At Hearon Family & Cosmetic Dentistry we see brighter, whiter, and more confident smiles every day through the use of state of the art materials and trusted cosmetic dental techniques. Composite fillings have replaced traditional silver colored amalgams, while gold has given way to porcelain in the creation of bridges. Other methods like teeth whitening or porcelain veneers can improve the color and shape of your natural smile.
Learn more about some common cosmetic dental procedures that we offer at our Tacoma, WA dental office
Paths To A Whiter Smile
Teeth whitening, as the name implies, is a process for making your smile brighter and more attractive. The many methods of teeth whitening vary widely in application time, effectiveness, cost, and probability of tooth sensitivity.
Cosmetic bonding rebuilds chips and fills in gaps with a resin that can be colored to blend with the surrounding teeth. The bonding adheres directly to the surface of the tooth and is hardened in place with bright ultraviolet light.
Cosmetic dental bonding may require replacement due to wear and gradual discoloration over time. For this reason, some patients prefer more permanent solutions such as dental crowns, bridges, and porcelain veneers. All these options should be discussed with Dr. Hearon at your dental visit.
Porcelain Dental Crowns
While dentists will often use dental crowns for restorative purposes, a porcelain dental crown can also function as a cosmetic tooth enhancment. By restoring the tooth's original shape and size, they can be matched to the enhanced shade of your newly whitened teeth.
Dental veneers are custom crafted porcelain laminates fitted by a dentist over the front of an existing tooth. They bond directly to the front of the tooth, dramatically enhancing its shape, color, and appearance.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Dental bridges serve to replace one or more missing teeth. First, the dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to receive crowns. Then, a false tooth is attached between the two crowns. Once the crown-false tooth-crown combination is cemented into place, it 'bridges' the gap left by the missing tooth.
For these reasons, dental bridges are a good investment compared to dentures. If a bridge is not possible, or the adjacent teeth don't need crowns, dental implants may be the best alternative.
Implants may be the best option for replacing a single or multiple missing teeth. An implant is a metal post that is attached directly to the jawbone. After the bone and surrounding tissue has healed an artificial tooth is attached to the implant. Implants provide superior benefits compared to bridge work as they do not depend on neighboring teeth for structural support, although they are more expensive. Implants are the closest dental structure in durability to natural teeth and have greater cosmetic appeal. Implants are used to:
• Replace missing teeth
• Prevent teeth from shifting
• Correct bite issues due to missing teeth
• Help prevent jaw joint problems from altered bite
• Improve appearance (cosmetic reasons)