• Cosmetic Dentistry

    Making smiles beautiful

    In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless and surprisingly affordable treatments.

    Cosmetic dental treatments can:

    • Change the size, shape, and alignment of certain teeth.
    • Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth.
    • Improve or correct bites.
    • Lighten or brighten the color of teeth.
    • Repair decayed, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.
    • Replace missing teeth.
    • Replace old, unattractive dental treatments.

    Remember, your smile speaks before you even say a word!

    Composite Fillings

    A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

    There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

    As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

    Reasons for composite fillings:

    • Chipped teeth.
    • Closing space between two teeth.
    • Cracked or broken teeth.
    • Decayed teeth.
    • Worn teeth.
    How are composite fillings placed?
     
    Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

    It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

    You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

    Porcelain Crowns (Caps)

    A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

     

    Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

    Reasons for crowns:

    • Broken or fractured teeth.
    • Cosmetic enhancement.
    • Decayed teeth.
    • Fractured fillings.
    • Large fillings.
    • Tooth has a root canal.

    What does getting a crown involve?

    A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

    While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

    At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

    You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

    Periodontal Disease

    The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

    Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.

    Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.

    Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

    Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

    • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
    • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
    • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
    • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
    • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
    • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
    • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
    • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.