Cosmetic Dentistry: Creating Beautiful Smiles
Do you wish you had a better looking smile? Many people would like to change something about their smiles. Some smiles just need a little fixing up. Others need a complete makeover.
Cosmetic dentistry employs the science of smiles to brighten, whiten, renew and re-make. It can change tooth color and shape. It can fill gaps and fix chips. Cosmetic dentistry transforms smiles from “Bleh” to “OH WOW!”
When Cosmetics Means More Than Just Beauty…
For many people, a new smile means more than just “looking better.” Teeth are a central part of our appearance and, unfortunately, there are times in life when people can’t or won’t look past your mouth and see the person inside. These are the times when dental problems cause life problems. For some, nasty teeth are making it impossible to get a decent job. For others, broken down teeth are messing with their dating life. We meet people every day who struggle with depression and lack of confidence because of their teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry can be some of the most meaningful work we do. Imagine helping a new college graduate get their dream job or a freshly divorced patient gain the confidence they need to move on. If your smile is stopping your success, there are lots of ways that cosmetic dentistry can help you.
Smile Makeovers by Dr. Bec
Whitening: Taking Smiles from Blah to Brilliant!
Sometimes all a smile needs is teeth whitening in order to look brand new.
We use the advanced KOR Whitening system to whiten and brighten stained teeth. KOR is considered the most effective whitening system because it can treat both regular staining as well as brown tetracycline stains that doctors used to think were untreatable.
KOR is also the only whitening system that includes a sensitivity reducing step in the daily whitening process. Whitening with KOR is fast and long lasting thanks to the combination of at-home and in-office whitening treatments
Smile Design: Because the Dazzle’s in the Details
Creating a gorgeous final product requires a detailed study of teeth and face proportions as well as an open conversation about what your ideal smile looks like. We need to understand your jaw and bite and to choose restoration options that match and maintain balance. It’s also important to realize that the same result can often be obtained by several different treatment methods depending on your timeline and your budget.
Tooth-Colored Fillings: Minimal Cost, Great Results
Tooth-Colored fillings do so much more than just fix cavities! They can create a whole new smile when teeth are severely discolored, misshapen, or broken. In a process called bonding, tooth-colored composite is “bonded” to the fronts of teeth to make beautiful new teeth.
Tooth-colored composite bonding does absorb stain and need to be replaced more frequently than veneers or crowns to stay bright and beautiful, but it’s the fastest and least expensive way to get a new smile.
Tooth-Colored Veneers: Minimally Invasive, Maximally Esthetic
What do you do if your teeth are healthy but don’t look good? Porcelain veneers give you a new smile without sacrificing lots of healthy tooth structure. Getting veneers only requires shaving off a tiny amount of from the front of each tooth. Veneers are like a face lift for your teeth.
Buyer Beware: If veneers are not made to fit properly, they can crack, break or fall off. When they do properly fit your teeth, they provide a gorgeous smile that can last for years. The key – be sure that your dentist includes a thorough bite analysis in the treatment planning phase!
Warning: Always Fix Orthodontic Problems with Orthodontic Solutions
Have you ever seen anyone whose front teeth look like chicklets or horse teeth? It’s possible that they were born that way, but it’s more likely that their dentist was trying to “do them a favor” and fix large gaps with extra large crowns or veneers instead of orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic problems almost always need to be fixed with orthodontic solutions. If you want to get rid of major gaps or crowding, protect your smile and your teeth by using Invisalign, not crowns or veneers.
Tooth-Colored Crowns: Restorative, Protective and Beautifully Natural
When teeth are severely broken, decayed or defective, fillings and veneers don’t work. The only restoration that looks natural, protects the tooth and can replace a large amount of tooth structure is a crown.
Creating beautiful, natural looking crowns is a team sport. The dentist has to design your new tooth and pick the material that will best match your other teeth, while a dental lab makes the dentist’s design.
Crown materials have advanced amazingly in recent years. Ugly metal margins are never an issue these days because crowns are made from new materials that are 100% tooth colored, stronger and more life-like than ever. We choose the crown material based on the condition and color of the teeth being repaired, bite health, and the type of smile that each patient has in mind.
The lab that makes the crown is super important. Getting a beautiful strong new crown depends on choosing a lab that has the skill and equipment to create the dentist’s design. Here at Alamo Dental Health, we only use dental labs located in the USA with certified technicians, verified materials and long-term success records. A good crown design is meaningless with a bad lab, and poor lab work is one of the major reasons crowns fail.
A Word to the Wise about Dental Labs: Why They Matter…
When you get a new crown or veneer, who actually makes the new tooth? The dentist designs it, but he doesn’t actually make it. So who does? The lab does. Your dentist sends the tooth “prescription” with all the planning details and models to a dental lab where a lab technician crafts your new tooth.
Choosing a good lab is one of the most important decisions your dentist makes. The best dentist’s work is worthless if his lab isn’t paying attention or is using cheap materials. But that seems obvious so why mention it…?
Here’s the key. Labs vary widely in quality AND in price. Their prices depend on their materials, equipment and training. Excellent labs charge dentists hundreds of dollars per crown and it can be tempting to use a cheaper lab. Some dentists even send their designs to China to be created there in labs at the lowest prices with unknown materials.
We want our patients to have peace of mind. Your health and satisfaction are our highest priority. We only use labs in the USA. Our labs have proven track records of the highest quality dental lab work. We know our labs’ technicians personally and work with them constantly to guarantee our patients get the best results possible. We also refuse to use any crowns or lab-created restorations that don’t match our original designs and will have them re-made even if it means our office pays for them twice.
Sometimes lab mistakes mean that a patient has to wait another week or two to get the final tooth. We understand that it’s frustrating to make multiple trips to the dentist, but refusing to use a defective crown is one way we can protect our patients from dental emergencies down the road.
Protect your mouth and your investment by always asking your dentist where their labs are located and how they choose their labs.