With Cosmetic Dentistry, you can improve your smile, self-esteem, and overall appearance! Ask us about developing a personalized cosmetic dentistry plan for smile enhancement that is in line with your needs and budget.
Read the information below to become more familiar with the primary cosmetic dentistry services we provide in our practice. Learn how these procedures can help you achieve that new smile you’ve been longing for. Leave the details to us, though! We will share with you as much or as little as you want to know about specific cosmetic dentistry procedures that may be most appropriate for you. If you’ve thought about cosmetic dentistry, but haven’t acted because you dread the implementation, talk to us about the sedation dentistry services available at our Raleigh location.
Veneers and Cosmetic Bonding
In cosmetic dentistry, a veneer refers to a thin custom-shaped, porcelain shell that is cemented to the front of the tooth. Veneers can beautify your smile by hiding imperfections such as chips, bleach-resistant stains, gaps between teeth, or slight tooth crookedness.
A cosmetic dentistry procedure that can also be used in addressing some tooth imperfections is called cosmetic bonding. Used mostly with broken or chipped surfaces of the tooth, cosmetic bonding is a faster and also more conservative treatment. We apply a tooth-colored material (composite resin) rather than a porcelain shell. While cosmetic bonding is usually lower in cost and certainly appropriate in some situations, bonding also lacks the durability and longevity that you get with a porcelain veneer. Veneers are also more versatile in terms of the extent of imperfections that can be addressed with those, as opposed to cosmetic bonding. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Teeth Whitening in Our Office or at Home
Have you ever wondered about the differences between cosmetic dentistry teeth whitening services as compared to an over-the-counter option you may have tried? One of the main differences is faster results. When we perform teeth whitening, we use protective material to shield your gums and other oral tissue prior to the application of the bleaching agent. Sometimes, we also use an ultraviolet (UV) light to further enhance the effect of the bleach. Whenever we do use a UV light, we take care to expose only the teeth – to help protect the other tissue that can be harmed by UV exposure.
Our cosmetic dentistry services also include an at-home treatment option, although the results won't be as quick as the in-office service. For your at-home teeth whitening treatment, we begin by producing a custom mouthguard that fits your teeth exactly - unlike over-the-counter products that are made for the “average” mouth. At home, you will put whitening gel in the mouthguard before inserting it in your mouth to perform the whitening procedure.
Whatever your preference, we’ll create a customized plan for you that will help you understand both the appropriate treatment plan and recommended frequency. Like all our cosmetic dentistry procedures, our whitening procedures and plans are built around systems, equipment, and recommended frequencies that help to avoid possible irritation or damage to oral tissues and teeth.
We can use a mixture of tooth-colored material (a composite filling) instead of traditional silver fillings to restore a decayed tooth. Composite fillings are practically invisible to other people. Our staff will help you understand the best filling approach for your situation, including the costs and how much your dental coverage (if you have it) will pay for the treatment you need. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Crowns and Bridges
A crown (sometimes called a "cap") is a method used to repair a cracked, broken, or damaged tooth that cannot be effectively restored with a filling. At times, a crown is used to prevent a weak tooth from breaking, or to improve the look of a badly shaped or severely discolored tooth. To prepare for a crown, we first shape the tooth and reduce its size to allow the crown to fit over it. Once we have prepared the tooth, we create impressions of your teeth that allow us to create a customized crown that will fit well over the existing tooth and between the surrounding teeth. While the custom crown is being made, you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown that we place over the prepared tooth. During your follow-up visit, that temporary crown will be removed, and we will cement the permanent crown in place.
For some patients, we will sometimes fuse a false tooth between two teeth that have crowns. This creates what is more commonly called a fixed bridge – a procedure used to replace one or more missing teeth. It is called fixed because you cannot remove it from your mouth like you can remove dentures. Dental implants are an increasingly popular alternative to a bridge. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Our practice provides options that range from traditional braces to invisible braces (Invisalign). We develop personalized orthodontic treatment plans for patients to help improve their smiles and overall facial appearance. With our orthodontic services, we treat overbites,crossbites, underbites, and crooked or crowded teeth. Traditional braces, which make use of brackets that are bonded to the teeth, now come in many varieties – metal, ceramic/tooth-colored, clear plastic, and colored plastic. Using wires that are attached to the brackets, we are able to gradually readjust the position of teeth.
For many adults, an increasingly popular option is invisible braces (Invisalign and other similar systems). These non-traditional, removable braces are actually a series of aligners that fit over your teeth and move your teeth to the desired position. Customized to make small progressive movements of your teeth from their current position to the desired position, these clear aligners aren't visible to others. Because you can remove the aligners to eat or to brush and floss your teeth, you can avoid the trapped food and plaque build-up that can occur with traditional braces. The patient typically wears an aligner for about two weeks, after which it is replaced with the next aligner in the series. Invisible aligners are typically better suited for adults, rather than children who are still awaiting permanent teeth.
While it is quicker and simpler to resolve orthodontic problems while the head and mouth are growing (patients 10 - 14 years of age), braces clearly are not just for kids any longer! More and more adults are wearing them – you may not even be aware that they are doing so. We firmly commit to you, as patient/parent/guardian, to explain the potential options and the basis for our recommended treatment approach. We will recommend the braces best suited to dental health, smile improvement, and are also containable within your budget or payment plan. Our plans include information about the frequency of return visits, and also explain what you can do before, during, and after the treatment to achieve the best short- and long-range improvements in your dental health and appearance. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)