Cosmetic dentistry is any procedure that you undergo voluntarily to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. Patients are often more self-conscious about minor dental cosmetic issues than they may realize. If you find yourself reluctant to smile or subconsciously bringing your hand to your mouth when you do smile, perhaps it’s time to consider a cosmetic dentistry procedure at West Broward Dental Associates. Some of our most popular offerings include teeth whitening, inlays and onlays, and cosmetic veneers.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The habits of everyday life take a toll on our teeth, often leaving them a dull yellow or gray color in spite of excellent oral hygiene habits. Drinking coffee or wine, smoking tobacco products, eating dark-colored foods, and even taking certain medications all increase the risk of permanent staining. Professional teeth whitening helps to increase the brightness of your teeth through the use of a strong bleaching agent containing silicon dioxide.
Having your teeth whitened at our Margate dental office is a two-step process. First, you need to come in so we can take an impression of your teeth. This impression allows us to customize a tray for your top and bottom rows of teeth. When the trays come back from our laboratory, we will contact you to come in for another appointment. We will instruct you on how to put the whitening gel in the trays for at-home use as well as how long you should wear them. Most patients notice that their teeth are several times brighter within a few days. The results typically last for several months and the process can be repeated as often as you like.
Inlays and Onlays
If you aren’t familiar with the terms inlays and onlays, you have probably heard of partial crowns. Your dentist may choose to place an inlay or onlay when you have extensive tooth decay that can’t be treated by filling a cavity. Other reasons you may receive an inlay or onlay include to protect an injured tooth, as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative for old metal fillings, or to use a more conservative treatment approach than placing a full dental crown.
Inlays and onlays restore a tooth’s strength and shape in addition to providing protection against further damage. When the cusps of your tooth are not damaged, your dentist will place an inlay directly on top of it. Onlays are reserved for cases when damage to the cusp and the remainder of the tooth is more extensive.
To start the procedure, your dentist first removes the decayed portion of your tooth. He then takes an impression of the tooth and sends the mold to our dental laboratory. At this point, a technician uses composite resin, gold, or porcelain to create your final dental restoration. This process takes approximately two to three weeks. Your dentist will place a temporary inlay or onlay on the affected tooth in the meantime. Once the laboratory returns your completed inlay or onlay, your dentist places it on the affected tooth and secures it in place with dental cement. Your dental restorations won’t be visible when you smile.
If you have a minor cosmetic imperfection, such as a stained, misaligned, cracked, or chipped tooth, you can disguise the problem with cosmetic veneers. This is also a good option when you have a large space between teeth that you want to conceal without having to undergo orthodontic treatment. A cosmetic veneer is an extremely thin piece of a ceramic shell that your dentist attaches to the front of your tooth. We take special care to match the veneer to the shade and shape of your teeth so no one can tell that you have had a cosmetic dentistry procedure completed.
You will need to visit West Broward Dental Associates two to three times during the process of receiving your veneers. Your dentist will complete an oral exam during the first visit to help him plan the rest of your treatment. The next step is to prepare the tooth to receive the veneer. To accomplish this, it may be necessary to remove up to one-eighth of a millimeter of tooth enamel. This ensures the veneer will fit securely and that it won’t protrude further than your other teeth.
Next, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth to send to our laboratory. It takes approximately 10 days to two weeks for a technician to fabricate your customized tooth veneer. We are happy to provide you with a temporary veneer while awaiting the completion of your permanent one. When your customized veneer is ready, you need to come in for a final fitting and placement. Your dentist places a special dental cement on the front of your tooth surface and then places the veneer on top of it.
You are free to go home once the material has fully hardened. We typically use a curing light to help speed up this process. Cosmetic veneers can last more than a decade as long as you don’t subject them to unnecessary risks and keep up with your normal oral healthcare routine.