Cosmetic Dentistry Decatur, IL
Patients choose cosmetic dental procedures/surgery for various reasons—to repair a defect such as a malformed bite or crooked teeth, treat an injury, or just improve their overall appearance. Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal is to restore a beautiful smile.
For these and many other reasons, cosmetic dentistry has become a vital and important part of the dental profession and our dental practice here in Decatur, IL.
Cosmetic dental procedures can be performed to correct misshaped, discolored, chipped teeth, or even replace missing teeth. They can also be used to change the overall shape of teeth—from teeth that are too long or short, have gaps, or simply need to be reshaped.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth and can also be used to close small gaps between teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your Decatur, IL dentist. The bonding generally can be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay. Tooth-colored fillings are popular among patients as they blend nicely with your natural teeth and are not as noticeable as a traditional metal filling.
Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay. Crowns are "cemented" onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Tooth Contouring and Reshaping
During the contouring procedure, a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to refine and reshape an imperfect tooth’s appearance and help it fit in with the surrounding teeth. Tooth contouring can eliminate or markedly reduce small flaws such as irregular edges, minor chips, sharp spots, worn or flat edges, unequal tooth length, slight overlaps between teeth, and minor bite problems caused by teeth touching unevenly.
The procedure itself generally takes about 30 minutes per tooth. Because only the enamel is involved, anesthesia may not be necessary. Using a laser or a specially equipped drill, your dentist will gently remove a very small amount of enamel to refine the shape of the tooth. After this subtle shaping, the tooth will be polished for a smooth, even finish.
With veneers, you can easily correct imperfections such as uneven spacing, crooked, chipped, oddly shaped, or discolored teeth.Veneers are natural in appearance and are a perfect option for patients wanting to make minor adjustments to the look and feel of their smile.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials such as porcelain. They are designed to cover the front side of your teeth. To prepare for veneers, your Decatur, IL dentist will create a unique model of your teeth. This model is sent to a dental technician who creates your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, your dentist may need to conservatively prepare your tooth to achieve the desired aesthetic result.
When your veneers are placed, you’ll be pleased to see that they look like your natural teeth. While veneers are stain-resistant, your dentist may recommend that you avoid coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to maintain the beauty of your new smile.
Teeth Whitening and Bleaching
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike store bought whitening strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.
Which techniques should be used to improve your smile? A dental exam will take many factors into consideration, including your overall oral health.