Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your appearance. A beautiful, bright, healthy smile can increase self confidence and overall life satisfaction.
Many regular dental treatments can be cosmetic. Modern tooth-colored fillings are virtually invisible when compared to traditional silver fillings. Tooth-colored crowns or caps can be placed instead of gold or silver. Read on to discover some of the best treatments we can use to greatly improve your smile and the way you feel about yourself.
Completely reshape your teeth for a beautiful, white smile.
A porcelain laminate (often called a veneer) is a thin shell of porcelain that covers the front of each tooth. They bond directly to the front of the tooth, similar to the way artificial fingernails work. Each porcelain laminate is a work of art, carefully crafted in a laboratory to fit your individual smile.
In the hands of a highly skilled dentist, porcelain laminates can provide you with an incredibly natural, beautiful smile. They are virtually undetectable and can dramatically improve your appearance. They are durable and long-lasting when compared to other cosmetic treatments.
Although they are highly durable, porcelain laminates are not permanent. Well crafted laminates will last many years, but will eventually need to be replaced.
Porcelain laminates are an excellent investment. However, they are not appropriate for teeth with excessive decay. In those cases, porcelain crowns are the only alternative. In the event that you desire only to improve tooth alignment, orthodontic treatment may be another alternative.
Dramatically whiten your smile.
Plastic whitening trays will be made from models of your teeth. You will then place a special whitening gel in each tray and wear the trays in your mouth for several hours per day. (Many patients wear their trays after dinner and before bed.) A significant change in tooth color is usually seen in just four to six weeks.
Modern tooth whitening systems are highly effective and have dramatic results. Many celebrities consistently whiten their teeth to improve their appearance.
Occasionally, patients may experience some gum or tooth sensitivity when using their trays. These symptoms subside when whitening is discontinued for several days.
Accelerated whitening is another option for some patients. This process can result in whiter, brighter teeth in just one office visit. Please consult with the doctor to see if this procedure may work for you.
Occasionally, teeth may be stained in a way that limits the effectiveness of tooth whitening. In those instances, porcelain laminates or crowns are an excellent alternative.
An excellent way to replace missing teeth.
A dental implant is an appliance used to replace the roots of teeth. The implant is surgically attached to the jaw bone and an artificial tooth is attached to the top of the implant, creating a natural looking, undetectable replacement for the missing tooth. In the event that more than one tooth is missing, several implants may provide a base for a series of artificial teeth known as a fixed bridge (see fixed bridges.) Implants can even be used to secure a full set of removable dentures for people who have no remaining natural teeth. This can greatly improve chewing ability and reduce the risk of choking.
It generally takes about six months for the surgical implant to heal before the final installation of the artificial tooth or teeth can be finished.
Dental implants with artificial teeth are the closest thing to regrowing your natural teeth. They are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable. By filling gaps left by missing teeth, implants can provide better chewing ability and head off jaw joint problems. They are far superior to removable dentures.
Dental implants are excellent, state-of-the-art restorations and have few disadvantages when compared to alternatives such as dentures. However, dental implants do require surgery and time to heal, and they are initially more expensive than dentures or fixed bridges. These disadvantages are offset by the ease of use, saved time and long term health benefits of implants.
Dentures are a poor alternative to dental implants. However, in some cases, where finances are a primary concern, dentures are the only alternative.