|Cosmetic Dentistry Services: What You Can Expect
Posted on 4/6/2022 by Neil Starr DDS PC
|Through our cosmetic dentistry services, I strive to give patients a smile they can be proud of. Whether that’s a simple teeth whitening or something more complex like dental veneer application, the impact that these procedures can have on someone is what makes me proud to be DC’s leading prosthodontist.
The word “procedure” can make these things sound more intimidating than they are, but if patients are informed on what each service looks like and what they can expect, the nerves seem to subdue. Here is everything you should know about our cosmetic procedures.
This is one of the more routine procedures I perform for our patients. You’ll notice that teeth may start to stain or lose color after some time, especially from drinks like coffee and tea, smoking, and taking certain medications. Teeth whitening involves bleaching the teeth using in-office products, which work better and show results more quickly than store-bought whiteners.
A teeth whitening appointment is perhaps the most cost-efficient and straightforward way to improve your smile, but I still like to treat these procedures with the same care that I would, for example, for a filling.
For slight imperfections, I like to recommend a dental bonding procedure. By using composite filling material, we can treat imperfections such as the following:
- Disproportionate teeth
- Stained teeth
We will pick out a composite that closely resembles a patient’s natural teeth color so that the bonding doesn’t look out of place. I start with a cleaning to have a nice surface to work on. After that, I have to roughen the enamel so that the bonding sticks to it as best as possible. The bonding itself doesn’t require much preparation, so it’s a procedure that we can finish in one visit.
Once the area is prepped, it’s time to apply, sculpt, and shape the composite material to the teeth. I always make sure that it looks as close to the natural teeth as possible. We cure the material using blue light, then polish it to give it a natural shine. Dental bonding can last upwards of 10 years if cared for properly. Establishing a good oral hygiene routine is best to keep your teeth looking as white as possible.
Dental veneers are another cosmetic dentistry procedure that helps conceal imperfections in teeth, but it’s a more complicated one than bonding. That said, it’s something I still take great pride in doing for my patients and something I can proudly say I’m well-versed in.
Our porcelain veneers are created right here in our on-site laboratory, and they’re great for patients who want to deal with dental issues such as these:
- Worn-down teeth
- Dental misalignment
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Asymmetrical teeth
- Stained teeth, more specifically on the tooth’s inner structure
Before placing veneers, I’ll make sure that patients are comfortable with them by making modifications that meet their standards. Our unique veneers are made in partnership with a talented ceramicist who has access to state-of-the-art technology that helps us create quality veneers for our patients.
When it comes time to place the veneers, we’ll schedule two appointments with you. The first appointment involves the removal of a small portion of the natural tooth structure to allow space for the veneer. Then, we etch the tooth to create ample surface area for a better bond. Once the tooth is ready, I’ll take impressions which we will use as a reference to create a wax pattern for the final veneer.
We will create the veneer in our on-site lab with the finalized dimensions. Once they’re ready, we’ll set them during the second and final appointment using a strong dental adhesive. As you can see, this is a lengthy procedure, but it also brings more permanent results.
Gums play a massive role in dental appearance, making teeth seem either too big or too small for one’s liking. A more surgical cosmetic dentistry procedure, gum reshaping helps bring out the best in a smile. When it comes to reshaping gums, I come across various reasons people wish to do so.
The best way to tell if you could benefit from gum reshaping is by looking at your gumline. If we see that it’s covering too much of your teeth or that it’s receding, I may suggest a reshaping. Severe cases of receding gums can lead to tooth decay and loss, so while this is a cosmetic dentistry procedure, it can also prevent serious dental issues.
We use a laser to trim and shape uneven gum tissue during the process, making them more proportional to your teeth. The procedure is pretty straightforward and doesn’t take as much time as one would think.
Something unique we offer is a smile makeover. This is a custom plan that combines two or more of the cosmetic procedures we’ve covered plus others such as these:
- Cleft lip and palate treatment
- Crown lengthening
- Gum lifts
I speak with patients interested in a smile makeover to develop a plan and outline goals they want to accomplish regarding their smile when it comes to these procedures. During this time, we review medical records to see if specific treatments are safe. We also work with patients to tailor a plan that considers their physical, financial, and aesthetic needs.
One of the things that makes me proud of our staff is how committed they are to continuing their education and experience in cosmetic dentistry to provide patients with the safest and most reliable services in the industry. This helps us change lives through smiles.
Schedule Your Cosmetic Dentistry Appointment Today
Schedule a consultation with us today if you’re thinking about getting a cosmetic dentistry procedure done. We know how to create a personalized plan for residents to help you feel comfortable with your smile again! We service the DC region, from Washington to Potomac, and everywhere in between.