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Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Post

Cosmetic dentistry is used every day in dental offices across the world. Most people only associate cosmetic dentistry with teeth whitening or those Hollywood style smile makeovers. Cosmetic dentistry can be used to make major changes to your smile but also very small ones that can improve your smile dramatically. Below you will find some common uses for cosmetic dentistry procedures.

What Can Cosmetic Dentistry Do For Your Smile?

-Chipped Tooth. A chipped tooth can happen from tooth decay, trauma to the mouth, or even biting into a hard roll on a sandwich. To repair a minor chip in your tooth, your dentist will use dental bonding. Dental bonding uses a tooth colored material to blend in with your existing tooth and restore form and function again. If the repair is much larger a porcelain veneer or porcelain crown will be recommended as they will last longer and need less care when doing day to day activities.

-Fractured Teeth. If a tooth is fractured, it must first be determined what the extent of the fracture is. If the fracture is superficial and does not enter the nerve of the tooth a porcelain crown will be recommended as it will provide the support and strength necessary to restore form and function. However, if the fracture extends into the nerve of the tooth or even under the gum line more extensive treatment will be needed. If the tooth can be saved root canal therapy will be recommended followed by a porcelain crown. If the fracture makes it unrestorable, a tooth extraction will be recommended.

-Yellow Or Stained Teeth. Teeth whitening is usually the answer to this problem. Teeth whitening can be done in office or at home. It is very effective in brightening most people’s smiles quickly and easily.

-Crooked Teeth. Whether this is a single tooth out of line or multiple teeth, cosmetic dentistry can fix the issue. You can use traditional type orthodontics or “instant” orthodontics. Instant orthodontics is the use of porcelain veneers to correct slight imperfections in your smile. Traditional orthodontics can move teeth that are more out of line. With newer techniques like six month smiles, orthodontic movement can be completed in as little as 6 months.

-Replacing Old Dental Restorations. Over time, even the best dental restorations will wear down and even discolor. Replacing these older dental restorations can rejuvenate your smile and make it look whiter and brighter.

-Close Gaps Between Teeth. Many of us have spaces between our teeth and do not want to go through the time and effort of traditional orthodontics. Cosmetic dentistry can close these gaps using dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and even porcelain crowns.

-Irregularly Shaped Teeth. Sometimes it is a single tooth that seems out of place from the others. This could be from wear over time or just having a tooth slightly out of place. Cosmetic dentistry can restore those teeth to look and function just like the other teeth giving you a winning smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

We all have an ideal smile in our heads. For some it is the smile we are born with while others are looking to improve upon what they were given. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry can keep our smiles looking great and also improve upon them if desired.

Can Crown Lengthening Beautify Your Smile? Post

Oftentimes a smile that shows too much gum tissue makes teeth appear too small for your mouth. Most of us have substantial tooth structure, we just don’t see enough of it to have the full effect of the whole tooth. This exposure of tooth structure through tissue and or gum removal  is called crown lengthening. A well trained cosmetic dentist can use crown lengthening (also called a gum lift) to beautify your smile by allowing you visibility of more natural tooth structure. There are other uses for crown lengthening as well.

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening has multiple uses but has gained popularity as a cosmetic procedure. Crown lengthening can be used to remove bone and/or gum tissue from surrounding teeth. From a cosmetic standpoint, the reshaping of uneven gum tissue can make teeth appear more even without the need for braces or veneers. If tooth decay or  fractures fall under the gum line, it is necessary to remove bone to allow for better access and support for a dental restoration such as a crown.

What Does The Crown Lengthening Procedure Involve?

Crown lengthening is actually a very simple procedure that gives dramatic results. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. Following numbing of the area, the dentist will begin to remove the excess gum tissue. For most procedures only gum tissue will need to be removed and generally healing does not involve stitches. In others a small amount of bone will also need to be removed. Following completion, the gum tissue is stitched back together to allow for a speedy healing process.

Crown Lengthening Advantages

-One Time Procedure. A major advantage to crown lengthening is that it only needs to be completed once. No follow up is needed.

-Increased Dental Hygiene Access. With more tooth exposed dental hygiene can be completed even easier. With more tooth exposed it will be easier to keep your teeth clean.

-Speed. The entire procedure takes about 30-60 minutes with dramatic results following initial healing over the next 7-10 days.

Crown Lengthening Disadvantages

-Surgical Considerations. As with any surgery, the risks include pain, swelling, excessive bleeding, and possible infection. If you are in good health, do not require medication, and have good oral hygiene, risks are generally minimal.

-Recovery. Initial healing is fast, you should see your tissue looking better in a few days.  Normal recovery should take 2-8 weeks. Tissue healing takes a few weeks while bone healing takes almost 2 months.

-Price. Cost is always a factor but dental insurance often picks up part of the price if there is periodontal pocketing or inadequate tooth structure to prepare for a crown. Photos, xrays, and periodontal charting are usually required for preauthorization.

