4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
Looney, William B D.D.S.
4700 Misty Ridge Cir
Birmingham, AL, 35235-8665
Steve Murphree D.D.S. DMD P.C
1140 Eagletree Ln SE
Huntsville, AL, 35801
Wolanek, Gary A D.D.S.
999 Drew Ln
Auburn, AL, 36830-4301
Mc Duffie, Keith D.D.S.
427 S 4th St
Gadsden, AL, 35901-5281
Cosmetic dentistry, these days, sometimes combines science with fine art. This requires a craftsman's skill to make sure the tooth restoration is as attractive as it is durable. After all, your smile is too valuable to be spoiled by unnatural-looking dental veneers.
The goal of a cosmetic dentist should be to provide you with an attractive, natural-appearing smile. You have a wide array of choices, and a good cosmetic dentistry professional should be happy to review the possibilities with you. For example, porcelain onlays and inlays can return structural integrity to a broken tooth, while leaving it looking as good as (or possibly better than) the original.
This is especially apparent if you now have metal fillings or a gold tooth. Metal and gold, after all, are not normal components of teeth. There's a huge difference between gold or metal combination fillings and porcelain dental crowns that reflect the translucence of natural teeth. Plus, porcelain restorations are now as strong, or stronger, than your own teeth. Ask your cosmetic dentist to take before-and-after photos so you can see the difference for yourself.
Admittedly, these more natural-appearing restorations are also a little more expensive. And many dental insurance plans may not cover all of the cost for cosmetic dental work. But in terms of your appearance (and the self-confidence it boosts), there's no comparison.
The term "dental bonding" describes a dental procedure that is used for various purposes. Tooth-colored composite resins are applied to teeth for cosmetic reasons, to repair cracked and chipped teeth, protect exposed tooth roots against decay, or restore decayed teeth.
Usually the process is completed during one visit to your cosmetic dentist and doesn't require drilling or anesthesia. First, your tooth is prepared with an etching solution to help the dental bonding materials adhere.
Next, the resin is applied and contoured to the proper shape, then cured with either a special light or chemical treatment. The tooth is then polished for a natural-looking appearance. A follow-up appointment with your dentist may be recommended for additional polishing.
While the dental bonding materials are very durable, they still can chip and may need to be replaced periodically. Avoid excessive pressure such as chewing ice, hard candy or unpopped popcorn kernels. Dental bonding materials are susceptible to staining from tobacco, coffee, tea and berries. Alcohol and acid-containing foods such as vinegar, tomatoes or pineapple can damage the resin.
Regular dental check-ups are important for maintaining good dental health and natural-looking teeth.
By Danine M. Fresch, DDS