Spring Hill, FL
Having a smile you are confident to show off to the world does wonders for your mental health and social wellbeing. From job interviews to your personal self-esteem when you look at yourself in the mirror, there are so many instances where loving your teeth is important. Further, it is clear those interested in taking care of their teeth for cosmetic reasons will be more likely to have better oral health overall. If you are self-conscious about your teeth, at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care we have many solutions to offer. Consider what options might work best for your teeth.
You have probably seen advertisements or heard of someone using a teeth whitening product at home. There is indeed quite a variety of teeth whitening solutions. While there are plenty of helpful solutions you can pick up at a drugstore and use in your home, we offer some in-office solutions, as well.
Teeth-whitening toothpastes, especially those with American Dental Association (ADA) approval, as well as whitening strips and trays, act as a gentle polish on your teeth. Over time, they reduce stains. They use a very low concentration of peroxide and are very safe with no side effects. Feel free to ask us for recommendations about at-home whitening options.
However, it may be recommended you receive an in-office treatment, depending on your goals and the condition of your teeth. The primary difference between a whitening treatment our dentist uses, and home treatment is the in-office whitening will have a much higher concentration of chemicals, meaning the treatment will be stronger and you will see results much faster.
Overall, in-office whitening is a simple hour-long procedure. First, rubber or gel is applied to protect your gums from heavy peroxide. After applying the whitening peroxide, an LED light is applied to speed the chemical reaction. There is no anesthesia or pain involved, and you will see your teeth become at least five shades lighter within the hour.
Please discuss your oral health history to decide whether an in-office or at-home teeth whitening solution is right for you. Although in-office solutions have better, faster results, those with sensitive teeth or gums may not be right for this treatment.
One of our favorite cosmetic treatments offered in our office is Invisalign. Invisalign does not respond to many of the aforementioned issues. Rather it is a good replacement for braces in most situations. Those with crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite and other alignment issues can benefit from Invisalign.
Invisalign uses transparent trays that are invisible on the teeth, unlike braces. We will take a mold of your teeth and then have a set of trays designed to step-by-step push the teeth into alignment. Every two weeks, the tray gets updated moving your teeth slightly and after several months, depending on the treatment, your smile will be flawless! These trays are easily removed while eating and brushing teeth but otherwise sit on the teeth all day.
Invisalign is a much more comfortable and cosmetically appealing, and cost-effective alternative to braces.
A dental crown is another cover for your teeth. Perhaps a more accurate image than a crown is a cap, as a dental crown sits on top of the tooth and completely covers it. Dental crowns are used when the tooth is severely damaged and needs an outer layer for both cosmetic appearance and possible protection. Teeth that have decayed, weathered, broken down, or some other misshape, are all candidates for a crown.
Crowns can be made from metal, resin, ceramic, or porcelain. Porcelain crowns or ceramic crowns with a porcelain cap tend to be of the highest quality while maintaining a natural appearance.
Getting a crown is typically a multi-visit process. We will need to first take an x-Ray and prep the tooth for receiving the crown. This prep will usually entail some reshaping or filing down the tooth to help the crown fit properly and cover up the damage well. A mold will be made to ensure the crown fits well, which is then sent to the laboratory. After the lab finishes creating your crown, you will be called back into the office to have the crown applied. The procedure to cement the crown does require anesthesia.
With good care and maintenance, crowns can last over a decade. However, if you struggle with grinding teeth or biting nails, please ask about steps to changing these habits. Similarly, be careful to avoid biting into chewy or hard things with your crowned teeth to help preserve the crown.
If you are someone who is not a good candidate for a teeth-whitening treatment, veneers are a possible solution. Veneers are thin, custom-fit, coverings that stick onto your teeth, like a mask or shell to cover imperfections. Veneers can be used to help with teeth whitening and any other cosmetic issues such as crooked, chipped, or awkwardly spaced teeth. Your veneers will either be porcelain or composite resin.
Depending on the cosmetic needs and condition of your teeth, we will recommend which type of veneers are best for you. To apply veneers, your teeth will be first cleaned and prepped. If you are getting a porcelain veneer, this prep will include removing some of the tooth enamel, or outer layer of the tooth. Then a mold will be taken to get the shape and impression of your teeth.
For composite resin veneers, the mold will be the veneer itself, and a special light will bond the composite resin to the tooth. The procedure is finished by polishing off the teeth so they feel smooth and look natural. For porcelain veneers, the mold gets sent to the laboratory to create the veneers. These are applied permanently in a follow-up visit.
A similar solution to veneers is dental bonding. Dental bonding responds to the same issues as veneers - chipped or crooked teeth, stained, or widely spaced teeth. The process of dental bonding is also similar. We paint on the composite resin material after prepping the tooth and use a light to harden the material onto the tooth.
Bonding is less expensive and less invasive than veneers. It requires no customization, and the process typically happens in about thirty minutes. However, bonding is not as durable as veneers and is less resistant to staining. Bonding is typically only recommended for a temporary solution or a very minor cosmetic issue.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you would like to talk to someone about whether you would be a good fit for any of the cosmetic dentistry options we provide, please contact us here at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care at (352) 666-9898 today!