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What’s Hot in Cosmetic Dentistry

Learn how cosmetic dentistry is changing the look of smiles.

Art has been described as "the accomplice of love," and science as "the creative application of natural law." In tandem, these energies can be combined to produce a masterpiece.

A dazzling smile can ignite a room, projecting an image of self-assurance and high personal esteem. It glows with embers of delight from an explosive source of pride. That magnificent smile is no longer a fantasy. Now it can be yours! Recent advances in techniques and materials offer modern practitioners of aesthetic dentistry many alternatives in the creation of brilliant smiles, bursting with energy and radiating enthusiasm. We have not yet discovered the magic wand, but we are getting closer. There are many exciting options.

Since no single approach serves the needs of every patient, careful evaluation of alternative or combined approaches is essential to a pleasing and lasting result.

Porcelain Veneers

These offer the most exciting and revolutionary advancement in aesthetic dentistry. Dynamic results can usually be achieved within a week or 10 days to correct somewhat misaligned, misshapen, discolored or broken teeth. Veneers are quite suitable as an alternative to minor orthodontics, but not recommended in cases of severe crowding or misalignment of teeth or malocclusion. Customarily, veneers are preferable to full crowns when there is adequate remaining tooth structure to support the restoration. The approach requires less reduction of healthy tooth structure than full dental crowns, without compromising the periodontal health. It is a blend of art and science that enables a skilled practitioner to achieve a sensational effect.

For many patients unhappy with their smiles, porcelain veneers may be a dream come true!

Crown & Bridge Dentistry

While porcelain veneers offer dazzling aesthetic results, they require adequate remaining tooth structure for their support. With a minor loss in cosmetic appeal, porcelain fused to metal crowns offer greater strength and durability than veneers. These dental restorations are stationary and are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure, or to replace missing teeth. Crowns and bridges may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.

Aesthetic Recontouring

In some instances, simple reshaping of the front teeth, even without anesthesia, may produce a dramatic result to correct jagged, slightly uneven or chipped teeth. The dental sculptor becomes the maestro of art, employing sanding discs and creativity, in tandem with nature.

Bleaching and Micro-Abrasion

Have your teeth become darker and yellowed over the years? Dental researchers have discovered a simple, safe and inexpensive technique to manage discolored teeth, when used in indicated circumstances. A customized tray is fabricated for the application of gentle bleaching agents for teeth whitening at home. Even intrinsic blemishes may be improved with the select utilization of micro-abrasion. A professional evaluation of the causes of the discoloration is indispensable to a predictable outcome.

Dental Bonding

This was one of the first and most promising techniques developed for "instant" smile enhancement. It is still suitable in many circumstances to correct broken or misshapen teeth, but is neither as durable as porcelain veneers, nor as spectacular in addressing more complex cosmetic concerns. Once again, prudent employment of your dentist's skills yields the best and happiest endings in the quest for excellence.


Many orthodontists claim that over 50 percent of their practices include adult patients. The use of clear brackets, dental insurance benefits and higher disposable income affords an opportunity for many dental patients to realize the value of adult orthodontic care, once considered elective.

Periodontal Resculpting

With the use of modern periodontal "plastic surgery" techniques and the employment of synthetic bone, very pleasing aesthetic outcomes may be achieved in selected instances with periodontal surgery.

Dental Implants

Though not as ideal as a natural, healthy dentition, dental implants, when judiciously diagnosed and skillfully restored, offer select patients an opportunity to achieve a functional and aesthetically pleasing smile.


Advances in modern dental care offer more patients alternatives to losing all or most of their teeth. However, full or partial dentures are still an available option in treating dental conditions ravaged by extensive periodontal disease or tooth decay. Full dentures are not as functional as a healthy dentition, but may provide dynamic aesthetic results. There may be no other dental discipline that requires the practitioner to fully integrate his skills in art and science as the delivery of full dentures.

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