We care about overall health of your mouth. That’s why we make sure your teeth and the rest of your mouth are in their best health state before we commence any purely optional cosmetic dentistry. That’s why we are very meticulous in our diagnostic procedures and diligent in our general dental work.
Aesthetic, or cosmetic dentistry can be described as one or few dental treatments that improve the appearance of your teeth and beauty of your smile. It can include variety of techniques and use of variety of esthetic materials. It is truly an art form, a process that involves a customized smile analysis and design. You as a patient have a unique opportunity to be involved in your own transformation. This is an aesthetic treatment based mostly on your vision and perception of self, your personality and life style. To obtain optimal results, this kind of dentistry requires application of advanced scientific techniques, equipment, materials, and skills.
Made of Cerinate porcelain, Lumineers are a new type of porcelain veneers. They are contact lens-thin, roughly .2 mm thick. Little to no tooth reduction in most cases is necessary with this type of veneer and anesthetics or numbing shots are not needed. www.cerinate.com
The Pros and Cons of Lumineers Porcelain Veneers
Advantages: Lumineers resist micro-leakage and micro-cracking more so than traditional porcelain veneers. Unlike other porcelain veneers, you won’t need to wear temporary veneers until the Lumineers are created. Lumineers are expected to last just as long as traditional porcelain veneers. Lumineers are reversible if no tooth reduction was necessary when they were first done. Cost is less than traditional porcelain veneers.
Disadvantages: As there is little to no tooth reduction needed for Lumineer porcelain veneers, there is a limit to how much smile correction can be accomplished. This can also lead to bulky appearing and feeling veneers in some cases. Cosmetic Dentists offering Lumineers are specially trained specifically for this type of veneer which means for the time being there are fewer Cosmetic Dentists offering Lumineers.
These are also called “porcelain laminates,” “porcelain laminate veneers,” and just “veneers.” For our purposes, we will just call them veneers.
Veneers are formed porcelain shells that are used to create a new front surface to a tooth. These are thin sculpted pieces of tooth-shaped porcelain that fit over the front of the teeth and are the premier standard of care in cosmetic dentistry. Permanently bonded to the front surface of a tooth, to restore or improve position, shape and tooth color, they can make a dramatic and immediate difference to one’s smile and overall facial appearance.
Veneers are wonderful for fixing common problems such as midline spaces (the gap-toothed look of the two front upper teeth) or chipped, crooked, missing, discolored, pitted, malformed, or improperly positioned teeth. Once only accessible to the wealthy and top Hollywood stars and models, veneers are now a popular way for many people to obtain the smile of their dreams.
Porcelain veneers may not be for everyone.
Here are a few examples of poor candidates for veneer restorations:
- Porcelain veneers cannot be placed on teeth where there is decay or active periodontal disease (gum disease). These conditions must be treated by your dentist before porcelain veneers can be successfully fabricated and placed.
- If a significant amount of tooth structure has been lost as a result of decay or fracture, or else already replaced by a dental filling, the tooth may not be a good candidate for a porcelain veneer.
- Porcelain veneers do not significantly strengthen the teeth on which they are placed. Teeth that have, or have had, a significant amount of tooth structure loss are usually better treated by placing a dental crown on them instead of a porcelain veneer.
- Veneers can only be successfully bonded onto tooth enamel. Some teeth, as a result of excessive wear or previous attempts at dental bonding, may have little or no enamel remaining on their front side. These teeth do not make good candidates for porcelain veneers.
- Persons who clench and grind their teeth can make poor candidates for porcelain veneers. The forces created by these activities, termed bruxism by dentists, can easily chip or break porcelain veneers. Bruxing habits may be controllable during waking hours, but while asleep, a bruxer has essentially no control over this activity.If a person who bruxes does have veneers placed, they must be committed to wearing a plastic dental night guard when they sleep so to minimize the amount of stress placed on their veneers.
The Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers:
Advantages: Porcelain veneers are common in creating new smiles and smile makeovers. With porcelain veneers, you can have the smile of your dreams in a very short period of time. Typically veneers are difficult to stain, making veneers a very popular solution for many people seeking that perfect smile. Strong and very durable, veneers last from ten to fifteen years, and come in colors that will brighten dark teeth without the worry of them changing color. Veneers are typically done in only two one and a half hour long appointments, and can actually strengthen your tooth. There is no additional maintenance, other than a follow-up visit to your cosmetic dentist and proper brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Finally, a whiter smile gives people to whom you are speaking a place to focus on and gives you a friendlier appearance.
