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Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ

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With advances in cosmetic dentistry today, if you are not happy with the appearance of your smile, you can do something about it. At Altamonte Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer a range of cosmetic dentistry treatments to help create a dazzling smile. Here we have provided answers to commonly asked questions about cosmetic dentistry.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry involves dental services aimed at improving the appearance of your smile, as well as oral health and function. At Altamonte Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we believe that aesthetic dentistry must be performed to complement the patient’s oral health and overall general health.

Cosmetic dental treatments can have a dramatic effect on overall facial appearance, boost self-confidence, and make the patient want to engage in conversation and smile wider and more often. Using state-of-the-art techniques, cosmetic dentistry services can range from teeth whitening and color correction to full mouth reconstruction.

What types of procedures are available in cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is professional oral care focused on improving the appearance of your smile that also provides restorative benefits. Cosmetic dentistry procedures performed frequently in our practice include:

  • Zoom teeth whitening
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Full mouth reconstruction

What causes tooth discoloration?

Discoloration of the teeth has several possible causes, including staining from tobacco products or beverages and foods such as coffee, tea, wine, cola, berries, curries, and tobacco products. Other causes of discoloration include trauma to a tooth, older metal fillings, and aging.

What is Zoom teeth whitening?

Zoom teeth whitening is a cutting-edge cosmetic dentistry procedure designed to remove or reduce discoloration of teeth enamel and dentin (internal structure of the teeth) caused by staining agents and aging. This treatment begins with a short prep to cover the lips and gums while leaving the teeth exposed. Next, a hydrogen-peroxide whitening gel is applied to the teeth, after which the teeth are exposed to a special light that activates the gel to remove stains from the teeth.

The gel remains in place for 15 minutes, activated by the light. It is applied three times for a total treatment time of approximately 45 minutes. The last step in the procedure is a fluoride treatment applied to the teeth to reduce sensitivity. Many patients report dramatically whiter and brighter teeth after a Zoom teeth whitening procedure.

Is Zoom teeth whitening recommended for everyone?

Adults with discolored teeth caused by staining agents or aging may be good candidates for Zoom teeth whitening. However, depending on the cause, teeth whitening may not be the best treatment in all cases of tooth discoloration. After a consultation and careful evaluation, we can recommend the best treatment option for you.

What are porcelain veneers?

A porcelain veneer is an ultra-thin piece of porcelain bonded to the tooth to improve its appearance and provide strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. Dental veneers are customized to fit the contours of your teeth. They can be a quick way to achieve a beautiful smile for patients with stained, chipped, gapped, uneven, or misshapen teeth.

Porcelain is the most commonly used material for dental veneers. Porcelain veneers can last for 10 to 20 years. They are the preferred dental veneer for correcting shape and color issues of the teeth.

Who is a good candidate for porcelain veneers?

We consider several factors before recommending porcelain veneers to you, including understanding your personal aesthetic goals, the color of the teeth, and the impact of habits and lifestyle. Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin and translucent. If your teeth are discolored, we may recommend teeth whitening before the veneers are applied.

Teeth grinding or clenching can make porcelain veneers more susceptible to chipping, cracking, and breaking. If you have this habit, you may need bruxism treatments to help you stop grinding or clenching your teeth and jaws before you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers.

At Altamonte Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, each patient is individually evaluated for treatment. Generally, you may be a good candidate for porcelain veneers if you do not grind your teeth and you have:

  • Good overall oral health
  • Good dental hygiene
  • Sufficient tooth enamel
  • Moderately straight teeth
  • Stained teeth
  • Minor imperfections in tooth structure
  • Several cosmetic issues (such as chips, cracks, and misshapen teeth) you want to correct in one treatment

Do porcelain veneers damage the structure of the tooth?

No, they do not, when the treatment is performed by a cosmetic dentist with the right training and experience. To prepare a tooth for a porcelain veneer, the dentist removes an amount of tooth enamel approximately equal to the thickness of the veneer – only ½ millimeter. At Altamonte Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we will take X-rays and carefully examine your teeth ahead of time to ensure they are healthy and suitable for veneers.

What is the difference between crowns and bridges?

A crown completely covers the portion of a tooth visible at and above the gum line to restore shape, size, strength, and appearance of a decayed or damaged tooth. A bridge is made by creating a crown on either side of a missing or severely damaged tooth or teeth and placing one or more tooth restorations between the crowns, perfectly matching your existing teeth.

When is a crown needed?

A crown may be needed:

  • To restore a tooth that has been chipped or cracked
  • To cover a malformed or discolored tooth
  • To strengthen a tooth when the structure has deteriorated around a filling
  • To cover a dental implant for replacing a missing tooth
  • To anchor a dental bridge

When is a bridge needed?

Bridges are used to replace teeth that are missing or too severely damaged to hold a crown. Simply, they are used to bridge the gap left by missing teeth or severely damaged teeth that required extraction.

Who is a good candidate for full mouth reconstruction?

A good candidate for full mouth reconstruction is a patient who needs comprehensive care for severe dental problems. Conditions treated in this procedure may include:

  • Tooth loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Crooked teeth
  • Damaged and misshapen teeth

What procedures are performed in full mouth reconstruction?

At Altamonte Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, each patient receives an individually-tailored treatment plan. Treatments performed in full mouth reconstruction may include:

  • Implants
  • Orthodontics
  • Restorative treatments (crowns, bridges, fillings, inlays, and onlays)
  • Oral surgery
  • Periodontal treatments
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) treatments
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding) treatments
  • Cosmetic dentistry

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