Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dental Services

Cosmetic dentistry refers to the enhancement of the smile. Cosmetic dentistry does not necessarily include function. Most any dentist can provide some form of smile enhancement procedure to improve the appearance of a person's teeth, gums and/or bite. Many dentists refer to themselves as "a cosmetic dentist" regardless of their specific education, specialty, training, and experience in this field. There are many smile enhancement courses available to the dental populist and of course experience is always a plus.

Cosmetic dentistry may involve the placement of a bonding dental material to teeth, crowns (also referred to as caps), porcelain veneers (also known as laminates) and the replacement of tooth filling material from amalgam to porcelain. The most common enhancement is the lightening of tooth color by tooth whitening (also referred to as tooth bleaching). In some cases soft tissue gum grafts and gum depigmentation will also aid in a smile enhancement.

What are the quick smile enhancements?

  • Whitening, or tooth bleaching is the most common procedure and may be done within an hour at the dentist's office of over a week's time at the patients home leisure.
  • Teeth reshaping or contouring or the smile by the use of a bonding material. This procedure may also correct a small tooth chip, alter length and tooth shape, and improve tooth color. Bonding is a process in which an dental composite material is applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted into shape, hardened and then polished.
  • Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made porcelain laminates that are bonded directly to the front of teeth. They are an option for closing gaps or disguising discolored teeth that do not respond well to whitening procedures. Depending on the procedure, tooth reduction may be necessary.
  • Filling replacement of amalgam (silver) fillings with a natural tooth color porcelain material.
  • Crown replacement of silver or gold crowns with porcelain crowns.

Traditional cosmetic procedures may also include:

  • Dental crown and bridge is traditionally used to replace a single lost tooth located between two natural healthy teeth. The neighboring teeth of the lost tooth area are shaped to accept crowns. A false teeth, known as a pontic, is cemented between two porcelain crowns to fill in areas left by missing tooth. Two crowns hold the bridge in place. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out in the same way that partial dentures can. In areas of the mouth that are under less stress, such as the front teeth, a Maryland bridge (also known as a cantilever bridge) may be used. Maryland bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. Bridges can reduce the risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require commitment to serious oral hygiene, but may last up to ten years or more.
  • A dental implant is used to replace a single lost tooth, multiple lost teeth, serves as support for bridges and serves as support for partial dentures and full arch dentures. A dental implant replaces the entire lost tooth root and the crown. Dental implants retains facial shape and features normally lost through bone resorption.

Dental work can be made entirely of porcelain or composite materials with the appearance of natural tooth structure. These tooth colored materials are bonded to the underlying tooth structure with resin adhesives. Unlike silver fillings (amalgams) they are entirely free of mercury. Many dentists offer procedures to be cosmetic and because their patients prefer natural looking teeth. Cosmetic dentistry has evolved to cover many new procedures and new dental materials are constantly introduced.

Dr. Tawill DDS - Cosmetic Dentistry