Cosmetic Dentistry

 

Many people are dissatisfied with their natural smiles for any number of reasons, such as teeth that are chipped or discolored. Fortunately, patients can take advantage of cosmetic dentistry options to enhance their smiles and boost their self-confidence. This overview of cosmetic dentistry services will introduce the available treatments and explain the basics of what to expect from the treatment process. 

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Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

 

Some cosmetic dentistry interventions are more common than others. These are some of the most popular among our patient population: 

 

  • Dental bonding: Resin is applied to the tooth and cured to restore a minor defect, such as a small chip or crack. 

 

  • Teeth whitening: A bleaching agent is applied to the tooth in order to eliminate stains and reverse the gradual yellowing of the teeth that occurs with age. We offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening treatments in a variety of packages to fit patients’ needs. 

 

  • Veneers: Thin, tooth-shaped shell that is bonded to the front surface of a biological tooth to conceal flaws. Veneers can be used when the defects are too substantial to be addressed by dental bonding. 

 

The initial step in cosmetic dentistry treatment is to schedule a consultation. We will ask about your smile goals, examine your smile and recommend the interventions most likely to be effective in your case.  

 

The exams that take place at these check-ups give your dentist an opportunity to monitor your teeth and gums at regular intervals, increasing your chances that any problems that do develop will be diagnosed and treated early before they have a chance to do much damage. In the case of oral cancer, which your dentist will screen for, such exams can actually improve your chances of survival.

 

Fluoride treatments may also be recommended as part of your preventive care. This helps to remineralize and strengthen teeth, offering some additional protection against decay. 

What To Expect From The Treatment Process

 

The cosmetic dentistry treatment process will depend on the particular intervention or interventions involved. Some treatments, such as dental bonding or teeth whitening, can be completed in as little as an hour. Additionally, patients do not need any local anesthetic for those procedures.  

 

Veneer design and placement is more complex and takes place over multiple appointments spaced out a few weeks apart. At the first appointment, the dentist gathers information needed for the design of the veneers, and that information is forwarded to the dental lab that will create the veneers. Depending on the thickness of the veneers, your teeth may also be prepped at that first appointment to make room for them. When the veneers are back from the lab, you’ll return to the office at that time to have them bonded to your teeth. 

 

Patients who are planning to receive multiple cosmetic dentistry interventions will need to work with the dentist to plan the timing of those treatments. For example, veneers do not respond to teeth whitening treatments, so you should be satisfied with the shade of your teeth before having your veneers placed. This means that teeth whitening should occur before veneer placement. Your dentist will give you more thorough information about what to expect from the various aspects of the cosmetic dentistry treatment process. 

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Questions

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a specialty that focuses primarily on enhancing or restoring the appearance of a patient’s smile. Cosmetic dental procedures will correct various visible flaws in the smile, including chips, cracks or stains. Treatment may also address misalignment of the teeth or teeth that are disproportionately small in comparison to their neighbors.  

 

Cosmetic dentistry may include treatments such as bonding, veneers or teeth whitening. These interventions may be provided individually or in combination for a complete overhaul of the smile, depending on the patient’s treatment goals.  

What is a bonding?

Dental bonding involves applying resin to a tooth that has a small chip or cracks or a minor area of decay and then “curing” or hardening it. After the resin has hardened, the dentist may further refine its shape. Resin color is customized to approximate the shade of the patient’s tooth so that the restoration will not be noticeable. Dental bonding is typically completed in less than an hour, making it one of the most effective cosmetic dentistry treatments available!

What is a veneer?

Veneers may be the most versatile tools used in cosmetic dentistry. They are thin, tooth-shaped shells that are bonded to the front surfaces of biological teeth to hide flaws like deep stains or fractured teeth. Veneers can even be used to make a slightly crooked stretch of teeth look straight or correct an undersized tooth. Veneers are custom-designed to a patient’s specifications. They are made of materials like porcelain or ceramics that mimic many of the optical qualities of biological tooth enamel and result in a lifelike appearance, making a tooth fitted with a veneer indistinguishable from its biological neighbor.

I have sensitive teeth, can I still whiten my teeth?

Some patients do complain of increased sensitivity for a few days after receiving a teeth whitening treatment, so if you already experience that symptom, you may have concerns about pursuing teeth whitening. Fortunately, you and your dentist can plan to minimize tooth sensitivity resulting from teeth whitening treatments. Your dentist may recommend that you use a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth or extend the period of time between your teeth whitening treatments. However, sensitive teeth alone is unlikely to rule you out as a candidate for teeth whitening treatment.  

MEET OUR DOCTORS

Dr-Higgins-Home-Page

DR. ANDREW HIGGINS

Dr. Higgins encourages his patients to be involved in their treatment in order to achieve the best results possible, and is always open to questions and is attentive to each patient’s needs.

Dr. Pichak Kelk

Dr. Kelk received her DDS degree from Tehran University in 1992. She received her fellowship degree in dental implants in 1996 and her specialty degree in periodontics in 1999 from Loma Linda University.

FEATURED DENTAL SERVICES

at Ocean View Dental Care

General Dentistry

General family dentistry services are the foundation of our practice, and when you invest a minimal amount of time and energy in routine preventive care, your smile will reap the benefits for a lifetime.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Many people are dissatisfied with their natural smiles for any number of reasons, such as teeth that are chipped or discolored. Fortunately, patients can take advantage of cosmetic dentistry options to enhance their smiles and boost their self-confidence.

Orthodontics

A crooked smile isn’t merely unsightly. It’s also inefficient in its function and may even cause discomfort for patients. We can correct your smile’s alignment and improve its appearance and function with an innovative treatment option known as Invisalign.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the only structurally complete tooth replacement available in dentistry today, and they are increasingly popular among patients as a result. This treatment method is convenient, effective, durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Schedule your next dental visit with us today!