A person's smile has the ability to change their whole outlook on life. A winning smile is often seen as a sign of confidence. If you have unsightly, crooked or discolored teeth, your confidence level may not be at its full potential. This is where cosmetic dentistry can help.
The American Dental Association does not recognize Cosmetic Dentistry as a specialty. A family dentist with advanced cosmetic training and experience will be able to help you achieve an attractive smile; however, depending upon your condition you may require assistance from other dental professionals such as an orthodontist to straighten your teeth or adjust your bite, or a periodontist to re-shape your gum tissue or help you achieve good oral health before you start.
Cosmetic dentistry covers a diverse range of dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile. Procedures may include tooth reshaping to improve the tooth appearance, tooth shape, tooth position, tooth color or tooth length. The process may be achieved by the use of one or more procedures including, but not limited to, teeth whitening A.K.A. teeth bleaching, replacing old metal crowns and silver fillings with tooth colored white crowns and white fillings, bonding to add tooth shape and color, veneers to add tooth width-length-color, crowns, fixed crown and bridge, dentures and dental implants. You may have already had cosmetic dentistry without realizing it. If you have had a crown or tooth-colored filling placed in your mouth, then you have had cosmetic dentistry.
One of the most positive aspects of cosmetic dentistry is the difference it can have on a person's attitude towards life. An enhanced smile means the person will smile more, seem friendlier and ultimately be a happier person. The psychological and emotional changes are said to be amazing. If you want a smile that people will remember then in just a few simple visits to your dentist you can have the smile of your dreams.
One of the most requested procedures asked of a dental office is tooth whitening. This is a procedure that will assist in removing stains and discoloration from teeth while lightening them.
Tooth whitening can only be completed once cavities are treated in order to prevent the whitening solution from reaching the inner tooth and causing sensitivity. Also keep in mind that tooth whitening is unable to lighten exposed tooth roots, and tooth replacements such as crowns and veneers.
Single visit whitening uses a special light that is able to activate a higher concentration of whitening solution in order to produce quicker and more dramatic results. Our technicians protect your mouth very carefully and the whole process takes around an hour.
Whitening your teeth at home often involves using a custom fitted mouth guard into which a whitening solution is placed. These custom fitted mouth guards will help protect your gums from irritation that occurs while using ill-fitted over-the-counter whitening mouth pieces. After the solution is placed in the mouth guard, it is placed over the teeth and left on for a few hours or overnight depending on the type of whitening solution. Ask Dr. Sudeep if home whitening is right for you.
Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures.
The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth.
Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes:
- To improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth
- To close slight spaces between teeth
- To make teeth look longer
- Or to change the shape or color of teeth
When a cavity needs to be filled, there are four choices in the filling material:
The most common is a composite filling, this is a natural tooth colored filling and bonds to the tooth for extra strength. There are also gold and silver fillings. Silver fillings are inexpensive and strong while gold fillings may look nicer and provide a better fit. The final option is a porcelain filling, also called an inlay, which is the most durable of fillings and is also the color of your natural teeth.
Ask Dr. Sudeep, a cosmetic and restorative dentist in San Jose, which filling would be best for you.
In order to make a filling appear almost invisible to the naked eye, composite fillings are often used. These fillings are designed to match your natural tooth color and are bonded to your teeth, which makes them less likely to fall out. These fillings are used to replace older fillings made of silver or gold. Tooth colored fillings have a more aesthetic appearance, can be completed in one visit, form a strong seal and are less likely to crack a tooth.
Dr. Sudeep offers proven composite fillings that allow you to replace old silver and gold fillings with a more natural looking, tooth colored filling. Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth and research has proven them to be about 90% as strong and healthy as natural tooth material. Over time pressure from chewing can cause any filling to crack. However, composite fillings are less susceptible to pressure fracture and are less likely to crack connected teeth.
- Composite fillings are beautiful in appearance
- Fillings replaced in a single visit
- No filling leaks
- No Mercury
Designed to install simply and painlessly with a beautiful outcome.
Lumineers, the #1 patient-requested veneer system in the world. Painless and quick to install, Lumineers exclusive technology delivers a natural looking smile. Designed to be ultra-thin (about as thin as a contact lens), so they can be applied seamlessly over your teeth to deliver a natural looking smile.
Not All Veneers Are Made the Same. Accept No Imitations.
