So you really think you are too old for cosmetic dentistry? Well, you should know that cosmetic dentistry can brighten a smile of any age. Multiple modalities are available to the dental professional today, ranging from relatively inexpensive teeth bleaching, recontouring, and bonding to more complex procedures consisting of veneers, ceramic crowns and implants.
A simple whitening procedure can brighten teeth that are yellow or gray from age. There are several options from drugstore brighteners to custom dental trays or in-office whitening, depending on your budget and the quality of whitening desired. Tooth whitening corrects brown, yellow and mottled teeth and can brighten a dull smile.
Another simple procedure is the recontouring or reshaping of chipped or misaligned teeth. With recontouring and reshaping, crowded or chipped teeth can sometimes easily and non-invasively be corrected in one visit.
Composite bonding is another procedure that can be used to close a space between teeth or to repair chipped or cracked teeth. It is often non-invasive and anesthetic is not always needed.The composite material is chemically bonded to the tooth and polished to match the remaining tooth surface. Worn out silver fillings can also be replaced with tooth-colored bonded composite restorations.
The above are all relatively non-complex cosmetic procedures. For a more long-lasting solution, the modern porcelain veneer offers the most esthetic result. The porcelain veneer is a thin shell of ceramic that bonds to the front surface of the teeth. The porcelain veneer does not stain or discolor. Veneers can close spaces, straighten crowded teeth, and cover discolored and chipped teeth. Placing custom veneers requires a high degree of technical skill as well as attention to cosmetic detail. Veneers require less tooth reduction than conventional crowns and can conservatively transform a smile.
If too much tooth is missing or damaged for a composite or porcelain veneer then an esthetic crown may be the answer. Today we have all-ceramic crowns and Zirconia crowns that are more life-like than the porcelain-to-metal crowns in use for the past 30 years. When carefully crafted by a talented cosmetic dentist and cosmetic dental laboratory, the all-ceramic crown is undetectable.
People are always embarrassed when their smile uncovers a missing tooth. Today the dental implant is a durable replacement that feels and functions like the missing tooth because the implant replaces the root as well as the tooth. The dental implant is surgically placed into the bone and fuses with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Restored dental implants are a very conservative way to replace teeth and help preserve facial structure.
Another less-costly option to replace a missing tooth is the bonded bridge for areas of light function or the conventional bridge, both of which can be fabricated of all-ceramic materials.
Some cosmetic procedures are elective, but other times the unsightly teeth are symptomatic of underlying dental disease. So a cosmetic procedure may also be an investment in your dental health and might even be covered by your dental insurance. Teeth bleaching, recontouring, composite bonding, porcelain veneers, all-ceramic crowns and implants are all cosmetic procedures, sometimes just different ways to solve a problem. Call our East Setauket dental office, come in for a free consult, and explore what is the right solution for you!