Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Braces have become a part of life for many of us. In the past, braces were generally thought of as a treatment for kids. Now, with changes in the appearance of orthodontic appliances, and speed of movement, Orthodontics are being utilized frequently by teens and adults. The days of being too old for braces are long gone. There are a myriad of options for orthodontic treatment today to make them as esthetic as possible with shorter treatment lengths. While teeth are being moved, inevitably the mouth, lips, chin, and cheeks are effected. The question is…..Can Orthodontic treatment change a person’s facial appearance?

Upon completion of orthodontic treatment, many patients will notice a slight change in their facial appearance. The bigger change will occur when smiling fully, as this will show off the new found symmetry of your smile. The change will be more noticeable if the original issue was more severe.

 Corrections That Can Change Facial Appearance

-Overbite Correction.  Prior to tooth movement, an overbite causes the upper lip to protrude. In extreme cases the upper lip is so far advanced that the lips do not fully cover and close the mouth at rest. In profile the upper lip flares and the convexity of the mid face is pronounced. After movement, the area from nose down to chin flattens and the appearance softens.

-Underbite Correction. Prior to tooth movement, an underbite causes the chin to protrude and lower lip to retrude, giving your profile the “Moon Shape”. After movement, the face loses much of the concavity. This helps to flatten and soften the features, bringing the lips together more harmoniously. Underbite correction may or may not require surgical assisstance.

-Open Bite Correction. Prior to correction, the mouth and lips may seem a bit overstretched. In more severe cases the lips do not touch at rest. After movement, The mid face appears more relaxed and the lips come together at rest. Severe open bite may require surgery to be fully corrected.

-Jaw Expansion. There are times where a patient is born with too little space in one or both arches.  The middle of the face may be narrow, and cheeks a bit hollow. If space needs to be opened, a device is custom fabricated called an expander. If it is used on top it is called a palatal expander and if used on bottom it is called a mandibular expander. Expanders are used more often on children but they can also be used on adults in coordination with surgery. The expansion is usually done in very small increments and usually will go unnoticed by many. A more symmetrical smile and wider midface results at the end.

Orthodontic Treatment Conclusion

Orthodontic treatment can change a person in many dramatic ways. These changes include a fuller smile, straighter teeth, and balancing out one’s face. The changes to a person’s face are usually slight unless surgery is involved.  The profile is what changes the most. When teeth are in proper alignment, the profile of a person will be more in line with the rest of their facial features creating a more balanced look.

The facial changes can usually be predicted. Ask your dentist what changes you can expect.

Cosmetic dentistry gives an experienced cosmetic dentist the ability to transform any smile from ordinary to extraordinary. Porcelain veneers can be a major component in that transformation. Unfortunately, not every patient who wants porcelain veneers is a good candidate for them. Below you will find what is needed to be a good candidate for porcelain veneers.

Criteria For Porcelain Veneers

-Desire For A Beautiful Smile. when one desires a change, especially one requiring a financial investment, they are usually open to being diligent to maintaining it. If the porcelain veneers are not cared for they will break down overtime. Regular dental examinations, professional cleanings, and excellent homecare are an integral part of keeping your smile transformation.

-Healthy Teeth And Gums. If extensive tooth decay, fractured teeth, or periodontal disease are present, you will not be considered a good candidate for porcelain veneers. A stable platform is needed for porcelain veneers. The mouth needs to be  in a healthy, stable state to allow porcelain veneers to be considered an option. You will need a full dental evaluation to assess your dental health. If your mouth is unhealthy, it is best to avoid porcelain veneers due to the high liklihood of failure.

-Alignment Of Teeth. Severely misaligned teeth will cause issues with preparation of teeth for porcelain veneers. Most dentists try to be quite conservative when removing natural tooth structure. If the teeth are too far out of alignment it means more tooth structure will need to be removed to accomodate the spacing. Removing too much tooth structure can lead to tooth sensitivity and even nerve exposure (requiring root canal therapy). For teeth that are severely misaligned, invisalign, 6 month smile, or traditional orthodontics may be needed to bring them into better alignment.

-Sufficient Tooth Enamel Present. Tooth enamel is needed for the porcelain veneers to bond to your teeth. If the tooth  is severely worn down or damaged, porcelain veneers will not bond well and may not be a good option for you. In this case a full crown may be a better option.

-Tooth Color. In general, veneers look best when they are thin and translucent. If you have severely stained teeth (developmental dentin staining, tetracycline staining, root canal staining), it is usually best to whiten your teeth prior to veneers. Blockout of color is possible, but doesn’t look as natural.

-Gum Tissue Alignment. Proper gum contours are necessary to proper tooth shaping of veneers. If the gum heights are out of proportion, they will need to be recontoured with a gingivectomy procedure prior to veneer placement.

- Oral Habits: Nail BitingTeeth Clenching/Grinding (Bruxism). Severe teeth clenchers or teeth grinders are not good candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers are not able to handle the powerful stresses put forth by grinding and clenching. If a patient only grinds their teeth at night then it is possible to still complete porcelain veneers but only with the use of a night guard at night. Other oral habits such as, biting nails, chewing on pens, opening packages with your teeth, etc. will also cause damage to veneers and may cause them to fail.

Porcelain Veneers Conclusion

Porcelain veneers when done on the right individual can change a persons smile dramatically. It is important to remember that veneers are not right for every situation. Be sure to have a thorough evaluation by your dentist to see if your cosmetic options may include porcelain veneers.

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.

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.