Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Cosmetic surgery is a very popular specialty of medicine that has been growing steadily for decades. Youth is associated with vitality and beauty. For many of us, aging is not an easy thing to do and we seek out help to keep us looking and feeling younger and more vibrant. When seeking out cosmetic surgery, many often overlook the role our teeth play in our appearance. As we age, our teeth become darker, get worn down, and may even change alignment. This can create not only cosmetic issues but functional ones as well. These functional issues can lead to Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, headaches, and muscle pain.

How Can My Dentist Make Me Look Younger?

As our teeth wear over time, it can result in a shorter looking face, longer looking teeth, and darker teeth. The resulting appearance may make some of appear to age prematurely. The breakdown can be caused by tooth erosion (high acid wear), attrition (flattening and fracturing due to grinding and oral habits), and abrasion (overly aggresive brushing), recession (loss of gum tissue making teeth appear longer) . The length and shape of our faces and teeth, as well as the position of the jaw are determined by the teeth, skeletal bones, and a person’s bite. So, when a person’s teeth wear down it will give the appearance of a shorter face. Pain and discomfort are often associated with wearing down of teeth and gums, as they become more sensitive, prone to increased fractures, and to development of TMJ and headache pain.

Your dentist can give you the ability to change all of this, allowing the patient to look more youthful while correcting dental issues.  The patients oral hygiene must be good and the mouth should be in a healthy state before any work can be completed.  This should include control of periodontal disease, removal of any loose teeth, addressing gum loss issues, ascertaining desired whiteness, and correcting dangerous oral habits, .  Great care must be taken while returning someone to their proper tooth height (vertical dimension) as it can create even more TMJ and headache issues if not done properly.

Some of the procedures involved in making you look younger include:

-Porcelain Crowns. These crowns will give the cosmetic appearance most patients are seeking but also give the strength and stability to open one’s bite .  One type of strong porcelain which is used where teeth grinding has been a problem is a Bruxzir crown. When placed properly, a patient will begin to see an immediate improvement in their bite and in the cosmetic appearance in the skin around the face as wrinkles will lessen.

-Porcelain Veneers. A staple of cosmetic dentistry but used in conjunction with porcelain crowns to lengthen and restore the length of front teeth. Porcelain veneers are less invasive and more conservative than porcelain crowns. For teeth that do not require a full coverage crown, porcelain veneers can adequately lengthen and reshape, and change the color of your smile.

-Orthodontics. Limited or full orthodontics may be necessary to remove any bite issues that can cause undue stress or trauma to the teeth before new restorations are placed.

-Dental Bonding. Used to restore any teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, staining or slight wear. Dental bonding is a cosmetically pleasing option that will look very natural when completed.

-Crown Lengthening. A surgical process to expose more tooth structure so that there is enough room to properly place a crown. This is often necessary in severe grinding cases.

-Gum and Bone Grafting and Recontouring. Lost bone and gum tissue can often times be grafted to help regrow them. They can also be reshaped surgically to be healthier, easier to work with, and more cosmetically appealing.

-Teeth Whitening. Many of our worn teeth are also dark and discolored. The color you desire to reach may require a dental whitening process, or simply a whiter color bonding restoration or a whiter colored porcelain restoration.

Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry will change not only how your teeth function but how you feel about yourself. Many dentists often overlook the relationship between our teeth and our bite. If the bite is not in alignment, your teeth and face will never look and feel their best.

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.

While the dental crown itself cannot become decayed, the underlying tooth structure can. A dental crown is placed after careful shaping and preparation of the tooth surface and then inserted over the remaining tooth structure to restore the crown to its proper form and function.

How Does The Tooth Get Decay Under A Dental Crown?

The most vulnerable part of the interface between the dental crown and the tooth is the area where the edge of the crown meets natural tooth structure. If you are not maintaining good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) to remove the plaque that lives under the gumline, you can develop a cavity on the underlying tooth and root areas. Once decay develops, it can progress quickly into the tooth and move up and under the crown, undermining the support for the dental crown. The following things can happen if you get tooth decay on a tooth with a dental crown:

-Simple Dental Filling Placed At Margin Of Dental Crown. If the tooth decay is caught early enough, there are times where a simple filling can be placed to restore the tooth. This is only done when complete removal of decay can be accessed from the area. The seal is not as strong and leakage can occur under the dental crown over time.

-Root Canal Therapy. If the tooth decay gets close to or invades into the nerve of the tooth a root canal will be needed to save the tooth. If the tooth has already had a root canal performed, it will need to be rebuilt back up so that a new crown can be placed.

-Crown Lengthening. A crown lengthening is a dental procedure where a portion of the bone surrounding a tooth is surgically removed to allow the dentist access to decay that might run down the side of the tooth. This gives access to restore the tooth and also allows for proper placement of a new dental crown.

-New Custom Dental Crown Fabricated. In most cases, a new crown will be needed to ensure a proper seal and proper coverage over the existing tooth.

Conclusion

It is important to maintain good dental hygiene but it really becomes important once you have dental crowns. A dental crown generally lasts anywhere from 5-15 years if properly taken care of. If they are not cared for they will not last as long and could develop a bigger issue.  The big tip here is to always maintain good dental hygiene and see your dentist regularly to check the crown edges for leakage and decay.