Creating your dream smile.
A smile is important at any age and we believe it should reflect health and vitality. As you age, your smile can change in a way that is no longer indicative of your vitality. Cosmetic dental services can minimize the effects of aging. Whether you are young or young-at-heart, your smile may be improved by:
- Lightening or brightening the shade of your teeth
- Altering the shape, size, and length of certain teeth
- Changing the alignment of your teeth
- Closing gaps between your teeth
- Replacing missing teeth
- Restoring broken, chipped, cracked, or decayed teeth
- Replacing unsightly dental restorations
While many different dental procedures can be performed to enhance a smile, some are performed principally for cosmetic reasons. Common buzzwords for these procedures are “whitening or bleaching”, “veneers”, “Lumineers”, “all-porcelain crowns”, “all-porcelain bridges”, “implants”, and “bonding”. Read on to discover some of the techniques utilized at Crabtree Dental to transform your smile. Your cosmetic dental treatment plan could involve one or a combination of these procedures.
Transform your smile with Porcelain Veneers
Do imperfections in your smile make you feel self-conscious? If your teeth are chipped, discolored, crooked, unevenly spaced or of varying sizes, porcelain veneers may be the perfect solution to create a smile with more symmetry. Veneers are wafer-thin layers of strong porcelain, custom-made to bond to the front of your teeth in order to enhance or even completely transform your smile. In contrast to crowns, veneers provide a cosmetic façade to your tooth while conserving tooth structure, thus maintaining rather than replacing the structural integrity of your tooth. Veneers are an excellent way to achieve a cosmetic change.
Visit our Patients Share Smile Stories page to hear the stories of a few of our patients whose smiles have been transformed with veneers. You can also visit our Smile Gallery with before and after case photography showcasing our cosmetic dentistry.
Transform your smile with All-Porcelain Crowns and Bridges
A crown completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant and is one of the most effective ways to restore the functionality of damaged teeth while also functioning as an aesthetic solution. Crowns strengthen and restore teeth that are cracked or have large fillings or excessive decay. They can correct minor tooth misalignments and the negative results of excessive wear, and they can improve the aesthetics or appearance of your teeth.
A crown placed in the back of your mouth will often be fabricated with a metal substructure to provide added strength so necessary to withstand the forces of chewing. Metal substructures on front teeth may yield a diminished aesthetic result by showing a metal edge or a metal color interfering with the translucency of the porcelain. Fortunately, crowns can be fabricated using only porcelain; we call these “all-porcelain” crowns. When your front teeth need to be restored with crowns, the cosmetic outcome is paramount. Because porcelain has remarkable properties that imitate tooth structure, it can be sculpted to a natural shape and mimic the color and translucency of enamel creating a truly life-like result.
Multiple crowns joined together to span empty spaces where teeth are missing in your mouth make up a dental bridge. Just as a bridge spans the space between two sides of a bayou or river, a dental bridge spans a missing space between teeth. A bridge is designed to provide structural support and distribute chewing forces evenly throughout the dentition. They are also designed to look and feel like your natural teeth. All-porcelain bridges are an excellent option to satisfy both your functional and aesthetic needs.
Transform your smile with Dental Implants
You may have lost a tooth to periodontal disease, decay, or trauma. Or, your tooth may be missing from birth due to a congenital anomaly. Regardless of the reason for tooth loss, if you are missing one tooth, several teeth, or all of your natural teeth there is likely an implant option for your particular need. Imagine replacing a tooth that has been missing for years with an implant that looks and functions almost exactly like a natural tooth. Since implants are placed in the jawbone, of paramount consideration in placing implants is whether the jawbone is healthy enough to receive the denture. Our dentists can guide you to the best alternative based on your particular dentition.
An implant is a dental device that substitutes for missing teeth. The device is implanted in the bone of your jaw and functions as an artificial tooth root. Dental prosthetics such as crowns, bridges, and dentures can be attached to the implant to restore the function of your teeth and create an aesthetically pleasing smile. Since implants are placed in the jawbone, the health of that bone is a prime consideration in determining if a patient is an implant candidate.
