Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures by Definition

By: Dave Stringham

Porcelain Bridges
When teeth are missing, your smile undergoes significant changes. Missing teeth cause you to chew differently, may cause mouth pain, and as your remaining teeth work to compensate for the loss, gaps and spaces form that only make the situation worse. A porcelain bridge, custom designed by your doctor, keeps your smile aligned and your bite functional. Bridges are anchored to existing teeth or crowns on either side of the missing tooth. They are semi-permanent, meaning they can only be affixed or removed by a dentist and are a long-term restorative solution to your damaged smile.

Porcelain Crowns
You can erase years of wear and tear with porcelain crowns. Sometimes called "caps," porcelain crowns are customized for you, covering broken, cracked or discolored teeth. Crowns are a durable, strong, long lasting method of enhancing both the look and functionality of your smile. After some preparation of the tooth or teeth that will receive the crown, your local dentist will position a custom milled, lifelike porcelain crown over your damaged tooth, restoring and rejuvenating your oral health.

Porcelain Veneers
Imagine a whiter, more brilliant smile! Porcelain veneers are conservative cosmetic dentistry that makes a dramatic difference in the appearance of your teeth. If you have chipped teeth, crooked teeth, gaps in teeth or dull or stained teeth, veneers may be the perfect solution for you. Your local dentist will skillfully bond and shape thin strips of porcelain to your teeth, creating a straight, brilliant smile that enhances your appearance and your self esteem.

Restorative Dentistry
Your smile today may not be as brilliant as it once was. Years of wear and tear, injury, or poor care can hurt the look and function of your teeth.

Root Canal
Damage to the nerve tissue inside of a tooth sometimes requires a root canal procedure. Despite the tales you may have heard regarding the procedure, most root canals are minimally uncomfortable, especially compared to the pain and discomfort you may be feeling before the procedure. Your dentist takes advantage of advances in technology and dental techniques that make root canal procedures more effective while taking less time.

A root canal involves removing the soft tissue within the tooth - the pulp - when it has become infected and inflamed. Your dentist gently files the infected tissue out of the root canals of the tooth (this is where the procedure gets its name) and fills the void with an inert material. The procedure is completed with the placement of a filling or in some cases, a crown.

Tooth Colored Fillings
When the decay has been taken out of the tooth, it is replaced with "filling" material. In the past, amalgam (silver) fillings were placed into the cleaned out portion of the tooth. With advancements in dentistry, you can now have tooth-colored fillings instead of silver fillings.

Tooth Whitening
You may be quite happy with the size and alignment of your teeth. However, time has dulled or yellowed their surface. There are several tooth whitening programs, including at-home treatments and professional treatments in the office. A brilliant smile may be as close as a single treatment away and is an affordable method of enhancing your entire appearance.

Waterlase technology combines laser energy and water into a dental tool that works without heat, pressure or vibration. This laser-energized spray of water is used for a wide variety of hard and soft tissue procedures including cavity preparation, removal of decay and gum recontouring. You'll notice that you will require less anesthetic and experience less discomfort, all while receiving a higher quality of care.

Dental Surgery
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