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Esthetic Dentistry

Smile Makeover

A smile makeover, typically includes a combination of a various cosmetic procedures to enhance one’s smile and overall appearance of the face. The smile makeover is often the final part of a full mouth restoration procedure but it can also be done alone, especially if the overall health of the mouth is in good standing. There are numerous benefits to a smile makeover. Not only can a smile makeover greatly improve image and self-esteem, properly formed teeth and correction of gaps or other abnormalities can improve eating and speech.

Smile makeovers are completely individualized and the options are practically limitless. Individuals interested in a smile makeover often consider:

  • Teeth Whitening – Teeth Whitening is a popular cosmetic technique used to correct discoloration caused by foods, drinks, smoking or medication. Bleaching maintains the contour and structure of the teeth while also producing a brighter, whiter smile.
  • Crowns and Bridges – Created to replace missing teeth caused by damage or decay, crown and bridges come in various materials and looks but in general, they are intended to create the appearance of natural teeth and restore function.
  • Resurfacing – Custom-made veneers are a common treatment in smile makeovers. They are made of thin layers of porcelain that adhere to the front of damaged teeth. Veneers hide chips, gaps and other unsightly appearances of the teeth. Veneers can also reshape teeth in ways you wouldn’t have thought possible. A more economical alternative to porcelain veneers is dental bonding. Bonding involves using tooth-colored composite to reshape the teeth and cover cosmetic imperfections. Although not as durable as porcelain veneers, bonding can greatly enhance the appearance of one’s smile.
  • Crown Lengthening – A smile that shows an excess of gum tissue is often called a “gummy” smile. Crown lengthening exposes more of the tooth by reshaping the gum line thus improving undesirable “gummy” smiles.

As said before, the options are limitless and these are just a few. Most smile makeovers involve a combination of the above along with various reconstructive procedures that encompass more structural enhancements such as implants or dentures. Built on the foundation of a healthy mouth, smile makeovers can dramatically improve one’s smile, image and self-confidence. If you are ready to transform your smile and your life, contact Longmont Prosthodontics today to set up your consultation with Dr. Lewis and see how he can provide you with a stunning, long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Veneers

Veneers are a versatile cosmetic restoration tool and can correct a variety of imperfections.  Smoking, age, certain drinks, medications, and foods can stain our teeth to an unattractive hue of yellow or worse.  Veneers are often used to restore and enhance the color of stained teeth back to the natural color or even to the brightest of whites.  Veneers can also correct misshapen teeth damaged from injury, grinding or natural teeth just shaped in a way that is not flattering to the individual.  Small gaps between teeth can also be fixed with veneers while enhancing the attractiveness of the one’s smile and face.

The restoration process, first involves a consultation with Dr. Ryan Lewis to discuss wants, needs and expectations.  It is important to convey the expectations you may have for your new smile, what you don’t like about your current smile and what outcomes are possible.  If there are pictures of smiles that you envy, bring them to the consultation, they can be a great starting point for the discussion.  You’ll be amazed the magnitude of possibilities that veneers can create.

Once a decision has been made, Dr. Lewis will usually temporarily add filling material to your teeth to show you how your teeth will look before preparing them.  Once you have approved the look of your teeth Dr Lewis will prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of the external layer of your teeth, also known as the enamel.  While molds of the teeth are sent out to a dental lab where the permanent veneers will be made, a temporary set of veneers can be placed in the interim.  Once your permanent veneers are completed, another appointment will be made to secure them to the teeth with a special tooth enamel cement for a long lasting beautiful and attractive smile.

Veneers will need gentle brushing and dedicated flossing every day.  Plaque formation and gum disease will erode not only your natural teeth but the beautiful veneers you’ve invested in.  Although porcelain veneers are durable, it is recommended you avoid using your teeth as tools, to tear open packages, etc… Night guards are also highly recommended if you grind your teeth at night to protect against wearing down your newly installed veneers.

If you think veneers may be the answer to enhancing your smile and correcting misshapen, chipped or discolored teeth, contact Dr. Ryan Lewis at Longmont Prosthodontics today.  Dr. Ryan Lewis and his team would be more than happy to help you determine if veneers are the right solution for your cosmetic dental needs.

Crowns

When the surface of a natural tooth is damaged in a way that interferes with the appearances, eating or speaking, a crown may be considered.  A crown, also referred to as a cap, covers the natural tooth in order to restore function and enhance the appearance of one’s smile.  The crown also preserves and protects any remaining tooth structure and root system.  Crowns are used for a variety of reasons such as: decayed teeth, broken or cracked teeth, fractured fillings, unsightly fillings, or if the tooth had a root canal and therefore will likely become discolored and weak without the natural nerve and blood supply.  Crowns can also entirely replace a tooth as part of a dental bridgework.

Most crowns are composed of porcelain because of the exceptional durability and beauty of porcelain.  Porcelain can be made to match the natural tooth color and the untrained eye will have a difficult time differentiating it from the surrounding natural teeth.  Other options for crowns include:

  • Gold – Gold probably ranks highest in terms of durability, however, for most it lacks the aesthetic appeal they are going for and so if chosen, usually end up in the back of the mouth.
  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) – PFM is a crown made of a metal interior for strength and a thin porcelain exterior for appearances
  • Porcelain Fused to Zirconia – these crowns have a durability similar to gold but are translucent and adds to the beauty of the porcelain
  • All ceramic Emax – Emax is an all ceramic crown that is very strong, aesthetic, and perfectly suitable for those who have metal sensitivities.

The process for placing a crown usually takes two to three visits.  Before the crown can be placed, the original tooth must be prepared or removed.  Then, impressions of the surrounding teeth will be created from digital images or clay-like molds and sent to a dental laboratory.  After the first visit a temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth or empty space until the permanent crown and/or bridge is completed.  Once the crown returns from the laboratory, the second visit can be made and the permanent crown is cemented over the original tooth with either a permanent cement or a resin that hardens quickly when exposed to a dental curing light.

Caring for crowns is no different than caring for natural teeth.  Daily brushing and flossing all teeth, natural and enhanced, is recommended as are routine cleanings and follow ups with your dentist and/or prosthodontist. Night guards are recommended if you grind your teeth. Special attention and care must also be taken to avoid using teeth to do non-eating actions such as opening package, bottles, etc… Crowns are a special investment not only in your appearance but the function and form of your mouth.

Bridges

A fixed bridge technique has been used with high success for many years to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Teeth on both sides of the space left by the missing tooth are prepared for a crown. Then a false tooth is joined to the crowns, and the entire bridge is cemented to the prepared teeth. The patient cannot remove the bridge, and special aids are available to keep it clean. Although dental implants are often considered the “gold standard” for the replacement of missing teeth, in the appropriate circumstance, a fixed bridge can be a viable alternative. After a comprehensive examination, your prosthodontist can advise you which treatment is best for you.

There are a variety of circumstances that may lead to missing teeth and the need for a bridge. For example:

  • If diagnosed and treated early, most cavities and decayed teeth can be treated simply with a filling, but in some cases the decay is so extensive the tooth cannot be restored and must be extracted.
  • Patients with a cleft lip often experience a missing tooth or teeth in a position corresponding to the cleft.
  • The forces generated by a patient grinding his/her teeth may be great enough to severely fracture a tooth leading to its extraction.
    • Screw Retained Dentures

 

Teeth Brightening and Whitening

Many products are now available for patients to whiten their teeth. These products include commercially available strips; custom fabricated trays with a bleaching gel; or bleaching in a dental office using UV light or laser as the catalyst. There are limitations to these products.

Visit with your prosthodontist to determine the best teeth brightening and whitening procedures for you.