by Dr. Joseph P. Graskemper
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Even if Mother Nature didn’t bless you with a great smile, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
There are several cosmetic procedures available to help make your smile the best it can be. Tooth-colored fillings, bleaching, bonding, veneers and crowns are some of the procedures that can help show off your smile.
Tooth-colored filings may be placed instead of silver fillings to provide your smile with a healthy, natural look. Today, tooth-colored filings are virtually invisible. It has also been found that they have less wear rate than traditional silver fillings.
Bleaching whitens your teeth during the day or night while you sleep. It can also be done in the office for a quicker whitening, usually in about an hour from start to finish.
To bleach your teeth in the office, impressions are taken of your teeth to make custom bleaching trays. A bleaching gel is then applied to your teeth for two sessions of 20 minutes each.
You are then given the custom trays and additional bleaching gel to further advance the whitening process if you so desire.
Bonding is the placement of a matching tooth-colored material over the front of the tooth. The bonding material comes in many different tooth shades and can even be custom blended to assure a natural looking match to your other teeth. It requires only a roughening of the surface of the tooth to allow it to bond properly.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are cemented over the front and sides of the teeth to change color, size, and/or shape. To place a veneer, the tooth must be prepared.
A small amount of tooth structure is removed to allow room for the thickness (about .5 – 1.0 mm) of the veneer and not end up with a very bulky or thick appearance. Once the veneer is fabricated, it can be cemented with a matching, bonding cement onto the tooth.
Crowns (caps) allow a total transformation of the tooth and can rebuild broken teeth. Crowns fit over a prepared tooth much like a thimble fitting over a finger, but sealed at the edge of the gum line. When the permanent crown is fabricated, the crown will look like a tooth without a filling.
For those without insurance we now have an in-office dental plan to help make your smile the best it can be!