Like so many aspects of healthcare, cosmetic dentistry has come a very long way during the past few decades. Where once tooth injuries, or the simple process of aging, necessitated deteriorated appearance of teeth, it is now possible for skilled cosmetic dentists, like Dr. Cohen, to provide patients with teeth that keep them looking young and attractive. Teeth are the first thing people look at when they’re looking at your face. By improving your smile and your teeth you not only enhance your social interactions, but increase your job opportunities. A “winning smile” is called that for a reason!
Dr. Cohen is skilled in all aspects of cosmetic dentistry. No matter what the nature of your dental problem, he is highly qualified to use one of the following methods to restore beauty and functionality to your damaged teeth.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain permanently bonded onto the facing of the teeth to improve appearance. They enhance the patient’s smile by repositioning and altering the shading and shape of the teeth to improve the overall aesthetic of the mouth. Veneers are used to correct a variety of dental conditions, including:
- Abnormal spaces between the teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth
Whether deterioration of the teeth has occurred because of aging, trauma, habit, or antibiotic staining, veneers can be a wonderful tool in improving the appearance of the mouth. Veneers are braces and permanent bleaching in one!
A crown is a cap that provides coverage, fitting over a damaged tooth to make it whole and strong again. Crowns restore the natural appearance of the teeth they cover, protecting broken teeth or teeth that have already undergone extensive repair. Used to cover discolored fillings and to protect the physical integrity of teeth after root canal procedures, crowns may also be used to help hold dentures firmly in place.
All porcelain crowns are metal-free and are permanently bonded to the patient’s teeth. Metal-free crowns mean no more unsightly dark shadows will be visible at the gum line as are seen with regular crowns. Because they are bonded rather simply cemented, they not only provide a refined aesthetic, but last much longer than conventional crowns.
What Is Involved in Getting a Crown?
In order for a patient to get a crown, Dr. Cohen prepares the tooth that is to be crowned. Then, impressions of the tooth are taken so that the crown will mesh seamlessly with the existing tooth. These impressions will be sent to the laboratory where a precisely shaped crown will be fabricated. Once the lab has fabricated the crown, Dr. Cohen fits it over the prepared tooth surface and bonds or cements it in place.
Dr. Cohen spends a great deal of time and attention matching the size, shape, color and surface characteristics of the crown to the surrounding teeth so that the patient’s mouth looks as natural as it does attractive.
Inlays and Onlays (Porcelain or Composite Fillings)
In many cases, it makes sense to restore old mercury fillings with porcelain or white fillings. This involves the removal of old and/or damaged fillings and decay and preparing the tooth to the appropriate shape. As in the process of creating crowns, impressions of the tooth are taken and sent to the laboratory where they can be used as patterns to fabricate either the inlay or the onlay. Using space-age technology, the inlays and onlays are computer-milled to precise specifications.
Once the inlay or onlay has been created, it can be fitted exactly into the space on the tooth that has been prepared, and bonded in place using specially formulated dental bonding agents. Dr. Cohen uses his expertise to match the shape, size, color and surface texture of the crown to those of the surrounding teeth so that the patient’s appearance with be aesthetically pleasing as well as fully functional.
As we age, our teeth become stained to a greater or lesser degree. This is not only a common problem, but a common source of personal dissatisfaction, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
There are several causes of tooth discoloration, including:
- Food and drink, especially coffee, tea, red wine, tomato sauce and ketchup
- Tobacco use
- Trauma to the tooth or teeth
- Radiation of the head and neck or chemotherapy
While some causes of tooth discoloration can be avoided, such as coffee or tobacco, other causes are unavoidable. Dr. Cohen can address tooth discoloration in a two different ways. These include:
Zoom! Laser bleaching
Zoom! is an hour-long procedure that provides an excellent outcome. Although results vary, most patients see an improvement of 6 to 10 shades. Zoom! is an in-office tooth-whitening procedure that is as safe and effective as it is rapid, especially if performed after a cleaning.
As an alternative, we offer take-home bleaching kits that may be used to maintain whiteness after a laser bleaching, or as treatments in their own right.
The difference between at-home and in-office tooth whitening procedures is threefold, involving how long it takes to see results, how much whitening occurs, and how long the improvement will last. At-home bleaching can begin to fade in as little as a year, particularly if the patient continues to eat foods that stain the teeth, such as coffee, tea, cola, or wine, or continues to engage in habits, such as smoking, that cause staining. If the patient is careful to protect the teeth from staining, however, at-home whitening can last as long as one to two years. In contrast, laser bleaching usually lasts for at least three years. Though either can improve the appearance enormously, neither solution is permanent.