Creating Beautiful Smiles for patients in Lake, Cook and McHenry counties since 1969
Cosmetic Dentistry is a phrase used to describe a variety of dental procedures and techniques performed to enhance a person’s teeth, smile and ultimately, their confidence.
It is widely acknowledged that results from a “smile makeover” can significantly improve a person’s physical appearance leading to a more positive lifestyle, both socially and professionally.
Cosmetic Dentists use various techniques and procedures, alone or often times in combination, to dramatically improve the visual and physical appearance of the teeth and gums resulting in a beautiful smile. These techniques and procedures range from simple tooth whitening to complex dental implants, dental crowns, porcelain veneers and even full mouth reconstruction.
Below are some of the main cosmetic dentistry techniques in use today at Den-Care Smile Center:
Long considered to be one of the most accessible and affordable cosmetic dental procedures, tooth whitening (or tooth bleaching) comes in a variety of different forms. Typically this procedure involves the use of a special light source and/or application of a bleaching gel of varying strengths. Several branded treatments are available on the market including the popular “Biolase”, “Zoom Whitening” and “Britesmile”.
Optimal results can be achieved quite quickly and the technique is nearly painless, non-invasive and very cost effective. Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures available today.
A substantially more complex procedure, dental implants involve the implantation of a titanium rod into the jawbone to act as a stable base for an artificial tooth or to provide support for dental bridges, dental crowns or cosmetic dentures. Titanium is generally used as the anchor material because it integrates well with the surrounding bone and tissue with minimal risk of rejection. Full mouth reconstruction often employs multiple tooth implants in conjunction with other techniques such as bonding.
Dental Veneers, also known as Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers, are ultra-thin shells of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are designed to fit over the front surfaces of your teeth and are “bonded” onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.
Part of the original tooth exterior is usually removed to make room for the new veneer. Because of this, the technique is considered to be partially invasive. Following the initial measuring and preparation of the tooth surface the veneer is “glued” into place using specially formulated bonding cement. Veneers are usually made from porcelain, ceramic or composite materials and more recently have been made more durable than earlier, older versions.
The veneering procedure is usually done over two visits to the dentist with “temporary” veneers being fitted between visits. Veneering is often chosen as the treatment of choice by acting professionals and those in the media spotlight as dramatic results can be achieved quite quickly and cost effectively.
A Dental Crown is a tooth is shaped cap placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. Dental Crowns are protective covers, made from porcelain or ceramic which fit over the existing tooth to hide defects in a tooth (i.e. cracks, discoloration, etc.). Initially the tooth is shaped to receive the crown with the patient under local anesthetic. An impression of the tooth is then taken and used by the dental laboratory to create a crown that is color-matched to the existing teeth. While the laboratory is manufacturing the final crown, the patient will be fitted with a temporary crown. These temporary crowns are usually made of plastic and are made in your dentist’s office on the day of your visit. They are not meant to last. On the second visit to the dentist, the custom made crown will be bonded into place.
A missing tooth can effect even the most beautiful smile, but Lake County IL Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Gustav Kozina, can restore your smile with a dental bridge.
A bridge, by definition, is a link or connection between two permanent structures. A dental bridge is very similar in that it attaches the restorative teeth (bridge) to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. This bridge acts as your new teeth, closing the gap and restoring your smile. Bridges are often constructed of gold or metal foundations with porcelain fused to the foundation. This ensures that the bridge will support the normal functions of the mouth.
Like crowns and veneers, the teeth on the replacement dental bridge will be color matched to your natural teeth.
Bridging is popular because it is usually a permanent solution and is less invasive than implants. It is also less bulky than an equivalent denture.
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with moving or realigning teeth to improve appearance. This usually involves the wearing of an appliance or “braces” which gently applies pressure to the teeth to move them to the correct position over a period of time. Orthodontic procedures are often performed in the teenage years as the mouth and jaw develops but more adults are choosing this option to realign their teeth.
The initial phase of the process involves a detailed examination of the mouth to assess the repositioning needed and any other associated medical factors. Following this, a decision will be made as to which of the many types of braces to use. Some braces are removable and others are fixed in place for a period of several months – the cosmetic dentist will assess which is the best treatment option for you.
Modern advances in orthodontics have led to the development of “invisible” braces (i.e. Invisalign), a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. These clear braces come in several different models, all of which may give you similar results as metal or ceramic braces, but with a more subtle appearance that lets you smile with confidence.
The results of orthodontics are usually permanent but the process can be quite expensive due to the multiple follow-up visits with the cosmetic dentist. Additionally, patience is required as the process can be lengthy!
Some recent dental survey findings:
– 74% of people believe they have unsightly teeth
– 68% of people are embarrassed about their smile in photographs
– 45% of people make judgments about others by the look of their smile
– 70% of people think an attractive smile helps romantically
Cosmetic dentistry describes a set of techniques and procedures that are used to enhance a person’s teeth, smile and ultimately, their confidence.
It is widely acknowledged that a “smile makeover” that results from these procedures can significantly improve a person’s appearance leading to a more positive lifestyle, both socially and professionally.
The techniques described above can create the perfect “smile makeover” and go a long way to addressing these concerns. No longer is the art of dentistry confined to simple fillings and extractions.