Disadvantages: It takes roughly a week or two of a period of adjustment to get used to your teeth that have been changed in color, size, spacing and shape. While very little tooth is removed in most cases, there are situations where more tooth must be removed which increases the risk of trauma to the tooth. The amount of tooth to be removed for the veneers should be discussed with your cosmetic dentist beforehand. It is common to have minor sensitivity after your teeth have been prepared for your veneers while wearing the temporary veneers. Some people can experience a difference in speech, usually pronouncing “s” and “f” sounds. This is corrected through minor adjustments your cosmetic dentist can make to your veneers. Veneers are very reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth, but not perfect replacements for natural teeth. It’s common to see slight variations in the color of veneers upon very close inspection, as with natural teeth. It can take up to a month or two before your new smile feels a part of you.
A crown is a restorative that covers, or “caps,” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth. Crowns may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.
Nowadays, there are several types of crowns available to you. The traditional kind is a porcelain-fused to metal, where the inner layer of the crown is a non-precious metal. The disadvantages of using such a metal are the following: poor esthetics – unnatural looking crown with gray line along the gum-line; gum irritation in people with metal allergies; this metal alloy usually contains beryllium, known to cause cancer.
Much better options are metal containing various percentages of gold, 88% gold (Captek) being the best to date. These crowns look very life-like, distinguished by a very good fit due to better casting of gold containing alloys. Also, these metals are very highly polished which prevent bacteria living in micro-pores from colonizing along the edge of the crown. Thus the gum around such crown stays clean and healthy.
Another popular option is all-porcelain crown. It could be fabricated from different porcelain/ceramic materials. Lately, they proved to be as strong as conventional crowns, with better esthetics. Still, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing this kind of crown, the most important being your bite – the way your teeth come together, and the need to cut a lot of the tooth structure away to provide for adequate thickness of such crown.
Since we make it our mission to closely follow innovations in dental materials, we will give you an expert advice on the best one to use for your restoration. *Click here to see our special offer.
Dental crowns in general add a good deal of strength to weakened or worn teeth. Depending on your habits and the condition of your gums, there can be some drawbacks. Your cosmetic dentist will advise which is best for you given many factors, including how important appearance is to you. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of the most common crown types.
Advantage: The preparation of a tooth for a gold crown is the simplest and least complicated preparation as there is minimal tooth structure removal with as much as possible of the healthy tooth structure remaining untouched. While porcelain is hard by comparison, it may cause wear on opposing teeth over the years where gold is not as likely to do so. Gold is also easier to fit to the area where the tooth and crown meet for a better fit. Gold is also a healthier environment for the gum tissue.
Disadvantage: The biggest disadvantage to gold crowns is the cosmetic aspect, unless it is being used in the back of your mouth.
Advantage: Porcelain crowns or new reinforced resin are considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing, as it is so easily matched in color to the surrounding teeth.
Disadvantage: The thickness of the porcelain required for pleasing aesthetics also requires that more tooth structure needs to be removed. It is more difficult for your cosmetic dentist to get an ideal fit where your gum meets the crown. Gingival inflammation appears to be more common with porcelain crowns than gold crowns. All-porcelain crowns require a higher skill level from your dentist and lab.
porcelain fused-to-metal crowns
Advantage: Porcelain fused-to-metal crowns have a very natural appearance.
Disadvantage: They have a metal substructure and require an opaque below the porcelain. This can make the translucency of natural teeth difficult to replicate. Occasionally a darker line will be visible at the edge of the crown, near to your gum when it recedes with age.
Teeth whitening (sometimes called “bleaching”) is a common and popular cosmetic dentistry process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while other just want a whiter shade.
The active ingredient in most of the whitening agents is 10 percent carbamide peroxide, also known as urea peroxide; when water contacts this white crystal, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth. here are a number of different ways to whiten teeth. There are accelerated in-office approaches using a light activated technique with the peroxide gel.
There are also at-home whitening kits used with a peroxide gel. Also, porcelain veneers can have the effect of whitening teeth to the shade determined by you and your cosmetic dentist. We proudly offer you a whitening system by “Sapphire” In-Office Teeth Whitening System now known as “LumiBrite”.
The Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening
Advantages: People typically have their teeth whitened to improve their appearance. Whiter teeth are associated with beauty and a healthier lifestyle. When people have a brighter smile, they tend to smile more often and are less self-conscious. In addition, a whiter smile tends to minimize the appearance of facial wrinkles, giving way to a more youthful and energetic appearance. Finally, a whiter smile gives people to whom you are speaking a place to focus on and gives you a friendlier appearance.
Disadvantages: Although bleaching is very effective, there can be short term disadvantages, such as sore gums or teeth from the bleach. This disappears when bleach use is discontinued. Some individuals are more chemically sensitive. If you are one of them, inform your cosmetic dentist so that you can be tested for sensitivity to the solution. Research indicates that bleaching is completely effective in more than 78% of people. In cases of serious teeth discoloration, bleaching may not be the best choice. Veneers or crowns may be the superior choice. Bleaching is usually the first solution to try due to its lower cost.
Dental bridges are another cosmetic dentistry option for replacing lost teeth, and are ideal for patients for whom dental implants might not be a suitable option. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but can last as many ten years or more. Some of the disadvantages of having a bridge include that it is common for your teeth to be mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks after the treatment. The build up of bacteria formed from food acids on your teeth and gums can become infected if proper oral hygiene is not followed.
There are three types of dental bridges:
Traditional Fixed Bridge.
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. There are two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with emovable partial dentures.
Resin Bonded Bridges.
The resin bonded is primarily used for your front teeth. Less expensive, this bridge is best used when the abutment teeth are healthy and don’t have large fillings. The false tooth is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin, which is hidden from view. This type of bridge reduces the amount of preparation on the adjacent teeth.
In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. This procedure involves anchoring the false tooth to one side over one or more natural and adjacent teeth.
Advantages of dental bridges: Bridges are natural in appearance, and usually require only two visits to your dentist. If you maintain good oral hygiene, your fixed bridge should last as many as ten years or more.
Disadvantages of having a dental bridge: It is common for your teeth to be mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks after the treatment. The build up of bacteria formed from food acids on your teeth and gums can become infected if proper oral hygiene is not followed.
In cases with larger cavities or broken down areas, an inlay or onlay to cover more of the tooth’s surface may be indicated. These restorations are indirect because they require two visits and fabrication by a dental laboratory. The ceramic restorations are considerably more expensive and therefore simple, one-visit composite fillings are typically used instead for small fillings. Ceramic restorations are much more durable and will not stain. Naturally speaking, the final result with ceramics is spectacular. White inlays or onlays are actually glued into the tooth and there is now a body of research that claims that because of this the tooth ends up stronger after such a procedure, less prone to problems down the road.
A beautiful smile is like a work of art – the smile is the frame, the gums are the matting, and the teeth are the featured subject. Much like the cuticles on your fingernail, the gums can cover your tooth structure, making your teeth appear short and fat instead of the shape that “Mother Nature” intended. We routinely correct this in most of our smile designs. Gum contouring is a common cosmetic dentistry procedure performed to reduce the excess gum. The removal of this excess tissue allows for normal sized teeth and for a normal gum line appearance by using an electrosurge or laser to remove the undesirable tissue. When it’s done with laser, patients report very quick healing and minimal to no post-operative discomfort. Also, the results are highly predictable.
Advantages: Healing is usually quick and your more youthful and beautiful smile is obvious early on. It has been reported that cosmetic gum surgery additionally improves the health of your gums. The procedure to correct receding gums may even reduce your tooth sensitivity to cold or hot foods or beverages while protecting your roots from decay and lessening further gum shrinkage.
Disadvantages: Cosmetic gum surgery is of course, surgery. Surgery is often performed in segments under a local anesthetic – unless your entire mouth is undergoing this procedure at once, then a general anesthesia is typically used.
Cosmetic dentistry now offers options beyond having a partial denture or a bridge. You are a candidate for dental implants if you have healthy bone and you are missing one or more teeth. If you are missing only one or two teeth, implants can eliminate the need for grinding down adjacent teeth to support conventional bridge. And if you are missing many teeth, implants can eliminate the need for a cumbersome, unaesthetic removable denture.
An implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed in the bone (under the tissue) and functions to replace what was once the root of the tooth. After a period of 5-6 months a stress or load can be placed into this implant and then the crown is placed over the abutment. This artificial tooth is now cared for like all the other teeth in your mouth.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants Are:
Advantages: As our life span increases, a permanent dental replacement like implants is increasingly important as we get older. While dentures and removable bridges are usually loose and unstable, implants provide you with dental replacements that are both natural looking and very functional. Implants look much better, and feel better, than traditional removable bridges, and offer the same force for biting as bridges that are fixed in place. Implants will last your lifetime.
Disadvantages: Implants are a major investment and not without risk. The extensive use of implants can cost tens of thousands of dollars to achieve a great result. It is also a very time consuming procedure when having many implants placed. As this procedure is surgery, it is very important to research and find a well credited cosmetic dentist that you are comfortable with. For some people there are varying degrees discomfort or pain, which subsides in a couple of days. As with similar types of surgery, bruising and minor swelling might also develop shortly after the procedure. The crown (false tooth placed on top) will need to be replaced in ten to fifteen years.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants are a great way to improve your smile without having to resort to more drastic procedures like bridges or dentures. Implants aren’t the answer for everyone, though. The only way to find out if a permanent dental implant is the right choice for you is to consult your dentist. Contact our San Francisco office today to schedule an appointment and we’ll see if dental implants can help beautify your smile!
What is invisalign?
Invisalign is a modern approach to orthodontics that uses a series of virtually invisible plastic aligning trays to straighten your teeth. Unlike traditional orthodontic treatments, Invisalign is nearly impossible to detect. The transparent polyurethane aligning trays are customized to fit your teeth and straighten your smile in stages.
Invisalign is a great option for people with overbite, underbite, or crooked, overcrowded, or widely spaced teeth. It’s an especially nice option for adults who don’t want to have to resort to plainly visible metal braces in order to achieve a beautiful smile.
Having properly aligned teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Properly aligned teeth allow for an overall healthier mouth. With straighter teeth, your gums will fit more comfortably around your teeth and provide better defense against periodontal disease. And since Invisalign is removable, it’s much easier to brush and floss, avoiding the plaque and tartar buildup issues commonly associated with traditional metal braces.
Advantages of Invisalign
- Invisalign trays are completely transparent, so they are nearly impossible to detect. This makes Invisalign a great option for adults looking to straighten their smile or correct bite issues without having to resort to unsightly traditional metal braces.
- Invisalign trays are removable, so they can help straighten your smile without forcing you to avoid foods that might damage your braces. With Invisalign, you can simply remove the aligning tray to eat and then replace it when you’re done.
- It’s also much easier to brush and floss with Invisalign. You won’t need to use special orthodontic toothbrushes or floss threaders to work around fixed braces. Just pop out the Invisalign trays and clean away!
- Invisalign trays are less encumbering and more comfortable than standard metal braces. There are no wires or brackets bonded to your teeth, so your gums and cheeks will be less irritated while wearing your Invisalign trays.
- Invisalign treatments are also typically shorter than treatment with standard braces and don’t require regular trips to the doctor for adjustments. Simply wear your aligning tray for about two weeks and move on to the next one. In about a year, you’ll notice a dramatic difference in your smile.
Disadvantages of Invisalign
- The removable feature of the Invisalign system can also be a negative. Traditional braces are bonded to your teeth, so you can’t take them off whenever they bother you. Invisalign is designed to be more comfortable than braces, but it still requires you to make a strong commitment to wear your aligning trays at all times (except when brushing, flossing, or eating). If you don’t stick to your doctor’s treatment plan, your next aligner may not fit, in which case you’ll need to visit the doctor again and have new impressions and aligners made.
- Invisalign trays are prone to damage if you have a habit of clenching and grinding your teeth. You can always order replacements if you damage your aligners, but if grinding your teeth is a chronic problem, you may have to consider other options.
- Invisalign trays apply less force to the teeth than standard braces, so they might not be the right choice if you need to straighten especially problematic or severely misaligned teeth.
- As with standard braces, some patients may experience allergic reactions to the polyurethane material that the Invisalign trays are made from. This can range from minor irritation to a severe allergic reaction.
Is Invisalign Right for Me?
Every patient’s case is unique, so the only way to be sure if you’re a candidate for Invisalign treatment is to schedule a consultation with a certified Invisalign dentist. If it turns out that Invisalign is a good fit for you, your dentist will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth and order your custom-fit Invisalign trays. When they arrive, simply pop in your first aligner and you’re on your way to your perfect smile! Call our San Francisco office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rostker and find out if Invisalign is right for you!