Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
From subtle changes to major repairs, your dentist can perform a variety of procedures that will improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. Couture Dentistry can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite. Some of the most common procedures are bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers, reshaping and contouring. As mentioned, these improvements are not always just cosmetic.
Used to whiten teeth, bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to whiten teeth. Some people have their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while other just want a whiter shade than what they have now. Discoloration occurs in the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea, cigarettes and other common foods that can stain. Discoloration also can be hereditary or due to simply to getting older. Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or under dental supervision in your home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home for the convenience. Your dentist creates a custom mouthpiece which ensures the correct amount of whitening solution is used and that your teeth are properly exposed to it. Whitening at home typically takes two to four weeks, depending on the desired shade you wish to achieve. Whitening in the office may call for one or more visits to your dentist’s office that can take up to one hour.
Crowns, also referred to as caps, are added over an existing tooth to restore it to its normal shape and appearance. Due to the high cost of a crown, they are used in cases where other procedures will not be effective. Crowns have the longest life expectancy of all cosmetic restorations, but take the most time to put in to place.
Veneers are mostly aesthetic and consist of thin pieces of porcelain or plastic placed over the front teeth to change the color or shape of your teeth. Veneers are used on teeth that have uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. The process is pretty simple and anesthesia is usually not required. Veneers are used to treat some of the same problems that bonding is used for. This treatment is an alternative to crowns, which are more expensive. To start the process, your dentist takes an impression of your tooth. then the veneer is created and before it is cemented directly onto the tooth, your dentist will lightly buff the tooth to compensate for the added thickness of the veneer. Once the cement has been added between the veneer and your tooth, a light beam is used to harden it. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. When compared to bonding, veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability.
A tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth is referred to as bonding. Requiring only a single office visit, the result of the bonding procedure last several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other form of restoration. When teeth are chipped or only slightly decayed, bonded composite resins often become the material of choice. Bonding is also used to create filling for small cavities that are the same color as the tooth. Additionally, it can be used to cover the entire surface of a tooth to change its color and shape or to close spaces between teeth.
Contouring and Reshaping
Tooth contouring and reshaping is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth or even overlapping teeth. The procedure can accomplish all of this in a single session. Tooth reshaping and contouring is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth. Another common problem contouring may also help with is to correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping. This procedure is ideal for candidates with normal, healthy teeth but who desire subtle changes in their smile. We will take X-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there’s enough bone between the teeth to support them for the long term.
Which Procedure Should I Have?
Couture Dentistry can answer any questions you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and desired result you want will be combined to determine the best plan for you. If you are considering different options, feel free to ask us questions before deciding if a particular procedure is right for you.
- What should I expect through the course of treatment?
- How will the changes affect my smile?
- What maintenance will be required after the procedure?
What Should I Look For?
In order to make sure your dentist is skilled in cosmetic dentistry, we are often asked to provide information that will make the decision a more comfortable one for our patients, such as:
- Before and after photos. These photos will allow you to examine the results of other patients that were treated by us to make sure our work fits your dental needs.
- References. References will allow you to get a sense of the quality of care we provide.
- Proof of continuing education. We are constantly learning and innovating our practice in advance of many other dental practices. We are committed to staying ahead of the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry.
We are here to can answer the questions you have about the techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and your desired result will determine the best procedure for you. Let’s get started!
General or Cosmetic Dentist?
There is a wide variety of dental fields that exist today, and two of the most popular in this industry are general and cosmetic dentists. In most instances, patients needing dental work or wanting to see if they have cavities will visit a general dentist who is skilled in providing basic and preventive procedures. Patients concerned about how their teeth look are more inclined to make an appointment with a separate cosmetic dentist who is skilled in providing treatments that make the teeth look whiter, brighter, and more natural in appearance. At Couture Dentistry we offer an “All In One” experience where all procedures can be done in one place.
Who Performs Teeth Cleanings and Exams?
A cosmetic dentist receives the same basic training that a general dentist does, but with some additional education having occurred as well. If you visit a cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening, your teeth must first be cleaned in order for the procedure to work well. If you have a severely decayed tooth that needs repair and you go to a cosmetic dentist first to obtain an aesthetically appealing solution, typically your general dentist will take x-rays prior to the chosen procedure. Because of this, most cosmetic dentists also provide general dentistry when required to perform their services properly.
Different Prices for the Same Procedure?
Just like with any other professional services provider, pricing can vary from one dental provider to another. This can even occur among general and cosmetic dentists who perform some of the same procedures. For example, both general and cosmetic dentist have the skills needed to fill a cavity. Since cosmetic dentists are concerned about the appearance of a patient’s smile along with functionality, they will most likely rely on composite fillings, which are designed to match the patient’s existing tooth color. Since composite fillings are more expensive than traditional fillings, the price is higher. However, the end result both looks and feels great.
Can General Dentists Replace a Missing Tooth?
Most general dentists will refer patients who choose to get a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. However, at Couture Dentistry we provide an “All In One” experience that allows you to take care of your smile by working with a single team.
Can Your Smile Be Improved?
What are the characteristics of an attractive smile? While not every person is born with a perfect smile, qualities such as straightness, cleanliness or whiteness of teeth are what people associate with one. Thanks to developments in the field of cosmetic dentistry, you can change the smile you were born with into a smile that you cherish. General dentists are able to perform a variety of cosmetic procedures to improve patients’ smiles. This may range from subtle changes to major repairs. General dentists usually won’t go beyond fixing flaws such as discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing teeth.
Cosmetic procedures include bleaching, bonding, veneers, reshaping and contouring. Bleaching is a common procedure that is used to whiten teeth and it can be performed both by a dentist in the office or under dental supervision at home. Dentists also use a variety of methods to correct misshapen or crooked teeth. Veneers and bonding are used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Tooth reshaping or contouring are used to alter the length, shape or position of teeth. This is deal for patients that have healthy teeth but want subtle changes to their smile.
Some cosmetic procedures are not permanent. Bleached teeth can fade back to their original color and might require more bleaching or veneering to cover dark enamel. It is best to consult us to determine the best long term plan for you. And don’t forget, you must always maintain the health of your teeth and gum tissue by flossing and brushing daily to keep your smile looking tip top.
Get started on your smile?
The patients and team at Couture Dentistry all share one thing in common – a great smile. We enjoy working with patients and we’re always looking for more people to share our passion with. Contact us today and let’s get to work on your smile!