Cosmetic dentistry covers a very wide variety of procedures. Some of the most common are tooth whitening, composite dental bonding and porcelain veneers. You can pick and choose which treatments will give you the ideal smile.
Cosmetic dentistry is designed to provide patients with teeth that are evenly spaced, attractively shaped, white and healthy. Treatment typically focuses on tooth flaws that show when you talk, smile, eat or laugh. Procedures can involve just one tooth or all visible teeth.
WHY CHOOSE COSMETIC DENTISTRY?
Psychologists tell us that your smile and your eyes are the first two features people notice when they meet you. Some people naturally have great looking teeth, but most of us need a little help to get a smile that makes us look our best. It’s not unusual for patients with flawed teeth to feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their smile. Cosmetic dentistry is designed to help you feel more confident about your appearance. Most treatments are minimally invasive and not too time-consuming.
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS DR. GILBERT CAN CORRECT:
Chips and fractures along the edges of the teeth
Surface cracks that make the enamel look broken
Gaps between teeth
Stained enamel or dark dentin (the layer underneath the enamel)
Teeth that look too short or stubby
Teeth that are irregularly shaped
Metal amalgam fillings that show when you smile
Gum tissue that is uneven or that covers up too much of your teeth
Missing teeth (cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry overlap)
WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR COSMETIC DENTISTRY?
Cosmetic dental treatment works best for patients who have good oral health. The goal of treatment is primarily to improve the appearance of teeth and gums that are already functioning well with little or no decay, disease or damage. Some cosmetic dentistry procedures are not suitable for patients who have extensive dental prosthetics. For example, tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel. If you have a porcelain crown on a front tooth and whiten the rest of your teeth, your crown may no longer match the color of the surrounding enamel.
COSMETIC DENTISTRY PROCEDURES OVERVIEW
Dr. Gilbert offers many treatments to address a range of dental flaws. Here are some of the most common procedures for making teeth look more attractive:
Professional tooth whitening can make teeth six-to-10 shades lighter for a dramatically younger, brighter smile. At-home treatment uses a custom-molded plastic tray and a concentrated peroxide gel. In-office “laser” whitening treatment activates the peroxide gel with a special lamp to make the treatment work faster.
Porcelain veneers cover up a wide variety of tooth imperfections. They can be used to close gaps and conceal crooked, misshapen, discolored, or chipped teeth. Veneers are cemented in place for long-lasting smile improvement.
These clear plastic aligner trays gently move teeth into better alignment over a period of several months. Unlike metal braces, they are practically invisible. Plus, you can remove them during meals and tooth brushing/flossing. Cosmetic dentists often use Invisalign® to give patients a more even, symmetrical smile with no unsightly gaps or crowded teeth.
Tooth-colored resin is a popular option for same-day correction of teeth that are chipped or misshapen. Dental composite can also be used for filling small cavities in front teeth.
This treatment is designed for patients who have an uneven gumline or a “gummy” smile. Removing excess gum tissue can restore attractive proportions to teeth that look stubby.
Patients who have cosmetic and structural problems with their teeth may need treatment that is both aesthetic and restorative. This might include porcelain inlays/onlays, crowns or dental implants.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COSMETIC DENTISTRY
As you plan your treatment, you should know that the majority of cosmetic procedures are not covered by dental insurance. However, you should be able to set up an affordable payment plan that lets you start enjoying a brighter smile right away. Most cosmetic dentistry treatments require some maintenance over the years. You should plan ahead for the long term costs of keeping your smile in mint condition. You may be able to significantly prolong the lifespan of your cosmetic restorations by practicing good dental hygiene. Regular dental exams and cleanings are critical to protect your cosmetic investment.