People choose esthetic dental procedures for various reasons. Some patients want to repair a defect such as a malformed bite or crooked teeth, treat an injury, or just improve their overall appearance. Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal is to restore a beautiful smile.
For these and many other reasons, Today’s Dentistry has made this a vital and important part of our dental profession.
Common esthetic dental procedures can be performed to correct discolored, mis-shaped, chipped or missing teeth. They also can be used to change the overall shape of teeth, such as teeth that are too long or short, have gaps, or simply need to be reshaped.
Some of our common procedures involve:
- Whitening and bleaching – As the term implies, whitening and bleaching are used to make teeth whiter and brighter.
- Bonding – A procedure in which tooth-colored material is used to close gaps or change tooth color.
- Contouring and reshaping – A procedure that straightens crooked, chipped, cracked or overlapping teeth.
- Implants – A procedure that gives another option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. They are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.
- Veneers – A procedure in which ultra-thin coatings are placed over the front teeth. Veneers can change the color or shape of your teeth. For example, veneers have been used to correct unevenly spaced, crooked, chipped, oddly shaped or discolored teeth.
- Crowns – A procedure to cover and protect the tooth. While a crown can be used for many different reasons such as restoring a tooth that has been broken, has advanced decay or compromised in another way, it can also be used to improve the esthetics of your smile.
Which techniques could be used to improve your smile? A comprehensive dental exam will take many factors into consideration, including your overall oral health.
If old silver fillings in your teeth are turning your smile dark and gray, it’s time to lighten them up!
Composite fillings are made from durable plastics that are similar in color and feel to natural teeth. These procedures can be done in one visit, making your smile healthy and attractive in appearance.
Tooth Colored Fillings can be used for a variety reasons, including:
- Restoring decayed or fractured teeth
- Making cosmetic improvements
- Changing the color of teeth
- Reshaping teeth (ie – making a malformed tooth look like a normally shaped tooth)
Veneers or Laminates are thin shells of porcelain or resin that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth. These procedures can close gaps, change the shape, shade, and the position of your teeth to improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile. They can also be used to replace or restore any cost tooth structure where indicated.
They can make your teeth as white as you want, enhance the shape, and give you the smile you have always desired. Veneers are bonded to your teeth giving them added strength.
In many cases, very little or no tooth structure is removed before placing veneers. Veneers are very thin and require minimal tooth reduction making them on of the most conservative cosmetic treatments available. You can have that beautiful smile in just two or three visits.
Ask on of our doctors how veneers can help improve your smile. If you have any questions about veneers or cosmetic dentistry, call us today!
What is the first thing you see when you meet someone? Their smile. We have all seen people who talk and laugh but they are covering up their teeth while they do it. A vibrant white smile helps you feel better about yourself and also helps make a positive impression on those around you.
Age, Coffee, tea, soda, red wine, and certain foods all are common culprits of teeth stains. Over time your teeth may become discolored, stained or even yellowed. Dull and darker teeth make you look older than you are. Whitening, or ‘bleaching’, can help turn back the clock and make you enjoy smiling again!
Some different types of procedures can be used to achieve the whitening of your smile are:
In-Office Bleaching – immediate results, most shade changes
Take Home Trays – no immediate results, may take up to a few weeks
Paint on Gel/Whitening Strips – not immediate, inconsistent results
Toothpaste – slowest, may see change in a month or so
They range from immediate results to those that take some time to achieve the results you are looking for.
Ask our office how we can brighten your smile!
Protect your investment. Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw? It’s more common than you may think.
You may be suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Individuals who suffer from bruxism may find that a custom-made night guard may help them achieve a better quality of sleep, as well as prevent sore muscles in the jaws. It will help protect from the wear caused by grinding at night, which could cause the thinning of the enamel and be susceptible to decay or fracture over time. The grinding and clenching force is 50% greater during your sleep than when you are awake.
We recommend night guards after extensive cosmetic or restorative dentistry for those who suffer from bruxism or clenching to protect your investment in your oral health.
For TMJ patients, dentists utilize night guards as a means for helping the condition and alleviating some pain and symptoms. Regular use of a night guard has shown that TMJ sufferers can experience fewer TMJ-related headaches, and less jaw popping, clenching, clicking of the jaw, fewer toothaches and less ringing in the ears.
For all night guard wearers including TMJ, bruxism, or clenching an added benefit is that the material used to fabricate these night guards is naturally absorptive to force, reducing the amount of force throughout the head and neck region should the wearer suffer an injury.
Advantages of Customized Night Guards and Bite Guards
Even though night guards are available over the counter at drug stores and retailers near you, there are advantages of getting a custom made night guard made by your dentist. After the dentist takes an accurate impression of your mouth, they will send the impression to the laboratory to make a custom fitting guard. These professional guards will provide the most accurate fit, protect the teeth, and are adjusted to your individual bite.
Individuals who purchase an over-the-counter bite guard that is improperly fitted may not find any relief, their symptoms may worsen, and they may find they develop other complications with prolonged use. These guards are made from inferior materials and will have to be replaced more often than a professional custom fitted guard.
If you are interested in a night or bite guard, your dentist will evaluate your mouth and your symptoms and make a recommendation for the type of guard you may need. The dentist can target specific areas that may need more support for a better bite and make adjustments so your muscles and tissue in and around your mouth will not leave your jaw feeling sore or inflamed.
Night Guard and Sports Guard Care
Proper care is essential for the night guard to be most effective for you. The guard must be thoroughly cleaned with cool soapy water after each use. You will need to regularly inspect the guard for rips, tears, or wear. Always bring your guard to your regular appointments so the dentist can take a look at it to see if it is providing the proper protection for you.