Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry consists of any dental work that improves the appearance of a person’s teeth, gums, or smile. Depending on the patient’s desires, cosmetic dentistry may range from simple teeth whitening to bonding to porcelain veneers to full mouth restoration.
The American Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties. Prosthodontists are the only ADA-recognized dental specialists with formal training in creating beautiful smiles. Visit with your prosthodontist to determine the best cosmetic dentistry procedures for your smile.


Misshapen Tooth/Teeth

Genetic and environmental factors can affect the development of teeth including the size and shape.  Misshapen teeth may be isolated to one tooth or may occur as part of a widespread condition throughout the mouth.  Common misshapen teeth include wisdom teeth, second premolars, and upper lateral incisors.
Misshapen lateral incisors result from a developmental flaw that causes the tooth to be small and pointed, looking like a peg.  Because upper lateral incisors play such an important role in the appearance of your smile, this misshapen tooth receives a great deal of attention.  A prosthodontist can determine the best treatment for any misshapen teeth and is uniquely qualified to restore a misshapen tooth, such as a peg lateral, giving you an esthetically pleasing smile.
One of the most common genetic defects affecting teeth is called ectodermal dysplasia.  Individuals affected by this syndrome often have abnormally small, misshapen teeth or missing teeth.  A patient with this inherited disorder should have the dental problems evaluated early in life, and a prosthodontist’s training allows a comprehensive approach to the misshapen and missing teeth. Treatments for these misshapen teeth include restorative options such as crowns, veneers, and composite resins.

Broken/Chipped Tooth

A broken tooth may occur as a result of chewing hard foods, trauma, or by grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism.  Sometimes the broken teeth are already full strength and at risk of breaking.  This risk is higher when the tooth already has extensive restorations (largefilling or crown).  Teeth with notable cracks in them are also at a higher risk of breaking.

When the break in the tooth is minor, the treatment is as simple as a direct restoration, or filling.  This is indicated when the broken portion does not involve the cusp of the tooth.  When the cusp is broken on a tooth, the ideal solution more often involves an onlay or crown.
Sometimes the break in the tooth is so extensive, that the tooth is not able to be repaired.  In these cases, the tooth is likely extracted and efforts are focused on replacing the missing tooth.
When a tooth breaks, discuss options with your prosthodontist.  They will help assess the extent of the break and recommend the ideal treatment for your specific tooth.