Our office has been providing cosmetic dentistry even before the buzzword “cosmetic” was introduced to dentistry in the ‘90s. We strive to make every restoration look natural and beautiful. We have many restorative options to achieve creating your beautiful smile.
Composite Restorations and Bonding
If your dental exam reveals that you have a cavity (or what we refer to as decay) or chipped tooth, you do not need to worry that you will not longer have white teeth. Composite restorations are today the treatment of choice for many patients, and we offer tooth colored filling material (know as composite restorations) to restore your teeth to their original state. We can even restore back (or posterior) teeth with special composite material that will provide the strength the tooth needs, but provides the white color you want. Composite restorations are more technique sensitive than the silver (or amalgam) fillings are requires special training to perfect the placement of the filling. All of our dentists have restored thousands of teeth with white fillings and taken countless hours of continuing education to stay updated in the latest techniques.
What’s it for:
- To restore the tooth after the cavity is removed
- Minimally invasive repair of chipped teeth (bonding)
- Close small gaps between teeth (bonding)
What does it require:
Composite restorations and bondings can be completed in our office in one visit. We start by anesthetizing (numbing) your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. We treat the cavity by removing all the decay. We then prepare the tooth with special liquids for optimal adhesion so that the composite will adhere to the tooth. After preparing the tooth, the specific tooth colored composite to match your remaining tooth is selected and shaped to look like a natural tooth. A blue light cures (or hardens) the composite and the composite is then smoothed and polished for ultimate esthetics.
When the majority of a tooth is damaged a cap (or crown) may need to be placed over the tooth to make sure that it the tooth has the integrity to withstand the normal forces that the tooth must endure on a daily basis. There are 2 main esthetic crowns. One type of porcelain crown is a known a porcelain fused to metal crown (or a PFM). The porcelain fused to metal has a thin metal casing that covers the tooth and porcelain is then stacked upon this to give a tooth color appearance to the crown. The other type of esthetic crown is an all porcelain crown. The all porcelain crown does not have a metal casing around the tooth and is more esthetic when compared to the PFM because there will not be a metal band at the edge of the crown. The second reason why the all porcelain crown is more esthetic is that light can shine though the all porcelain crown and not the PFM, making the porcelain crown more like a real tooth. In exchange for a more esthetic crown, the all ceramic crown requires that more tooth structure be removed than is required of that of the PFM.
What’s it for:
- To protect a weak tooth
- To restore a tooth that already has a large filling but has filling is failing
- To protect a tooth with a large filling
- To cover a dental implant
- To cover severely misshapen or discolored teeth
- To cover a posterior tooth after a root canal
What does it require:
We start by anesthetizing (numbing) your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. We then will shape the tooth along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown (if we need to replace an old filling or a root canal has been completed, we need to restore it first). The amount removed depends on the type of crown used (for instance, all-metal crowns are thinner, requiring less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones).
After reshaping the tooth, we will make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth next to and opposing the tooth to receive the crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.
The impressions are sent to our dental laboratory located in our office where the crown will be custom built to fit your tooth. Because we utilize the lab in our office we are able to provide the crown in less than a week in most instances. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made.
At the second visit the temporary crown is removed and the tooth may or may not anesthetized depending on the sensitivity. The crown is tried in and you will be asked to bite in a series of different positions to verify that the crown fits well. Once we verify the crown fits well, we will cement the crown with permanent cement.
Porcelain Fixed Bridge
A Porcelain fixed bridge (or fixed partial denture, FPD, or just bridge) is an esthetic way to restore the form and function of a missing tooth. Both the tooth in front of and behind the missing tooth must be shaped to accept the crowns in very much the same way a conventional porcelain crown is. However, when the custom made crown is prepared all 3 teeth will be created together and will be one unit. A bridge can have a long dental life as long as the teeth in front and behind (called the abutments) are healthy. Since preparing a bridge requires that 2 teeth be reshaped to make a restoration to replace one missing one, we often recommend a bridge if the teeth next to the missing tooth will need crowns. An implant is often a less invasive, longer lasting restoration to restore a missing tooth.