Crown Lengthening Recovery

When your crown lengthening procedure is completed, you may be given a prescription for a pain reliever. You may also be advised to use ice to reduce any swelling. There may be dietary restrictions. You can expect to return to the dental office in 7-10 days to evaluate healing and to remove the stitches if they were placed.

When healing is complete, you may move onto other cosmetic or restorative dentistry procedures. These may include crowns, bridges, or porcelain veneers. It is important for full healing to take place before proceeding to other treatment. A healthy foundation makes for a stable platform for dental restorations.

Crown Lengthening Conclusion

Sometimes, a relatively simple procedure can save you from much more extensive treatment or loss of an otherwise unrestorable tooth. It is important to see a well qualified cosmetic dentist or periodontist to have your smile evaluated to see if the treatment is right for you.

Commonly Asked Questions About Porcelain Veneers Post

Porcelain veneers have become a popular and attractive cosmetic dentistry procedure for many people around the world. Many more are interested but unsure what the procedure entails to improve their smile. Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions regarding porcelain veneers.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are custom made wafer thin pieces of porcelain. Porcelain veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth giving the dentist the ability to change the color, shape, length, and size of your teeth. Porcelain veneers reflect light in a very natural way. For many, porcelain veneers are performed in multiples usually the front 2- 8 teeth. Some might only require one to correct a flawed tooth.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are used to correct cosmetic issues with a person’s smile and made with a translucency that mimics natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” for their ability to correct mildly crooked or small teeth. They also have the ability to close spaces between teeth (also called diastemas),restore chipped teeth, or even to change the color of teeth.

Many people are good candidates for porcelain veneers, however, patients with tooth decay, periodontal disease, heavy clenching, or severe misalignment of teeth are usually not good candidates.  Patients with a history of bruxism (tooth grinding) may end up cracking their veneers, although if you only grind at night you can wear a mouth guard to protect the porcelain veneers.

What Happens During The Porcelain Veneers Procedure?

Once you have decided that you want porcelain veneers your dentist will take study models of your teeth. The reason for this is that your dentist will be able to give you a mock up of what your teeth can look like when the porcelain veneers are in place. At this time you and your dentist can discuss the size, shape, and color of your new porcelain veneers. Once these models are approved, an appointment can be set up for the actual procedure. A small amount of tooth structure is usually removed from each teeth to prepare them but sometimes they can be done without preparation to the tooth. Local anesthesia is generally recommended if there will be tooth preparation to avoid any discomfort. Once the preparation of your teeth is completed, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be used by the dental laboratory to create your custom porcelain veneers. Once fabricated, you will return to have the porcelain veneers placed onto your teeth. Initially your dentist will place the veneers  to check that the color, shape, and size is as desired. If they meet both your expectations, the dentist will bond them to your teeth creating your new smile.

How Do I Care For My Porcelain Veneers?

Dental hygiene visits should continue as usual. Home care is more important than ever, brushing and flossing will help prevent decay around your veneers. Porcelain veneers are quite strong but it is possible to break or fracture them. The following activities should be avoided: breaking nuts with teeth, tearing open packages, biting and tearing it hard items, and ice chewing. A soft electric toothbrush such as a rotodent could be helpful in polishing them and keeping looking like new.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

The longevity of porcelain veneers will vary by individual. The general rule is they last about 10-15 years although some can expect a longer lifespan for them. If a porcelain veneer chips, cracks, or shows any wear they can be replaced refreshing your smile.

Can I Stain My Porcelain Veneers By Drinking Wine?

No, porcelain veneers are resistant to coffee, tea, and wine stains. Once a patient selects their desired color, the veneers will stay this way, without color changes .

Are Porcelain Veneers Expensive?

Cost will vary depending upon where you go. The cost is generally reflective of the materials and lab used. Be wary of offices where the price seems too good to be true. You get what you pay for and using an inferior dental laboratory or an inexperienced cosmetic dentist might lower the cost but will lead to earlier failure of the porcelain veneers. Studies have shown that almost half of all cosmetic dentistry needs to be redone. Porcelain veneers require high quality dental materials as well as an experienced cosmetic dentist. If done properly you will enjoy your new smile for a long time.

Are Porcelain Veneers Covered By My Dental Insurance?

Generally, no, as porcelain veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure. Most insurance companies do not cover porcelain veneers.


Porcelain veneers can transform an ordinary smile to an extraordinary one. The information above should give everyone some information on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. As always maintain regular dental examinations and professional cleanings to maintain your current and future smile.

Are You A Candidate For Cosmetic Dentistry? Post

Having a great smile is about more then a white, perfectly aligned smile. For many of us, we have one or more perceived flaws we might want changed with our smiles. These flaws can effect a person’s self esteem and a person’s self confidence. Cosmetic dentistry gives you the ability to make small corrections or even major transformations to your smile. These changes can have a major impact on your entire life.

