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.

Learn More About Each of our Cosmetic Dentistry Services

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Teeth Whitening

The Problem:

  • Dull colored or stained teeth

The Solution:

Plastic 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.

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 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.

Cosmetic Bonding

The Problem:

  • Unsightly gaps between front teeth
  • Slightly chipped teeth
  • Rough or jagged edges on front teeth
  • Dull colored or stained teeth

The solution:

Composite resin is a white, tooth colored material that can be shaded to match your teeth. This material is applied to your teeth and sculpted to cover or replace the problem area. The material bonds to the surface of your teeth like a glue. It is often “cured” or hardened with an intense ultraviolet light.

Advantages:

When skillfully applied and sculpted, this material allows you to have a natural, beautiful improvement in your smile.

Disadvantages:

Bonding is initially less expensive than porcelain veneers. However, it tends to break down and discolor in several years and will need to be replaced. For this reason, porcelain restorations are usually more cost effective over time

Alternatives:

Porcelain laminates or crowns are an excellent, longer lasting alternative.

Porcelain Crowns

The Problem:

  • Badly decayed teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Need to protect and strengthen teeth

What are the advantages?

Porcelain offers a fine alternative to other tooth restoration materials. Made to perfectly match the shade and shape of your teeth, it’s durable, it’s strong, and it’s virtually undetectable. Crowns are incredibly strong due to the fact that they are created by the finest materials. This protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure. In the hands of a skilled dentist, and with the convenience of in-office milling machines, 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 or cracked to the extent 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.

What are the 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.

Alternative Options

Sometimes impressions or molds are taken 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 ceramic (tooth colored) crown. The crown is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the tooth at a later date. In the event that a tooth is so decayed or fractured that it needs to be removed, the best alternatives are bridges or implants to replace the missing tooth.

Porcelain Bridges

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

What are the 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 might otherwise be spent on future dental treatment.

What are the 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. 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.

Porcelain Veneers

A porcelain laminate (often called a veneer) 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, while you wait, with our in-office milling machine.  In some cases, they may be crafted in a laboratory to fit your individual smile.

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.


Dental Implants

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 dental implant is an appliance used to replace the roots of teeth. The implant is surgically attached to the jaw bone and an artificial tooth is attached to the top of the implant, creating a natural looking, undetectable replacement for the missing tooth. In the event that more than one tooth is missing, several implants may provide a base for a series of artificial teeth known as a fixed bridge. Implants can even be used to secure a full set of removable dentures for people who have no remaining natural teeth. This can greatly improve chewing ability and reduce the risk of choking.

It generally takes about six months for the surgical implant to heal before the final installation of the artificial tooth or teeth can be finished.

Advantages:

Dental implants with artificial teeth are the closest thing to regrowing your natural teeth. They are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable. By filling gaps left by missing teeth, implants can provide better chewing ability and head off jaw joint problems. They are far superior to removable dentures.

Disadvantages:

Dental implants are excellent, state-of-the-art restorations and have few disadvantages when compared to alternatives such as dentures. However, dental implants do require surgery and time to heal, and they are initially more expensive than dentures or fixed bridges. These disadvantages are offset by the ease of use, saved time and long term health benefits of implants.

Alternatives:

In some cases there may be inadequate bone to support an implant. In those instances, advanced surgery to restore bone may be necessary to allow use of implants. The alternative to using implants would be the use of removable dental appliances to restore function.