What to Expect With Dental Veneers

How Dental Veneers Can Improve Your Smile

Have you ever seen a smile that you won’t forget? Have you ever looked to Hollywood celebrities and wondered how they were born with perfect teeth? Believe it or not, these smiles most likely were crafted by a dentist. Hollywood celebrity smiles are almost all credited to cosmetic dentistry and dental Veneers. All parts of a smile can be changed by cosmetic dentistry with Botox and Juvaderm injectables, dental bonding, Invisalign and clear braces, teeth whitening, implants, and dental Veneers, right in your dentist’s office.

Dental Veneers (sometimes called Porcelain Veneers) are an increasingly popular way to enhance and change the esthetics of your smile by crowning (capping) your existing teeth with vibrant, natural looking Veneer crowns. Depending on what you want through a smile makeover, every tooth, only the top teeth, or only the “smile teeth” (the teeth visible when you smile) can be crowned to achieve a new look. Don’t expect a perfect smile in one visit to your dentist, though. To achieve a “perfect” smile, it requires planning and a good relationship with your dentist. Any parts that you don’t like about your smile or envy about another’s smile can be made for you during planning with your dentist. Tooth color, size, straightness, angle, shape, and even personality, can be chosen when planning the look of your dental Veneers. Try-in or 3D models of your future teeth can be made so that you can actually see a new smile before committing to it.

To permanently seal your dental Veneers, your dental office will schedule you for a few visits. First, there will be a consult where you and the dentist will talk one-on-one to agree on your smile makeover’s product. Secondly, a “Build-Up” appointment will be scheduled, where the dentist gently shapes your existing teeth to properly house your dental Veneers. This feels like a filling or regular crown appointment, and shouldn’t cause anxiety. The dentist will make you temporary crowns until your dental Veneers are ready. Next, an “Impressions” appointment will be scheduled or even on the same day as the Build-Up, where impressions (a mold) of your teeth are taken to send to the lab designing and hand-crafting your dental Veneers. Improvements in dental technology have been to use 3-D scanners and avoid the gooey impression material all together in some offices. After a few weeks, your new smile is ready to be “seated,” as a dentist would say, meaning permanently bonded to your existing teeth to house a new, improved smile.

On the day of your Seat appointment, get ready to get emotional and feel vibrant. In several cases, such as the viral videos of makeovers – people get emotional when they see their new smile – and it’s contagious to the dentist and staff caring for your makeover. Get ready for lots of photos and a perfect smile every time!

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It Can Pay to Spend on Dental Implants

If you’re missing a tooth, you’re not alone; in fact 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth in at least one jaw! Whether it’s one tooth or many, it’s important to replace what’s missing. Depending on the number of teeth lost, the potential drawbacks to doing nothing may become hard to ignore: impediments to eating, interference with speech, and unaesthetic appearance, for example.

Traditional bridges and dentures are the most affordable options for replacing teeth. Tooth implants — tiny titanium, screw-like substitutes for a tooth’s natural root to which natural-looking dental crowns are attached — are pricier but offer an important extra benefit. In addition to addressing the common problems previously mentioned, by acting like the original tooth root, an implant can maintain or stimulate “remodeling,” of the jawbone below. Without a tooth root to provide stimulation, mature bone cells will continue to be removed, or resorbed, but no new bone cells will regenerate to replace them, leading to a progressive loss of bone width, height and density. The more teeth are lost, and with less bone structure to support it, the whole shape of the face can change.

Unfortunately, when greater numbers of teeth must be replaced, implants can become financially unrealistic for some people. But in appropriate cases there is a third option: a bridge or denture/implant hybrid. In the case of a bridge intended to fill a gap when multiple teeth are missing, an implant can be used on either side of the gap to support the bridge, leaving the natural teeth undisturbed. Strategically placed implants can be used to support a removable denture, too.

If you would like more information about dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants: Your Best Option For Replacing Teeth.”

‘Tooth in One Day’ Procedures Require Special Attention for Success

You’ve seen the ads for obtaining a new tooth in one day with a dental implant. Those aren’t exaggerated claims — you can leave the dental office the same day with a new tooth that looks and functions like the old one.

But the dramatic marketing aside, there is a bit more to the story. Same day tooth replacement isn’t appropriate in every situation. And even when it is, there are risks for failure.

We can minimize those risks, however, by focusing on certain goals during the three distinct phases in the process: removing the natural tooth; placing the metal implant into the jawbone; and affixing the visible, crown.

It’s crucial during tooth extraction that we avoid damaging the socket bone that will ultimately support the implant’s titanium post. If the socket walls break down it could set up future gum recession or cause us to abort the implant procedure altogether that day.

When placing the implant, we want to focus on achieving a strong hold. Due to its special affinity with titanium, bone cells gradually grow and adhere to the post to firmly anchor the implant in time. But since we’re immediately loading a crown rather than allowing the bone to fully integrate first, we need to ensure the implant has a secure hold from the get-go. We can only achieve this with precise placement based on careful examination and planning, as well as adequate bone.

Even so, the implant still needs to integrate with the bone for a lasting hold, and that takes time. Even with normal biting forces the implant risks damage during this integration period. That’s why we place a temporary crown a little shorter than the surrounding teeth. Those adjacent teeth will take the brunt of the biting force and not the implant.

Once the bone has fully integrated, we’ll replace the temporary crown with a permanent one the proper height proportional to the other teeth. Even with the temporary crown, though, you’ll still have a life-like tooth the day we removed the older one.

The key to success is planning — first determining if you meet the criteria for a same-day implant and then mapping out and carefully executing each succeeding step. Doing this will ensure your same-day implant is a success from day one.

If you would like more information on same-day tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Same-Day Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants