Veneer is a thin layer of material placed over a tooth, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth or to protect a tooth’s surface from damage. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth There are several brands of porcelain veneers available to cosmetic dentists that are strong enough to be ultra-thin.
Inlays and onlays are an indirect technique used to fill cavities or correct structure and function in mostly healthy teeth. Conversely to fillings which are placed and shaped inside of your mouth, inlays and onlays are designed and milled outside of the mouth and luted in place with special cement, similar to placing a crown. These indirect restorations are an appealing option because they are more conservative of natural tooth structure than a crown but offer similar restorative results and maximum esthetics.
In our practice, we design our inlays and onlays using the CEREC software and mill the ceramic in our in-house milling chamber. We have a variety of shades of porcelain so we will easily match the color of your natural tooth, leaving it to look like there is no restoration there at all.
Tooth Bonding (reshaping, closing spaces between teeth)
Tooth bonding is the application of a tooth-colored resin material using adhesives and a high intensity curing light. The procedure gets its name because materials are bonded to the tooth. Bonding is typically used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth. It is also used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth. Often times bonding is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed when gums recede.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth - to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. All-ceramic crowns are milled out of blocks of solid porcelain which matches the shade or color of the patients’ teeth.
A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. Types of bridges may vary, depending upon how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Conventionally, bridges are made using the indirect method of restoration.
There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a whiter smile, and with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for you. The best way to begin any teeth whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to us about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The first professional option is commonly referred to as “in-office” whitening. This procedure is performed in our dental office. An in-office whitening treatment includes the use of a whitening lamp to enhance the effectiveness of the whitening gel by accelerating the peroxide.
During the office visit, we will apply the whitening gel and shine a light source directly onto the teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes with immediate results.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes 10-14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.