Think of the last time you posed for a photograph. Did you flash your «pearly whites» or did you hide your teeth? If the look of your teeth is keeping you from feeling your best, you will be glad to know there are simple solutions. Today, many people benefit from cosmetic dentistry - a wide range of techniques that can enhance almost any smile.Thanks to the improved state of the art technology and materials, cosmetically - enhanced teeth look more natural and last longer than they did in the past. You don't have to settle for teeth that are chipped, stained, crooked or have spaces between them. Skillfully blending science and art can «sculpt» a more attractive, pleasing smile for you! A smile is a powerful way for us to communicate. If we feel self-conscious about our teeth, we may lose the power by not smiling or by covering our mouth when we smile. Even a slight flaw in one of our teeth can detract from an otherwise attractive smile.
What's your smile type?
Walk up to a mirror mounted on a wall. Do not use a hand - held mirror, use a large mirror like in a bathroom. Smile at yourself. Now think of something funny that happened to you. Look in the mirror again. Your smile is now bigger. This is called your «funny smile» because it is the one that you show when you hear or see something funny. This smile is much smaller when you are not happy with your teeth. That's why it is important to figure out, what is that which bothers you about your teeth?
- The spaces between your teeth?
- Are your teeth dull, dark or stained?
- Are they crooked, misshapen or out of line?
- Do you show too much gum?
- Are your gums irregularly shaped, higher on some teeth, lower on others?
- Are your teeth too small or too large?
- Do your teeth slant one way or the other?
- Is the midline of your two front teeth centered with your face and nose?
- Are the edges of your canines too pointy or too flat?
- Are the biting edges worn down?
- Are any of your teeth missing?
- Have your gums receded?
- Are any ugly dental filling showing?
- Do any old or recently crowned teeth not match your natural teeth?
If your answer is yes in some of the above questions, then you can be helped by cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Throughout history man has tried to recreate the function and beauty of natural teeth.
Here are some of the most popular procedures:
- Teeth Bleaching
- Porcelain Laminate Veneers
- All Porclain Crowns
- Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns
For whitening of dark, dull or stained teeth, bleaching may be the simplest solution:
- At home:
Bleaching is performed by taking on impression of the teeth and making a model of them. From this model, a clear soft custom made bleaching tray is made. The tray is filled with bleaching gel and placed into the mouth directly over the teeth. This bleaching tray may be worn during the day or while the patient sleeps. Result can be seen daily. For maximum results most patients must wear the tray for about 2 weeks.
- At the office:
Power bleaching or whitening technique is the latest and most advanced process available. This method uses hydrogen peroxide and is used to treat individuals who want immediate results, or those who have severe discolorations. Patients usually see a dramatic shade improvement in less than 45 minutes and generally without the tooth sensitivity that is sometimes associated with the at home bleaching.This quick and comfortable method is also very safe because of the new advanced plasma arc light that is used during procedure.
Porcelain veneers can dramatically change an entire smile. They can change the shape, color, size and arrangement of teeth or any combination of these factors. They can often be used as an alternative to orthodontic treatment. Excellent results can be created from veneers in a matter of weeks as opposed to wearing braces for months or years. That's why we call it «instant orthodontics». The technique consists of shaving a thin layer of the outer tooth structure. An impression of the prepared teeth is taken and is sent to the dental laboratory. The ceramist will make very thin porcelain facings consisting of all the changes in shape, size, colour and tooth arrangement that are needed to get a great looking smile. At the second visit, the laminates are bonded onto the prepared teeth with the blue light gun. The bonding material acts as an adhesive for the laminates. Porcelain laminates is the most popular technique used for dramatic smile makeover.
All Porcelain Crowns
When there is not enough tooth structure left, or the chewing demands in the mouth are too great for veneers (laminates), a stronger, more extensive restoration is needed. Here we place all - porcelain - crowns. These crowns are pure porcelain and are placed on a fully prepared tooth. They are the most life - like of all full crown preparations. The technique consists of preparing the teeth and taking an impression. Temporary crowns are made while the permanent restorations are being fabricated in a dental lab. Within some days, the all - porcelain - crowns are permanently bonded onto the patient's teeth. Newly produced PROCERA material has enabled a better strength biocompatibility, and excellent fitting in all -porcelain - crown techniques. With this system, a laser induced computerized object of the prepared tooth is sent to Sweden by email and the all - porcelain - crown is produced in Sweden in specialized laboratories.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns
When biting is too great for all - porcelain - crowns, or when gaps from missing teeth must be filled in, metal alloy must be placed under the porcelain for strength. This is the porcelain fused to metal crown technique. Again, the teeth are prepared for a full coverage restoration. After the impression is taken, a metal coping is made for the prepared tooth. This is then covered with porcelain. These crowns do not have the translucency of pure porcelain crowns. Therefore, the aesthetics may be slightly compromised in some situations. However, good ceramists can usually overcome the limitations, thereby creating lifelike restorations. When teeth are loose due to periodontal bone loss, this technique is used. Here the teeth are splinted together, by joining the metal structure of the crowns.
Large unsightly silver fillings can often be replaced by tooth - coloured bonded full - porcelain fillings, if sufficient tooth structure remains. These restorations also strengthen teeth. Porcelain inlays may be used in all posterior teeth, due to their inherent strength and wear resistance.