Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

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.

Dental bonding is a common cosmetic dentistry procedure that can make minimal and maximum changes to your smile. The beauty of dental bonding is it generally can be completed in a single appointment and may or may not need dental anesthesia and is less expensive than porcelain restorations. . 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 Procedure

Dental bonding can be used to restore function to a tooth that has tooth decay or just to add a cosmetic change. What is involved in the dental bonding procedure?

-Preparation. Very little preparation is necessary for dental bonding, especially in the case of a chipped tooth. Anesthesia is usually not even needed unless the dental bonding is needed to restore a deeply damaged or traumatized tooth, a fracture close to the nerve, a sensitive tooth, or a tooth damaged by a tooth decay. Your dentist will need to roughen up the surface and clean the edges to prepare the area to accept the dental bonding.

-An acidic etching gel (phosphoric acid) is applied to the tooth being treated to ready the surface for bonding of the dental composite. The gel opens up microscopic tubules which allows for proper bonding to the natural tooth surface.

-A liquid conditioning agent is applied to the tooth which wets the surface and again facilitates bonding.

-Your dentist will then choose the proper shade of dental composite to match the tooth being worked on but also the surrounding teeth.

-The dental composite is then formed and shaped so that it will fit into the necessary treatment area can restore the natural contours and function of the tooth. Multiple layers of dental composite are applied. This allows for a stronger end product.

-A special UV light is held over the dental composite. This light hardens and cures the dental composite. Each layer will be cured within seconds.

-After the material has cured, your dentist will adjust the material to remove any excess and bring it to a high polish. This will also be the time your dentist will ensure the bite (or occlusion) is correct. Adjustments may be made to bring the teeth into proper alignment. The final shaping and polishing is one of the most important parts of the process. It is important to blend the composite resin properly to get a result that looks and feels like your natural tooth structure.

-The entire dental bonding procedure usually between 30 minutes to an hour for each tooth. If done properly, dental bonding should not be noticeable to anyone. It should match your existing tooth structure perfectly.

-Going forward to maintain the dental bonding, you will want to be diligent about your dental hygiene. This should include brushing and flossing regularly.

What Can Dental Bonding Do For You?

Dental bonding is a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure, but can also be used to restore teeth that have tooth decay. Dental bonding can do the following:

-Repair cracks or chips in teeth.

-Close gaps in between teeth.

-Cover stains or discolorations.

-Cover exposed roots thus eliminating or decreasing tooth sensitivity.

-Change length or shape of teeth.

Dental Bonding Conclusion

A dentist has many tools to restore your teeth but none more important than dental bonding. It is a versatile cosmetic dentistry procedure that can restore your smile to its natural form and function.

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.

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.