Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

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.

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.

Conclusion

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.

A Smile is the universal language we all share.  Having a smile you are happy with allows you to exude self confidence and self esteem. This makes you feel more attractive to others and appear more successful. According to recent surveys, about 1/3rd of all Americans are unhappy with their smile. Luckily, for most of us this situation is easily correctable with some simple and some more involved cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Easy Cosmetic Dentistry Fixes For That Perfect Smile

For many of us, the imperfections that bother us can be quite small and easily correctable with cosmetic dentistry. These simple cosmetic dentistry procedures can include:

-Teeth Whitening. This is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure in the U.S. and the world. It can dramatically alter ones smile and also ones perception of themselves. Teeth whitening can be achieved in a variety of ways with varying results. One of the most popular ways to whiten is, the use of teeth whitening strips. These strips can give your smile a brighter look for very little cost but they do not work for everyone, and may not get your teeth as white as you’d hoped.  The dentist can offer an at home teeth whitening kit or a one hour procedure in office. Professional whitening is very effective but comes at a higher financial cost. Professional whitening procedures can whiten your smile by as much as 4-6 shades in as little as an hour.

-Dental Bonding. While a bit more extensive than teeth whitening. Dental bonding can usually be completed in under an hour and give a dramatic effect if one or more teeth are affected by tooth decay or fractures. A good cosmetic dentist will be able to make the dental bonding appear natural and no one should be able to tell you have any dental bonding present. This has been a staple of cosmetic dentistry for many years.

-Tooth and Gum Recontouring. Many people are unhappy with one or two teeth which may be out of alignment. The dentist can recontour one or more teeth to give them the look of being more in line with one another. Uneven gums can also make teeth appear to be longer or shorter.  You would be amazed at how simple it is to reshape and contour teeth and gums to give a beautiful appearance. Recontouring is often overlooked by patients and by many general dentists. A good cosmetic dentist will look at the teeth and face as one big picture allowing them to make adjustments in the big scope of things.

-Snap-On Smile. This is a fairly recent advancement in cosmetic dentistry. It allows for a prosthetic to be fabricated that fits over the existing teeth. This procedure requires little to no tooth preparation and can be a cost effective option. This procedure is far less expensive than permanent changes to teeth, and can be completed in just a short time. Snap on Smile patients are happy to leave with  the smile they wanted at reduced cost and chair time.

More Complex Cosmetic Dentistry Fixes For An Imperfect Smile

-Porcelain Veneers. When you see an “A” list celebrity in magazines or in movies, chances are they have had porcelain veneers placed on their front teeth.Porcelain veneers are wafer thin custom fabricated shells made of modern dental porcelain that are adhered to the outer surface of your natural teeth.  Porcelain veneers are also referred to as “instant orthodontics”. This is because the cosmetic dentist is able to change the shape, width, length, and alignment of your teeth. In extreme cases of misalignment, your cosmetic dentist may recommend a porcelain crown or orthodontics prior to doing porcelain veneers.  When completed properly, no one but you and your dentist should know that you have porcelain veneers.

-Orthodontics. This is not just for kids any more. Adults are often turning to orthodontics to get the smile they dream of. Having straight teeth helps in chewing function, decreases wear and fracture, and has the benefit of being cosmetic. Straight teeth are beneficial for optimum hygiene,  it allows you to be able to clean your teeth more effectively since you will not trap as much food particles when they are properly spaced.

-Dental Implants. Many do not consider dental implants to be a part of cosmetic dentistry but they play a very big role in modern dentistry. Replacing a lost tooth will not only improve function but will also return your smile to its original form. A lost tooth, to many, is a sign of old age, poor hygiene, and low dental priority. Having a full complement of teeth can give someone a youthful, healthy looking appearance.

-Periodontal Plastic Surgery. Many of us have a smile that shows too much gums or might have some areas with receding gums. This can be corrected with surgical addition of or removal of  gingival tissues to the areas of concern.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

It is so important to feel good about smiling. There are so many options to help with most of your dental concerns. Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way over the last 10-15 years, making the procedures more affordable to many. Choosing a good cosmetic dentist along with the use of high quality modern dental materials you can assure yourself of getting the smile you have always dreamed of. A good cosmetic dentist will be able to advise you of what cosmetic dentistry procedures would be best for you to fulfill your wants and desires.  You can achieve your perfect smile, and confidently show it off to the world!

For many adults, braces or orthodontics have just not been an option. They do not want to invest the time and effort to make their teeth straight. For those that do want to correct their occlusion,  it is a worthwhile investment. Orthodontics is a great way to fix bite issues as well as some cosmetic issues. However, if you do not have any bite issues and are looking for a fresh start with a new smile, instant orthodontics may be the answer for you.

How Does Instant Orthodontics Work?

Instant orthodontics is achieved using multiple cosmetic dentistry procedures in a fairly short time to give you the white, bright, straight smile you desire. Depending upon how extreme your smile issues are to begin with, instant orthodontics can range from 2-3 visits to 2-3x times that number. Let’s take a look at some of the cosmetic dentistry procedures involved in instant orthodontics:

-Porcelain Veneers. This is a hallmark procedure in cosmetic dentistry for an instant orthodontics case. Porcelain veneers are a custom made thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to the existing teeth (after a small amount of preparation to the teeth). Once in place you have a long lasting durable dental restoration that can change color, shape, and size of your teeth. These are generally used on the top front teeth and  sometimes, bottom front teeth. Porcelain veneers work best in cases where minor changes need to be made in alignment, shape and color of teeth. Preliminary models of the teeth should be made to assess whether veneers can correct issues properly. If after diagnostic workup, it is found that the issues are too severe, a different method of correction will be necessary. So, porcelain veneers are ideal in cases where there is a limited amount of misalignment of teeth and/or the patient’s desire is to not only bring them back in line but also to change the color and shape of their teeth.

-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns are the most cosmetic offered in dentistry today. They are made from modern dental porcelains that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from 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.

-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure can be useful when closing a gap between teeth, changing a surface imperfection, or altering tooth shape. Dental bonding is much less expensive in the short term, but can change color,(stain), and chip requiring frequent replacement. Porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers do not change color and are more resistant to fracture. That said, dental bonding does a great job in closing gaps on teeth as well as changing the size, shape and color of one or more teeth much in the same circumstances diagnostically as veneers.

Why Choose Instant Orthodontics Over Traditional Orthodontics?

While traditional orthodontics has a necessary and important place in dentistry. Traditional orthodontic movement of teeth into correct anatomical position is the generally the more conservative approach due to the fact that the teeth do not require alteration to their anatomy. Many adult patients choose instant orthodontics over traditional orthodontics for the following reasons:

-Time. Traditional orthodontics can take a year or longer to achieve the results you are looking for. Orthodontics will not whiten teeth or change color or tooth shape.

-Periodontal disease. This needs to be under control prior to any type of dental work of this magnitude. Traditional orthodontics can make a situation where there is bone loss present even worse as the teeth move. Teeth moving into place may cause increased bone loss, tooth looseness, root resorption, and gum tissue recession.

-Tooth Decay/Old restorations present. When there is tooth decay present or an older dental restoration (such as a crown or previous dental bonding) that needs replacing, it may actually be easier and more cost efficient for the patient to get new dental restorations and re align the teeth in that manner.

-Bite Reclamation. Over time, our teeth wear (this is especially true for those who grind their teeth). This wear can cause a loss in what is called vertical dimension, collapsing our bites. A good cosmetic dentist can not only make your new restorations look perfect but they can also add the extra function of restoring that lost vertical height. This will give the effect of smoothing out the skin and wrinkles around the mouth thus giving you a more youthful appearance. Instant orthodontics can not fix loss of tooth structure.

Instant Orthodontics Conclusion

Instant orthodontics is not for everyone. For those who are unhappy with their smile and looking for more than just teeth whitening it could be just the answer for their needs. If traditional orthodontics is not feasible for you, instant orthodontics may be a great option. You can expect your smile to look great in just a few weeks,  but be aware, over time some of those restorations may need to be redone if they break or tooth decay becomes an issue. Remember, dental hygiene is the foundation of any cosmetic dentistry work. If you wish any restoration to last, you must brush, floss, rinse, and see your dentist regularly for examinations and professional cleanings.