Cosmetic Procedures

Most of the dentistry Dr. Smith performs involves the elimination, replacement, and/or restoration of unhealthy tooth structure that causes pain, gum irritation, bacteria, food traps, infection and eating discomfort. When necessary, he will refer our patients to expert specialists who have similar attitudes about the way they treat patients for faster and more specific care.

Teeth Whitening

Problem

Stained, dull teeth.

Solution

Customized trays are filled with a whitening gel and worn in the mouth for as little as 1 hour per day. In as little as one week, this process can erase most stains from coffee drinking and tobacco, as well as tooth yellowing associated with aging, producing a brilliant, bright white smile.

Alternatives

Teeth whitening may not be an appropriate treatment for all stains. For hard-to-treat stains, porcelain veneers or crowns are a better option.

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Bonding

Problem

Teeth that are chipped, discolored, uneven, stained or gapped.

Solution

Bonding with composite resin. The composite resin used in bonding is a tooth-colored material that is applied directly to the enamel of teeth and shaped to correct the patient's aesthetic concern. When exposed to a special ultraviolet light, the resin hardens into place.

Alternatives

Porcelain veneers and crowns, while more expensive, last considerably longer than bonding.

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Fillings

Problem

Development of a cavity caused by decay in the tooth.

Solution

Dr. Smith will remove all areas of decay, and replace with a filling made of amalgam (silver) or composite resin (tooth colored).

Alternatives

In cases of more extensive decay, inlays and onlays or crowns are an advisable alternative.

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Inlays & Onlays

Problem

Tooth decay, weakened tooth structure, need for tooth restoration and reinforcement.

Solution

After the decay is removed, Dr. Smith will take an impression of the area to be restored. A dental laboratory works from this impression to create a restorative inlay or onlay, usually out of gold or porcelain fused to metal, that fits perfectly on the tooth. Inlays cover one or more tooth surfaces, where onlays are used on the chewing surface of the tooth. The inlay or onlay is cemented securely into place, for an incredibly durable, stable tooth restoration.

Alternatives

Crowns may be the only alternative when tooth decay is in advanced stages.

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Crowns

Problem

Teeth that are chipped, cracked, badly decayed, or otherwise weakened.

Solution

Crowns are used to completely cover the prepared tooth in order to give the tooth additional strength and improved function and appearance. After removing all areas of decay, Dr. Smith will take an impression of the tooth to be crowned and send it to a dental laboratory to create the crown. Most laboratory crowns are made of Gold, porcelain, or a combination of porcelain fused to metal.

Alternatives

Teeth that are badly decayed may require extraction, leaving bridges or implants as viable alternative treatments.

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Fixed Bridges

Problem

Patients who are missing a tooth or several teeth may experience difficulty chewing and speaking, dental shifts, and an undesirable sunken facial appearance. In addition, missing teeth can eventually lead to jaw and joint problems that are costly to treat.

Solution

Fixed bridges can improve chewing and aesthetic appearance, restoring the smile with a more permanent solution than dentures. Bridges replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Dr. Smith will take a mold of the gap where a tooth is missing, and then send it to a laboratory to prepare a customized bridge. Before inserting the bridge, the surrounding teeth are prepared. The bridge is set into place and the artificial tooth is securely cemented to the adjacent teeth, restoring the attractive natural appearance and functionality of the tooth that was lost. If a resin-bonded bridge is chosen, the artificial tooth is secured by means of a metal appliance that attaches to the backs of adjacent teeth.

Alternatives

Dental implants are permanent, stable alternatives to bridges that do not rely upon surrounding teeth for support.

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