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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your appearance. A beautiful, bright, healthy smile can increase self confidence and overall life satisfaction.

Many regular dental treatments can be cosmetic. Modern tooth-colored fillings are virtually invisible when compared to traditional silver fillings. Tooth-colored crowns or caps can be placed instead of gold or silver. In this section, we will look at some of the best treatments we can use to greatly improve your smile and the way you feel about yourself.

Please click on a treatment option above for more information.

Tooth Whitening

Dramatically whiten your smile

The Problem:
* Dull colored or stained teeth

The Solution:

lastic whitening trays will be made from models of your teeth. You will then place a special whitening gel in each tray and wear the trays in your mouth for several hours per day. (Many patients wear their trays after dinner and before bed.) A significant change in tooth color is usually seen in just four to six weeks.

In our office we provide Zoom! whitening as well as custom-fitted trays to take home. Current studies show both methods are equally effective... Zoom! works faster.

Advantages:
Modern tooth whitening systems are highly effective and have dramatic results. Many celebrities consistently whiten their teeth to improve their appearance.

Disadvantages:
Occasionally, patients may experience some gum or tooth sensitivity when using their trays. These symptoms subside when whitening is discontinued for several days.

Alternatives:
Accelerated whitening (done in our practice) is another option for some patients. This process can result in whiter, brighter teeth in just one office visit. Please consult with the doctor to see if this procedure may work for you.

Occasionally, teeth may be stained in a way that limits the effectiveness of tooth whitening. In those instances, porcelain laminates or crowns are an excellent alternative.
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Porcelain Veneers

Protect and keep badly decayed or fractured teeth while maintaining a beautiful smile.

The Problem:

* Stained or discolored teeth
* Unsightly gaps between front teeth
* Chipped teeth
* Rough or jagged edges on front teeth
* Teeth that are too small or large in proportion to rest of the mouth
* Crooked teeth
* Worn teeth

The Solution:

A veneer (often called a porcelain laminate) is a thin shell of porcelain that covers the front of each tooth. They bond directly to the front of the tooth, similar to the way artificial fingernails work. Each porcelain laminate is a work of art, carefully crafted in a laboratory to fit your individual smile.

We now have the ability to fabricate veneers at a .3mm thickness, conserving tooth form while providing tremendous beauty.

Advantages:
In the hands of a highly skilled dentist, porcelain laminates can provide you with an incredibly natural, beautiful smile. They are virtually undetectable and can dramatically improve your appearance. They are durable and long-lasting when compared to other cosmetic treatments.

Disadvantages:
Although they are highly durable, porcelain laminates are not permanent. Well crafted laminates will last many years, but will eventually need to be replaced.

Alternatives:
Porcelain laminates are an excellent investment. However, they are not appropriate for teeth with excessive decay. In those cases, porcelain crowns are the only alternative. In the event that you desire only to improve tooth alignment, orthodontic treatment may be another alternative.

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Crowns (Caps)

Protect and keep badly decayed or fractured teeth.

The Problem:
* Badly decayed teeth
* Fractured teeth
* Need to protect and strengthen teeth

The Solution:

A crown (often called a cap) covers the tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. Decay is removed and cleaned from the tooth and a highly accurate impression or mold is made of the prepared surface. This mold is used to create a model of the tooth which is then sent to a special laboratory that will create a gold or porcelain (tooth colored) crown. The crown is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the tooth.

Advantages:
Crowns are incredibly strong due to the fact that they are created in a laboratory. This protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure. In the hands of a skilled dentist, a crown will fit almost perfectly onto the prepared surface of the tooth, reducing the size of the seam between the crown and the tooth. This helps keep decay from eventually occurring under the crown.

Crowns should be placed before the tooth is so decayed that it may fracture. This can often help prevent the expense of root canal therapy in the future. It can also prevent the possibility that a fractured tooth may need to be removed, requiring the expense of a bridge or implant to replace the missing tooth.

Disadvantages:
Crowns are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages. They are highly durable, but they will eventually need to be re-cemented or replaced due to normal wear.

Occasionally, a tooth may still need root canal therapy after being crowned. However, this indicates that the interior of the tooth was already sick (infected) and would have eventually needed root canal therapy anyway.

Alternatives:
In the event that a tooth is so decayed or fractured that it needs to be removed, the best alternatives to a crown are bridges and implants that replace the missing tooth.
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Fixed Bridges

A great way to replace missing teeth

The Problem:
* A missing tooth or teeth
* Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
* The "sunken face" look associated with missing teeth
* Desire to improve chewing ability
* Desire for a more permanent solution than dentures

The Solution:
A bridge is a single appliance that is generally attached to two teeth on each side of the space where a tooth is missing. An artificial tooth attached in the middle of the bridge fills in the gap where the missing tooth was. The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared for crowns (see crowns) and a highly accurate impression or mold is made of the prepared area. This mold is used to create a gold or porcelain (tooth colored) bridge in a special laboratory. The bridge is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the teeth, effectively creating the appearance of a "new" tooth.

In some instances, a resin-bonded bridge may be used. In this case, the two teeth on each side of the gap are not prepared for crowns. Instead, the bridge consists of a false tooth with metal brackets on the back of each side of the gap. The brackets are attached to the backs of the real teeth on each side.

Advantages:
Unlike dentures, a fixed bridge is never removed. It is stable in the mouth and works very similar to natural teeth. By filling the gap and stopping the movement of other teeth, a fixed bridge is an excellent investment, providing better chewing ability, heading off jaw joint problems and saving money that would otherwise might be spent on future dental treatment.

Disadvantages:
Fixed bridges are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages. They are highly durable, but they will eventually need to be re-cemented or replaced due to normal wear.

Alternatives:
In the event that the use of a fixed bridge is not feasible, the best alternative is a dental implant
.
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Cosmetic Dentures

Dentures can be out of date just like anything else you wear. Because dentures wear and stain at a significantly faster rate than teeth do, if you have worn the same dentures for over 8 years, chances are they need an updated look.

We do "cosmetic makeovers" for patients with dentures everyday. They experience the same "WOW!" effect as our patients who have a full smile of veneers. No one has to know that you wear dentures with our modern technique and materials.

Over time, dentures become loose. If you need adhesives to hold your denture in, they fit poorly enough to be causing damage to your bone. New dentures do not cause damage because we know how to fit dentures better now than ever before. New materials can give us a high quality impression of your mouth for an impressive fit. We can also utilize implants to "attach" a denture with a SNAP rather than relying on suction to hold them in. No longer will you have the fear of them falling during a meal or speaking.

Let us update your look and confidence with a new set of cosmetic dentures!
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