Traditional veneers are generally thicker, and thus require more aggressive and irreversible removal of healthy tooth structure. Traditional veneers extensive preparation technique frequently requires shots and anesthesia to minimize sensitivity and pain, and typically involves placement of acrylic temporaries for over two weeks between visits. The minimally invasive Lumineers technique typically eliminates the need for shots or temporaries, so while you wait for your custom-made Lumineers, youâ€™ll look great and feel great. While many dentists offer veneers, not all dentists have been trained to deliver the signature benefits of Lumineers.
- Q: How are Lumineers different from traditional veneers?
A: Lumineers are exceptional in that they are very thin (about 0.2 mm) and translucent, allowing them to replicate the natural appearance of tooth enamel. While standard dental veneers are thicker, requiring the irreversible grinding down of your original tooth structure, Lumineers are so thin that little to no tooth reduction is required. Lumineers are durable allowing them to resist wear and remain resilient to last over 20 years.
- Q: Is the Lumineers procedure painful?
A: Rest assured, the Lumineers procedure is a completely painless way to reshape and permanently whiten your teeth. Because they are very thin, in most cases you will get a perfect fit without anesthetic shots or grinding down of the original tooth. Once the Lumineers procedure is completed, there is no post placement discomfort or sensitivity. Lumineers will look natural and feel comfortable from the moment they are placed.
- Q: Are there any other Lumineers?
A: No. Lumineers are exclusive, one-of-a-kind products of the DenMat Lab at DenMat, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of professional dental materials.
- Q: I think I need braces, but I really don't want to go through the inconvenient, unsightly, and time-intensive process. Can I get Lumineers instead?
A: In most cases, yes! Your dentist will be able to evaluate your teeth and decide whether orthodontics is necessary. If you do not have a severe problem, Lumineers will reshape your teeth, making them look straighter and more uniform, as well as whiter, something you donâ€™t get with braces.
- Q: How long will Lumineers last?
A: Clinical testing has proven that a Lumineers smile lasts and looks great for over 20 years.
- Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: The Lumineers process takes only 2 visits to your dentist and the placement of Lumineers on the second visit takes, on average, only about one hour.
- Q: Whatâ€™s involved with a Lumineers procedure?
A: On the first visit, your dentist will create a precise mold. Then you and your dentist will determine the shade of white that is right for you. After your first visit, your dentist will send the mold off to the DenMat Lab for your custom Lumineers to be created. With Lumineers , you donâ€™t have to wear temporaries. When your dentist receives your custom Lumineers , they are checked for fit and shade. Then during your second visit, your Lumineers are painlessly applied without shots or drilling of sensitive tooth structure. And youâ€™re ready to start smiling out loud!
- Q: With Lumineers, can I still chew gum and eat my favorite sticky foods?
A: Drink and eat what you want with confidence because Lumineers are applied in the most durable way possible. However, Lumineers donâ€™t replace good hygiene, so you should continue to visit your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning to keep your Lumineers looking their best and the rest of your teeth and gums healthy.
- Q: Can Lumineers be taken off if I want them removed?
A: Yes, Lumineers are completely reversible because thereâ€™s no grinding down of healthy tooth structure, in most cases. Your natural teeth are still intact and strong.
- Q: How long have Lumineers been around?
A: Lumineers have been improving smiles for over 30 years. More than 13,000 dentists nationwide recommend Lumineers, and over one million units have been placed. Many celebrities have transformed their smiles with Lumineers, but youâ€™d never know because they look so naturally beautiful.
What is a dental Veneer?
A veneer procedure is a popular cosmetic procedure. Porcelain is known as one of the best materials for esthetic dental procedures, because it mimics tooth enamel very closely. Veneers are extremely thin (usually less than 0.5 mm thickness), giving them an enamel-like translucence creating a natural appearance. They are about as thick as a contact lens or a fingernail. Tooth preparation requires very little tooth alteration.
Porcelain veneers are attached to your teeth using a dental bonding glue or cement. Although veneers are very thin, once bonded to your teeth they become strong. The process is fast and conservative. First, your teeth are prepared and impressions are sent to a dental laboratory along with the design for your new smile. Veneers may be recommended along with other cosmetic procedures in order to produce optimal results.
Veneer Procedure Steps:
- Your teeth are cleaned so that only you natural tooth is present. Old surface restorations are removed.
