We’ve all heard it said, “You never get a second chance at a first impression.” Today, everyone from everywhere is looking to put their best foot forward and increasingly cosmetic dentistry is becoming not only a favourite amongst celebrities, but an affordable option with positive health implications. When you feel confident in your smile, you exude self-assurance. At Dentrix Dental Care, we offer a choice of treatments for Cosmetic Dentistry Calgary NW.
Bridges literally bridge gaps in your mouth left when one or more teeth go missing. The bridge is a metal unit of three crowns, fashioned from porcelain to your mouth’s specifications, with the middle crown solid to mimic a tooth; the other two are hollow in order to fit and be cemented over the teeth on either side of the gap. A colour is chosen to blend in with existing teeth and the shade of the bridge for a natural look.
Bridges can also be supported by dental implants (see below), allowing you to replace multiple teeth in a row without compromising any healthy teeth at the same time.
Crowns are used to restore or replace chipped or broken teeth. Metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramic crowns encase the tooth and restore its natural, full appearance. An easy way to think of them is as a protective “helmet” that goes around your tooth.
Crowns also serve a restorative purpose on top of a cosmetic one. By encasing your tooth in a crown, you protect it from further damage. It not only looks like new, but functions like new as well. This allows you to maintain your natural teeth for as long as possible and delay, if not entirely prevent, needing to extract an overly damaged tooth.
Inlays and onlays are similar to dental crowns, but they don’t cover the whole tooth and are generally reserved for the back teeth. Instead they only cover specific parts:
- Inlays restore the areas between the peaks (“cusps”) of your teeth. These are useful for covering up decayed areas that have formed in recesses on your teeth.
- Onlays restore the peaks and outside of the tooth. These are good for restoring chipped or cracked cusps on teeth.
Like crowns and veneers, inlays and onlays can be made out of a variety of materials and help restore both the look and function of the tooth.
Dental implants imitate your teeth’s natural shape and colouring. These artificial teeth work well for people who have lost teeth due to injury or periodontal disease.
Dental implants are actually multi-part restorations that are both functional and cosmetic. The implant itself is a metal screw which is inserted into the jaw where the root of a tooth used to be. The cosmetic part is the crown that’s attached to this screw via an “abutment”. It’s the closest thing to a natural tooth modern dentistry has yet devised.
Dental implants can also be used to support a wide range of other cosmetic and restorative treatments, such as bridges, partial dentures, and even full dentures. They offer greater support and longevity than traditional methods for patients who are suitable candidates.
More commonly known as braces, these are used to straighten crooked teeth, a misaligned jaw, or large spaces between teeth – all problems can trap food which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Dentrix Dental Care offers traditional braces and Invisalign® for our patients.
Traditional braces use the familiar wire-and-bracket system we all associate with teenagers getting orthodontic treatment. While many people dislike the idea of having a mouth full of metal when they smile, traditional braces remain the cheapest and most effective option for orthodontics. White wires and white ceramic brackets are also available to make the system much less noticeable.
Invisalign not only helps to achieve a cosmetic result by realigning your teeth, but does so in the most discrete way possible. Where traditional braces use wires and brackets to move your teeth into position. Invisalign, by contrast, uses a series of clear plastic aligners.
These aligners are custom-made for your teeth and apply gentle pressure over time. Every two weeks, you swap your aligners for a new set. The system allows people to straighten their teeth without the mouth full of metal look normally associated with orthodontics. They can also be removed to eat and clean your teeth, making them easy to maintain.
Invisalign is excellent for adults and busy professionals who can’t afford to be seen with orthodontic appliances in their mouth. However, they’re not suitable for every case, and particularly complicated orthodontic treatments will require traditional braces.
Veneers are one of the most versatile cosmetic treatments around. They can be used to
- correct crowding in the mouth
- cover badly broken teeth
- whiten badly stained teeth
- reshape teeth
- close up gaps
This is all done by placing a thin layer of material over your tooth surface. You can think of it like a fake nail going over your teeth. Once placed, the veneer bonds to the surface and subtly varies the shape, colour, and size of each tooth.
