“Can my dentist improve my smile?”
From subtle changes to major repairs, we can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. We can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, caps, crowns, veneers, and reshaping and contouring. These improvements are not always cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite.
Your eyes should be the dominant feature in your face. A beautiful smile brightens your entire face, but should not overwhelm it. Facial balance is an important feature when we create your new smile!
Bleaching is a common and popular process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while other just want a whiter shade.
Discoloration occurs in the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea and cigarettes. Discoloration also can be caused by your genetic make-up or simply getting older.
Bleaching can be performed by us in the office or, under dental supervision, at home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient and cost effective. Treatment begins when we create a custom mouthpiece to ensure the correct amount of whitening solution (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) is used and that your teeth are properly exposed. Typically, whitening at home takes two or three weeks, depending on the desired shade you wish to achieve. Whitening in the office usually takes one to two hours in our office, plus follow-up at home.
Direct bonding is using tooth-colored filling material to close gaps or change the color of teeth. Requiring a single office visit, bonding lasts several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration. Direct bonding is also less invasive, requiring little or no change to your existing tooth. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, direct bonded fillings may be the material of choice.
Porcelain veneers are placed over teeth to change their color or shape. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic bonded over the front of your teeth. They are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or which are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Often, little or no anesthesia is needed. Veneers are used to treat some of the same problems as direct bonding.
The procedure requires us to slightly alter the shape of your tooth and then take an impression of it. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. When they come back from the laboratory, they are bonded to your tooth. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding.
Crowns, also known as caps, are used in cases where other procedures will not be effective. Crowns are very durable restorations, but require considerable alteration to the existing tooth to prepare it for the crown. After the tooth is prepared for the crown, we take an impression, and the crown in fabricated in a laboratory. You wear a provisional crown while the real one is being made, and the crown is cemented to your tooth at a second appointment.
Contouring and Reshaping
Tooth reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth, in a single session. Tooth reshaping and dental contouring is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping. Gum recontouring and shaping can also vastly improve your smile.
Simple recontouring is ideal for candidates with normal healthy teeth, but who want subtle changes to their smile.
“Which procedure is right for me?”
We can answer many of the questions you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and desired result you want often dictates the best procedure. If you are considering a treatment, there are a few questions you can ask us before deciding if a particular procedure is right for you.
- What will the changes look like?
- What should I expect through the course of treatment?
- What type of maintenance will be required?
- What is the expected longevity of the treatment?
- Are there any risks involved?
We will answer questions you may have about the procedure, maintenance and cost to help you choose the treatment that best suits you.