If oral health issues are making you afraid to smile, consider the exceptional cosmetic dentistry options from Smile for Life Dentistry. Fast, effective, and safe, cosmetic dentistry treatments are a minimally invasive option for improving your smile. Our office offers several family and cosmetic dentistry treatments for improving the shape, size, color, position, alignment, and overall appearance of your teeth. Contact Smile for Life Dentistry at 618-288-6699 for more information!
WHAT IS COSMETIC DENTISTRY?
Unlike restorative dentistry, which focuses on correcting and treating underlying issues with teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry addresses improving the appearance of your teeth, gums, and bite.
Unlike corrective and restorative procedures, cosmetic dentistry encompasses services that are primarily meant to improve the appearance and aesthetic quality of your smile. After all, even the healthiest teeth can suffer the effects of age, lifestyle, and misalignment.
The cosmetic services we offer here at Smile for Life Dentistry can correct problems with your teeth’s shape, size, alignment, and color so that your smile will look as good as it feels!
Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry
Over the last few decades, cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly commonplace as more and more Americans look for a healthier, prettier smile. In recent years, advanced technologies and decreasing cost has helped make treatment affordable for a diverse range of budgets.
Top 5 Reasons People Get Cosmetic Dentistry
- STAINED TEETH
Deeply discolored teeth may be the most common problem in cosmetic dentistry. Over time, teeth can become discolored from consuming drinks like red wine and coffee. Discoloration can also happen from medication, aging, smoking cigarettes, or chewing tobacco.
- MISSING TEETH
When you lose a tooth, you lose more than a smile. If it is not replaced quickly, bite functionality significantly decreases and the jawbone will begin to shrink away from disuse, causing a sunken look in the face that makes an individual appear much older.
- CHIPPED TEETH
As we age, our teeth become vulnerable. Even without pain or obvious problems, a cracked or broken tooth should be taken seriously! The tooth is now susceptible to decay, is more likely to further crack or break, and you risk losing your tooth completely (whether naturally or via extraction).
- GAPPED TEETH
Tooth gaps can trap food particles, which may cause plaque and tartar to easily form in those cracks. Filling in problematic gaps in your teeth can help you improve your oral health, and in cases where a gap is unwanted, it will likely even help boost your confidence and self-esteem!
- CROOKED TEETH
The quickest route to a beautiful smile is fixing crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are hard to keep clean, leading to many problems. Teeth misalignment may occur naturally, or as a result of not wearing a retainer prescribed by your dentist.
Additional action is sometimes required to fix these problems. Smile for Life Dentistry offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry options to get your smile back on track!
Veneers are thin shells directly bonded to the front of the tooth, designed to cover a variety of dental obstructions. Veneers tend to last longer than bonding, so consider a veneer if your bonding needs ongoing maintenance. Veneers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so be sure to ask your dentist about which material will benefit you the most:
- Porcelain- Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain adhered to the outer surface of the tooth that mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth. They are both stain-resistant and gum-tolerant. Once bonded to a healthy tooth, porcelain is extremely durable.
- Composite Resin- Composite veneers are veneers that are not quite as durable as porcelain but are more easily replaced and repaired. The resin is added to your teeth as a liquid before being cured and polished. While porcelain veneers are not reversible, composite veneers are.
- Lumineers- Lumineers® are minimally invasive porcelain veneers made of a thin laminate layer applied seamlessly over your existing teeth. This typically requires no shots, drilling, and less preparation than traditional veneers. Like composite veneers, they can last between 10 and 20 years but may be removed if needed.
If damage to a tooth is minor, you may be able to fix it with cosmetic bonding. A simpler form of cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding is often performed without the use of an anesthetic (except for a filling procedure) and usually requires only one visit to a dentist.
Cosmetic Dental Glossary:
Here is a helpful glossary of terms related to cosmetic dentistry.
Aesthetics: Also, esthetics. Having to do with a beautiful appearance. Refers to cosmetic dentistry.
Bite: Refers to how the upper and lower teeth fit together. Also known as occlusion.
Bonding: Using composite resin material to remedy chips or cracks in a tooth.
