor.

Although the bleaching procedure usually takes 2-3 weeks before optimum results are realized, several years of whiter teeth will follow.

Many over-the-counter bleaching processes now exist but the American Dental Association has indicated that none have withstood rigorous testing and some have actually caused more harm than good. Comparatively, over-the-counter bleaching materials are simply not strong enough to achieve very noticeable results and are frequently found to be a waste of time and expense.

Cosmetic Dentistry

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