COSMETIC DENTISTRY Back

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

 

Techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers and reshaping and contouring. 


These improvements are not always just cosmetic. 


Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite.

 

 

 

 

veneers

Veneers

These custom shells, made of porcelain or plastic, cover the front sides of the teeth to change their color and/or shape. Veneers can improve teeth that:

 

  •  Have spaces between them

 

  • Have become chipped or worn

 

  • Are permanently stained

 

  • Are poorly shaped

 

  • Are slightly crooked

 

Dentists often suggest veneers for some of the same problems that bonding addresses. Yet, the process for inserting veneers is not reversible like dental bonding, which can be removed.

 

Before inserting veneers, the dentist first takes an impression of your tooth, then buffs the tooth before cementing the veneer in place. A beam of light helps harden the cement which secures the veneer to your tooth.

 

Porcelain veneers are made in a laboratory. So you would need a second visit to the dentist to have them inserted.

 

ceremic crown

 

Crowns

 

Sometimes called caps, crowns completely cover a tooth, restoring a normal shape and appearance. You may need a crown to:

 

  • Cover a misshapen or discolored tooth

 

  • Protect a weak tooth

 

  • Restore a broken or worn tooth

 

  • Cover a tooth with a large filling

 

  • Hold a dental bridge in place

 

  • Cover a dental implant

 

  • Cover a tooth that's had a root canal procedure

 


Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic materials. It takes more than one visit to receive a permanent crown. The dentist prepares the tooth for the crown, makes molds of the tooth, provides you with a temporary crown, and then places the permanent crown at a separate time. Permanent crowns can have a long life if you take good care of them.

 

 

 

 

Bridge

 

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap -- these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth -- and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.

 

 

 

  • Restore your smile

 

  • Restore the ability to properly chew and speak

 

  • Maintain the shape of your face

 

  • Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth

 

  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

 

 

What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?

 

 

There are three main types of dental bridges:

 

  • Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

  • Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth.

  • Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.

 

What Is the Process for Getting a Dental Bridge?

 

  • During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.

  • During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new permanent bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual's case. If the dental bridge is a fixed (permanent) bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple days, the bridge is permanently cemented into place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inlays and Onlays

 

Inlays and onlays are a conservative alternative to full coverage dental crowns. Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays offer a well-fitting, stronger, longer lasting reparative solution to tooth decay or similar damage. These restorations are beneficial from both an esthetic and functional point of view.

Inlays and onlays can often be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth by your dentist.

The restoration is dubbed an “inlay” when the material is bonded within the center of a tooth. Conversely, the restoration is dubbed an “onlay” when the extent of the damage requires inclusion of one or more cusps (points) of the tooth or full coverage of the biting surface.

Inlays and onlays provide: a superior fit, excellent tooth color, tooth structure safeguard, easy tooth cleaning, strength and stability and protect weak teeth