There are various cosmetic procedures to create a positive change to your teeth and to your smile. Enhancing your smile can have dramatic results on your overall appearance—which often can result in a boost in your confidence, self-esteem, and allow you to want to smile more. Cosmetic procedures can range from a basic color correction to replacing missing teeth, and anything in between.
Today, cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever, from whitening and shaping to closing spaces and replacing teeth. We have a vast range of tools and techniques for improving the look of your smile.
Before deciding to undergo any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to know the benefits and risks and what you can expect during the process. We can assist you with identifying how much it will cost and whether any maintenance will be needed afterward.
Gradually, teeth can become stained or discolored, especially after smoking, taking certain medications, or consuming foods and beverages such as coffee and tea. Using a chemical process, your teeth can be whitened in one of two ways: 1) an in-office procedure, or 2) a prescribed system to use at home.
We can create a custom mouthpiece tray that ensures the right amount of whitening solution reaches your teeth. You may find whitening at home more convenient. But it can take two to four weeks or longer depending on the strength of peroxide used. In-office whitening can take place in one or more visits of an hour or two.
Note that your teeth can become stained again if you continue exposing them to the same substances that originally stained them. Because whitening products are not meant to clean teeth, it is still important to continue practicing daily oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.
Bonding may improve how your teeth look if they have excess space between them, or if they are chipped, broken, stained, or cracked.
This procedure can fill small cavities or to protect the exposed root of a tooth, which can be completed in a single office visit by applying an etching solution followed by color-matched tooth-colored materials — sometimes composite resins — directly to the tooth’s surface where it is needed.
Even though bonding can last for many years, it is more likely than other types of restorations to chip, stain, or simply wear down.
Veneers are custom shells, typically made of porcelain (sometimes plastic), cover the front sides of the teeth to change their color and/or shape of your teeth. Veneers last longer than bonding and provide a superior appearance. They are less expensive than crowns. Veneers can improve teeth that:
• Have spaces between them
• Have become chipped or worn
• Have become permanently stained
• Are shaped poorly
• Are slightly crooked
Before inserting veneers, impressions of your tooth are taken, then the tooth is buffed before cementing the veneer in place. To help harden the cement, a beam of light is shined on the tooth to help it cure, which secures the veneer to your tooth. Porcelain veneers are made in a laboratory, so you need a second visit with us after your impressions are made to have them inserted.
Crowns are also called caps, and completely cover a tooth, restoring a normal shape and appearance. You may need a crown for the following:
• Cover a disfigured or discolored tooth
• Protect a weak tooth
• Restore a broken or worn tooth
• Cover a tooth with a large filling
• Hold a dental bridge in place
• Cover a dental implant
• Cover a tooth that’s had a root canal procedure
Crowns can be made from various materials including metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic. Crowns can be costly, so it is usually recommended when other procedures can’t produce a pleasing result.
When we prepare the tooth for the crown, we create molds of the tooth or a digital impression, and you will be provided a temporary crown when we send it to the lab. A follow up appointment is made for us to then place the permanent crown when it is ready. Permanent crowns can last for a long time if you take good care of your teeth and are mindful of your dental care.
Enamel Shaping and Contouring
Enamel shaping and contouring involves removing or contouring dental enamel to improve the appearance of your teeth. Dentists may combine this process with bonding.
Often used to alter the length, shape, or position of teeth, reshaping and contouring can correct:
• Crooked or overlapping teeth
• Chipped and irregular teeth
• Minor bite problems
You may be a good candidate for reshaping and contouring if you have normal, healthy teeth, and there’s still adequate bone between your teeth to support the procedure.
Today, people of almost all ages can benefit from braces. Braces improve the look of teeth that are crooked or crowded, and they can also improve an irregular bite, correct jaw positioning, and disorders of jaw joints.
Braces are installed in the form of brackets and wires to apply pressure to and reposition your teeth, usually over the a few months to a few years for more advanced cases.
To place braces, brackets made of metal, ceramic, or plastic are bonded to your teeth. Then wires are placed through the brackets, which guide the teeth into their correct positions.
After your braces are first attached, and after each visit in which your braces are tightened by your dentist or orthodontist, expect some discomfort and/or soreness from the new pressure applied to your teeth for a few days. Regular oral hygiene is especially important while you are wearing braces.
Risks with braces are minimal. Of important note, if you have allergies to metal or latex, or have periodontal disease, you are at greater risk for problems during treatment. Root shortening can be a problem if teeth are moved too quickly.
An alternative for correcting minor spacing problems involves wearing a series of clear, customized appliances called aligners, or invisible braces. Your dentist will reshape and replace them about every two weeks to progressively move your teeth. Unlike traditional braces, aligners can be removed while eating, brushing, and flossing.
Often there are two phases to treatment with braces: wearing braces, and then using a retainer to hold your teeth in their new position. Retainers can be removable or permanently bonded in behind your teeth.
Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, bridges are used to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Bridges can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination. Dentists anchor them onto surrounding teeth after preparing them for crowns. Then a false tooth joins to the crowns and the bridge is cemented onto the prepared teeth. Only your dentist can remove a fixed bridge.
The success of your bridge depends upon its foundation. So, remember that oral hygiene to keep remaining teeth healthy is particularly important if you wear a bridge.
Implants require an involved and expensive cosmetic dentistry procedure but are a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. They are an alternative to bridges — which use adjacent teeth as anchors — and to removable dentures, which rest on your gums. A surgeon implants them surgically into the jawbone.
Implants have three parts:
• Titanium metal, which fuses to the jawbone
• An abutment, which fits over the part of the implant that sticks out from the gums
• The crown, which a special restorative dentist creates for a natural, tooth-like appearance
You can get an implant to replace a tooth. Or two or more implants can provide a stable support for replacing several teeth. If you have bone loss from periodontal disease or lost teeth, the surgeon will likely need to first graft bone so the implant has something to secure to.
Having implants requires several steps, including:
1. A comprehensive exam, X-rays, and consultation
2. Surgical implantation of the titanium screws
3. Taking impressions of the upper and lower jaws
4. Making a model for the creation of the dentures or crowns
5. Placement of the crown
6. Follow-up exams with members of your implant team
Other Periodontal Plastic Procedures
• An uneven gum line
• Teeth that look too short or too long
• Exposed roots
• Indentations in your gums or jawbone
If problems like these are a concern for you, ask us about your best options for correcting them and creating a smile that you can be proud of.
Call to schedule your free consultation! (707) 448 – 6456
Peña Adobe Dental Care
Voted #1 Best Dentist in Solano County
161 Butcher Road
Vacaville, CA 95687
(707) 448 – 6456