Transform your smile by Whitening Your Teeth
Our culture has come to associate white teeth with beauty, youth, and vitality. You may be surprised to learn that teeth are not naturally white; they are actually varying shades of yellow. Our teeth are as unique as we are; some teeth have more yellow tones than others. White is the new yellow when it comes to our teeth. You may be dissatisfied with the shade of your teeth for a number of reasons:
- Your natural teeth have more shades of yellow than you prefer.
- The food and drink you consume each day can stain your teeth, especially coffee and tea.
- Tobacco use has resulted in nicotine staining.
- Plaque and tartar have accumulated on the surfaces of your teeth.
- Medications taken as a child while your teeth were formed under the gums may have discolored your permanent teeth.
- Trauma to your teeth may have affected the nerve yielding them a grayish shade.
- Your teeth may appear mottled or chalky in appearance due to high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the water supply (common in West Texas).
- The aging process may be manifesting itself through darker teeth.
Even if you are meticulous about your dental care routine, your teeth may not be as white as you would like them. One simple, economical, and non-invasive way to revive your smile is through whitening. Our dentists can let you know if you are a candidate for this service. We will recommend and use only professional-strength whitening products because they provide the longest-lasting and brightest results for our patients in comparison to store-bought whitening products.
Whitening can be done in our office, at home, or with a combination of both. A quick solution is a one-hour boost whitening session in our office, which can lighten your teeth several shades, but lasts a shorter period of time. Boost whitening is a great option if you have a special event within a few days, but if you have a week or more to whiten your teeth we recommend take-away trays for a longer lasting result. With this method, we fabricate clear plastic custom trays in which you place professional-strength whitening gel. You wear the trays for 30 to 60 minutes daily at a time convenient to your schedule. The timing and degree of your results may vary, but in about one to two weeks most patients experience a difference they are pleased with. Choosing the take-away method allows the whitening solution to soak deeper into the tooth than the in-office boost method thus ensuring a longer lasting result.
Transform your smile with Cosmetic Bonding
Dental bonding is a procedure in which the dentist uses composite resin material, the same material used for fillings, to restore a tooth. Composite resin is made from a composite of plastic and glass that is light cured to “bond” the material to the tooth to be super strong. Any filling material needs to be strong to stand up to the forces of chewing and must adhere to the tooth even in the presence of saliva. As the material is placed, it is shaped to match natural tooth anatomy as closely as possible.
Closing the Gap in Front Teeth
If you are unhappy with gaps or spaces between your front teeth (the gap between two teeth is called a diastema); bonding can be a solution for you. Composite resin that closely matches your tooth color can be added to each tooth on either side of the gap to close the space. Depending on the size of the gap, or if you have multiple gaps between several teeth, porcelain veneers might be a better solution. Our dentists will evaluate your smile and provide options for your particular needs. The benefit of bonding to close a diastema is that it can be completed in a single appointment and for the most part it is a reversible procedure as little if any tooth preparation is necessary. While the fee for bonding is substantially less than that of a veneer, it is not always the best solution. This is because the composite resin material will chip and change color over time, necessitating a need for replacement bonding. For many patients bonding is a good interim solution; but for the best long term solution porcelain veneers are more durable and aesthetic.
Restoring Traumatized Front Teeth
Sometimes life throws you a curveball – right in the teeth! Particularly among youth involved with sports, the most common dental injuries involve trauma to the front teeth. Trauma such as this will commonly result in the front teeth being chipped or sheared off. These accidents are not only physically traumatic but also emotionally upsetting as the patient and parent see the physical damage to the smile. One of the most rewarding procedures dentists can perform is restoring the patients smile by bonding composite resin to the remaining tooth remnants and shaping them to match the original teeth. In a single visit the tooth can be built up again and restored to look as good as new. In most situations, the bonded tooth will hold for many years. If the nerve is exposed when the tooth is broken, root canal therapy may be necessary before the tooth is restored. Most youth under 18 years of age are not good candidates for porcelain veneers or crowns because the nerve inside their tooth is still large and the tooth is settling into position as they grow and mature. As the child ages, the tooth or teeth will be evaluated for a better long-term solution.
If you or your child is involved in such an accident, call our office as soon as possible including after hours.