Are You a Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?
If you have been thinking about improving your smile, take a few moments and ask yourself the following questions to see if cosmetic dentistry is right for you.
- Are you embarrassed about smiling in front of people?
- Do you ever put your hand up to cover your smile?
- Do you dislike your smile in photographs?
- When you look through magazines, do you envy the models’ smiles?
- Do you wish your teeth were whiter?
- Do you think you show too much or too little of your teeth when you smile?
- Would you like to change the way your teeth or gums are shaped?
- Do you have gaps or spaces between your teeth?
- Are you considering braces for that perfect smile?
- Do you have crooked or misaligned teeth?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you may be a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry. Call our office today at 918-455-0123 to schedule a personal smile enhancement consultation.
First, Cosmetic Dentistry is not just a dental procedure, but is an approach to dental treatment. Dr. Thomas at Thomas Family Dentistry is committed to providing beautiful and healthy smiles for a lifetime. For this reason, our approach to dentistry is always from a cosmetic and overall health perspective.
From subtle changes to major repairs, Dr. Thomas can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen, misaligned or missing. We can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers, reshaping and contouring.
These improvements are not always just cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite.
When discussing cosmetic dentistry, some patients opt for a comprehensive smile makeover to transform their smile into the smile of their dreams. We can do this for you, and the flexibility of a complete smile makeover allows the creativity and artistry of dentistry to shine through. If you are not 100% happy with your smile, a smile makeover may be the right choice for you.
Bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while others just want a whiter shade. Discoloration occurs in the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea, wine and tobacco. Discoloration also can be hereditary or due simply to aging.
You have several options to whiten or bleach your teeth. Bleaching can be performed by Dr. Thomas in our office or, under dental supervision, at home. While professional whitening in the office may require one or more 45-minute to one-hour visits in our office, many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient. At home treatment begins when we create a custom mouthpiece to ensure the correct amount of whitening solution is used and that your teeth are properly exposed. Typically, whitening at home takes two to four weeks, depending on the desired shade you wish to achieve. Another newly introduced option is Opalescence To Go, which utilizes specialized bleaching strips that you can use to whiten your teeth while you are "On The Go."
Cosmetic Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain placed over the front surfaces of your teeth to change the color, shape and/or contour. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Little or no anesthesia is needed. Veneers are used to treat some of the same problems as bonding, but with longer lasting, more aesthetic results. Veneers are often the miracle treatment used to create incredible smiles in Hollywood.
First, the procedure requires an impression of your tooth. Before the custom-made veneer is cemented directly onto the tooth, Dr. Thomas will lightly buff the tooth to compensate for the added thickness of the veneer. Once the cement is between the veneer and your tooth, a light beam is used to harden it. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding.
Cosmetic Tooth Bonding
Bonding is tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Requiring a single office visit, bonding lasts several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restorations such as crowns or veneers. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also is used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities. Additionally, it can be used to close spaces between teeth or cover the entire outside surface of a tooth to change its color and shape.
Crowns & Bridgework
Crowns, also known as caps, cover a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and appearance. In some cases, crowns can be used to correct slight alignment issues without the need for orthodontics. Crowns have the longest life expectancy of all cosmetic restorations.
Tooth Recontouring & Shaping
Tooth reshaping and contouring, is commonly used to make slight alterations to the length, shape or position of your teeth. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with youur bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping.
This procedure is ideal for candidates with normal, healthy teeth but who want subtle changes to their smile. Dr. Thomas will take X-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there's enough bone between the teeth to support them.
Which procedure is right for me?
Dr. Thomas can answer any questions that you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and desired result you want often dictates the best procedure. If you are considering a treatment, there are a few questions you can ask him before deciding if a particular procedure is right for you.
- What will the changes look like?
- What should I expect through the course of treatment?
- What type of maintenance will be required?