What’s it for?
- The replacement of a missing tooth
- Restore your smile
- Restore normal biting function
- Prevent remaining teeth from moving out of their normal position and into the space
What does it require?
We start by anesthetizing (numbing) your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. We then will shape the tooth in front of and behind the missing tooth along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown (if we need to replace an old filling or a root canal has been completed, we need to restore it first). The amount removed depends on the type of bridge used (for instance, all-metal bridges are thinner, requiring less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain bridges or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones).
After reshaping the tooth, we will make an impression of the 2 reshaped teeth and the space to receive the bridge. Impressions of the teeth next to and opposing the tooth to receive the crown will also be made to make sure that the bridge will not affect your bite.The impressions are sent to our dental laboratory located in our office where the bridge will be custom built to fit your tooth. Because we utilize the lab in our office we are able to provide the bridge in less than a week in most instances. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary bridge to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the permanent bridge is being made.
At the second visit the permanent bridge is removed and the tooth may or may not anesthetized depending on the sensitivity. The bridge is tried in and you will be asked to bite in a series of different positions to verify that the bridge fits well. Once we verify the bridge fits well, we will cement the crown with permanent cement. We will review the wear and care for your new bridge so that you can maintain it and achieve its longest life possible.
Often an alternative to crowns, veneers are very thin pieces of specially shaped, and colored porcelain that is cemented over the front of your teeth with little or no anesthesia required. They are the cure for teeth that are severely discolored, chipped, have small holes or pits, misshapen or crooked, or for the correction of unwanted or uneven spaces. Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth reshaping to provide optimal results.
What’s it for:
◦ Chips or Chipped teeth
◦ Abnormal Wear
◦ Stained teeth not resolved from whitening
◦ Teeth that are too big or too small
◦ Mildly Crooked teeth
What does it require:
Porcelain Veneers requires 2 dental visits, however, after the 1st visit you will go home with you temporary veneers and they will be temporarily cemented until the final veneers are ready.
On the first visit teeth are prepared for veneers by lightly buffing to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Veneers are thin like contact lenses, and will usually only need tooth reduction of 0.5mm to 1.0mm. If a drastic change is being made for the result you want, reduction may be 1.0mm to 2.0mm. A mold is taken of the teeth, from which the veneers are created using. Temporary veneers will be placed and worn until your permanent veneers are ready.
On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve an ideal bonding surface. Special cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a blue light beam is used to harden and set the bond.
Tooth bleaching is a simple non-invasive treatment used to change the natural tooth enamel back to ideal color and create a youthful smile. The terms whitening and bleaching have been interchanged in the media recently but the FDA views the terms differently. According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach – typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamine peroxide. The term “whitening,” on the other hand, refers to restoring a tooth’s surface color by removing dirt and debris. So any product that cleans (like a toothpaste) is considered a whitener.
Our office provides two different bleaching options: in-office bleaching and professional take-home bleaching kits with custom fabricated trays. The in office appointment is a convenient 30 minute – 1 hour appointment. We will apply a highly concentrated peroxide gel to the teeth. This is a perfect bleaching solution for family pictures, college and high school reunions and weddings when fast results are necessary. The take home bleaching kits with the custom-made trays works in a very similar manner as the in-office bleach. The gel is dispensed within the tray and the tray is worn for one hour every other day until the teeth reach a desirable shade (usually this is when the tooth reaches then whiteness of the iris of the eye). The difference is that the carbamine peroxide gel is dispensed as a lower concentration, which ultimately take longer to achieve similar results.
What’s it for?
Please be aware:
If you have tooth colored dental restorations they will not change color with the teeth during the bleaching process. In order to match the color of the natural teeth after bleaching, old restorations will need to be replaced after the bleaching process. The old restorations will still be effective but they will not be as esthetic unless replaced.