Have you ever looked into the mirror and imagined what your smile might look like without a particular imperfection? Even if it isn’t remarked upon by others, what we perceive as an imperfection can affect the way that we feel and behave. This is particularly true if the appearance of your teeth makes you want to conceal your smile, and therefore changes the ease with which you interact. Whether the imperfection is affecting your confidence and self-esteem or not, it is common to seek out a cosmetic fix. Decades ago, cosmetic dental services were reserved for the upper echelons of Hollywood’s finest, but with incredible advances in dental technology and availability of materials, cosmetic services are becoming the norm in Western society.
Cosmetic dentistry varies in its application from non-invasive to more surgical procedures and typically involves improving the appearance of the teeth and their alignment, though some functional gains may result.
If you have a tooth that has been cracked, broken, or infected, it’s likely that your dentist has performed root canal therapy on the tooth in order to allow it to remain in the mouth. Once the root canal has been performed and sealed with gutta percha, your dentist may place a crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage and to reinforce the strength of the outer structure. The crown is made in a custom shape and shade to fit naturally into place over a prepared natural tooth. The crown’s composite material ensures that it is not susceptible to decay or staining.
If you’ve lost a tooth and are interested in filling in the gap, your dentist may recommend having a bridge placed. A bridge is composed of a composite tooth, like a crown, but is not hollowed to accommodate a prepared tooth. Instead, this custom-made prosthetic is attached to one or both of its neighbouring teeth and sits against the gum tissue. You won’t have to worry about decay or discolouration of a bridge either, but it is important to continue brushing the tissues that support it in order to prevent bacterial overgrowth and irritation of the tissues.
Veneers are front-facing covers, or shells, which are made in a custom size and colour and adhered to the surface of the teeth to provide a flawless presentation. Veneers are made of porcelain, typically applied to the front teeth (those seen when smiling), and do not wrap around the tooth. When having a veneer placed, your dentist will offer a temporary placement before proceeding to a full installation. This offers the opportunity to ‘see’ the final product and approve it for adhesion. Placement will require that the surface of the tooth be etched prior to application, and this is done under local anesthetic with a professional etching tool. In cases with more dramatic correction needs, teeth may be reshaped before veneers are placed. With good treatment, veneers will last approximately ten years before requiring replacement.
If your teeth are misshapen, discoloured or even broken, they may be a candidate for veneers, or your dentist may determine that the imperfections are small and may be easily corrected with bonding. Dental bonding is a paint-like composite substance that can be used to reshape, smooth and change the colour of the natural tooth to mask imperfections.
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Full or Partial Dentures
It can be argued that dentures are as much a cosmetic service as they are therapeutic. When teeth are lost, it can be difficult to speak, and eat and nutrition is often compromised due to the inability to chew. Dentures come in many configurations from partial dentures to full dentures complete with palate. Modern dentures are very natural looking and made with quality materials that offer stability and comfort with regular adjustments as needed.
Traditional metal braces do a good job of training the teeth into the desired alignment, offering a functional and esthetic improvement. Straighter teeth are easier to clean and are less prone to gingivitis and cavities as a result – and they look great. Although metal braces are not the only means of straightening teeth, they are the gold standard in treating severe malocclusion (poor alignment) and bite problems.
Teeth Whitening – Read more about Teeth Whitening here
Dental Implants – Read more about Dental Implants here
Invisalign® Therapy – Read more about Invisalign® Therapy here
We all want straight, white, bright teeth without losing the unique character of our smile. Your dentist has a range of skills, techniques and materials available to help you meet your goals where the appearance of your smile is concerned. Next time you’re with your dentist, ask about the services that might be applicable to your needs, or, for immediate questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.
SOLEA® - DRILL & NEEDLE FREE DEntistry
The miracle we’ve both been waiting for is here: Solea. Now available to you, Solea is a powerful dental laser that replaces the dental drill in the majority of procedures in our practice. It’s fast, precise and there is no vibration, or noise.