Gaining a Beautifully Healthy Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry
In the last few decades, advances in technology have made cosmetic dentistry treatments more effective and affordable than ever. At the same time, the internet has made it easier than ever to research different dental treatments. This has made cosmetic dentistry more accessible to people from all walks of life while making it easier for patients to make informed decisions about their oral health. Unfortunately, digging out genuine or up-to-date facts isn’t always a walk in the park. Despite its rising popularity, this may mean that you’re unfamiliar with specific cosmetic dentistry procedures and what each can do for the health, functionality, and appearance of your smile. This may be especially true if you’ve just started looking into cosmetic dentistry treatments and you are searching for a top-rated cosmetic dentist. To help you get an idea of what treatment may be right for you, we’ve included a breakdown of the 5 most common cosmetic dentistry procedures.
1. Tooth Whitening
When people think of cosmetic dentistry, tooth whitening is one of the first treatments that comes to mind. Nowadays, professional tooth whitening treatments can be done in a single visit to our office or at home using a customized professional whitening kit. This at-home kit generally involves wearing a custom-made tray for a few hours every day. Professional treatments get your teeth multiple shades whiter than over-the-counter products can and they’re better for your oral health.
This is because over-the-counter products are a one-size-fits-all solution. The whitening strips don’t mold to your teeth perfectly, so the chemicals often come in contact with your gums and irritate them. The customized trays used in professional whitening treatments are designed to keep the whitening gel from reaching and irritating your gums. Additionally, if you overuse over-the-counter whitening strips or don’t follow the directions correctly, they can harm your teeth’s enamel over time. Professional treatments are proven to be safe, come with clear instructions, and you can always call our office if you have any questions.
Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are custom made for you and bonded to the surface of your natural teeth to change their size, shape, and shade. They can resolve gaps between teeth, permanent stains, chipped or broken teeth, and teeth that are uneven, slightly crooked, irregularly shaped, or worn down. Veneers don’t just solve aesthetic issues, however, as they can reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity from enamel erosion and make teeth easier to clean thoroughly by making them even and straight. This helps decrease the likelihood that you’ll get tooth decay or gum disease.
While veneers are thin, the porcelain they’re made from is durable and stain-resistant. With good oral hygiene, veneers can last around 15 years before they need to be replaced. However, it’s important to remember that they’re permanent—once you get a veneer, the tooth it’s on will always need one. They’re applied to each tooth individually, so they’re versatile enough to correct a single tooth or transform your entire smile.
If you’re getting a single veneer, we’ll use our CEREC machine to mill it in-house and place it on the same day, but this is an exception to the rule. Usually, you should plan on your porcelain veneers taking two appointments to place. During the first appointment, Dr. Alhadef will prepare your teeth for the veneers by removing a very small amount of tooth enamel. Then he’ll scan or take an impression of your teeth to send to the outside lab that will make your porcelain veneers. Before you leave, he’ll place natural-looking temporary veneers on your teeth. When your veneers arrive in about two weeks, Dr. Alhadef will bond them to your teeth during a second appointment. Dr. Alhadef is well-known for his artistry in designing veneers, making him the best dentist for veneers in Dallas.
3. Porcelain Crowns
This treatment is so common that many people don’t realize that they fit under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry. Porcelain crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that fit over your natural tooth to restore and protect it. They’re often used to restore teeth that have suffered severe injury or decay, protecting your oral health in the process by preventing them from further damage. Porcelain crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of crooked, misshapen, or worn teeth, making it easier to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Since they’re made of porcelain, they’re durable and will last about 15 years before they need to be replaced. They’re also very customizable, allowing you to work with Dr. Alhadef to choose your crown’s size, shape, and shade to ensure that it blends in perfectly with your natural teeth.
Since porcelain crowns are usually milled in an outside lab, they generally take two appointments over the course of a few weeks to place. The first appointment largely consists of preparing your teeth for the permanent crown. Dr. Alhadef will shave your tooth down on the sides and top so that the crown will fit over it, take an impression of your teeth to send to the lab, and place a temporary crown. He will also help you choose the shape and shade of your permanent crown. After a few weeks, you’ll come back to our office so that Dr. Alhadef can cement your permanent crown in place.
If you’re getting a single crown towards the back of your mouth, however, Dr. Alhadef can use the CEREC system to prep your tooth and then design, mill, and place your crown in a single visit to our office. This means you’ll only have to take time off work or miss class once to receive your permanent crown. The CEREC system uses cutting-edge technology to quickly scan and create digital 3D models of your teeth, which Dr. Alhadef uses to design your crown. Single-day crowns are made from the same durable porcelain as traditional crowns and look incredibly natural, so they don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of convenience.
4. Gum Contouring
This procedure is less widely known, but gum contouring is a popular treatment for resolving gummy smiles. Gummy smiles are characterized by too much gum tissue, which makes your teeth look too short. Many patients believe that fixing their gummy smile isn’t possible, but it’s actually very easy. Since the teeth beneath your gums are an average length, treatment is a simple matter of reshaping your gums—gum contouring. During this simple procedure, Dr. Alhadef numbs your mouth and uses a dental laser to cut away the extra gum tissue, revealing more of your teeth to even out the proportion of your smile.
Gum contouring can also be used to graft gum tissue onto areas of your gums that need it. This can be necessary after gum recession to reduce tooth sensitivity or protect tooth roots from decay. The recovery process for this procedure can last anywhere between a few days to a few weeks. You’ll need to avoid certain foods, including foods that are spicy or have bits that could get stuck in or hurt your healing gums, such as popcorn. Your gums need to be healthy before you can undergo gum contouring, but the procedure is permanent and the healing process is quick and easy. This makes the procedure worth it for many patients.
Invisalign is a clear aligner that can correct the same issues as braces, from misaligned bites to crooked teeth. But since the aligners are almost invisible on your teeth, they accomplish this discretely. When you get Invisalign, Dr. Alhadef will scan your teeth and map out your treatment plan. You’ll then receive a series of custom-made aligners, which you’ll switch out every two weeks or so. Each new aligner acts like tightening the wires on braces, exerting a gentle but steadily increasing pressure on your teeth to move them into the desired position. Straightening your teeth makes them easier to clean, which keeps your mouth healthier, and helps prevent future issues with your temporomandibular joint.
The lack of wires in your mouth makes Invisalign aligners more comfortable than traditional braces. Since they’re also removable, you can actually keep eating all of your favorite foods throughout your treatment. They need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day to straighten your teeth effectively, so don’t remove them too often. You also need to follow the care instructions for the aligners precisely because they stain and scratch easily. These habits are easy to form, however, and many patients find that the aligners’ discrete nature gives them the self-confidence to smile throughout their treatment.
Are you interested in how cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile?
With its increased accessibility, it’s clear that cosmetic dentistry can carry very real benefits for just about anyone. It goes far beyond the surface level, improving your oral health so that you can feel confident in both the health and beauty of your smile. If you’re starting your search for the “best cosmetic dentist in Dallas, TX,” feel free to call our office at any time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alhadef.