Providing Cosmetic Dentistry in Houston, TX
It is more and more common for patients now to have cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry done so they can eat better and look much younger. A smile is the first thing others notice about your appearance. Having a great smile automatically improves other’s first impressions of you. Just smiling more can make you and everyone around you a happier person. Having the smile you have always wanted can change your self-esteem, attitude, and your whole life. Being able to proudly take pictures with a big open grin is something words cannot describe.
Our office provides a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive dental services such as:
Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.
Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns especially on the intact front teeth when changing the color and shape of the teeth is the main concern.
Although studies has shown remarkable longevity when veneer is performed on the selected candidate But, as most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Note: In some cases changing the shape and color of the tooth can be achieved with composite veneers which cost less But, due to discoloration they need to be replaced more often with new restoration.
Reasons for porcelain veneers:
- Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile
- Crooked teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Severely discolored or stained teeth
- Teeth that are too small
- Unwanted or uneven space
- Worn or chipped teeth
What does getting porcelain veneers involve?
Getting veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia required during the procedure. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.
On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.
You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.Back to Top
Bonding is a process for restoring or reshaping a tooth using g composite or tooth color resin materials. With these material in some cases we are able to change the color of the tooth as well as it’s shape and contour.
A composite (tooth colored) filling is also, used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.
As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for composite fillings:
- Chipped teeth
- Closing space between two teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Worn teeth
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.
Advantage of Composite fillings:
- Can be completed in one appointment
- Good esthetic result
- Shape and color of the restoration can be controlled
- Cost less than other options for restoring a tooth
Disadvantage of Composite fillings
- Composite resins have a tendency to chip in stressed area like edge of the front teeth.
- Depending on patient’s diet they may get stained.
- Initial cost is less But, repeated replacement cost over the years increase the cost.
The best alternative to composite resins is porcelain Veneer or Crown.Back to Top
Porcelain Fixed Bridges
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The traditional bridge is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain fixed bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
Reasons for a fixed bridge:
- Fill space of missing teeth
- Maintain facial shape
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Restore chewing and speaking ability
- Restore your smile
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.Back to Top
When a crown is recommended?
- The amount of remaining tooth structure is less than 50%
- Too much biting force on a structurally weak tooth.
- Tooth with a root canal treatment.
- Very large filling in esthetic zone with no indication for porcelain veneer.
- Ceramic Crown
Improving existing teeth
If a tooth is damaged or of poor quality, a new ceramic crown is probably the best solution. Installation is fast. The end result is fantastic.
The all-ceramic crown has many advantages over traditional crowns. Besides its high esthetic qualities, the function and longevity of the crown is excellent as well.
Benefits of a new Porcelain crown:
- Superior esthetic result, compared to traditional crowns
- Easy installation, quick results
- Short and convenient treatment
In the best case, the new crown is installed in two dentist visits in one week’s time. The inconvenience and after-effects will be minimal.Back to Top
Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several months, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for tooth whitening:
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer
- Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.)
- Yellow, brown stained teeth
What does tooth whitening involve?
This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.Back to Top