A beautiful smile that radiates self-confidence and health is an affordable reality today. Conservative esthetic techniques such as bleaching, bonding, veneering and implant procedures combined with crown and bridge techniques can transform decayed, discolored, poorly positioned or missing teeth into an esthetically pleasing, healthy smile that not only restores function and prevents dental disease but enhances our self-esteem and self-image.
The majority of vital bleaching for patients is done with the “at-home” tray technique. A flexible plastic tray is made that exactly fits your teeth. A peroxide containing solution is placed in the trays and the trays are worn for a period of time each day for two to three weeks. The amount of time worn relates to the type of peroxide solution used and the intensity and location of the stain. Bleaching is the most cost-effective of esthetic dental procedures and can last indefinitely with periodic touch-ups. The safest most effective bleaching systems are those done under the supervision of your dentist.
Enamel bonding is the art and science of applying tooth colored epoxy-like filling materials to specially prepared tooth surfaces. The materials harden when exposed to intense blue light and when polished resemble enamel. Bonding materials, called composite resins, can cover all or part of the tooth, they are softer than the enamel or dentin they are repairing and are subject to fracture or wear. Some repair may be necessary in the future.
Laminate veneers are usually porcelain, cover most of the front surface of the anterior teeth and are bonded to place with flowable composite resins. Veneers can beautifully enhance worn, shortened, stained teeth and are usually done in pairs or multiples of two to maintain a high esthetic tooth shape and color match. Because they are porcelain, they last longer than bonding but are crafted in a laboratory like crowns – so they are more costly than bonding.
Crowns usually cover teeth completely and are made of either all porcelain or porcelain fused to gold alloy. They are extremely strong and long lasting but require more tooth structure removal than veneers, bonding or inlays which cover just part of the tooth.
Implants are artificial roots made of titanium, surgically placed into the bone, which are allowed to heal for a few months. The top of the implant is then exposed with a second minor surgical procedure, and an abutment of titanium is screwed into the implant. A porcelain to metal crown is then made to cover the abutment and is screwed or cemented to place. Implants today are a very successful and safe way of replacing missing teeth.
Implants Case 2
Often it is necessary to combine these various procedures to produce an ideal esthetic result.
Cerec restorations are all porcelain crowns and onlays that are created in the office, often in one appointment by CAD CAM scanning of the prepared tooth and milling blocks of porcelain to fit the tooth exactly.