Cosmetic dentistry is a complex dental science that includes dental implants but is not limited to that radical procedure. Cosmetic dentistry can improve your appearance and the health of your mouth. It could be a good investment. Dentists who specialize in cosmetic dentistry near you can perform some life-changing procedures to improve your appearance.
They can treat discolored teeth. They can repair teeth that are chipped or misshapen or even replace missing teeth. The can close spaces between your teeth. They can restore worn teeth or teeth that are shorter and don't match the other teeth in your mouth.
These improvements are not always just cosmetic. They often correct real oral problems such as your bite which affects your ability to eat and also to speak in some cases.
The color of your teeth
Teeth are not necessarily white naturally. In fact, some experts say that the strongest teeth are a couple of shades darker than the color of ivory piano keys. The enamel itself is a bluish white color, but the enamel is also somewhat translucent so that the color of the bony dentine shows through. Healthy teeth are either light grey or light yellow.
If your teeth are darker yellow than a dark ivory color, it may be due to some medications, coffee, tea, cigarettes, or in rare cases, a metabolic disorder. If your tooth color is at variance from the natural color of teeth, this can be corrected with a combination bleaching and polishing.
Your cosmetic dentist will custom make a mouthpiece or tray that fits your mouth. The dentist fills the tray with the right amount of whitening solution to reach your desired shade.
The mouthpiece has to be worn between two and four hours a day and sometimes all night. Bleaching agents vary and some may require more exposure than others.
Filling in gaps
If your teeth are chipped, misshapen, slightly decayed, or spaced too far apart, a plastic-like resin can be bonded to the enamel of the teeth to fill in gaps, change the shape, or even change the color of your teeth.
Bonding was invented in 1949 when the first system of binding acrylic resin to tooth enamel was invented by Oskar Haggar. In 1955, Michael Buoncore invented a soft tooth filling material and an acid etch technique that increased the adhesion between the acrylic and the tooth enamel. In the 1980s, the process of bonding was truly developed for patients.
The acrylics used today come in a soft moldable form and are hardened with ultraviolet light whose energy causes hardening. (You can buy similar material in hardware stores today for use as a hardening glue).
The bonding acrylic is also used as a cavity repair filling. The bonding procedure is painless and no anesthesia is needed unless the cleaning of decayed teeth is involved.
There are two forms of dental bonding. Direct composite bonding is where the acrylic bonding material is applied directly to the tooth enamel to fill or shape teeth. Adhesive bonding involves the use of porcelain veneers, bridges, or inlays.
The dentist roughens the surface of the enamel with an acid solution then attaches a tooth-colored putty-like material which the dentist shapes and polishes into the desired shape.
The material is then hardened with the ultraviolet curing light. Direct composite bonding is likely to last for 2 years or so before it has to be examined and, perhaps, repeated. Adhesive bonding lasts about twice as long.
Contouring and reshaping teeth
Cosmetic dentistry has procedures to correct crooked teeth, teeth that are irregular or chipped. Teeth that overlap may black the growth of new teeth in the mouth. Tooth reshaping and contouring can alter the length, shape, or position of the teeth. This may help with some bite problems.
Tooth reshaping is ideal for people with normal teeth who want to improve the look of their smiles. The dentist will take x-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there is sufficient bone between the teeth to support them.
William Linger, DDS, MAGD offers a digital smile transformation preview. Using a photograph of your smile, we will show how your new smile can look. Please contact us to learn more.