Unlike general dentistry, cosmetic dentists not only are able to combine the science of oral medicine with the latest in technology, they have an eye for aesthetics and symmetry and are able to uniquely tailor their services to each patient. However, most cosmetic dentists also offer general dentistry services alongside their cosmetic procedures.
Typically, if you opt to go to a cosmetic dentist, you can expect services in three major categories: cosmetic, implant, and general. Let’s explore some of the types of cosmetic dentistry services offered in each.
Crowns and Bridges. Crowns are also a customized approach to fixing teeth which may be either poorly shaped or broken. A cosmetic dentist may recommend caps in order to support a tooth that has a large filling when there isn’t enough natural tooth structure remaining or to protect a weak tooth from fracturing. Sometimes referred to as caps, these are typically made from acrylic or porcelain and fused to metal to withstand biting pressure.
Teeth straightening. For a long time, straightening your teeth meant months of painful, bulky wires which needed to be routinely tightened and adjusted. No more! Now, cosmetic dentists use Invisalign®, a clear, medical-grade plastic that’s nearly invisible. But not only are they nearly imperceptible, they are also custom-fit for max comfort and ease. Whether it’s crooked teeth, misalignment, gaps or overcrowding, Invisalign can help correct all of the same issues traditional braces can…but without all the hassle and discomfort.
CEREC Crowns and Veneers. Chair-side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEREC, is an amazing, innovative technology that allows dentists to create brand new dental crowns within one office visit, saving patients multiple trips to the dentist. CEREC technology also allows dentists to customize many elements of a patient’s crown, such as shape, length, color, and bit, in a fraction of the time it once did.
Porcelain Veneers. To improve the look of teeth, cosmetic dentists custom-make thin, shell-like material which is then applied to the front of a patient’s tooth. Veneers can help alleviate concerns with crooked, discolored or damaged teeth and even minimize large spaces.
Teeth Whitening. Among a wide variety of cosmetic complaints, studies show that 18-52% of people are unhappy with the color of their teeth. Luckily this is a relatively easy problem to address, and usually involves a customized, reusable mold which can then be taken home along with a supply of medical-grade teeth whitener. While there are many over-the-counter options, cosmetic dentists are able to provide much more effective, less-irritating and longer lasting results than what can be bought at a drugstore.
Maxillofacial Surgery. A maxillofacial surgeon is a specialist, often in the dental field (such as cosmetic dentist), with advanced medical knowledge regarding conditions affecting:
This type of surgery is typically recommended for those with bite abnormality, chronic facial pain, cleft lip and/or palate, bone-fused dental implants, poorly-executed tooth extractions, or facial injuries.
Tissue Reshaping/Laser Gum Surgery. Also called “gum contouring,” this process is the realignment of the gum line. The shape of our teeth and gums are largely genetic, however, other factors, such as smoking, medication and diet can impact our gum lines. Sculpting the gum line so that it doesn’t rest too high or too low is an art, and is typically not considered a medically required procedure.
Dental Implants. Dental implants are used to correct issues for those who are tired of ill fitting dentures or have missing teeth. They help create a natural, beautiful smile through a surgical procedure which is fused in your jawbone. These fuses work as “anchors” or roots for artificial teeth. Typically, the implant base material is titanium, which is attached to the jawbone, and won’t slip, make noise or cause bone damage in the way that bridgework or dentures sometimes do. In general, dental implants are a great solution for those with no existing conditions that may affect bone healing, those whose jaw bones are no longer growing and those who have missing teeth, are tired of wearing dentures or those who are struggling with their speech due to dental issues.
Fillings. Dental fillings help address varying levels of decay, and can also be used to mitigate cavities and repair injured or cracked teeth.
Gum disease treatment. Typically, regular cleanings and routine checkups do the trick to clear up moderate gum disease before it causes permanent damage. For more advanced gum disease and bone loss, a cosmetic dentist may prescribe a course of antibiotics or suggest surgical options, such as bone or tissue grafts.
Sedation dentistry. Like other dentists and orthodontists, cosmetic dentists understand the anxiety that accompanies dental work. Trained sedation dentists use treatment options which allows patients to remain conscious. Typically, the level of consciousness is dependent on the level of fear and the type of procedure being done. Sedation dentistry allows for a customized approach so the patient is as relaxed, comfortable and safe as possible during the procedure.
Located in San Diego, Dr. David Landau, Dr. Lawrence Addleson and their extraordinary team are widely recognized for their top-quality smile designs. They have been awarded with recognition from their peers for many consecutive years and have been credited for the “whole body” approach to cosmetic dentistry.