Cosmetic Dentistry Las Vegas focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth and smile. It is not a formal dental specialty area and is not covered by insurance.
Procedures that fall into this category include whitening, veneers, and bonding. They also include repairing chipped or misshapen teeth and fixing an uneven bite.
Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most common cosmetic dental procedures. It can remove stains caused by coffee, tea, wine, tobacco and other foods, medications, and even aging. Whitening can also make teeth appear straighter.
A professional whitening treatment uses a high concentration of bleaching gel and special light to break down and lighten chromogens, the molecules that give teeth their color. Over-the-counter whitening products contain lower concentrations and may take longer to reach the same results.
Most general dentists provide some form of cosmetic dentistry work, and many have a specialty in areas such as veneers or orthodontics. However, it is not considered a specialist field and there is no such thing as a “cosmetic dental specialist”. Some dentists who practice cosmetic dentistry may refer to themselves as a ‘cosmetic dentist’ or to their specialty as a’smile architect’. Other types of cosmetic dentistry include repairing cracked or chipped teeth with dental bonding and replacing missing teeth with dental implants or dentures. Some cosmetic treatments are not covered by insurance, but if the treatment is needed for health reasons, most insurers will reimburse at least some of the cost.
Porcelain veneers are custom-designed shells that cover a tooth’s surface, masking imperfections like discoloration, chipped teeth, and crooked teeth. They can also improve the appearance of teeth that are structurally sound but worn or broken. A smile with veneers can appear brighter, healthier, and more youthful.
The treatment involves an initial consultation and planning appointment, then a prep visit about two weeks later to have the veneers fitted and placed. During the prep visit, your dentist will numb your mouth and remove a small amount of enamel to allow for the placement of the veneers. They will also provide you with temporary veneers to wear while they wait for the lab to make the permanent ones.
When the permanent veneers are ready, your dentist will cement them in place with dental adhesive. You may experience some sensitivity after the procedure, but this should fade within a week or so. You will need to avoid eating and drinking certain stain-causing foods, such as coffee, red wine, and cigarette smoking, to prevent the veneers from becoming stained.
Implants are a restorative procedure, but they can also be considered cosmetic. They replace the tooth root and can hold an artificial tooth, bridge or denture. Implants are not for everyone, however. They may not be successful in patients who smoke or who take medications that impair healing or reduce bone density. In addition, the implant must heal properly before the abutment can be attached.
Cosmetic dentistry can also benefit your health by preventing the development of other dental issues. For example, missing or damaged teeth can lead to more expensive procedures to correct problems like bite problems and bone deterioration.
Cosmetic dentists are trained to assess each patient’s needs and recommend the right treatments for them. They can fix crooked, broken or discolored teeth to create bright and healthy smiles. The treatments they offer can be very affordable, too. However, it is important to practice good oral hygiene between dental visits and visit your doctor for regular health checks. A yearly examination can help detect problems before they become more serious.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) defines dental bonding as “the application of tooth-colored resin material to a tooth for the purpose of hiding flaws, reshaping and/or strengthening teeth.” Cosmetic dentists can use this quick procedure to repair many different problems, including:
The dentist first selects a composite resin color that closely matches the rest of the patient’s natural teeth. The dentist then slightly etch or abrades the tooth’s surface, which roughens it and helps the resin adhere to the tooth. Next, the dentist coats the tooth with a conditioning liquid to help the bonding material set. The dentist then builds up layer by layer of the putty-like resin, molding and shaping it until it is the right size, shape and sheen.
A final buffing and polishing make the bond look like a natural part of the tooth. Bonding is relatively quick and painless, with little recovery time. However, a dental bond does not last as long as other treatments, and it is less stain-resistant than porcelain veneers. Therefore, it is best used to address small chips and cracks in the teeth that do not affect the bite.
Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite resins, allow your dentist to add a tooth-colored material into a hole in your teeth and then harden it with special light. This helps your filling look as natural as possible and can be especially useful in front teeth or other visible areas of the mouth.
The tooth-colored filling material can be matched to your teeth’s color, so it blends in naturally with your smile. Unlike silver amalgam fillings, these composite fillings do not contain mercury. This can be beneficial as some studies have shown that mercury may pose a health risk.
In most cases, you can receive a tooth-colored filling in one visit after receiving a numbing agent (anesthesia). After the decay has been removed and the tooth is cleaned, the dentist will apply a bonded composite resin to the hole and then use a curing light to harden the material. The filling will then be shaped, checked for comfort and polished. If you take good care of your teeth, including brushing and flossing daily, as well as getting routine dental exams and cleanings every six months, your tooth-colored filling can last ten years or more.
Many cosmetic dentistry procedures are designed to fix crooked, broken, chipped or discolored teeth. Cosmetic dentists can also restore or replace missing teeth. Choosing the right procedure depends on your goals. Discuss your options with a cosmetic dentist to determine which treatment will work best for you.
A crown is a tooth-colored cap that covers and protects damaged, weakened or discolored teeth. It can also be used to hold together parts of a cracked or fractured tooth or to strengthen an existing one.
Crowns are made out of ceramic, porcelain or metal. They may be bonded to the surface of your teeth with temporary cement or a permanent bonding agent. They can be shaped to match the other teeth in your mouth. Your cosmetic dentist will record the shade of your teeth so they can create a crown that matches as closely as possible.
Metal crowns are crafted of dental alloys. They have a silver or gold appearance and are very durable. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have a metal core covered with porcelain for strength and an opaque appearance.
Dental bridges are a convenient way to replace missing teeth. They can help you restore your natural smile and improve the chewing function of your jaw by distributing bite forces more evenly.
Unlike other tooth replacement options, such as dental implants, which are secured by the jaw bone, bridges are supported by existing adjacent teeth, known as abutment teeth. This means that the dental bridge will be secure in your mouth, allowing you to chew without feeling any discomfort or pain.
Before placing the bridge, your dentist will numb the region to be treated. They will then shape the abutment teeth and obtain impressions of the area to help create the final prosthetic. They will then fit the bridge to the abutment teeth, using dental cement.
Dental bridges are made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, which can be stained to match the color and shape of your remaining natural teeth. You can care for your bridges in the same manner as you do your other teeth, brushing and flossing regularly to keep them healthy.
Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures attach to implants that are placed in the jawbone. This gives you a more secure, comfortable fit and eliminates the need to worry about loose or falling dentures.
The cosmetic dentist will take impressions and X-rays of the area to create models of your mouth. They may also order a CT scan to locate the sinus cavities and nerves in your jaw bone. Then, they will perform minor surgery to expose the tops of the implants. They will place a collar on the top of each implant to promote gum healing. Once the gums heal, they will replace the caps with regular abutments that can hold and support the dentures.
Dental implant-supported dentures are ideal for people who are missing all or most of their natural teeth. They can provide a full smile and allow you to chew foods that were previously difficult. They can also help preserve the underlying bone, preventing the gradual bone loss that can occur with conventional dentures. Implant-supported dentures can be permanent or removable, depending on your preferences.