Q: What’s hot in cosmetic dentistry?
A: Think of cosmetic dentistry as “style for your smile.” With today’s dental cosmetic procedures, you can add some sparkle to your smile with teeth whitening, conceal crooked teeth and even mask gaps between your teeth with veneers. But, don’t let that fool you—cosmetic dental procedures aren’t all about looks, investing in cosmetic dental work that fixes your teeth and bite will actually improve your dental health long term as well.
In the last 10 years technology has improved significantly, making it easier than ever fix crowded or crooked teeth, change the shade of your teeth and even reshape a gummy smile. Today, cosmetic dental procedures that may have once been considered a luxury are now considered staples–particularly teeth whitening, enamel shaping, and porcelain veneers.
Be sure to get the scoop on the latest trends and what can be done to change your smile!
A: Porcelain veneers are thin wafers of porcelain, about the thickness of a fingernail that are bonded onto teeth (usually the upper front teeth) to create a smile makeover. Since porcelain mimics the tooth structure better than any other restorative material, they create a beautiful result. The porcelain is harder than enamel, so it resists wear and can last for many years. Dr.Shlafer can manipulate the color and translucency to re-create the look of any tooth. Porcelain will resist staining better than tooth enamel and rarely discolors unless the surface of the tooth has been damaged.
Some patients are concerned that their teeth will have to be “ground down” to place veneers, it would be more accurate to say that the teeth are shaved down a little. The amount of reduction is minimal and doesn’t damage the teeth.
Many problems with your teeth can be solved with porcelain veneers. They are great for restoring worn or chipped teeth and can also be used to cover stained teeth. For patients with tetracycline teeth staining, this is your only option to whiten your teeth. Dr.Shlafer has the ability to alter the shade to your liking, and in many instances reshape teeth as well. Porcelain veneers can be used to close spaces between teeth and lengthen them as well. In some cases, veneers can be an alternative to braces, you can have your teeth straightened and reshaped in two or three appointments rather than years of orthodontics. If you would like to discuss veneers, let us know at your next visit and Dr.Shlafer can evaluate your options with you.
Q: How can I fix my crooked teeth?
A: There are 2 basic ways to fix crooked teeth:
Most people think braces are the only way to address this problem and they are a very effective treatment option with many advantages too. These advantages include: nothing artificial is bonded to your teeth and once done, there’s no maintaining or replacement of crowns in the future. Some disadvantages of braces are: It can take years to complete. Wearing braces can be uncomfortable and your teeth can shift after straightening if you do not wear your retainers.
An expert cosmetic dentist, like Dr.Shlafer can restore and change your smile with porcelain crowns or veneers. This type of treatment allows for changes in the shape and color of your teeth. Porcelain restorations can give your smile a uniform color, pleasing shape and correct badly worn biting edges of your teeth. The advantages of fixing crooked teeth with porcelain restorations are: treatment is completed in less time than with braces. You get to enjoy you beautiful new smile right away, there’s no waiting for results. Also, there is little chance of a relapse, since your teeth are in a stable position. Some disadvantages are: it can be more expensive and maintenance is required.
If you are considering changing your smile, give us a call today!
Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or porcelain laminates) are a wafer thin, custom made tooth colored material designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. Veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth, changing their color, shape, size, or length.
What type of problems do veneers fix?
- Teeth that are discolored
- Teeth that are worn down
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
- Teeth with gaps between them
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
- They provide a natural tooth appearance
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
- Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
- The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected to make teeth whiter
- Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape
What are the disadvantages of dental veneers?
- The process is not reversible
- Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding
- Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack
- Veneers are not a good choice for individuals with unhealthy teeth (for example those with tooth decay or gum disease, or weakened teeth)
- Individuals that clench or grind their teeth are poor candidates.
Veneers generally last between 5-10 years, after this time the veneers would generally need to be replaced. Dental veneers do not require any special care. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices including brushing and flossing as you normally would.
Are there alternatives to dental veneers?
Yes, alternatives to veneers include bonding and crowns. Veneers offer a nice intermediate option. Veneers may be best suited for individuals who want to change the shape of their teeth more than just a little bit–as is done with bonding–but not enough to require a crown.
When seeking a cosmetic dentist, consider the artistic skill of the dentist. Materials are universal, however the design and specifications of a procedure play a major role in the esthetic appeal of the final product. This skill requires a sense of artistry combined with a vision that will enhance your features and create your perfect smile.
Q. Are there any special considerations for veneers?
A. Some factors you will want to consider:
- Your goals
- The color of your teeth. Most veneers are ultra thin and therefore translucent, so discolored teeth may show through. Teeth whitening may be recommended to reduce discoloration. Veneers are fabricated to have a natural tooth like appearance and match surrounding teeth.
- Your lifestyle and habits, such as teeth grinding and clenching may make a veneer more susceptible to chips, cracks and breaking. If you are interested in veneers, come in for a complimentary evaluation and see how you can achieve the smile of your dreams!
