Cosmetic Dental Services
Altering a smile to meet patients’ cosmetic standards can be completed in a variety of ways. Rickoff Dentistry‘s high-quality cosmetic dentistry procedures range from something as simple as professional strength teeth-whitening to Invisalign clear braces used to straighten teeth, to porcelain crowns and veneers used to change the shape, color, and size of existing teeth. We can correct a variety of issues that can affect the smile, including darkly colored teeth, excess spacing or crowding, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, “crooked” teeth, or teeth that are misshapen or disproportionately sized.
One of the most effective and time-tested ways to enhance the overall aesthetics of your teeth and smile is the use of porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are tooth-colored porcelain coverings that are bonded to the exterior surface of your teeth. By re-surfacing the teeth, only the bright white porcelain is visible when someone smiles, and it aids in covering up any undesirable characteristics mentioned above.
Each veneer is individually designed and custom crafted by a lab technician who specializes in creating cosmetically appealing smiles. A great deal of time is taken when designing our patients’ cases with this lab technician, so that the end result is one that both Dr. Rickoff, and more importantly, the patient is extremely happy with.
Porcelain veneers are primarily used when the teeth and gums are healthy, and there is a large amount of natural tooth structure still in tact. They may not be the best option if the teeth have extensive decay, large existing restorations, chips, and/or cracks. In those situations, porcelain crowns or bridges may be a more suitable, long-term option.
As mentioned previously, when there isn’t enough natural tooth structure to support veneers securely to the exterior surface of the teeth, all-porcelain, tooth-colored crowns are often used instead. Unlike veneers that only cover the exterior surface of each tooth, crowns essentially replace the entire tooth’s surface and result in a uniform, strong tooth support.
Using porcelain crowns not only restores the teeth to their most natural form and function, but it also provides fantastic aesthetics. If a patient puts a lot of stress on his/her teeth when biting, crowns are generally the best bet to maintain his/her new smile makeover for many years to come.
When it comes to designing a patient’s crown case, the same process for veneers is true for porcelain crowns. Dr. Rickoff works closely with the lab to fabricate an ideal look, shape, shade, etc. so that the patient gets the best cosmetic outcome possible.
What is the Process for Getting Veneers and Crowns?
The process for preparation and delivery of porcelain veneers is very similar to that of crowns and bridges. From start to finish, the treatment typically takes only two appointments, but can take one or two more.
At the initial appointment, the dentist will numb the teeth and then gently reduce the enamel. Once the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken and temporary veneers or crowns are created and bonded with a temporary cement. Then the impressions, selected shade, and detailed, specific instructions are sent to the lab technician for the fabrication. Approximately two weeks later, the case is returned from the lab and a delivery appointment is scheduled with the patient.
At the delivery, the dentist or dental assistant will carefully remove the temporary veneers or crowns, and will check the custom, lab-fabricated case against the teeth to ensure that the shape, size, shade, bite, and fit are all to the dentist’s specifications. If the case is of a proper fit, form, and function, and are cosmetically approved by the patient and the dentist, then they will be securely and permanently cemented to the teeth.
For those who have bright, healthy teeth, but perhaps some slight or moderate misalignment, Invisalign is a fantastic cosmetic treatment option. Invisalign is a series of plastic trays worn consistently over time and throughout the day that gradually shift the teeth into a more orthodontic alignment. They are typically more comfortable to wear, barely visible to the naked eye, and don’t involve metal brackets, wires, or frequent trips to the orthodontist like conventional metal braces.
Another popular cosmetic dental option is using professional strength teeth whitening, which is only available at your dentist’s office. This cosmetic service is best for those who only want to lighten the shade of their teeth and who are already happy with the overall size, shape, alignment, etc.
Unlike over the counter whitening systems, our whitening treatment is only available at a dental office and is typically a much higher concentration of whitening agent and often includes built-in desensitizers to help avoid temporary post-op sensitivity from whitening. The chemical compound used in teeth whitening is usually carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide, and we offer various strengths of whitening solutions to accommodate each individual’s needs.
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