We all want healthy teeth, but we also want teeth that look nice, and that is the function of cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry refers to procedures that are focus more on the appearance of your teeth than the health of them. Some procedures have both function and fashion in mind. Dental implants are one example of this as they allow you to preserve the function of your teeth and maintain a healthy bite, but they also have a cosmetic element and help preserve a beautiful smile. Another example of a procedure that is both cosmetic and functional are having crowns placed. A crown is a porcelain molding that covers a broken or damaged tooth and restores full function and appearance. Other common cosmetic dental procedures include bleaching, where the patient undergoes a chemical process to remove any stains or discolorations. Dental bleaching is faster and more effective than at-home whitening and can give you that gleaming smile you’ve been dreaming of. Besides, despite the name many cosmetic procedures have a practical purpose and can improve your overall oral health such as having your teeth straightened.
So while you might think of cosmetic dentistry as something unnecessary, appealing more to vanity than function, that is not the case. Besides, what is wrong with wanting a nicer smile? We live in a visual world, thanks to social media there is more need than ever to put ourselves out there, and our smile says a lot about us. Having healthy teeth is important, but so is having a confident smile and feeling good about yourself and cosmetic dentistry can help with that. Cosmetic dentistry allows you to have healthy teeth and a beautiful smile all at once.
Some of the cosmetic dentistry procedures we provide are:
Same Day Crowns With CEREC Technology
Dental crowns are a beautiful solution for both functional and appearance-related tooth concerns. Crowns can be a saving grace for patients looking for a solution to a wide range of tooth concerns. Crowns are (ceramic) restorations that are fit precisely to the size and shape of an individual tooth. A crown works to encase a single tooth and can be cared for with regular brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash. They can protect and conceal your natural tooth, keep troublesome concerns from becoming huge problems, and also give you a boost in overall oral appearance. Crowns (sometimes called “caps”) can help to fix functional concerns, such as chewing or speaking, as well as a variety of appearance issues from tooth discoloration to sagging skin around the mouth due to tooth loss. Crowns may help with chips, breaks or to lengthen uneven teeth. Plus, since we use CEREC technology to fit and manufacture your crown (or crowns), we can finish the entire process in only one day! This convenience allows you to leave our office with fitted, beautiful, professional crowns in one visit. CEREC crown technology is not only fast, it is incredibly precise so you can bank on quality restoration work that looks great, fits perfectly and lasts for many years.
Invisalign Invisible Braces
Invisalign invisible braces are a fantastic way to straighten teeth without the inconvenience and discomfort of obvious metal braces. Invisalign is a system that uses individualized plastic straightening aligners made for your mouth alone. With the use of x-rays and impressions, the aligners are designed and manufactured to fit perfectly over your teeth. These plastic “trays” are removable and changed out approximately every couple of weeks as they comfortably and effectively straighten your teeth. Each Invisalign patient will receive a personalized timeline as determined by their dentist that will cover how long each aligner is worn as well as the duration of the entire process from start to finish. For adults, the process usually takes about one year. Teenagers tend to require a slightly longer straightening time, but again, it differs between individuals. Invisible braces are great for teens and adults who want or need to straighten their teeth and improve their smiles without ever having to alter their oral appearance with traditional metal braces. Invisalign aligners are comfortable to wear and easy to care for as they are simply removed and cleaned during regular brushing. There is no special care required and no extra tools necessary beyond water and your toothbrush. Invisalign is a painless, simple way to straighten misaligned teeth and smile beautiful!
Veneers are a type of porcelain restoration that can give you a whiter, brighter smile. Veneers (also sometimes called “laminates”) are thin porcelain “shells” that bond to the front surface of your tooth. Veneers can help to improve the look of your oral appearance by aiding in problems like discoloration, size or shape inconsistencies and other concerns such as gaps or chips. Porcelain veneers look beautiful and natural and are more resistant to staining than other types of composite veneers. These types of restorations can be done on single or multiple teeth. Veneers are described as shell-like because of their light and thin qualities. Once bonded to the tooth, veneers are not noticeable or bothersome to the wearer. Veneers usually require two visits–an initial consultation plus the application of the actual veneers once they have been produced. Some tooth preparation is required but the entire process is relatively simple and can carry beautiful results. Your dentist will prepare the tooth, apply the veneer and then adjust size and shape as needed. Temporary veneers can be an option for those needing a short-term fix while the permanent veneers are being made. There is no special care needed for your permanent veneers and with good oral hygiene, porcelain veneers can last for many years.
