Cosmetic Dentistry treatment begins with a discussion of a patient’s concerns, digital pictures and a digital scan of teeth and gum tissue which is then used to create a Smile Design. This digital workup can then be placed into the patient’s picture to evaluate the changes. Next, a digital 3-dimensional model is made to fabricate the materials that will make changes to the teeth. If modification of the tooth surfaces is needed, such as if veneers or crowns will be used in the treatment, an initial removable overlay can be made first to simulate the result. In this way a successful end result can be assured with no unexpected surprises and another beautiful smile is produced.
Changes to the tooth surface can be slight where only some re-contouring is needed to produce a desired change, or there may be a significant change as in the case where veneers or crowns are to be used. These changes are not enough to harm the teeth and in many cases the veneer or crown replaces a site where a large filling had been present. Veneers and crowns are both made from high-tech porcelains that are strong, durable and extremely good looking. The only difference between a veneer and a crown is that the crown covers the entire tooth where a veneer covers only a visible area of the teeth, usually only the front surface.
Cosmetic Dentistry goes beyond the surface of the tooth however. The position of the teeth, shape of the arch, along with the form, texture and shape of the gum tissue may also play a part in the appearance of the smile. In these situations, orthodontics and gum treatments may be needed. However, in many cases the request for smile improvement involves only one tooth or sometimes just the upper front teeth. Stain and intrinsic color of the teeth is often the issue. Using color blocking materials like high-tech porcelains or even composite bonding materials can often block the unwanted color.
And don’t forget about bleaching or whitening. Peroxide based gels can be effective in removing the intrinsic color from the teeth. Enamel is mostly colorless and translucent with the color of the teeth coming from the dentin under the enamel. These chromophores (color particles) in the dentin can be neutralized by the action of the peroxide, making the teeth appear whiter when the color is gone. Teeth can vary greatly in their response to bleaching and there are several products and regimen to explore to see which works best. The good news is that bleaching is safe and harmless with the only side effect an increase in cold sensitivity in some cases, which usually goes away in a short time. Since the method here is to remove color from the teeth, there is a limit to how white teeth can be with this approach. If a person wants to add white to their teeth, then a treatment as above with the adding of a surface layer of white porcelain may be the answer.
If you are interested in Cosmetic Dentistry, call or text our office for a complimentary initial appointment.