In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless and surprisingly affordable treatments.
Cosmetic dental treatments can:
Change the size, shape, and alignment of certain teeth.
Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth.
Improve or correct bites.
Lighten or brighten the color of teeth.
Repair decayed, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.
Replace missing teeth.
Replace old, unattractive dental treatments.
Remember, your smile speaks before you even say a word!
Options From Your Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Paige Woods
Cosmetic Dental Services Overview
As your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Woods can provide a number of services designed to make you look better than ever, including:
- supplementation of teeth or gums with bonding, porcelain laminates or veneers, caps, crowns and gum grafts.
- enameliplasty or gingivecotomy, the removal of teeth or gums.
- orthodonitics, also called teeth straightening for the purpose of appearance improvement.
- cosmetic dental procedures that don’t involve removal or addition of materials, including gum depigmentation and teeth whitening or bleaching.
Details Of Available Cosmetic Dental Procedures
As a cosmetic dentist, Dr. Woods can provide specific services appropriate to specific patients, including dentist-supervised whitening treatments or tooth bleaching, the most common appearance-enhancing procedure available from a cosmetic dentist. This is more effective, in many cases, and simpler than home treatment for making discolored teeth look lighter and younger.
Bonding and teeth reshaping or sculpting procedures are often available for completion in just one visit to the cosmetic dentist’s office.
Reshaping takes away sections of the enamel to enhance the look of the tooth. This cosmetic dental procedure can make a small chip look better, change the length of a tooth, make teeth line up better or to adjust the bite position slightly. It can correct very long teeth and crooked teeth in some cases. Removed enamel cannot be replaced, and sometimes the underlying dentin is exposed. These specific cosmetic dental procedures have many names, including odontoplasty, enameloplasty, contouring, stripping or slenderizing. Results are very fast, and in some cases patients who thought they might need braces can avoid having them and have reshaping procedures instead.
When your cosmetic dentist does bonding, a dental composite material that looks and performs like enamel can be attached to a tooth surface and sculpted, hardened and polished to make teeth look better.
A different cosmetic dentist’s option are veneers, very thin custom-made pieces of laminate that are glued to teeth. They can be useful for closing gaps, covering discolored teeth that cannot be whitened and solving other cosmetic issues. Teeth may need to be reduced before veneers are applied in some cases.
Fixed bridges are false teeth that the cosmetic dentist uses to fill in gaps between natural teeth. Also sometimes called pontics, they are fused in place between porcelain crowns and are not removable by the patient. The procedure can successfully replace one or several missing teeth, and unlike dentures, they do not need to be removed for cleaning.
For places in the mouth that are not under much stress, like front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be called for. These are used when teeth are available on only one side of the open area.
Bridges serve the cosmetic dentist well, and can reduce gum disease chances, correct bite issues and improve speech. Bridges require some effort to take care of, however, but they can last up to 10 years.
A gum lift is a procedure a cosmetic dentist can perform to adjust and sculpt the gum line. A complicated procedure, it involves reshaping tissue and sometimes bone and can make teeth look longer and more symmetrical.
Bite reclamation is a procedure a cosmetic dentist uses for people who have excess wear of teeth because of acid reflux or grinding. Designed to change vertical dimension, patients can have a shorter or more closed look to their smile and their face in general. By opening the bite, even unwanted wrinkles are sometimes reduced.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Materials
Today, cosmetic dental work can be done entirely with porcelain or composite materials -- not gold, amalgam and other metals as in years past. Newer materials look more like natural teeth than older metal alternatives too. In most cases, tooth-colored materials are attached to tooth structures with safe resin adhesives. These cosmetic dentist’s materials are 100 percent free of mercury, eliminating potential heath risks of amalgam. New materials are constantly being developed to make cosmetic dental procedures safer, longer-lasting and more natural-looking.
To learn your cosmetic dental options, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS