Most Common Cosmetic Dentistry Questions
Cosmetic dentistry and dentistry in general has evolved over the past 20 years. Advancements in dental materials and dental technology has allowed dentists to do more and make your smile as natural and perfect as you want it to be.
Cosmetic dentistry is not just about esthetics but also improved function. However, with advancements come increased options. Below you will find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cosmetic dentistry.
How To Choose The Right Cosmetic Dentist?
The best way is to use the internet to look at reviews and dentist websites. Another way, is to ask a friend or a co worker. You must feel comfortable with your dentist and trust that they have the skills and training to give you the smile you desire.
Check qualifications, read reviews, check before and after photos of their work, and just chat with your new dentist to see if they fit what you are looking for.
Only a highly skilled, well experienced cosmetic dentist will give you the long term results you crave. Your completed smile should look as natural as the rest of your teeth.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry Good For?
Cosmetic dentistry has the ability to fix both small and large problems with your smile. Some common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
Probably the #! cosmetic dentistry procedure due to its quick results and relatively low financial cost. Teeth whitening can be performed at home by the patient or in the office by your cosmetic dentist in about an hours time. Not all patients will achieve the same cosmetic dentistry results, so it is very important to check with your dentist first to see what to expect.
Cosmetic Porcelain Veneers (or even composite veneers).
Porcelain veneers are a thin shell of porcelain similar to a fingernail. They are custom fabricated in a dental laboratory and cemented in place over your teeth to transform your ordinary smile into an extraordinary one. Porcelain veneers are sometimes called “instant orthodontics” in cosmetic dentistry because they have ability to realign slightly misaligned teeth.
Porcelain veneers also have the ability to change the color and shape of your smile, repair chipped teeth, or close gaps between your teeth. This is a staple of cosmetic dentistry and a well trained cosmetic dentist can dramatically change your smile quickly.
These are custom fabricated to fit your smile to restore function and esthetics. Porcelain crowns are utilized by your cosmetic dentist to restore teeth that have been damaged to trauma, tooth decay, infection, or to close gaps between teeth. Porcelain crowns are are ideal treatment to restore a front tooth as they are translucent and designed using dental materials that mimic your natural teeth.
A dental implant is a titanium root structure designed to replace a single missing tooth or multiple teeth. A dental implant is surgically implanted into the jawbone where the tooth or teeth are missing.
Unlike a dental bridge, a dental implant is permanent, this is because the dental implant becomes one with surrounding bone (process that is called osseointegration). A dental implant is designed to act as the tooth root.
Once integrated it can be used as a platform to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even be support for a full denture. Dental implants are the closest you can get to a natural tooth in function. They give you the freedom to confidently eat, smile, laugh, talk, and enjoy all of your everyday activities without worrying about your smile. These can be used in cosmetic dentistry along with other procedures to restore your smile.
Also referred to as tooth enamel shaping. A misshapen tooth can be lightly shaped by your cosmetic dentist in a painless procedure but it can have a dramatic effect on your smile. It is common to do this if you have protruding mamelons.
A mamelon is a rounded protuberances which are present on the cutting edge of an incisor (front) tooth when it first erupts into the mouth. Generally, they wear away over time as we grow up but for some they need help in removing them.
Also called tooth bonding. Dental bonding is the cosmetic dentistry procedure in which tooth-colored materials are bonded to the tooth to repair tooth decay, repair a chipped tooth, or even close a gap between teeth. These tooth colored materials are bonded using chemistry and a special light which hardens the material in seconds.
Cosmetic Orthodontic Braces.
Adult orthodontics have become very popular in cosmetic dentistry especially with introduction of invisalign orthodontic system. Your cosmetic dentist can make small adjustments to one or a few teeth or a major overhaul using more traditional orthodontics treatment.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Only For Esthetic Treatment?
NO! Some treatments like teeth whitening only have an esthetic benefit. Other facets of cosmetic dentistry have esthetic AND functional effects. When we lose a tooth or teeth, it can create a whole host of issues big and small. Esthetically we have holes in our smile but functionally it becomes more difficult to eat, maintain dental hygiene, and allows for our teeth to shift causing misalignments in our smile.
