Cosmetic Dentistry offers ways to improve your appearance and self-confidence through your smile. From tooth whitening to complete smile makeovers, cosmetic dentistry can change the color, shape and even the alignment of your teeth to give you the smile you have always wanted. Cosmetic dentistry can include whitening (or bleaching), porcelain veneers, orthodontics, and even more common dental work such as fillings and crowns. As is true for all dental work, home-care with your brush and floss is essential for the success of cosmetic dentistry.
Teeth darken with age and also as a result of the food and drink we consume. Although excellent home care with over the counter products like whitening tooth paste and regular visits to the hygienist can help, sometimes a stronger bleaching agent is needed to remove those stubborn stains. With take home bleaching and heat activated in-office bleaching, your teeth can be 2 to 4 shades whiter in a few hours to a few weeks. A strong hydrogen peroxide solution is placed in trays which cover the teeth and allowed to whiten for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This process is safe and effective and can repeated often to achieve the desired color. Some patients experience some minor sensitivity during the bleaching process which resolves after the bleaching is discontinued. For teeth that have had root canal treatment but have turned dark internal bleaching can be used when the other whitening options are not effective.
Porcelain veneers are very thin porcelain which are cemented to your teeth. The process often requires little or no need for preparation and can be placed without anesthesia if the patient prefers. Using veneers we can change the shape and color of your teeth creating a more beautiful smile. Veneers are an effective way to treat teeth that are resistant to bleaching such as with tetracycline stains. Veneers can also be used in some cases to treat worn or chipped teeth without the need for a crown.
Esthetic Restorative Materials
Often by simply replacing older fillings and crowns with newer more esthetic materials, you can restore your smile. Newer materials are more translucent allowing the transmission of light in a way more like natural teeth. In addition, materials stain over time causing them to become darker than the surrounding tooth structure. Composite materials are now available in many shades to match teeth. Older crowns can show dark lines around the gums where the metal substructure shows over time. With new all porcelain crowns or zirconia crowns these dark lines can be eliminated while providing the strength needed for normal chewing function. New crowns can also be used in conjunction with porcelain veneers to completely change your smile.