Everyone would like to have a perfect smile, but nature is rarely so accommodating. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who never needed braces, the rough-and-tumble of life, along with habits such as smoking or drinking coffee, invariably result in chips, stains, or an overall dingy appearance. Until recently, there was not a lot you could do to improve the appearance of your teeth beyond having them cleaned once or twice a year. In the last decade, however, improvements in dental materials and restorative techniques have made it possible for most of us to have close to model-perfect teeth that resist colour changes and are almost as strong as the originals.
If you have been considering ways to brighten your smile or correct imperfections, there has never been a better time to do it.
Aesthetic Dentistry is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of dentistry available today. More individuals than ever before are looking to their dentist to improve their physical appearance. They realize that embarrassing dental imperfections and ugly stains can be corrected by their dentist.
Cosmetic Dentistry covers a broad range of dental services. It typically involves Appearance Related Dentistry. Orthodontics and porcelain crowns / bridges are considered the most traditional ways of smile enhancement simply because they have been in use the longest. We offer comprehensive treatment to improve your smile. We work together with orthodontic specialists and provide all other aesthetic services in our office.
As with all dental procedures, the aesthetic needs are addressed after a comprehensive examination. The teeth should be examined, and treatment planned and then cleaned, before aesthetic procedures begin. Of course, any necessary dental work, other than purely aesthetic changes, must be incorporated in the treatment plan.
It is important to be realistic. Dentists who specialize in cosmetic procedures are enhancers. They can manipulate, shape and polish materials in an infinite variety of ways to create smiles that are truly dazzling. What they cannot do is change the shape of your mouth, the colour of your skin or your overall appearance. For tooth restorations to truly look natural, they must be work for you. Cosmetic dentistry can improve your appearance; it will not completely transform it.
There are many cosmetic options to choose from, depending on what you need to have done. For example:
Stained or discoloured teeth the enamel that covers the teeth is not impervious to stains and the underlying tooth structure (the dentin) often yellows over time. If the teeth are healthy, it is easy to eliminate stains by applying a bleaching agent.
Chips or rough spots These can be filled with a tooth-coloured material called composite. The colour of the composite can be chosen so that it matches the colour of your teeth. Once the material has been smoothed and polished, it is virtually indistinguishable from the surrounding area.
Cavities or cracks Traditional amalgam fillings work fine in the back of the mouth, but most people do not want to reveal a metal mouth when they smile. An alternative is to use tooth-coloured fillings, which match the colour of the teeth. These fillings are made with composite material like that used to repair chips or cracks. Some white fillings (direct composites) are pressed into the cavity and cured (hardened) with a special ultraviolet light. Others (indirect composites) are made in a laboratory and then cemented in place. They cost much more than amalgam fillings but are much more attractive.
Uneven teeth It’; s not uncommon for a tooth to be slightly longer or have a different shape than its neighbours. With a procedure called recontouring, your dentist can reshape the tooth so that it is a better match.
Gaps between the teeth Small gaps can be closed by applying composite material between the teeth. For large gaps or other imperfections on the surfaces of the teeth, your dentist may recommend veneers. Veneers are among the most expensive cosmetic procedures. Made from ultra-thin shells of porcelain that come in every shade of white, veneers are permanently bonded to the fronts of the teeth, giving them an entirely new aesthetic appearance.
Broken or crooked teeth; If a tooth has been badly broken or is structurally weak, you may need a crown. Crowns used to be made of metal, but today they are often made of tooth-coloured porcelain materials.
The full conservative cosmetic dental procedures have greatly enhanced a dentist’s ability to give their patients better smile.
Tooth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth at much less cost and inconvenience than other techniques. Every day, a thin coating forms on your teeth and it picks up stains. Also, the outer layer of each tooth, called the enamel, contains pores that can hold stains. Whitening is not a one-time solution. It will need to be repeated on a regular basis.
Bleaching living teeth has become enormously popular and successful. With bleaching, you can have whiter teeth in just 2-3 weeks. All it takes is wearing a custom-made tray with the bleaching gel (both provided by our office) for about two hours per day or overnight while you sleep. For more on bleaching refer to our section on Bleaching.
Bonding is the application of a tooth-coloured composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, or discoloured tooth. Unlike veneers, which are manufactured in a laboratory and require a customized mould to achieve a proper fit, bonding can be done in a single visit. The procedure is called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth. After removing the damaged area, we “bond” or attach a tooth-coloured material called composite resin onto the tooth. Bonding is also an effective way to close a small space or gap between two teeth. For more on bonding refer to our section on Bonding.
Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discoloured or chipped tooth. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth. Sometimes, bonding also is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.
PORCELAIN VENEERS / LAMINATES
Veneers are a thin layer of porcelain, the same material used to make tooth-coloured crowns or caps, which once cemented to the tooth, act and appear like normal, natural tooth structure. These restorations need little or no tooth structure removal for attachment and are extremely pleasing aesthetically. For more on veneers, refer to our section on Veneers.
Gum contouring is another conservative procedure which can make a significant contribution to the enhancement of a smile. Bone/Bone material grafting in deficient places in the mouth enhances the appearance of the gums in the smile and gives the emergence profile of the tooth a fillip. For a chin that is less than perfect, implanted fillers can be placed to augment deficiencies.
The gum line of front teeth may not always grow in at the right place on the teeth. Sometimes the erratic eruption of teeth can cause the gum line to end up covering the top third of the teeth resulting in a gummy smile and small teeth. This corrective procedure is the simplest and most dramatic cosmetic procedure in the armamentarium of the cosmetic dentist. The teeth and the gums are anaesthetized, the excess gum tissue is trimmed exposing the full length of the teeth and reducing the gummy smile. Healing is rapid and there is little or no bleeding.
ENAMEL SHAPING (RECONTOURING)
Enamel shaping is a process of contouring natural teeth to improve their overall appearance. When teeth are slightly crowded or uneven, or when teeth appear too long, enamel shaping may be used to correct the flaw. Enamel shaping involves modifying teeth by removing or contouring enamel to create harmony and balance in the mouth. The results can be seen immediately. It should be approached with caution, however, because enamel cannot be replaced.
Recontouring is one of the most conservative cosmetic procedures. It is an effective way to correct minor imperfections and can improve overall dental health by removing crevices or overlaps in which plaque or tartar can accumulate. However, recontouring is not a substitute for veneers or bonding. If your teeth have substantial imperfections — a deep chip or fracture, for example, or large fillings from earlier procedures — recontouring probably will not be recommended. This more conservative process cannot solve all problems. Crowded teeth may need braces. Enamel shaping, which is often combined with bonding, is usually quick and painless.
You should understand what recontouring can and cannot do for you, so you have realistic expectations. When tooth imperfections cannot be eliminated with recontouring, your dentist may combine the treatment with bonding, in which a composite resin is used to patch fractures, chips or cavities.
Because recontouring does not affect the living pulp of the tooth, it usually can be done without aesthetic. Most people will need one to two visits to complete the treatment.
Tooth jewelry (skyce) offered at our center is made and certified in the EU and is available in two colors: “crystal” and “sapphire blue”. During a painless procedure, a jewel is fixed on the tooth surface. The jewel does not damage tooth tissues and has no side effects – except for the increased charm of your smile! Call it an oral fashion statement to stand out among ordinary mortals or simply an effort to blend in with the bold and the beautiful.
Skyce is putting an extra sparkle into more and more smiles. Skyce jewels are applied to the labial surfaces of upper anterior teeth. If somebody thinks he or she was better off without tooth jewellery, it can be easily removed without any side effects on the dental tooth structure as the procedure is non-invasive. What is more, tooth jewelry can be fixed again at a later stage.
Singly or in combination, all these SMILE DESIGN PROCEDURES can create an inviting and confidence-building smile.