Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth.  The most popular method is using a home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically.  Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.  Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Teeth whitening is not permanent.  A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

Reasons for teeth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth.

What does teeth whitening involve?

This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits.  At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear, plastic, trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary.  The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.  It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

Porcelain Crowns

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • Tooth has a root canal.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crowns.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory.  They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.

Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile.  They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions.

As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement.  They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for porcelain veneers:

  • Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Misshapen teeth.
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth.
  • Teeth that are too small or large.
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces.
  • Worn or chipped teeth.

What does getting porcelain veneers involve?

Getting veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia required during the procedure.  The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer.  A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond.  Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.

You will receive care instructions for veneers.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.

Porcelain Fixed Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges.  You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case.  The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal.  Porcelain fixed bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth.  This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth.
  • Maintain facial shape.
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability.
  • Restore your smile.
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits.  While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown.  Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated.  In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit.  Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge.  The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

Composite Fillings

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.  Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or more visible areas of the mouth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.
How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as needed.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Botox

Botox is a safe, FDA-approved cosmetic treatment that has been popular among healthy American men and women since its FDA approval in 2002. Millions of people have undergone Botox injections to help smooth facial lines and restore a younger appearance. Botox is injected into the facial muscles, helping to block nerve impulses and relax the muscles. Without contracting facial muscles, lines become less evident and are prevented from worsening.

According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery…

Botox was the most frequently administered non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the United States for 2012. More than 4 million people underwent Botox injections – up approximately 10 percent over the year before. Demand for minimally invasive aesthetic treatments continues to rise, and Botox is at the forefront.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I undergo Botox treatment?

Although many patients are candidates for Botox injections, it is not for everyone. You must be a healthy adult between the ages of 18 and 65 to qualify for Botox injections. Botox works best along the brow, where the face is prone to indention and sagging. For more information about Botox and whether it is right for you, schedule a consultation with us at your earliest convenience.

What should I expect during a Botox injection?

Botox is a rapid cosmetic treatment that takes just minutes to perform from the comfort of our office. The injection is administered using a very fine needle that induces only mild discomfort. You can return to work immediately after the injection.

How long do the results last with Botox treatment?

You will begin to notice the effects of your Botox injection within just a few days. The results will continue to improve over the course of approximately 4 weeks and may remain for up to 6 months.

Dermal Fillers

Facial fillers are substances injected beneath the skin to help smooth fine lines and boost facial volume. Also known as dermal fillers, these injections are in-office procedures that are minimally invasive alternatives to cosmetic surgery. Patients often undergo facial filler injections to achieve a more youthful appearance with as little down time as possible. Fillers are available to target nearly any area of the face, including crow’s feet, laugh lines, and thin lips.

Did you know…

that non-surgical cosmetic treatments like Restylane and Juvederm are the fastest growing form of aesthetic medical enhancements in the U.S.? The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were up by 6 percent in 2012 over 2011 despite surgical procedures being down by 2 percent. More than 1.4 million dermal injections were administered to American patients in 2012 alone – up from 1.3 million in 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for facial fillers?

You may be a candidate for dermal facial filling if you are unhappy with your facial volume or are looking for a non-surgical way of smoothing fine lines. Many types of facial injections are available; and our staff would be happy to help you find out which filler is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or find out more about dermal injections.

What should I expect during a facial filler injection?

Getting a facial filler is as easy as dropping by our office on your lunch break. Using a very fine needle, your filler will be injected just beneath the surface of your skin. You will experience little or no discomfort and can return to work immediately after the procedure.

What types of results can I expect from a facial filler?

Results vary from patient to patient and are never guaranteed. However, most patients begin to see visible results within just days of undergoing a dermal injection. Results may continue to improve over the course of several weeks. Depending on the location of your injection and the type of filler used, the effects of your filler may last as long as 6 months or more.

Tooth Shaping

For nearly two decades, lasers have been used for restorative and cosmetic purposes in dentistry. Today, tooth shaping are approved for safety by the Food and Drug Administration, and they have become much more prevalent and standard in dental offices across the country. Lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. This energy can be used to achieve accuracy and precision when shaping the gums, biopsying oral tissues, removing tooth decay, and killing bacteria during a root canal. Lasers are even being used for elective procedures, such as to expedite in-office tooth whitening.

Did you know…

that tooth shaping offer a long list of benefits for patients and dentists? Specifically, tooth shaping has grown in popularity among patients because it is highly effective for reducing inflammation, bleeding and swelling during and following dental procedures. Many patients also report experiencing less pain when lasers are used as opposed to drills. For this reason alone, many patients experience less anxiety and apprehension before and during their dental appointments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Could I benefit from tooth shaping?

Possibly. tooth shaping is generally not used in examinations and cleanings. However, if you need a filling, root canal, biopsy, periodontal treatment or tooth whitening, a dental laser could provide a better overall experience and recovery. To find out if tooth shaping  is right for you, schedule an appointment to meet with your dentist and discuss your options for treatment.

What should I expect during a tooth shaping treatment?

Your experience will be similar to those you may have had before, only without the pressure, vibrations and sound of a dental drill. Just as with traditional dental treatments, you will be anesthetized before having tooth shaping. However, because dental lasers may help minimize pain, you may not require as much anesthesia as you would with a non-laser treatment.

Do I need to follow any special care instructions after being treated with a tooth shaping?

Your post-treatment care will not differ from the instructions you would have from a dentist using a drill or other dental tool. However, you may find that your recovery time is shorter and that bleeding is minimal immediately following your treatment.

 

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