Veneers are traditionally made out of porcelain or a material known as composite resin/dental composite/simply “composite”. Both materials have their pros and cons.
Porcelain veneers are more durable and last longer. They’re stain resistant and will maintain their colour for a long time. However, they’re considerably more expensive. It also takes two sessions to have porcelain veneers placed — one to make impressions of your teeth, and another to bond the veneers once they’ve been made in a lab.
These are much cheaper than porcelain veneers can actually be built directly onto the tooth surface. This is done by applying successive, thin layers of composite resin paste and hardening them with a special light. This is repeated until the veneer has reached the appropriate size and shape. Because of this “direct bonding” method, composite veneers can be placed into the mouth in one sitting.
Unfortunately composite resin is not as durable as porcelain. It is more likely to chip or crack, and can even break off the tooth. Composite resin veneers will only last 3-5 years, while porcelain can last 10-12 depending on the care taken. Composite resin also stains much more easily than porcelain, and will discolour quickly if you don’t take good care of them.
For these reasons, composite veneers are popular as temporary restorations or for situations where a fast result is needed. Generally, if you can afford porcelain, it is always better to get porcelain.
These white coloured fillings camouflage your fillings so they blend with your tooth’s natural colour. These are actually made as the same material as the composite veneers listed above — a mixture of resin and ground glass that’s applied in layers as a paste.
Composite fillings are not quite as durable as silver amalgam fillings, but are less likely to damage your teeth over time. They’re a popular option for people who don’t want to have obvious metal in their mouth, or who are worried that their amalgam fillings will crack their teeth.
Tooth-coloured inlays are another option to cover decay instead of fillings (see above).
Teeth whitening is perhaps the single most popular, or at least well known, cosmetic dental treatment around.
It is an increasingly popular response to yellowing teeth that start to change colour in our teenage years. Losing the colour of your teeth is part of the ageing process. Whitening is for people who suffer from teeth stained by food, drink (mainly red wine, coffee and tea), and tobacco – without harming their teeth and can help build your confidence. There are three types of teeth whitening techniques to choose from including the Pure Laser Technique, Kick Start Laser, and the Home Kit.
In-chair whitening using the Pure Laser or Kick Start Laser will give you better immediate results than the at-home kit. Under supervision in the dental clinic, you can get more potent whitening that brightens your teeth by more shades, faster.
The at-home kit is a great option for those who’ve had in-office whitening and want to be able to maintain their new results. By applying the at-home whitening kit every few months, you’ll keep your teeth whiter and brighter for longer.
Sometimes there’s no one-size-fits all answer to a problem. That’s why cosmetic treatment plans that involve multiple types of treatments to create whole new smiles for patients are becoming increasingly popular.
These “smile makeovers” involve combining multiple treatments in a single plan to completely reinvigorate the look of your smile.
For example, someone with misaligned, discoloured, chipped and cracked teeth might want to overhaul their appearance. They would start with a course of orthodontics — either traditional wire and bracket braces or Invisalign — to first address their crooked teeth.
Then, in-chair teeth whitening would be used to brighten the teeth to the desired colour. This is done before placing crowns and veneers so that those restorations can be made the same colour as your whitened teeth. If you get the crowns and veneers first, they won’t be affected by the teeth whitening and look like your old tooth colour!
Finally, crowns and veneers are used to reshape the teeth, restore chips and cracks, and even everything out into a beautiful, healthy-looking smile.
There are as many ways of combining cosmetic treatments as there are people. Dentrix Dental Care’s Cosmetic Dentistry Calgary NW procedures help you achieve a natural, younger looking smile.
Consult with our friendly staff to find the option that’s best for you. Our staff in NW Calgary will be with you step-by-step throughout the process and can answer any questions you have so contact Dentrix Dental Care today at Market Mall at 403-288-5500 or North Hill at 403-289-9908 to enjoy your smile again.