What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
A. People notice a beautiful smile. There’s no doubt that a smile is your most important social bonding gesture. Your smile is the total center of expression and when it dazzles, you exude confidence, happiness and joy. Today’s advanced cosmetic procedures can enhance your smile to its white, straight, beautiful best. Here is what cosmetic dentistry can do for you:
- Close gaps between teeth
- Whiten discolored or stained teeth
- Repair chipped, broken or worn teeth
- Reposition crowded teeth
- Lengthen or shorten uneven teeth
- Replace a missing tooth or teeth
- Replace old metal fillings or crowns
Cosmetic dentistry covers a multitude of procedures that improve the beauty and health of your smile.
Am I a candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?
A. If you’re self-conscious about your smile or unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, you may be a candidate for cosmetic dentistry. Ask yourself: Do you ever smile with your mouth closed or hide your smile behind your hand to prevent others from seeing your teeth? Does the appearance or color of your teeth embarrass you? Do you avoid smiling because you do not want people to see your teeth? Do you have old metal fillings in your back teeth? If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be a candidate for cosmetic dentistry. In fact, anyone who is unhappy with the appearance of his or her smile is a candidate for cosmetic dentistry. A smile makeover can change your life – make you look and feel younger, more attractive and more confident. Picture yourself with your perfect smile!
What are some treatment options?
- Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a simple, non-invasive procedure for creating a brighter and more vibrant smile. Treatment can take years off your appearance to make you look more youthful, healthy and attractive.As time passes, it is normal for your tooth enamel to accumulate stains. You may not even notice it is happening at first, but the effects become more noticeable over time. This discoloration tends to occur more rapidly for patients who regularly consume products such as:
- Coffee or tea
- Red wine
- Dark colored fruit juices and sodas
- Cigarettes or smokeless tobacco
Yellow and brown stains can make your teeth appear dirty – even when you brush and floss faithfully. Tooth whitening allows you to smile with confidence, knowing that your teeth look as clean and fresh as they feel.All popular smile whitening products work in basically the same way. They use a whitening agent (usually some form of hydrogen peroxide gel) to remove substances that have accumulated in the enamel. As the stains are broken down, your enamel is restored to its natural white or bright ivory color. (Note: Whitening toothpastes do not carry the same whitening ingredients and are not recommended as they often can be detrimental to the health of your teeth.) There are many over-the-counter whitening products available, but they work slower and less effectively than those supervised by a dentist.
- In-Office Teeth Whitening
Patients who want brilliant white teeth in a short time often choose in-office whitening for same day results. The procedure takes a little over an hour. During this time, you can simply sit back and relax. Many patients see a six-to-eight shade improvement after this procedure. This smile whitening treatment is a great option if you have a special event coming up and want to show your best and brightest smile.
- At-Home Teeth Whitening
This whitening procedure works well as a primary option or as a follow up after in-office treatment. You receive a custom fitted mold of your teeth and a supply of professional-strength whitening gel. Simply coat the upper and lower trays with gel each day and wear them for the recommended period of time – usually one to two hours. These convenient at-home whitening regimens usually take a few weeks to show maximum results. You can repeat the treatment as needed to maintain or improve your teeth whitening over time. Custom trays are comfortable to wear and ensure that the gel actually stays in contact with your enamel during treatment.
- Whitening for Life
At Mount Pleasant Dental Care, when you choose to whiten your smile either with in-office whitening or at-home whitening
- Tooth colored fillings
When a tooth is broken down with decay, an old leaky silver filling, or a crack, tooth colored fillings can repair the damage and restore your tooth to its natural color. The color of the material is selected specifically to match the surrounding tooth structure, often making them invisible. Tooth colored fillings will take away those embarrassing dark areas when you smile or laugh and can be done in one visit. With proper material selection and attention to detail in placement, tooth colored fillings can be a long-lasting alternative to the older metal or mercury fillings. (Note: Mount Pleasant Dental Care does not offer mercury amalgam fillings.)
- Cosmetic Bonding
Cosmetic bonding is a minimally invasive technique that uses tooth-colored bonding material to reshape teeth, close small gaps, repair chips or cover discoloration. The results are beautiful and last many years. It is done in a single day and can transform your smile to give you confidence and youthfulness.
- Cosmetic Veneers
Dental veneers can give you a flawless smile without extensive or invasive dental work. This procedure is suitable for improving a single tooth or for a smile makeover on all visible front teeth. Unlike dental restorations that are necessary to fix damage and restore function, dental veneers are designed to correct minor aesthetic imperfections. Porcelain veneers are custom fabricated to match your aesthetic preferences. They are bonded in place for a long-lasting result.Veneers are designed to look like real teeth – pearly white and slightly translucent. Unlike real teeth, they don’t yellow over time.
Veneers can be used to cover up many flaws including:
- Slight crookedness
- Small gaps between teeth
- Minor chips and fractures
- Stains or discoloration that doesn’t respond to tooth whitening
- Teeth that look misshapen or too short
Veneers work best for patients who have only minor tooth flaws. They aren’t suitable for covering up cavities or deep fractures. When larger restorations are necessary, all porcelain crowns are the best cosmetic and restorative option.
- All porcelain crowns
All porcelain crowns are designed to strengthen and restore damaged and decayed teeth. Crowns are one of the most commonly used tooth restorations because they are effective, easy to install and covered (at least partly) by many dental insurance plans.All porcelain crowns can be used for a wide variety of purposes. A crown might recommend for you if:
- You have a deeply cracked, worn or fractured tooth
- You have a tooth with a large cavity
- You are undergoing a root canal
- You have a tooth that is abnormally small, strangely shaped or very discolored
Crowns are often used in conjunction with other restorative dentistry treatments. For example, crowns can anchor a bridge in place on either side of a missing tooth. With dental implants, a porcelain crown is the finishing touch to create a natural looking smile again.
A crown is an investment that will withstand the test of time and save your tooth from further damage. It is important to take care of your new crown by following good dental hygiene.
- Complete smile makeover
If you feel it is time to have your entire smile transformed, we can guide you through the process of a complete smile makeover. Using any combination of teeth whitening, tooth colored fillings, veneers, all porcelain crowns, bridges, implants or cosmetic bonding; you can have the smile you always dreamed of. Thanks to advances in technology and photo imaging, you can see your smile before treatment begins.
How can Cosmetic Dentistry change my life?
A. If you’ve lived with what you perceive to be an imperfect smile, just imagine how a beautiful smile could change not only your appearance, but also your life. You will feel younger, more attractive, successful, vibrant, and energetic. With an enhanced smile, you may experience a sense of self-confidence and self-esteem as you never have before. That confidence may carry over and impact your personal and professional life as well. An enhanced smile will not only make you look good on the outside, but also help you feel good about yourself on the inside.