Cosmetic dentistry is aimed at creating a positive change to your smile and your self-esteem. Most think of veneers or whitening when cosmetic dentistry comes to mind, but a cosmetic dentistry can include short term orthodontics, a ‘gum lift’ or even just smoothing and recontouring the teeth in the smile zone. What’s important is to find out what options are best addressing functional and esthetic patient concerns of each patient individually.
People choose cosmetic dental procedures for various reasons – to repair a defect such as a malformed bite or crooked teeth, treat an injury, or just improve their overall appearance. For these and many other reasons, cosmetic dentistry has become a vital and important part of the dental profession and one of the fastest growing areas of dentistry. For example, tooth-whitening procedures have tripled over the past five years.
Common cosmetic dental procedures can be performed to correct misshaped, discolored, chipped or missing teeth. It also can be used to change the overall shape of teeth – from teeth that are too long or short, have gaps, or simply need to be reshaped.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
- Cosmetic fillings -- Alternative, natural-looking materials to conventional silver-colored fillings made from porcelain and composite resins, which are colored to match natural tooth enamel. We are an amalgam free office.
- Whitening/Bleaching -- Procedures that reverse the effects of such things as aging, food and tobacco stains, and medication use.
- Veneers -- Special thin porcelain laminates, called veneers, used to cover stains, correct discolored, worn down, cracked and chipped teeth, and close unsightly gaps between teeth.
- Bonding -- A tooth-colored material that looks like the enamel of your teeth and used to improve the color of a tooth, or close unsightly gaps.
- Cosmetic contouring and reshaping – A relatively simple procedure that can correct crooked, chipped, cracked, and even overlapping teeth.
- Crowns -- Synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, that can be placed on the top of a tooth to restore its function and appearance, attach bridges, cover implants, or prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse.
- Bridges -- Natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth and restore the natural contour of your teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth. Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants.
- Specialty dentures – Lightweight dentures that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Most dentures are made from a combination of metals and synthetic material such as acrylic resin, and can be either partial or complete sets.
- Orthodontics -- Braces or aligners may be used to reposition teeth and supporting tissues for a more esthetic smile.
- Crown lengthening -- Performed to reshape gums and bone tissue, and often used to correct a “gummy” smile.
- Excessive or uneven gums – Gum lifts or soft tissue grafts can be used to even gum lines, or cover an exposed root.
- Replacement of lost gum tissue -- Gum tissue can be augmented or replaced by a variety of means, including soft tissue grafts.
- Implants -- Are a titanium root replacement. They can replace one, several or all missing teeth.