Cosmetic dentistry provides individuals with a natural, symmetrical smile of clean, even, white teeth. There are many services that fall under this category and they are used to repair missing, uneven, or discolored teeth. Below is a breakdown of the major services and procedures that fall under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment to see if you are a good candidate for any of these services, call our Cosmetic Dentist in Seattle.
People lose teeth for many reasons but going without them is not something that anyone has to worry about. Technology allows people to receive the oral care they need and be on their way to a happy, healthy smile. There are many options available from traditional removable dentures, to surgically implanted ones.
- Traditional Dentures
Traditional dentures are supported by the surrounding hard and soft tissues of the mouth and are removable. There are two options when looking into the traditional choice; the mandibular arch denture and the maxillary arch denture. The mandible is the jaw bone that supports the teeth on the bottom of your mouth and the maxilla is the bone that holds the teeth at the top of your mouth. Therefore, the difference is a top or bottom denture.
- Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures provide patients with better chewing function and are often a more attractive choice than traditional ones. These dentures snap onto two or more implant fixtures that are placed in your jawbone, allowing for greater strength and function.
Complete Dentures vs. Partial Dentures
- Complete dentures
These are made for you after your teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal. There are two types of complete dentures, conventional and immediate. The conventional denture is ready for placement in your mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after your teeth have been removed. Immediate dentures however, are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. This immediate option is especially nice if you do not want to be without teeth during the healing process.
Overtime, your bones and gums shrink, especially after the healing process has finished. This can be a problem when dealing with immediate dentures because they require adjustments to fit properly during the healing stage and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be procured.
- Partial Dentures
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth which are connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more healthy teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw.
Dental crowns, also known as caps, are placed over damaged teeth and cover them while restoring their shape, size, and strength. They improve the appearance of the teeth and fully encasing the entire visible portion of the tooth at and above the gums where they are cemented into place. If you have a part of a tooth that is missing or broken, a crown can restore it to its natural appearance. If you crack your tooth, having a crown put in as soon as possible is more likely to save it from rotting and succumbing to a periodontal disease. The crown will improve the strength and appearance of the tooth, completely covering the damage.
A dental bridge is a little different, as it is installed when you have a gap between teeth. A bridge is a type of dental implant that anchors itself from one strong tooth to another, filling the gap left by a missing tooth between them. They are stationary fixes that look just like your natural teeth, and they improve the functionality as well. A bridge is securely placed and will stay firmly in place when you chew. It can even improve alignment and help restore your mouth to a level of good dental health. Bridges do need to be cleaned regularly, just like normal teeth, to stay in good condition. Flossing and brushing on a regular basis is very important to the overall health of your mouth as well as the bridge.
As people age, the look of enamel lightens and becomes more translucent. Discolorations happens over time as well. These are among the common reasons why people get veneers, however there are many cosmetic concerns that our dentist can correct with veneers. Veneers are an extremely thin layer of material used to cover teeth. They resist staining and ensure that all teeth are equal in shape, color, and size. Veneers are made from porcelain or a composite of resin material. They are custom made and are permanently bonded to the front-side of teeth.
Cosmetic bonding is a tooth-colored resin that can be used as a filling or applied to cover a discolored or chipped tooth. They are a corrective measure to restore a person’s smile so that it looks white, even, and healthy. They also make a good alternative to amalgam fillings which are silver in color. Composite fillings look natural and fill in a cavity with strong, matching material.
Teeth whitening is a way to clean the staining that people experience from things like smoking or drinking coffee, tea, and wine. Discoloration occurs over time and teeth look yellowed and less appealing. Teeth whitening removes deep-down stains and restores a person’s smile to a smooth, natural white color. While there are over the counter strips and gels available, the whitening system used by a dentist eliminates deeper, more difficult stains, making it a more effective option.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about cosmetic dentistry, talk to our dentist in Downtown Seattle. Our friendly staff put patients at ease from the moment they walk in and our dentist is dedicated to delivering quality oral health care as well as excellent customer service. You will appreciate the difference a caring team can make!