Everything beautiful and healthy in nature has its proper form, color, shape and proportion. So it is with every unique smile. By definition, aesthetic (cosmetic) dentistry addresses the appearance of your smile. It is a very important piece of the smile puzzle. As a team, we cater to our guests with an approach that combines science and artistry to ensure a smile that is healthy, functional and beautiful.
For many of our guests, the aesthetic transformation that takes place is almost overwhelming. Enhancing your smile is a powerful experience and we never grow tired of sharing the wonderful feeling. Knowing you have a beautiful smile and perfect teeth affects every aspect of your life. You see yourself differently, the world sees you differently and you see the world differently from the inside out.
We are lucky to be reminded of this every day and we invite you to share the experience with us.
Whitening Your Teeth
The simplest tooth whitening treatment is at-home whitening with either 16% or 22% carbamine peroxide. This takes several weeks to accomplish and involves wearing thin trays in your mouth for only 1 hour per day.
Perhaps the most effective method for whitening teeth is through the placement of porcelain veneers, which produces very long term, stain resistant teeth. With veneers, we can achieve the most uniform overall color and make the teeth whiter than with only whitening technology.
Both methods work well. A personal consultation with Dr. Barton can help determine which teeth whitening option is most appropriate for you.
In cosmetic dentistry, the most popular way to enhance a smile and restore proper function is with porcelain veneers or laminates. These thin but durable restorations are more conservative to the natural tooth than traditional crowns, and they never stain. Additionally, when placed by a competent neuromuscular aesthetic dentist like Dr. Barton, porcelain veneers not only look and feel natural, they possess a greater likelihood for durability and long-lasting quality.
Veneers or laminates are ideal for those who have chipped, stained, discolored, unevenly spaced or slightly crooked teeth and desire a brighter, cleaner, more attractive smile.
Fortunately, most veneers can be applied in one or two simple appointments. Dr. Barton is very careful to listen to your needs and desires, and to make appropriate recommendations based on his own knowledge and experience.
After your porcelain restoration is complete, simply continue normal cleaning and flossing and visit us regularly for professional care and maintenance.
White Tooth Colored Fillings
Composite Resins (also called white or tooth colored fillings)
Introduced in the 1960s, composite resin dental fillings were created as an alternative to traditional amalgam (silver metal & mercury) fillings. A mixture of silicon dioxide and plastic, composite resin fillings are strong, durable and cosmetically superior to silver amalgam fillings. Dr. Barton places composite fillings only, having made the switch from silver/mercury amalgam fillings in 1994.
In addition to filling decayed areas, composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth and reshaping disfigured teeth.
Following preparation, Dr. Barton places the composite in layers, using a specialized light to harden each layer. When the process is finished, he will shape the composite to fit the tooth and then polish the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
Advantages of composite resins over traditional silver fillings:
- Dr. Barton is able to blend composite shades and shapes to match the color and contour of your original tooth surface.
- The composite filling is actually bonded to your tooth, serving to support the remaining tooth structure, preventing breakage and providing insulation against temperature changes.
- Average-sized and small-sized composites have demonstrated similar duration to silver fillings–seven to ten years.
- The preparation of composite fillings requires less removal of tooth structure to achieve adequate strength. This is because composite resins bond to enamel via a micromechanical bond. As conservation of tooth structure is a key ingredient in tooth preservation, Dr. Barton prefers placing composite over amalgam fillings.
- As composite materials and placement techniques continue to improve, more dental patients are seeing the value of composite fillings. Consequently, more dentists are offering them and many dental insurance plans provide coverage for their use.
Dental Crowns and Caps
As we age, there are many factors that can lead to defects on the surface of a tooth. Cracked, broken, decayed or worn teeth can be restored to a natural-looking, healthy state with dental crowns. A dental crown is a type of restoration that covers the entire visible surface of a tooth to protect it from further damage and preserve correct jaw alignment.
A dental crown may be deemed appropriate for one or perhaps all of the following reasons:
- Restore a tooth to its original shape.
- Strengthen a tooth.
- Improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.
Designed to fit snugly and function as normal teeth, crowns may be made with precious metal, porcelain pressed to metal and all-porcelain, each very effective. For strength and aesthetic purposes, Dr. Barton often recommends all-ceramic crowns for their precise color matching systems and durability.
In most cases, we can design and fit crowns in two short appointments. Once they’re on, caring for them is no different than proper hygiene for your other teeth. Conscientious, twice-daily brushing and daily flossing will help protect the base from bacterial growth, and regular visits to our office for professional cleanings will help ensure long-term proper function and durability.