Esthetic Dental Treatment
Today, appearance and self-confidence are every bit as important as function. For this reason, more and more people are seeking to improve the appearance of their smile. Here are some ways in which we may improve the esthetic appearance of your smile. Please note, our aim will be to simultaneously improve the function and strength of your teeth and we will advise you when we think your needs may not be met by certain treatments being considered.
BLEACHING. Currently, there are two types of bleaching; Vital and Non-Vital. Vital bleaching is the most common and deals with the ‘whitening’ of all the teeth. Bleaching solutions have been around for many years and are deemed to be safe. What has changed are the delivery methods. In our office, we prefer to use custom-made bleaching trays, however, there are instances when bleaching kits from the drug store can be effective as well. Before bleaching, you will need to know what will and what will not bleach. If you have existing fillings or crowns in your smile, you may need to replace these once you bleach. For this reason, bleaching should be part of an overall treatment plan and you should be aware of the consequences before beginning. If you are planning to ‘whiten’ your teeth, please let us know right at the beginning. Doing it later will often be too late!
Non-vital bleaching is where specific root canal treated teeth have become darkened. In this case, the bleaching is applied to the inside of the tooth and can have dramatic results. In some cases, both bleaching techniques can be done in the same case.
RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY. Through the use of composite resin bonding, bonded ceramic veneers and/or all-ceramic crowns, excellent results can be achieved. This usually requires a comprehensive treatment plan which may include tooth bleaching/whitening prior to restorative therapy.
Composite resin bonding is the use of composite resin (white ‘plastic’ filling) material which is applied free-hand and then cured with a light to the tooth. Once cured, the material is then formed and finished. Composite is useful for small changes, however, when larger amounts are used, it tends to look monochromatic; the appearance is without the character or depth you can get with today’s ceramics/porcelains.
Ceramic veneers. These are thin ceramic ‘shells’ that are bonded to your teeth. This is useful when the teeth are essentially healthy and do not have much filling material. Very little tooth removal is required and, when bonded, we are actually able to increase the strength of the tooth, even beyond the original condition. This is one method which can achieve an excellent result.
All-ceramic crowns. Where major changes are required and the underlying teeth are broken down and/or root canal treated, this is usually the best way of restoring function as well as achieving a superior aesthetic result. Today’s crowns can be made without any metal thereby avoiding the dark shadow at the gum line while getting superior aesthetics of the tooth body.
SOFT TISSUES AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS. There is certainly more to a nice smile than the teeth. Of equal importance is the contour and texture of the gums. By reducing any gum inflammation or by changing the height/contour of the gums at the smile zone, a very dramatic improvement can be achieved. Also, if the teeth are crowded or misaligned, orthodontic treatment (braces/Invisalign) may be indicated in order to achieve a satisfactory result. Whatever the factors involved, it is critical to carefully examine those factors in order to arrive at an effective treatment plan.
PLEASE NOTE: Esthetic treatments are extremely variable and the success of the outcome(s) may be very subjective. It is not always easy for us to completely understand what expectations our patients have. Everyone, including us, has high expectations for the final result. If we feel that there is an unreasonable expectation for the final result, we may abstain from proceeding with the case treatment.