We all wish for a pearly white smile, free of cracks and discoloration, with all teeth precisely even. However, life sometimes has a different plan and many of us start to see the early signs of deterioration in the form of coffee stains, chips and tooth misalignment.
That’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in! If you’re not happy with how your smile looks, various procedures can help improve the appearance of your teeth. Learn what Smile Dental Center can do!
Discoloration can happen naturally over time, although smoking and drinking coffee or tea can accelerate it. Growing in popularity, teeth whitening has the greatest visual impact, getting rid of dull stains and giving your smile a whiter, brighter appearance.
Patients generally have a choice between:
- In-Office Whitening: Compared to over-the-counter whitening kits, the solution a dentist applies in-office is stronger, so you’ll notice results sooner. Through multiple treatments, in addition to heat and light, your teeth may become three to eight shades lighter.
- At-Home Whitening: Most patients who want whiter teeth have looked into or tried an at-home kit. Not all solutions are the same; some are gentler while others cause greater tooth sensitivity. For more information, discuss your options with one of our dentists.
- Microabrasion: In certain instances, in-office peroxide application might not be strong enough to remove staining; microabrasion takes things further. A dentist uses hydrochloric acid and pumice to take off ultra-thin layers of tooth enamel, getting rid of any discoloration in the process. Procedures are virtually painless and last roughly an hour.
When your teeth require more cosmetic work, what options do you have? Dental veneers, made of porcelain or resin, help improve discoloration, wear, chips or misalignment and may further assist with closing gaps and smoothing out irregularly shaped or crooked teeth. In all cases, a tooth-colored shell is bonded to the front and each is custom-made to look like your natural set.
Before the veneer is applied, the dentist scrapes away a thin layer of enamel. Then, the porcelain or resin chip is attached before the dentist uses a special light to harden it in place. This ensures the veneer doesn’t move and is as durable as your natural teeth.
To improve the look of a chipped tooth or noticeable gap, dental bonding offers an alternative to veneers that requires less preparation and can be completed in a shorter timeframe. This minimally invasive procedure involves creating a dental bond from a composite resin that’s applied to your tooth’s surface. No anesthetic is required and most of your original tooth is preserved.
Before adding the bond, the dentist applies a conditioning gel that gives your tooth’s surface a rougher texture. The bond is attached and any excess or imperfections are carved away. You’ll be asked about its appearance, before the dentist uses a specialized light to cure and firmly bond the resin. With proper maintenance, bonds can last for 10 years or longer.
Years ago, a dentist may have recommended braces to straighten teeth but in recent years, Invisalign® has proved to be a far more advantageous alternative. The clear plastic aligner trays are barely detectable and the lack of metal eliminates much of the discomfort. You can remove the trays to enjoy your favorite foods and is better for flossing, brushing and overall tooth maintenance.
Much like braces, Invisalign® is custom-made for your mouth. You will be fitted for a series of trays, designed to guide your teeth into place through each stage. Trays are typically replaced every two weeks until your beautiful, well-aligned smile is revealed.
Advanced Cosmetic Options
Sometimes, a cosmetic issue is more than visual. When you have a missing tooth, decay or cracks close to the gums, certain restorative procedures improve the bone strength, function and appearance:
- Same-Day Crowns: Add a porcelain cap over your damaged tooth. In-office CAD/CAM and 3D imaging technologies help get a close match in a single visit.
- Dental Implants and Bridges: Whether for one tooth or a full row, an artificial root bonds with your natural bone for the look and function of natural teeth.
Issues with a recent set of veneers, dental bonds or implants? We see emergencies same day!