Smile Gallery

Bridges

A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress in your bite.

A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.

The success of any bridge depends on its foundation — the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it's very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.

Crowns

Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.

Crowns are “caps” cemented onto an existing tooth which fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

Crowns are often preferable to silver amalgam fillings. Unlike fillings which apply metal fillings directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from a unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally when the crown is placed.

White Fillings

Filings are now less evasive and more aesthetic, thanks to composite “tooth-colored” filings. You have many choices when it comes to restoring damaged or decayed teeth, even down to the type of dental filling material to use. You may choose to have white “tooth-colored” fillings (composite or porcelain) or silver amalgam restorations. Furthermore, many people decide to replace their older silver amalgam fillings with newer white “tooth-colored” composite fillings. There are a number of pros and cons associated with both composite and amalgam fillings.

The Dental Filling Choices: Amalgam and Composite

 

Safety and Appearance:

In addition to having a more pleasing and natural tooth-like appearance, composite fillings have the potential advantage of not containing mercury or other metals that may contribute to sensitivity or toxicity. Mercury toxicity from amalgam fillings is a controversial subject, though no research to date has been able to show any risks of having mercury as a component of amalgam dental fillings. However, many patients do have metal sensitivities and some have reported a metallic taste after the placement of amalgam fillings.

 

Durability:

Composite fillings previously were not as durable as amalgams. However, dental manufacturers have made great strides in improving the strength of composite resin materials, to the effect that composite fillings now have the potential to be used for all teeth, including molars. Furthermore, composite materials often require less tooth preparation and may not weaken the affected tooth as much as amalgam fillings, which often require more extensive tooth preparation. 

 

Tooth Shaping:

Composite and amalgam fillings require preparation of the affected tooth, but less preparation is usually required for a composite filling. Typically, this means that less healthy tooth structure has to be removed when placing a composite.

 

Technique and Time:

More than amalgam fillings, the success of composite fillings depends on your dentist's technique. Composite filling restoration also requires the use of additional equipment, and the procedure itself requires up to 50% more time than the amalgam filling procedure. 

Implants

If you have missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth.

An implant is a new tooth made of steel and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. Your implant is composed of two parts that mimic a tooth’s root and crown. The implant’s “root” is a titanium steel rod placed into the jaw bone to act as a root. Once the rod is in place, a porcelain crown is attached to replace the top part of your tooth.

Implants may also be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. Plus, for patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so that you have a more natural-looking smile.

Veneers

There's no reason to put up with gaps in your teeth or with teeth that are stained, discolored, badly shaped, chipped, or crooked. Today, a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistake or the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile. Veneers are a highly popular solution among dental patients because of their life-like tooth appearance.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain) designed to cover the front side of your teeth. To prepare for veneers, your doctor will create a unique model of your teeth. This model is sent to the dental technician to create your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, your doctor will remove a small amount of your tooth to make room for the veneer.

When placed, you’ll be pleased to see that veneers look like your natural teeth and even resist staining. Though veneers are stain resistant, your doctor may recommend that you avoid coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to maintain the beauty of your veneer.

Whitening

Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours. Schedule a visit with your dentist to learn whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners do not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish teeth will probably bleach well, brownish teeth may bleach less well, and grayish teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, whitening may not enhance your smile if you have had tooth-colored fillings or crowns. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you do have other options, such as porcelain veneers.

 

Tooth Whitening Treatments

When selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance - your assurance that a product has met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.

 

At-Home Whitening System

There are several types of products available for use at home that can either be dispensed by your doctor or purchased over the counter. They are generally teeth whitening trays (mouthguards), strips, or paint-on products.

 

Teeth Whitening Trays

These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. Carbamide peroxide is the bleaching agent and comes in several different concentrations. Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used once or twice a day for 2 weeks, while others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your doctor's office, they can make a custom-fitted mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely. 

 

Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The bleaching agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to insure contact with all your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary. 

 

Common Whitening Side Effects:

Teeth whitening can have minor side effects and you should speak with your doctor if these become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In most cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation, either from a tray that doesn't fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with the doctor. 

 

Whitening Toothpaste

All toothpastes help remove surface stain from your teeth through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.