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Cosmetic Dentistry Primer

Cosmetic dentistry can give you a dazzling smile, instilling confidence, changing the way you approach people, and making you feel beautiful. More than 95% of adults believe that a beautiful smile makes you more appealing to the opposite sex, and employers rely heavily on a person’s smile when making decisions about hiring and promoting employees.

Today’s cosmetic dentistry is about more than pretty teeth. The most advanced cosmetic dentistry techniques incorporate aesthetically pleasing techniques that are not taught in most dental schools. To learn these techniques, the world’s leading cosmetic dentists attend the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI).

Cosmetic dentistry offers solutions to many dental problems including:

Chipped, cracked, and broken teeth

Gaps and missing teeth

Crooked or crowded teeth

Misshapen teeth

Discoloured teeth

Teeth which are too short

A “gummy” smile

Uneven gum line

Dark fillings and/or crowns

When navigating cosmetic dentistry options, there are some basics which you should know.

Why Porcelain?

Porcelain is used in many cosmetic dentistry solutions including fillings, caps, and veneers. Originally, the only option was metal, which is very visible and tarnishes. Tooth-colored materials were eventually developed, but they had a dead, flat look and a tendency to stain. Porcelain can be colored to perfectly match the tone of your natural teeth and has the same translucence, so it reflects light in the same way. It has a texture like glass which makes it resistant to staining.

Veneers, bonding, fillings, caps or crowns?

Porcelain veneers are a thin shell of porcelain which is bonded to the front of your teeth. They can be used to cover one or several teeth and can solve many dental problems at once including:

Chips, cracks, and broken teeth

Discoloration

Gaps

Crooked or misshapen teeth

Short teeth

Bonding can solve the same types of problems as veneers, but involves applying the material as a paste, rather than a shell, and then sculpting and polishing it to the perfect shape. It requires less of your original tooth for support and, for broken teeth, can replace up to half of a tooth.

Fillings are used to fill small holes in your teeth. Unsightly (and possibly unhealthy) metal fillings can be replaced with porcelain inlays which are invisible, seamless, and do not become discolored.

Caps or crowns cover an entire tooth, rather than just filling a small hole or covering the front of the tooth. They allow you to keep and strengthen the original tooth, and are used when there are large areas of decay, when fillings have failed, or after a root canal.

Implants
Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or all of your teeth. A titanium rod is inserted into the jawbone replacing the root, and an artificial tooth is attached. They are better than dentures and partials because they do not slip or cause discomfort, and there is no bone and gum shrinkage. However, implants are not appropriate for everyone. You must have adequate jaw bone material to support the implant.

Dentures and partials
For those who are not good candidate for dental implants, dentures and partials are used to replace missing teeth. Dentures replace all of your teeth. Partials replace groups of teeth, and used the surrounding teeth to hold them in place.

Tooth whitening
Tooth whitening is safe, non-invasive, and allows you to choose between a gradual, subtle process or one with quick, dramatic results. Peroxide treatments, prepared by your cosmetic dentist, are used at home and can lighten your teeth up to five shades over time. On the more dramatic end of the spectrum you can choose a procedure which lightens your teeth up to ten shades in one treatment and using a light activated gel.

Tooth straightening
Veneers or bonding can make your teeth appear straight in one procedure, but some people prefer to have their teeth truly straightened. Braces used to be the only way to realign teeth. Now we have Invisalign, which uses a series of clear tray-like appliances to gradually realign and straighten adult teeth over a period of several months to two years.

Gum re-contouring
An imperfect gum line can give the illusion of imperfect teeth. Excess gum tissue can make teeth look too short and create a “gummy” smile. An uneven gum line can make your teeth look crooked or unhealthy. Gum re-contouring used to be done with a scalpel and caused pain, swelling, bleeding, and carried a high risk of infection. Today, laser gum re-contouring is used with much greater precision and a safer and more pleasant recovery.

Neuromuscular dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry has transformed the world of cosmetic dentistry from a practice which used to provide short-term cosmetic solutions for your teeth to a life-changing experience with results that are not only more beautiful, but can relieve chronic pain and prevent future dental problems.

TMJ/TMD is a painful neuromuscular disorder which causes symptoms such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, tooth grinding, and ringing in the ears. Many of the symptoms of TMJ/TMD do not appear to be related to dental problems. The condition is often misdiagnosed and therefore goes untreated, leading to years of chronic pain. It not only causes damage to your teeth, but can cause poor posture and affects the muscles in your face distorting your profile and causing premature ageing. Neuromuscular dentistry can treat TMJ/TMD by correcting your bite.

A neuromuscular dentist applies neuromuscular dentistry principles to any cosmetic dentistry procedures you may need. For many dental needs, such as crowns or dentures, traditional dentists rely on impressions alone to determine fit and alignment. While the initial results may look perfect, there are subtle imperfections which will affect your bite and cause damage over time. Neuromuscular dentistry uses the most advanced technology to ensure a truly perfect fit and precise alignment.

Smile makeover – the ultimate in cosmetic dentistry!

A smile makeover is the ultimate combination of beauty and function, science and art. It addresses all of the aspects of your smile. Using neuromuscular dentistry techniques and the precise combination of procedures that you need, a neuromuscular dentist can give you a full smile makeover which improves not only the way you look, but the way you feel, too.

To learn more about improving your smile, contact an LVI trained neuromuscular dentist or a cosmetic dentist today.

Written By Sandra Duke

For more information on Cosmetic Dentistry please go to Page 1 Solutions

Disclaimer: This article was not written by the Everything Chic Editor and the information contained is solely attributed to the author.

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