4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
4647 Highway 280 # E
Birmingham, AL, 35242-5032
Hannahan, Patrick E D.D.S.
3602 Old Shell Rd # B
Mobile, AL, 36608-1307
Caprara Jr, H John D.D.S.
202 Inverness Center Dr # 202
Birmingham, AL, 35242-7635
Smith & Smith Endodontics
1910 Bruin Dr
Florence, AL, 35630-6717
With recent advances in cosmetic dental technology, what was once considered impossible can now be performed routinely. We now have the means and the know-how to treat such conditions as discolored, crooked, and missing teeth - often in one or two visits to a cosmetic dentist, and often without discomfort.
Porcelain veneers have now become a standard part of cosmetic dentistry. These veneers are thin shells of porcelain bonded to the front teeth. Using porcelain veneers, we can change the shape, color and length of your teeth in only two visits - instant orthodontics!
Dental bonding is a widely used phrase that describes how tooth-colored fillings are placed. Using dental bonding, we can eliminate discolored areas, fill in gaps, and also build back areas of gum recession.
Composite fillings (tooth-colored fillings) can now be placed in the back molar areas when tooth decay is detected. These fillings can be used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings and are virtually invisible. Dentists have fun placing composite fillings and patients like them, too.
Teeth whitening is a great treatment for generalized yellow or stained teeth. With custom-fabricated tooth bleaching trays, the bleaching procedure can be done at home at your own convenience. The process generally takes about four to six weeks and the results are very impressive.
With the treatment options available today, it's possible to have the smile you've always wanted. Let your dentist know if you're interested in learning more about these advances in cosmetic dentistry.
There are many cosmetic dentistry situations which arise that lend themselves to treatment with dental veneers by your cosmetic dentist. One indication is for restoring teeth with discoloration that have been unaffected by the more conventional teeth bleaching approaches. Some examples of this are teeth that have severe tetracycline (an antibiotic) staining or discoloration from a previous injury to the tooth.
Another major indication is for teeth that require significant changes in their shape or contour. By placing dental veneers, small or misshapen teeth can be built up to regain a more natural appearance, spaces between teeth can be closed by making the teeth wider and teeth that are too short can be lengthened.
Porcelain dental veneers or composite veneers are a very popular dental care treatment option for a variety of reasons. They are one of the most conservative restorations that can be done by your cosmetic dentist. This means that the amount of tooth structure that must be removed is very small. Generally, only 0.3 to 0.7 mm needs to be removed from the surface of your tooth.
Dental veneers are then made and bonded to the teeth, incorporating the desired changes in shape and color. Since veneers are so thin and there is no metal in them, the esthetic potential is very high. Veneers can be made of two different materials, either composite or porcelain.
The major advantage of composite veneers is treatment time. If composite is used, the dental veneers can be done in one appointment. The dentist will actually make the veneers directly on the prepared teeth.
The veneers are then smoothed and polished to look like your natural teeth. Since it takes only one appointment, you can leave your dentist's office with a brand new smile.
One of the disadvantages of composite veneers is that they are not as strong as porcelain veneers and therefore are more prone to fracture. However, if a fracture does occur, they can be easily repaired because the same material that was used initially to make the veneers can be added in the same manner to fix it.
Another disadvantage is that the color, although stable, is not as stable as the same porcelain veneer restoration. This means that over time the veneers may get darker or turn yellow. Eventually, this change in color can warrant the replacement of the composite veneers.
Porcelain veneers require a longer treatment time. At the first appointment, your teeth are prepared and an impression is made of them. Temporary dental veneers are made out of plastic and placed on your teeth. They are used to protect your teeth while the real porcelain veneers are being fabricated. You can also use them to evaluate the look and feel of your teeth so that any changes you desire can be incorporated into your real veneers.
At the second appointment, the temporary veneers are removed and the porcelain veneers bonded to your teeth. Although they are thin, porcelain veneers are much stronger than composite veneers, so the risk of fracture compared to the composite veneers is much less. However, if a fracture does occur, repairing it is more difficult and may result in the veneers having to be remade.
In general, porcelain veneers can be used in a greater variety of situations with a higher level of predictability. Since they are made outside the mouth, the shape and color can be easier to control, thus enhancing the final result.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD