A smile can be the most eye-catching feature of your face. Even a subtle change can make a big difference in the way you look and feel. New techniques like bleaching, bonding, enamel shaping, veneers, and white fillings allow us to create a beautiful smile with, at times, only minimal changes to existing teeth.
Teeth whitening or bleaching is a very popular procedure in cosmetic dentistry. It is a relatively easy and effective technique for obtaining a dazzling, whiter smile, at home, in a matter of days.
Bonding is a procedure where tooth-colored composite resin material is placed to "fill in the blanks." One of the most frequent uses of the bonding technique is to fill in a gap between front teeth.
Enamel Shaping (Contouring)
Contouring is the process of shaping natural teeth to improve their appearance. Shaping can be used to correct minor cases of crowded or overlapping teeth, smooth rough edges, or make small adjustments to the shape of a tooth.
Veneers are laboratory fabricated, porcelain facings that are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth to whiten teeth, close spaces, straighten teeth, or repair chipped or worn teeth. The veneers are only about 1 mm thick (the thickness of a fingernail). That same thickness is "shaved" off the natural tooth surface so when the veneer is bonded to the tooth, the tooth doesn't feel or look "thicker".
Crowns are rarely used for cosmetic correction any more, since the advent of veneers, but in some cases a crown may be necessary for a particular tooth. A tooth with a bad fracture or a large filling that is breaking down, or has decay around it, may be a candidate for a crown instead of a veneer. This patient has veneers on top, but one of the front teeth had a large filling and had to be crowned.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored fillings replace silver or gold fillings with a more natural looking tooth-colored material. Since teeth are translucent, dark fillings cause the whole tooth to appear darker when viewed from the side. Replacing older dark fillings with white fillings will keep your smile glowing!