You may think that cosmetic dentistry is all about getting a pretty smile — and that’s definitely part of it — but most procedures also contribute to overall good oral health.
At the dental office of Dr. William M. Schneider in Walnut Creek, California, we offer a wide variety of cosmetic dentistry options to help you look your best and keep your mouth healthy.
We’d like to share five of these options with you so you can get a good sense of what’s available and how they can help.
5 popular cosmetic dentistry treatments
These are five of the most sought-after treatments to improve your smile.
1. Teeth Whitening
Over time, your teeth become stained or discolored due to the foods you eat, the drinks you consume, cigarettes or other tobacco products, and even certain medications.
The good news is you can remove these stains with either in-office or at-home whitening treatments, both of which use a peroxide compound to bleach away the stains.
Whitening works, though, only on natural tooth enamel, so it’s important to consider replacing any old fillings, crowns, etc. before treatment. Once the process is complete, Dr. Schneider can match the restorations to the new shade of your teeth.
If you choose in-office teeth whitening, Dr. Schneider first protects your gums, then applies the bleaching solution to your teeth. He uses a special light to enhance the gel’s action. The appointment lasts 30-60 minutes, and you see results immediately.
You may require more than one visit to achieve the shade you desire.
If you choose at-home teeth whitening, Dr. Schneider provides you with a custom-fitted tray and the bleaching gel. You wear the trays either twice a day for 30 minutes, or overnight.
Because the gel isn’t as strong as the in-office material, and because you don’t have any additional activation, it can take several weeks to achieve your desired results.
2. Composite (tooth-colored) fillings
Fillings used to be almost always made of metal, usually amalgam (silver). But shiny metal in the front of your mouth doesn’t make for an attractive smile. Now most dentists use a resin composite, or tooth-colored, material to fill cavities and replace old, crumbling fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings are also widely used to repair chipped or broken teeth, as well as fill in gaps between teeth and protect tooth root surfaces exposed by gum recession.
3. Crowns (caps)
A dental crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made porcelain covering or “cap” that sits atop and encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that can’t be restored with fillings or smaller restorations such as veneers.
That makes them ideal for teeth with large, fractured, or broken fillings, as well as for those that are badly decayed. They’re also used to cover a tooth that’s undergone a root canal, helping to strengthen the weakened tooth structure.
4. Porcelain veneers
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that Dr. Schneider individually crafts to cover the fronts of teeth that are damaged, discolored, misshapen, or misaligned. Unlike crowns, which need a lot of filing to place properly, veneers require removal of only a minimal amount of tooth structure.
Veneers are quite durable and won’t stain, making them an easy, cost-effective, and popular solution for people looking to restore or enhance their smile.
When you’ve got tooth alignment issues, crowding, or improper placement, orthodontia can help adjust your teeth and jaw to alleviate the problems.
Traditionally, this has meant metal braces that move the teeth through tightening of the brackets and wires, and the use of rubber bands. They’re highly visible, difficult to clean, rather painful, and require an average of three years from start to finish.
The near-invisible appearance makes Invisalign popular with adults as well as self-conscious teens. The clear aligners aren’t painful, and they’re easy to clean. You do have to wear them 22 hours a day for them to be effective.
If your smile isn’t all you want it to be, contact Dr. Schneider’s office to learn more about the cosmetic dentistry options available to help you achieve your aesthetic and dental goals. Give us a call at 925-935-2700, or book your consultation online with us today.