Braces: Generally composed of wires and brackets that use tension to realign permanent teeth for better occlusion, esthetics, and/or spacing. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign® are increasingly popular alternatives.
Composite Resin: Dental material containing small glass or ceramic particles used in bonding and veneers, typically applied as a liquid and cured with a light or chemical catalyst.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Procedures that correct imperfections in the appearance of a smile. Also called esthetic or aesthetic dentistry, and includes teeth whitening, veneers, etc.
Crown: Can refer to the portion of a tooth that extends above the gum line, or a lab-made restoration known as a cap or a false tooth placed over a patient’s existing tooth or a dental implant.
Enamel: A white, hard protective tissue making up the outer layer of the tooth that extends above the gum line.
Filling: A variety of materials that can be used to replace cavities caused by tooth decay.
Gingiva: Mucosal tissue that lies over the mandible and maxilla inside the mouth. Also known as gums.
Impression: A soft mold of one’s teeth and gums used to fabricate oral prosthetics.
Instant Orthodontics: Applying veneers to correct misaligned front teeth for cosmetic reasons.
Laminate: Lab-made veneer (usually porcelain) bonded to the front of a tooth, typically used in Lumineers.
Lumineers®: A type of veneer that uses laminate material without requiring the grinding down of a tooth to ensure proper fit.
Malocclusion: Teeth misalignment that affects bite.
Orthodontics: Dental specialty that concerns teeth alignment.
Porcelain: A ceramic material made by heating clay-like materials to high temperatures. In dentistry, porcelain is commonly used in dental veneers.
Smile Makeover: A treatment plan that includes various cosmetic and esthetic restorative procedures to improve a smile’s appearance.
Teeth Tomorrow®: Full mouth permanent dental implants made of Prettau® Zirconia.
Teeth Whitening: Bleaching teeth with chemicals. Can be done in an hour with a light, or in two weeks with daily worn trays.
Veneer: Cosmetic dental treatment involving porcelain, laminate, or plastic wafers bonded to front teeth to mask imperfections.
To find more information on choosing the right cosmetic dentistry treatment for you, call Smile for Life Dentistry in Maryville, Illinois today at 618-288-6699.
Dental Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures. The resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Bonding benefits both your oral health and improves your appearance by repairing damage, minor flaws, and irregularities in the surface of your teeth. This process is a wonderfully effective and affordable way to make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
Botox® is composed of botulinum toxin, a form of a purified protein used to treat a number of cosmetic and dental issues. It is injected into the facial muscles and blocks the nerve transmission to those muscles. As a result, the dynamic motion in the skin is relaxed, allowing wrinkles to smooth and disappear. Common injection sites include the forehead, the area between the eyebrows, the corners of the eyes, and the sides of the chin.
Composite White Fillings
The composite white filling is an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional silver amalgam filling. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings are virtually invisible, and our team at Smile for Life Dentistry can shade them according to the color of your teeth, creating a perfect match and giving you a beautiful, white smile!
Cosmetic contouring, also called enameloplasty or tooth reshaping, is a minor and relatively inexpensive procedure that sculpts the tooth into the desired shape. It is useful for making minor corrections in a tooth's size and shape. Since enamel doesn't contain nerve endings and doesn't grow back, the procedure is painless, yet produces instant, permanent results.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap with a false tooth or teeth in between. These false teeth can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Bridges can restore your smile, prevent further tooth misalignment, and aid your ability to chew comfortably.
Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth, changing their color, shape, size or length. These veneers are a popular option because they mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Dental veneers can also provide relief from the tooth pain associated with worn enamel.
A smile makeover is a process of improving the appearance of your smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as:
- Dental veneers
- Composite bonding
- Teeth whitening
Some of the components taken into consideration include your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, teeth (color, width, length, shape and tooth display), gum tissue and lips. Smile makeovers are performed for many reasons and customized according to your unique considerations.
Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are custom made to fit over teeth, providing a natural, attractive look. They can be used to fix chipped, stained, misaligned, worn down, uneven or abnormally spaced teeth.