Custom Smile Enhancements (Call us at 408-719-8600)
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Impalnts
- Crowns and Caps
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
Your Options for Custom Smile Enhancements
Many people go through life unhappy with their smile and hide their teeth when communicating with people face-to-face. Advancements in dental esthetics, also referred to as custom smile enhancements, can help you feel better about your smile.
What are Custom Smile Enhancements?
Dental procedures that are cosmetic (an aesthetic improvement) are considered custom smile enhancements. These dental procedures include teeth whitening, veneers, implants, and bridges. These procedures all have the potential to improve the appearance of your smile.
Teeth whitening and bleaching procedures are probably the most common types of custom smile enhancements. These cosmetic procedures involve changing the color of teeth. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) differentiates the two procedures according to the following:
- Whitening means to clean the teeth in attempts to restore natural surface color
- Bleaching means to use chemicals to change the natural color of a tooth
Bridges and implants are common custom smile enhancements used to replace missing teeth. Missing teeth can affect the shape of your mouth. Bridges are denture-like components that can replace one or more teeth. These enhancements are available in a removable or permanent form. In some cases bridges may be necessary, such as if you develop a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD).
Dental implants are prosthetic (artificial) teeth replacements that are surgically anchored to your jawbone. They typically consist of titanium screws topped with a crown. Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
Crooked teeth are another visual problem that can be improved with custom smile enhancements. Veneers are the main cosmetic option for straightening teeth. Veneers are coverings for teeth that are discolored, crooked, or broken. They are also beneficial for closing a gap between teeth. A veneer is permanent and is available in composite (bonding) and porcelain materials.
The people who benefit most from custom smile enhancements are those who are unhappy with the condition of their teeth. Tooth discoloration, misalignment, and absence of a tooth or teeth are the most common reasons that people seek custom smile enhancement.
People who have realistic expectations about custom smile enhancements are also good candidates for cosmetic dental procedures.
You teeth and gums should be healthy prior to undergoing any custom smile enhancements. Teeth and gums that are in poor condition are not good candidates for cosmetic dental procedures.
The good news about most custom smile enhancements is that they can be completed in a single dental visit and involve little or no anesthesia.
To whiten teeth, dentists apply a powerful peroxide gel to the teeth in short intervals. The process normally lasts an hour, depending on the level of discoloration.
The procedure to apply a dental bridge begins with the dentist cleaning your teeth and taking an impression of them. The dentist places a temporary bridge in your mouth and sends the mold of your teeth to a lab. In a subsequent visit, the dentist removes the temporary bridge and uses cement to seal your permanent bridge.
Implants are highly effective in replacing missing teeth, but can take as long as six months to complete. The dentist must first drill a hole in the jaw in which to place the titanium implant screw. A different screw is placed over the implant to protect it while your jaw heals. This usually takes a few months. When you return to the dentist, the protective screw is removed and replaced with a temporary crown. The surrounding area is allowed to adjust to the implant. The temporary crown is eventually removed and replaced with one that is permanent.
Veneers are custom-made for your teeth. The dentist will first make an impression of your tooth. In a subsequent visit he or she will apply the veneer.
You can expect to be able to provide input into the enhancements to your teeth, but a dentist will examine your teeth and determine what is most suitable.
Some custom smile enhancements can result in a dramatic change in your appearance. You should expect a period of adjustment with cosmetic dental procedures.