- In some cases the tooth is etched so the veneers will adhere.
- An impression is taken of the tooth area where the veneers will go and sent to the lab for fabrication.
- When the veneers are ready, your dentist will check the fit and appearance, then permanently attach them to your teeth.
- After the veneer is set, it is shaped and polished to look like a natural tooth.
Veneer Procedure Benefits:
- You can have your porcelain veneers and a beautiful new smile in just two office visits!Â
- Very little tooth alteration to your natural teeth and does not affect neighboring teeth.
- Gap space between teeth can be closed without braces.
- Veneers can add tooth length to worn down teeth.
- Veneers can add tooth shape and thickness.
- Veneers can cover broken or chipped teeth so that they look like healthy normal teeth.
- Renew the color of discolored teeth.
- There is no dark line at the base like you may have noticed with some dental crowns, and porcelain is stain-resistant for lasting beauty.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Lumineers
- Lumineers is specific brand of porcelain veneers, which use a patented porcelain material known as Cerinate. They are even thinner than traditional veneers.
- Lumineers require very little or no tooth reduction. They are a great choice if your teeth only need minor changes, or if they are set back slightly.
- Traditional veneers may be a better choice if you are looking to make more dramatic changes.
If your smile is in need of a makeover, crowns can provide predictable results. Crowns can give an unattractive tooth back its beautiful shape and color. For smaller or worn down teeth, a crown can restore the natural size of the old tooth. A crown can replace either part of or the tooth's entire structure. For procedures requiring only the areas visible from the outside, a veneer may be an alternative option.
A crown is sometimes termed a "cap" or "jacket." A crown will restore a large filling or a cracked tooth to its original size, shape and tooth color. A crown may be recommended after root canal therapy has been completed, as the tooth tends to become brittle and is more likely to fracture. A crown can strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and improves the appearance of your teeth. With the advances in technology, we now have the ability to make ceramic crowns with no metal.
To place a crown, your dentist must reduce 1-2 mm of the tooth to make room for it. Your dentist will then use a piece of thread or cord or use a laser to push the gum down around the tooth, to take an impression of the tooth. The impressions are sent to the lab where the crown is made. During that time, you will have a temporary crown. These crowns are usually made of plastic and are made in your dentist's office on the day of your visit. They are not meant to last. If a temporary crown is left in the mouth, the cement eventually washes out and the tooth can decay. At a second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the permanent one. Sometimes crowns need additional polishing, glaze or some other adjustment before they are placed. Once the crown is ready, it's cemented to your tooth.
The 'gold' standard. Dental gold is about 60% gold alloy which is meant to match the hardness of the enamel of opposing teeth so both wear about evenly, an important trait.Gold does not tarnish or corrode and has some bacterial inhibiting quality. Gold crowns are strong and will not break. However, gold crowns obviously are not considered esthetic; they are gold colored. So usually gold crowns are used for lower back molars because they don't show there.
The most common type of crown and has a proven track record. PFM crowns are fairly aesthetic and they look like real teeth. However, the margins or borders may appear dark because PFM crowns have a metal substructure with layers of porcelain fired over the substructure. Porcelain is very hard, much harder than natural enamel and may cause excessive wear of the enamel of opposing teeth. Porcelain may break with extreme biting forces.
Stainless steel crowns, also known as 'silver crowns or caps', are a very common procedure used to restore 'baby teeth' (and occasionally permanent teeth) that have large caries or those that had a pulpotomy (baby root canal). Although most teeth can be filled with a white or silver filling material, stainless steel crowns are by far the most predictable and durable option to fix 'baby teeth' with large caries, large defects, or damaged enamel. This is particularly true in very young children that have caries at a young age, since it is preferred that the 'fixed' teeth last as long as possible.
Snap-On Smile is an easy and painless way to achieve a beautiful smile. We are proud to say that our dental office can now provide you with a Snap-On Smile that is thin and strong with the look of natural teeth. You will be able to eat and drink with your Snap-On Smile just as you would with your natural teeth. They are very easy to care for and are available for upper and lower teeth. Snap-On Smile's special dental resin make the appliance very thin and extremely strong. It fits right over your own teeth for a beautiful, natural looking smile. The Snap-On Smile will completely obscure your stained or chipped teeth and create a natural bridge across gaps or missing teeth. Get your confidence back with a Snap-On Smile and be happy again.