Cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry is growing in popularity. Cosmetic dental procedures can greatly enhance a person's smile, thus boosting one's self-esteem and confidence. At James Island Dental Associates, a careful evaluation is made to determine what is best for each patient. This involves listening to our patients and determining what you like or dislike about your smile. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Weir enjoy creating wonderful, natural looking smiles. An aesthetic smile can be created by whitening, bonding, veneering, crowning, or combinations of these.
Whitening or bleaching is performed in the office or at home by the patient using trays. If teeth are discolored, typically Dr. Weir or Dr. Thomas will recommend whitening initially because this is the most conservative treatment for an enhanced smile. Impressions are taken to make trays that are custom fit for your mouth. Upon delivery of the trays, you will be given bleaching material along with instructions. Typically whitening takes about 2 weeks to achieve optimal results. Each patient is different so results vary, but usually you will see your teeth get 3-4 shades lighter.
Porcelain veneers are a popular way to get that perfect looking smile. Veneers are helpful for masking discolored teeth, malpositioned teeth, or misshapen teeth. Commonly this will involve having a wax-up made to evaluate the aesthetics, size and shape of teeth prior to prepping for veneers. The patient and doctor can discuss pros and cons of the proposed new smile. Prepping your new smile involves thinning the enamel on the front of the teeth. The number of teeth involved varies with each patient. Temporaries are worn for a period of time to evaluate your bite, speech, and function. If and when the patient is happy with his or her temporaries, the permanent porcelain veneers are made in a laboratory. By the time they are ready for cementation, we have determined they will create a beautiful new smile you will be happy with for years!
Bonding is the most widely used method for creating an aesthetic smile. This cheaper alternative to veneering can also correct discolored, malpositioned, or misshapen teeth. Bonding involves roughening the enamel surface and placing tooth colored resin in the corrected areas. Once polished, this can give a wonderful result.
There are differences between resin bonding and porcelain. Resin bonding can be placed in the office, so there is no temporary phase. It also is cheaper than porcelain. Porcelain does not pick up stain like the resin bonding can and it can last many more years than bonding (of course, this depends on one's hygiene). Because of the glass properties of veneers, they are considerably more aesthetic! Let us at James Island Dental Associates help you create the wonderful smile you've been waiting for!