A good example of a functional as well as esthetic treatment are dental implants. Dental implants can solve all of the above issues as well as maintain the bone of the jaws. Maintaining this bone will keep you looking younger as you age as your face will be fuller and not have that sunken in appearance.
Can My Gummy Smile Be Fixed?
An experienced, well trained cosmetic dentist will be well versed in treatment for a gummy smile. In fact, the gummy smile procedure can be one of the most rewarding for both dentist and patient alike. The change is immediate and patients report increased self confidence and ability to interact socially better than before. Below you will find detailed list of gummy smile treatment options. The procedure used will depend on why the gummy smile exists.
Surgical Treatment Of Gummy Smile
Gingivectomy (another term is gingivoplasty which includes gum contouring).
This dental procedure is simply removal of excess gingival tissue from around the teeth. Removing excess gingival tissue is just the first step. Your cosmetic dentist will remove and reshape the tissues for an esthetic result. You would be surprised how little gingival tissue is actually removed in most cases.
Your dentist will use a laser, an electrical cautery unit, or make periodontal incisions to remove and reshape the gum tissues.
Local anesthetic is necessary during gummy smile procedure for comfort. This gummy smile treatment will not require any sutures and generally the gum tissues heal within 1-2 weeks following the procedure. A gingivectomy is usually the recommended gummy smile procedure when only a few teeth are affected by the gummy smile issue. In other cases, bone tissues may need to be remodeled as well.
This gummy smile procedure allows for your dentist to remove bone tissues as well as gum tissues. This procedure can be a bit more advanced in technique but still fairly easy for most periodontists.
Non surgical treatment can include:
The use of Botox is fairly new for treatment of gummy smile. The botox application relaxes the muscles (levator) in the upper lip causing the lip to not curl under or lift as high upon smiling. The botox relaxes the lip for a more balanced smile. This still allows you to smile, it just limits the height of the upper lip movement.
The treatment lasts about 3 months so no worries about permanent changes. Both surgical and non surgical procedures have very low risks and are easily completed. Obviously, the botox injections will be the least invasive but in some cases botox alone will not give the desired results. Using dermal fillers along with Botox may also help those with thinner lips.
Will A Broken Tooth Always Lead To A Dental Crown?
No. The treatment is dictated by how much tooth structure is damaged via tooth decay, trauma, or infection. If there is minor damage, dental bonding or porcelain veneers can be the answer. If the tooth is damaged more extensively than a dental crown will be the long term choice to repair your smile.
Will Tooth Whitening Work On Every Smile?
No. Even teeth whitening has limitations. If teeth whitening is not effective for your smile there are other options. These can include dental bonding and/or porcelain veneers
What Are Porcelain Veneers Used For?
Veneers are a very versatile cosmetic dentistry treatment that can be used to treat many dental issues. They are mainly used to treat problems with the teeth themselves, working to protect and improve the appearance of teeth that have chipped, cracked, broken slightly, or have thin enamel. They also cover stained or misshapen teeth in order to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
In some instances, such as when one or two teeth are misaligned or a smile is only slightly misaligned, veneers can serve as an alternative to traditional orthodontic braces or invisalign. They do this by making the teeth appear straighter, saving patients the time and money investment that braces involve. It’s important to note, however, that because veneers don’t actually straighten your teeth.
Will Teeth Whitening Whiten Dental Restorations?
Teeth whitening does not have the ability to whiten previous dental restorations. Teeth whitening must be used in a definite order along with other treatment to ensure your smile will look natural and match in color.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Covered By My Dental Insurance?
Every insurance policy is unique and covers different things. It is important to know your benefits regarding cosmetic dentistry procedures. Most dental insurance plans will cover dental crowns but not teeth whitening. Ask before dental treatment begins so there are no surprises.
If you are ready for a smile makeover, contact Marielaina Perrone DDS at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a no cost cosmetic consultation appointment. We cannot wait to help you with your smile makeover to create the smile of your dreams in Summerlin, Henderson, and Las Vegas, NV.