Today's teeth whitening treatments are so easy, convenient and affordable that they've become a regular part of everyone's beauty routine. If you haven't tried one yet, you'll be happy to know that you have plenty of choices. For the fastest, most dramatic results, consider laser teeth whitening. Laser teeth whitening treatments take just an hour and can whiten teeth up to 10 shades. If you're the do-it-yourself type, an at-home teeth whitening kit might be right for you. These professional grade teeth whitening kits produce excellent results over a longer period of time. They can be purchased from your dentist or over-the-counter, but for best results, it's recommended that you always consult with a dentist before trying any over-the-counter teeth whitening system.
Fixing a chipped tooth, cracked tooth or a gap in your teeth is fast, easy and affordable with dental bonding. Dental bonding can also be used to improve the appearance of slightly discolored teeth and to change the shape of teeth, but it is typically recommended only for small cosmetic changes. Unlike other cosmetic treatments, dental bonding can be performed with little to no advance preparation. Dental bonding is also convenient and durable, taking just 30-60 minutes per tooth and lasting from 3-10 years.
Tooth crowns are one of the most effective dental solutions for restoring a tooth's shape, size and strength, or to improve its appearance. Dental crowns to may be recommended to:
- Cover discolored teeth or dental implants
- Protect a tooth from tooth decay
- Restore a broken tooth
- Hold a dental bridge in place
Preparing teeth for teeth crowns usually involves two visits. During the first visit, Dr. Dean will take an X-ray to examine the extent of decay.
If a root canal isn't necessary, Dr. Dean will:
- File the chewing surface, sides of the tooth and surrounding teeth.
- Take an impression of the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth.
- Place a temporary crown to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent dental crown is being made.
At your second visit, Dr. Dean will remove the temporary. Your dentist will check the fit and color of the permanent crown, then cement it in place.
Dental crowns are made from a variety of dental materials, including:
- Metal (gold, nickel or chromium)
- Porcelain fused to metal
- All porcelain or all ceramic
- Resin (durable plastic)
Computer imaging for crowns allows you to get a sneak peak at how tooth crowns will look before undergoing treatment. This helps you compare your options so you can choose whether a porcelain crown or one made of metal might be more appropriate.
A new dental crown may make your teeth sensitive to heat and cold. A porcelain crown can chip easily and some tooth crowns become loose or fall off. If you experience any problems with your dental crown, call our office.
Dental crowns don't keep tooth decay at bay. You still need to brush, floss and have regular dental cleanings. Avoid certain habits such as opening packages with your mouth, grinding your teeth and chewing ice to help prevent tooth crowns from wearing out prematurely. Well-cared for dental crowns can last 5 to 15 years.
Dental bridges have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth. Today, dental bridges are still considered one of the most durable, conservative and cost-effective options for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape in tact.
There are three types of dental bridges: 1) traditional dental bridges, 2) cantilever dental bridges, and 3) Maryland bridges. Traditional bridges have either dental crowns or dental implants on either side of the missing tooth, plus a replacement tooth, which is held in place by a post-like structure called a dental abutment. Cantilever dental bridges are used in cases where there are surrounding teeth only on one side of the missing tooth. Maryland bridges are made of a specialized resin that is cemented to a metal framework and cemented to the enamel of surrounding teeth.
Dental bridges typically take 2-3 weeks to complete and are less invasive than other options, such as dental implants. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental bridges can last up to 30 years.
Years ago, smile makeovers involved multiple dental treatments over a period of several months. That's no longer the case, thanks to porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are ultra thin shells made of translucent porcelain that can be bonded to your teeth for cosmetic purposes. Extremely versatile and durable, porcelain veneers are an excellent option whether you want a total smile makeover or need to cover a chipped tooth, mask a cracked tooth, or close gaps between your teeth. They require little to no prepping and can often be applied in just one dental visit!
Using dentures to replace missing teeth is not only great for your oral health; it's a great way to look and feel younger! Today, there are a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures for patients who need to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and either resin or porcelain replacement teeth, dentures are custom designed to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures, which can be either fixed or removable, are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.
The process of getting dentures may take a few months and several dental visits. In some cases, however, same-day dentures are also possible. With same-day dentures, the dentures are created right in the dentist's office instead of at an offsite laboratory. Same-day dentures aren't for everyone, though. If your dentures require a lot of customization, same-day dentures may not be right for you.
Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require daily maintenance. With regular wear and tear, your dentures can last 5-7 years. During that time, you may need periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. Regular denture relines involve resurfacing the base to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it's critical to bring them to your dentist for professional denture repair. Home denture repair kits can cause more damage and be even more costly to fix.