Q. What should I ask during a cosmetic evaluation appointment?
A. One of the first questions you should ask is what type of training Dr.Shlafer has for the particular procedures you are interested in. Not all dentists know and perform all cosmetic dentistry procedures.
- You should ask to see before and after pictures. Ask questions about their cases and the techniques Dr.Shlafer used to improve their smiles.
- You should ask if the dentist is a accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. As an accredited member, Dr.Shlafer has undergone extensive continuing education and rigorous testing to ensure that his cosmetic procedure skills are exemplary.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, the first step is to have an cosmetic evaluation with Dr.Shlafer. He will develop a cosmetic treatment plan that is just right for you.
Cosmetic dentistry offers many options for people that are unhappy with their smiles. If you are one of those people, read on.
- CEREC®: Cerec is a revolutionary way to restore damaged teeth in a single visit. With CEREC® there is no need for Dr. Shlafer to take impressions, no temporary crown, no lab involvement, no return visit for the patient. This restorations is natural looking because it is made of a tooth colored ceramic material. It is metal free–no silver or metal to discolor your smile! This technique allows Dr.Shlafer to be extremely precise and save as much of your tooth as possible
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used as part of prosthetic (crowns, bridges, dentures) dentistry in order to compensate for tooth loss. Often the result is not only an enhanced smile, but a more youthful appearance, since missing teeth cause the face to collapse, making you look older.
- Dental Veneers: Veneers or porcelain laminates are adhesivsively bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct and repair chips and cracks. Veneers will improve discoloration by changing the shade, or gaps by reshaping and resizing the look of your tooth.
- Smile Makeover: Smile makeovers involve a comprehensive assessment of your smile with Dr.Shlafer to determine what you would like done to improve its overall appearance. Typically one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures will be required, involving several teeth in both the upper and lower arches in order to achieve the look you want.
TOMORROW: Cosmetic dentistry questions.
A Smile Makeover can be appealing for many reasons. Changing aged and broken restorations, achieving a more youthful appearance, or a boost in self-confidence might be some of the reasons you may be considering a Smile Makeover.
The goal of aesthetic dentistry is to transform an average smile into a terrific smile. Dr. Shlafer and his team are highly skilled in treatment planning for your new smile. The first step on your way to a new smile is a thorough evaluation with Dr.Shlafer.
So, what makes a smile beautiful? Dr. Shlafer’s patients have terrific smiles with several things in common:
- Teeth that were once crooked are now beautifully straight.
- Gaps that were once present have been removed and the teeth are now evenly spaced.
- Teeth that were discolored and stained are transformed into a younger, sparkling white.
- The gums on your top teeth no longer show. When you smile now, the focus is on your beautiful teeth.
Say goodbye to an uneven gum line. Smiles created by Dr. Shlafer have esthetically pleasing gum line.
The edges of your top teeth smoothly follow the curve of the lower lip.
All these problems can be resolved with esthetic procedures. So even if you weren’t born with a beautiful smile, you can still have one!
Here are just a few of the possible procedures Dr. Shlafer will use to create your new smile:
Tooth whitening: To improve the color of stained, dull teeth. Dr .Shlafer offers two options to achieve superior whitening. The first choice is a 2-hour in office procedure where 3-4 applications of whitening material is applied for instant results. The second option is an in home custom tray bleaching system. Impressions are made ensuring your whitening trays fit perfectly and they are worn at night for 2 weeks, achieving beautiful results. No matter what option you and Dr. Shlafer decide on, you will love your new whiter smile!
Bonding: To repair chipped, uneven and cracked teeth. Bonding is a pain free procedure in which Dr. Shlafer meticulously contours your teeth with a natural tooth colored substance restoring the damaged area.
Composite or Resin Fillings: These are natural tooth colored fillings that are used to replace old silver amalgam fillings.
Dental Veneers: To repair crooked, overlapping, short or gapped teeth. This is a lab related service and generally takes 2 visits to complete.
Dental Implants: To replace a missing tooth. The benefit of this option is to avoid involving teeth on either side of the missing tooth, thus eliminating the need for a bridge. Another benefit of an implant is, it is a permanent, un-removable restoration.
Metal Free Crowns: To repair extensive tooth decay, these all porcelain crowns are made by the finest dental laboratories, selected by Dr. Shlafer personally. Additionally, Dr. Shlafer offers the option of using state of the art Cerec technology. This procedure is performed in our dental office allowing for the completion of your crown in one convenient appointment.
Smile Makeover Treatment Plan:
Dr. Shlafer will consider many factors when deciding on a custom treatment plan for your new smile. He will first evaluate the overall health of your teeth. Dr Shlafer will then consider the spacing between your teeth, and measure the length of each tooth as well as identify your existing tooth color and the new shade you would like to change to. All of these elements will help determine the appropriate treatment plan for your new smile.