When we say "All good things begin with a smile" we are not just repeating a phrase from some marketing campaign. A significant part of how people react to you is dependent upon your body language. Your appearance is part of that body language. One dental extreme would be meeting a person for the first time who is talking with you and has gross decay in every visable tooth. What conclusions would you draw about that person? How far up the spectrum from that person is the place that you would like to be? The answer to that is, of course, a very personal judgment call. It is also an extremely complex judgment call involving cultural norms, conclusions about self-worth, differences in value systems that have to do with focus on physical appearance and health, and/or personal mode of operation that always favors maintaining the "known" present condition. However, if a person is interested in improving how people react to his of her personal appearance, the time has never been better. The process has become much more conservative because of stronger materials that look exactly like real enamel, and the training available is extensive in a select few teaching institutes (Dr. Turner and his staff have attended all the LVI "hands-on" live-patient clinical courses).
Patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health. This includes dental prevention and having a healthier and better looking smile. An additional benefit is having a healthier, more comfortable bite.
There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over. Changing smiles is the favorite part of what we do. Nobody gets excited or emotional about a perfectly done gold crown on an upper second molar. But the whole staff comes in the treatment room to be part of the emotion when the day comes to place the final veneers to create someone's new smile.
Teeth Whitening: Most of the yellow, brown, or orange colors are stains that come from coffee, tea, caramel colors in soft drinks, and even colors in catsup. These colors filter through the microfractures in the enamel and end up in the interface between the enamel and the dentin (about 1 1/2 mm deep). That is why no amount of surface polishing will remove that specific stain. The good news is that the same microfractures allow our whitening gels to penetrate into that same interface to remove those acquired stains.
Bonded Composite Resorations: Now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities and also to replace old defective fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth. This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.
Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create beautiful smiles. They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surfaces of the teeth.
Porcelain Crowns (caps): A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that surrounds the tooth, restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.
Dental Implants: Dental implants are titanium cylinders that simulate the same shape(s) as the roots of the natural tooth it replaces. It is surgically placed into the bone to replace one or more missing teeth. Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made to fit and attach to implants, much the same as a natural tooth would be used for these same restorations. In some areas of the mouth, implants have a 99% success rate, making these the obvious choice for success and good value.
Orthodontics: Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients. Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces. That system is called Invisilign and is done by several local orthodontists. There are instances where the cosmetic and bite solution has to include orthodontics. However, there are many times where veneers can create the beautiful smile in as little as three weeks. The veneers have also the advantage of being able to enhance or correct the natural tooth colors. Using veneers has the important advantage of not needing to move the teeth from their natural positions. That means that there is no tendency for them to "go back where they came from" because they stay in their same original root positions.
Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!