What Is A Perfect Smile?

Everyone’s idea of a perfect smile is different. So every cosmetic dentistry consult should begin with you telling your dentist what you are looking for. Your dentist will complete a thorough dental examination along with taking impressions for study models. These models can be used to give you a visual reference of what your new smile might look like. This examination will allow your dentist to explain to you what can be done to keep a balance between cosmetics and function and give you options to choose from. It is important to remember to keep open communication with your dentist. If you are not happy with any part of the treatment plan options or the cosmetic dentistry treatment selected, you need to let him or her know so changes can be made.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Changes

Straighter Teeth

Adult orthodontics have come a long way. Gone are the days of wearing braces for several years to give you the smile you want. The newest development is the six month smiles system. This system uses tooth colored materials so that no one will notice you are undergoing treatment. This treatment can transform your smile, giving you straighter teeth in an average of six months.

Teeth Lengthening

Over time and use, our teeth change. These changes include them becoming shorter. This can change your smile from a youthful one to one making you appear older. Lenghthening your teeth back to their natural dimensions is possible with porcelain crowns, gum contouring, and porcelain veneers. These options will add length and structure to your teeth making your smile look the way you always imagined.

Whiter Teeth

A whiter, brighter smile can give the appearance of youth and vitality. This is one of the easiest and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures available. There are generally two types of teeth whitening – in office and at home treatment. The in office treatment is immediate and highlyeffective, the at home products may take a bit longer but will still give you a dazzling smile.

Rebuild A Lost Smile

Over time, tooth decay and periodontal disease can wreak havoc on our smiles. Our teeth can break down, shift, create dark spaces, or even be lost. To restore a lost smile, cosmetic dentistry can offer porcelain crowns, bonding, and dental implants to give you a full smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Change Your Smile

-Teeth Whitening. This has become a billion dollar cosmetic dentistry business with products ranging from in office whitening to at home whitening with customized dental trays, whitening strips,  paint on gels and even whitening toothpastes and rinses. The differences between the types has to do with speed and depth of whitening. Teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on almost anyone’s smile for a relatively low cost and minimal time involved.

-Dental Implants. Missing teeth can make you feel uncomfortable with smiling, socially awkward, or may make you look older than you are. Replacing lost teeth can be done with very natural results. Dental implants are a great way to achieve cosmetics, strength, and durability.  Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. The best part is, once restored, the dental implants will often last a lifetime.

-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves reshaping and blending teeth. Bonding utilizes tooth colored materials that can be bonded to teeth to change shape, color, and length. This same material can also be used to fully cover the front surface, (called a composite veneer). Dental bonding can generally be completed in one visit, and is less expensive than porcelain restorations.

-Porcelain Veneers. While the initial cost is higher than some other cosmetic dentistry options, this may be cost effective if extensive changes need to be made. Porcelain veneers can change shape, color, length, and even correct minor misalignments of teeth. This will last a long time, will not stain, and is a very strong, natural looking material. The veneer is also a conservative restoration as it generally only requires minimal enamel reduction, and sometimes no reduction.

-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns combine strength with the most cosmetic options available. They are made from modern dental porcelain materials that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from a natural tooth. Modern porcelains possesses strength, color properties, and light reflection properties that very closely mimic our natural teeth. Porcelain crowns can be used to change bite alignment issues as well as change alignment of front teeth which are more extreme such as those issues that porcelain veneers alone cannot fix. More natural tooth structure needs to be removed in preparing a porcelain crown vs a porcelain veneer.

-Snap On Smile. This is a modern, conservative way to improve your smile without any permanent dental work. All that is required is having your dentist take impressions of your teeth, choose a color, and the dentist sending them to a lab to have your snap on smile fabricated. Once the snap on smile is made, you simply clean your teeth, apply a fluoride gel inside, and slip it on over your teeth. You can talk, eat and smile with it all day long.

-Gum Contouring. For those with a gummy smile, this can be a real confidence booster. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is generally done in one visit and can give incredible results for many with an overly gummy smile. Gum contouring simply removes the excess gum tissue and reshapes the gums to ensure you obtain the desired look. For some, this may require reduction of bone also, in this case, it is recommended that you see a periodontal surgeon.

-Tooth Recontouring. Changing the shape or alignment of teeth in a minor way can have a dramatic effect on a persons smile. Tooth recontouring involves removing small amounts of tooth structure from edges of teeth to correct a tooth that might be misshapen or slightly misaligned.

-Orthodontics. Minor tooth movement can be completed in weeks to months by your cosmetic dentist to bring your smile in line and allow for a better harmony between your smile and function.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

The beauty of cosmetic dentistry is that only you and your dentist should ever know it was done. A well trained cosmetic dentist can create a smile that is both beautiful and natural looking. There are so many ways in cosmetic dentistry to make changes to your smile. Talk yo your dentist to see what will work best for you.