When it comes to teeth whitening, we are happy to offer customization and choice. We proudly provide access to the Opalescence system for whitening your teeth with which you and your dentist can decide on an individualized treatment to reach a whiter, brighter smile. Opalescence does not bleach your teeth and is less harsh than other whitening systems but delivers beautiful results on par or better with more abrasive bleaching systems that can harm the soft tissues of the mouth. Opalescence contains hydrogen peroxide at different levels depending on your personal needs. Our system works by removing not only stubborn surface stains but also deeper, microscopic staining that has occurred in tiny cracks in the teeth that cannot be removed by over-the-counter products. The hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution breaks up the smallest of stains that can contribute to the overall yellowing or dulling of your teeth. These types of stains are harder to remove once in place and this level of cleaning cannot be accomplished with normal brushing. Depending on the amount of staining, Opalescence is available in different concentrations including a fully-customizable option that is prepared just for you based on your personal needs as determined by your dentist. If you are more interested in a more ready-to-go formula, pre-made trays are another great option that works to get your smile shades brighter. Teeth whitening has never been easier or safer!
Dental bridges can create a great solution for those who have a missing tooth (or teeth) or have to have teeth removed due to severe problems or decay. A bridge will not only boost your oral appearance but will also remove excess strain put on existing teeth that can result from tooth loss. Bridges are made up of artificial teeth that are bonded to existing teeth for a secure and comfortable fit. Sometimes extra steps are taken to ensure strength and security that will last. These additional steps may include dental implants or crowns. Your dentist will often place crowns on existing teeth on either side of the gap before securing a bridge into place. This allows for ultimate protection of your existing teeth and prevents any further tooth loss. The bridge procedure process usually takes a couple of visits to your dentist–this includes consultation and follow-ups when needed (apart from the actual placement of your new bridge) to make sure everything fits perfectly and feels comfortable! Bridges will differ from patient to patient depending on individual needs–some are permanent, some are removable and as mentioned, some may need additional steps for added strength and security. Your dentist will be able to explain what will work best for you. Bridges are cared for with regular oral hygiene and no additional steps are required for cleaning.
Composite bonding for broken, chipped or otherwise problematic teeth or gaps is a very simple solution that will give you a more beautiful smile without an invasive procedure. Dental bonding uses a composite resin material to reshape or resize a tooth. Your dentist will use the bonding material to fill in the chipped or broken area and reshape it to look like a beautiful (natural) tooth again. Compared to some other restorative dental options, bonding allows you to keep your natural tooth (or teeth) without having to do any resizing, reshaping or removal of the actual tooth. Prior to undergoing a dental bonding procedure, your dentist is able to take a photo of your mouth and show you immediate, photographic results that allows you to see how your new composite bondings will look. The procedure itself is quick and pain-free and can be completed in one visit to your dentist. It allows you to get back to normal use of your teeth right away! Bonding does not require any special care but good hygiene is always necessary to keep not only natural teeth healthy but to keep any dental work clean and in good repair as well.
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are somewhat similar to crowns. The difference being that inlays and onlays each only cover a portion of a tooth. These types of restorations are placed on the area of the tooth that has experienced something like a chip, serious decay or a lost filling. These small but precise and effective shields are shaped to look natural, feel comfortable and correct the problem while only covering a small area of your actual tooth. After an examination, your dentist will be able to tell if you need an inlay or an onlay. These differ by the location of the problem on the tooth. When the cusps–or outside edges–of a tooth have been affected, your dentist will apply an inlay. If the problem has occurred on the inner biting surface of a tooth, an onlay is needed. Inlays and onlays offer many benefits as they do not require any reshaping of your actual tooth, they are easy to care for (with regular brushing and flossing), and they can last a long time when well-cared for. Inlays and onlays are put in place by your dentist, shaped to fit perfectly, tightened with a secure seal and polished to completion. The procedure is quick, pain-free and you can return to normal use of your teeth in no time!
Contact us for a cosmetic dentistry consultation!
Are you unhappy with a particular aesthetic aspect of your smile? Would you like to discuss your concerns with our cosmetic dentists? Contact Laguna Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA today by calling (916) 684-3105. You can also request an appointment online by clicking the button below.