Cosmetic Dental Services & Procedures at Centennial & Greenwood Village Dentist
We offer several treatment solutions to correct your smile. The most common procedures we perform are the placement of veneers, crowns and bridges, onlays and inlays and composite bonding of teeth. Click on the links below to read more about each procedure.
Veneers are a great alternative to otherwise painful dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile. Veneers are thin, semi-translucent "shells" typically attached to your front teeth, usually with the use of little or no local anesthetic. They are customized from porcelain material and permanently bonded to your teeth.
Veneers are commonly used to correct:
- Spaces between the teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Crooked or misshapen teeth
Veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile, such as resurfacing the teeth to make them appear straighter, can be achieved with veneers. In most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.
Please contact our office if you have any further questions about veneers.
Crowns & Bridges
To fix the appearance of a decayed, damaged or cracked tooth, the perfect solution is a crown. A crown is a permanent covering that fits over the original tooth that is flawed. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. However, for the most natural appearance, porcelain crowns are generally used.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numb the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpt the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
- Make an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
- Make a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
- Apply the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crown can last a lifetime.
A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. This is the ideal aesthetic solution for people who have lost teeth and still want a full, beautiful smile. A bridge may be necessary to:
- Safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
- Prevent shifting of the teeth. This can also lead to bite problems, jaw problems and/or resultant periodontal disease.
There are three main types of bridges, namely:
- Fixed bridge- the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
- The "Maryland" bridge- commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
- The Cantilever bridge- often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
With today's advancements, you will no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly and unhealthy silver fillings of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.
Silver amalgam used to be the norm when it came to materials for fillings. However, silver fillings do not have much aesthetic appeal to the patient and can even cause damage to your tooth years down the road. The amalgam can break down the tooth, causing a fracture and the need for a crown to salvage the tooth.
After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. Composed of porcelain and composite resin, these new tooth-colored restorations bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The restorations can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.
In order to use these new fillings, they require less removal of your healthy tooth structure than silver amalgams, especially when filling a new cavity. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a tooth-colored restoration filling. They are also healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams.
Please ask us about our new tooth-colored materials and how we can restore your smile!
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are a great alternative to traditional metal fillings, primarily because less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations, suitable for treating mild to moderate decay, and can be used to restore a cracked or fractured tooth if the damage is not extensive enough to require a crown.
Generally, inlays are small restorations that fit within the contours of the biting surface of a tooth, while onlays cover a portion or the entire chewing surface.
Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin, but porcelain yields the most natural-looking result. Once fabricated, they are securely bonded to the tooth.
The advantages of inlays and onlays include:
- Being more aesthetically pleasing since they can be fabricated from tooth-colored materials. Unlike traditional metal fillings, the inlays and onlays are virtually invisible.
- Removing less of the tooth structure to achieve optimal results.
- Not causing excessive wear and tear to opposing tooth structures.
- Preventing the need for more significant treatment in the future.
The process for placing inlays and onlays generally requires two or more office visits. Initially, once the decay is removed, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth. A temporary restoration is placed until the custom-made inlay or onlay is manufactured in a laboratory.
Following a proper oral hygiene regimen daily ensures the success and longevity of your new restoration. Ask how inlays and onlays can help improve your smile today!
If you would like to fix chipped or cracked teeth, reduce unsightly gaps or spaces between your teeth or hide discoloration on your teeth's surface, then composite bonding may be for you. Composite bonding is often used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.
Composite bonding has many advantages, including:
- Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
- It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
- It does not reduce the tooth's original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
The only negatives about composite bonds are that they are not as durable as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future. They stain more easily and require regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily.
Please contact our office to see if composite bonding is the right restoration for you.