Cosmetic Dentistry is the art and science of creating a beautiful smile. With new advances in teeth whitening, bonding, and porcelain technology, an ordinary or unpleasant smile can be changed into a magnificent smile, in just two painless visits.
If you’ve ever wondered why so many individuals have such perfect smiles, you might be surprised to find out how many of them have had cosmetic dental work done.
Basic cosmetic dental procedures come under the following sections:
Tooth colored fillings
Enamel shaping / contouring
TOOTH-COLOURED DENTAL FILLINGS
Turning a “metal mouth” to a natural tooth colored smile…
or over 100 years, dentistry has restored teeth primarily with a material made of mercury and silver. It has done its job well, although we have had to live with its weaknesses. Those weaknesses consist of cracking teeth due to expansion of the material, and restorations turning black as the silver in the material corrodes.
Now we have many ways to provide tooth-colored restorations. We can use adhesives to bond tooth parts that look and act like teeth. We can provide a bright, healthy and strong smile with these exciting new techniques in adhesion dentistry.
It is the use of a tooth colored restorative material that is applied on to the teeth. It can then be polished and shaped to look like the rest of the teeth. These are also known as composite veneers.
Composite veneers cover the facial surface of teeth to change tooth color, position or shape. Addition of composite to tooth structure increases tooth size and therefore, there is often tooth reduction to make room for composite placement. Amount of reduction is determined by position of original tooth in relation to the desired position and color of tooth structure in relation to the thickness of composite materials required to block out color.
Thus, bonding can quickly fill in ugly gaps between teeth and repair chips and cracks.
ENAMEL SHAPING / CONTOURING
Enamel shaping removes parts of the contouring enamel to improve the appearance of the tooth. It may be used to correct a very small chip. The removed enamel is irreplaceable. It is also known as enameloplasty, odontoplasty, recontouring, reshaping, slenderizing, and stripping. Very often enamel shaping along with bonding helps in achieving excellent results.
NATURAL LOOK VENEERS
A porcelain veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that is bonded onto the front surface of a tooth so to improve its cosmetic appearance.
A porcelain veneer can be an ideal way to make a cosmetic change for a tooth. Compared to dental bonding, porcelain veneers usually look more life like and they have the added benefit of resisting staining well. As a disadvantage, porcelain veneers are typically fairly expensive and if used in the wrong application can be prone to breaking. Unlike dental bonding, if a porcelain veneer has broken typically the whole veneer must be replaced. It usually cannot be patched or repaired.
One way that we can make your smile more attractive is to place porcelain veneers or jacket crowns. Porcelain veneers are translucent, thin laminates made to improve the esthetics (shape, spacing, color) of natural teeth, to correct crowding, or to replace composite bonding.
If you already have crowns on your front teeth, replacement with all porcelain jacket crowns may give you a more natural, attractive appearance. Or think about cosmetic repositioning as an alternative to orthodontics with the placement of porcelain veneers.
Tooth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin.
Tooth bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Many people consider white teeth to be an attractive feature of a smile. A child’s deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker. This darkening is due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous. Bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco can also stain teeth.
As white teeth are subconsciously associated with youth, they have become desirable. This has been made more apparent with the spread of American culture worldwide, where an especially white smile is coined a “Hollywood smile”. The procedure to bleach teeth uses oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to lighten the shade of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like crystal structure of enamel and oxidizes interprismatic stain deposits; over a period of time, the dentine layer, lying underneath the enamel, is also bleached. Tooth bleaching will generally last from 2 to 5 years, with variations from factors such as cigarette smoking, and tea and coffee consumption
There are two main methods of bleaching. The first involves applying a high concentration of oxidizing agent for a short period of time, which is the so-called office bleach. This produces quick results but risks chemical burns to the soft tissues. Therefore, most in-office bleaching procedures use a light-cured protective layer that is carefully painted on the gums and papilla (the tips of the gums between the teeth). The bleaching agent is either carbamide peroxide, which breaks down in the mouth to form hydrogen peroxide, or hydrogen peroxide itself. The bleaching gel typically contains up to 35% hydrogen peroxide equivalent.
The alternative method involves using a thin mouth guard or strip to hold a low concentration of oxidizing agent next to the teeth for as long as several hours a day for a period of 5 to 14 days. This is known as take-home or over-the-counter bleaching. This is a slower process but has fewer risks to the soft tissues. The bleaching agent is typically less than 10% hydrogen peroxide equivalent.
A typical course of bleaching can produce dramatic improvements in the cosmetic appearance of most stained teeth; however, some stains do not respond to bleaching. Tetracycline staining may require prolonged bleaching, as it takes longer for the bleach to reach the dentine layer. White-spot decalcifications may also be highlighted and become more noticeable. Bleaching is least effective if teeth have white spots, decay or infected gums. It is also least effective when the original tooth color is grayish. Bleaching is most effective with yellow discolored teeth.
If you can wear jewels in your ears, why not on your teeth? Why pierce an ear when you can bond the jewel to a tooth? We have been piercing our ears for as long as we can remember. Dental jewelry is nothing new either; Incas placed precious stones in their teeth, probably as a token of wealth. The new and revolutionary is, with today’s tooth colored composites, used in dental practices to fill small cavities you can bond a jewel on the surface on the tooth without damaging the enamel. Cool. And you don’t even have to be wealthy. So if you already have piercings and tattoos, like pain and damage – do you care? Probably not, then you have to settle just for the good looks of it. But if you happen to be allergic, can’t wear earrings or do sports where you don’t wear jewelry – dental jewelry is perfect.
Dental jewelry includes a surface-covering jewelry piece, the body of which is designed to lie principally in a plane parallel with the tooth surface and is designed to be affixed to said surface by a layer of fixing composite. On its backside, which is designed to be turned toward the surface of the tooth, the jewelry piece has a recess which, along the piece’s circumference of said backside, defines a continual supporting edge upon which the jewelry piece rests against the tooth surface.“Twinkles” is a small jewel designed to be bonded to your tooth.
A precious stone set in pure gold to enhance your smile and emphasize your personality.
Twinkles are safe, reversible, exclusive body art that leaves no permanent mark, letting you display a fun, personal form of self expression with a great sense of style.