Smile Design Procedures
Veneers, crowns, bridges and braces are important because they are highly effective tools for helping people achieve ideal smiles and work to improve or restore functionality. Depending on your digital smile analysis, which uses high-tech imaging technology, one or more of these options may be required.
Veneers are ultra-thin ceramics that are bonded to the tooth. The results look and feel like natural teeth, and the resilience and strength of veneers is similar to normal tooth enamel. Many dental problems can be corrected with veneers such as tooth discoloration, worn teeth or crooked teeth. For these individuals, bleaching may not provide the desired results so veneers are a better option. Veneers can alter the size or shape of teeth, cover minor chips and cracks, eliminate small gaps between the teeth and striations in the enamel, and, finally, make minor position changes.
A crown is a thin piece of ceramic material that is designed to replace the entire external part of a tooth down to the gum line. It’s permanently cemented to the underlying, natural tooth using a special light-sensitive resin. A crown can restore the original functionality and improve the appearance of the original tooth. If you have teeth that are discolored, have decay or spacing issues, a well-designed crown may be the ideal solution. Crowns may also be used to restore the strength and appearance of teeth that are damaged or uneven, by fitting right over natural teeth to improve the way they look.
Bridges are used when one or more teeth are missing or need to be removed. They use healthy adjacent teeth as anchors to create a “bridge” over missing teeth. To fill the gap between the anchoring teeth, a false tooth or teeth, called pontics, are created in a lab. Bridges are cemented in place using light-sensitive resin by your cosmetic dentist.
If your teeth are severely crooked or misaligned, or if you have an underbite or an overbite, braces are an option. Braces work by applying light continuous pressure on the teeth to slowly move and adjust them over time. This causes the actual bone to change shape and create a more attractive smile and functional bite. The length of time patients will wear their braces depends on many factors but the average person wears them from one to three years. During that time, patients will need to make regular visits to the orthodontist for adjustments to their brace’s springs, wires and bands. These adjustments ensure that the braces are properly moving teeth.