Cosmetic dentistry has developed techniques and technologies for dealing with many of the most common complaints people have about their smiles, such as:
- Discolored teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Small or poorly shaped teeth
- Gaps in your smile
- Crowded or crooked teeth
- Missing teeth
With advances in cosmetic dentistry, you typically have not just one, but several options for improving the appearance of your teeth. We can talk to you about the benefits and limitations of each so that you can get the best treatment possible.
There are two major causes of discolored teeth, and cosmetic dentistry has solutions for both of them. Most of the time, teeth are discolored because of surface stains. These stains normally come from discoloring foods, drink, and other substances. Teeth whitening works well on this kind of staining.
Other times, discoloration may come from within the tooth. It can be due to trauma or developmental problems. For this type of discoloration, it’s best to cover the tooth with restorations like porcelain veneers or dental crowns.
Chipped, Cracked, Small, or Poorly Shaped Teeth
If you are unhappy with the shape of your teeth, either because of the way they developed or because of damage, porcelain veneers are the cosmetic dentistry procedure of choice to reshape your teeth. In some cases, damage to the tooth may have compromised the tooth structure or the changes in tooth shape require more structural support. In these cases, dental crowns are recommended.
If cavities are causing damage to your teeth, inlays and onlays can be a long-lasting and natural-looking option to stop decay and restore strength. We also offer tooth-colored fillings.
Gaps, Crowding, and Crooked Teeth
There are several cosmetic dentistry approaches to gaps, crowding, and crooked teeth. First, teeth can be reshaped to be straight. This uses porcelain veneers and/or dental crowns. This is recommended when the problem is localized (just one gap, or a few crowded teeth), when there are other tooth problems (such as small or discolored teeth), or when you want the problem fixed in a short time frame (about a month, as opposed to six months or a year). For gaps around the gum, described as black triangles, BioClear is a new technique that is a great alternative.
Dental bonding is another cosmetic dentistry procedure that can easily enhance your smile. Your cosmetic dentist uses a tooth-colored resin material – matched to the color of your natural teeth – to fill in cracks within a tooth, gaps between teeth, or teeth discoloration. Dr. Kuzma applies the resin material and molds it to the tooth’s desired shape. He then uses a special curing light to bond the resin to the tooth’s surface. Lastly, he’ll polish your tooth to have the luster and shine of a natural tooth.
The dental bonding procedure takes only 30 to 60 minutes per tooth and is painless. Dental bonding is minimally invasive, quick, and versatile enough to resolve numerous cosmetic dental problems.
The other cosmetic dentistry approach is orthodontics, including braces and Invisalign, which move your teeth into a straight, even spacing.
Cosmetic dentistry has options for replacing one or more missing teeth: dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Dental implants are the best option available, giving the best functional and cosmetic results in most situations.
Neuromuscular Dentistry Supports Cosmetic Dentistry
Your cosmetic dentist should also be an expert in neuromuscular dentistry. That’s because every time restoration is placed, it has the potential to modify your bite. If a restoration like a porcelain crown or dental implant modifies your bite, the restoration or some of your natural teeth can be subjected to excessive force, which can damage them. A poorly placed restoration can even increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
A neuromuscular dentist has the ability to predict these changes so that they can be avoided. They have the tools to measure bite force to ensure your bite is the same as before (or is improved). Among these tools is T-Scan, which can digitally measure the force of your bite at all points. T-Scan can tell whether any tooth is being subjected to excessive force. Because measurements are made in real time, it can even determine whether one of your teeth experiences a damaging but transient load. By taking these measurements, neuromuscular dentists preserve your bite and your restorations.
Give Dr. Kuzma an opportunity to explore with you all cosmetic dentistry has to offer so you can determine what solution is best for you. Call (910) 392-6060 or email Kuzma Advanced Dentistry in Wilmington, NC, to schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist Dr. Kuzma.