A Smile. It costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it lasts forever. None are so rich that they can get along without it, and none are so poor but are richer for a smile. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anyone until it is given away.
Your smile is the most important feature of your face. Studies have shown that people with attractive smiles are perceived as being more friendly, intelligent, and competent.
A smile says much about a person's personality. It can be warm and inviting. It can also portray someone as cold and unfriendly. If you are uncomfortable with your smile, whether due to the shape, color, spacing or crookedness of your teeth, you might try to subconsciously hide your smile with either hand gestures in front of your face, or perhaps keeping your lips somewhat together. When your smile is healthy and attractive people tend to want to associate with you more and life becomes more enjoyable.
There are many factors which influence the appearance of your smile:
- Color of the teeth
- Spacing or crowding of the teeth
- Symmetry of the teeth
- Shape of the teeth
- There are several procedures which can be simply utilized to help create a beautiful smile.
Bonding is a very basic procedure where the teeth have a very esthetic tooth colored material applied to them. The material is shaped by the dentist and can be used to close spaces, lengthen teeth, and correct chips and fractures. It can be placed on the front of the tooth to change the color of the tooth.
The advantages to bonding are that it is painless, results are immediate, and there is very little drilling of the tooth.
The disadvantages are that it has a limited esthetic life expectancy since it will chip and stain over time - therefore requiring routine maintenance.
Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can be used to very esthetically correct a variety of problems, such as:
- Change the color of the teeth to make them permanently whiter.
- Change the length of the teeth to make them longer or shorter.
- Change the contours of the teeth to make them more masculine or feminine.
- Making crooked teeth seem straight-instant orthodontics.
- Correcting gaps or spaces between the teeth.
- Creating a fuller more beautiful smile by giving the lips and cheeks more support.
- Porcelain veneers and crowns are a very exciting advancement in cosmetic dentistry.
Dynamic results can usually be achieved within a week or two.
For those patients who would like to see a preview of what could be done with their smile we suggest a "pre-treatment wax up." An impression is taken of your teeth and the laboratory will mold tooth colored wax into a very esthetically pleasing result. This will show the patient what their smile could look like.
Cosmetic contouring and reshaping
In some cases, especially if the teeth have chips or are slightly uneven, we can very easily, without anesthesia, reshape the teeth to remove the chips or worn areas. Many times this will greatly improve the esthetics of the teeth. We can round the edges of the teeth to soften their appearance. Pointed canines, which can have a very dominant look, can be recontoured to look less like a vampire.
View a page of pre- and post-operative photographs.
When a large, defective filling needs to be replaced, porcelain inlays and onlays can be an excellent way to restore the tooth. A porcelain inlay is small and covers the grooves of the teeth. An onlay is larger and covers one or more cusps or corners of a tooth.
Porcelain inlays and onlays have several advantages over other filling materials. When used to replace a silver filling, they will add strength to the tooth. Porcelain is also harder and more durable than white composite fillings. The inlay or onlay will be bonded to your tooth, which creates a resilient, watertight seal. The best part of all is that these restorations can be custom coloured to match your own teeth. A porcelain onlay will also be more conservative, saving more natural tooth structure, than a full crown.
Before & After: Multiple silver fillings replaced with porcelain inlays
How is a porcelain inlay or onlay done? Two separate appointments will be necessary. At the first visit, the tooth is shaped to allow room for the thickness of the inlay/onlay. After a mould is made of your tooth, the inlay/onlay is custom-made by lab technicians according to the dentist's instructions. This is a very precise process, which ensures an exact fit. At the end of this first appointment, a temporary inlay/onlay will be made to cover and protect your tooth while the new permanent one is being made. At the second appointment, the porcelain inlay/onlay is permanently bonded to your tooth using an intense blue light which cures and hardens the bonding agent.
Porcelain inlays and onlays are a great way to restore strength to weak teeth. Excellent cosmetics, combined with conservation of tooth structure, make them the treatment of choice for many patients.
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, being bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, but is too great for a filling to safely provide support, onlays can provide an excellent alternative.