Veneers and Smile Designing

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A smile makeover is the process of improving the appearance of the smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, composite bonding, tooth implants and teeth whitening.
A smile makeover takes into consideration your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, teeth (color, width, length, shape and tooth display), gum tissue and lips to develop your ideal smile. Smile makeovers are performed for many reasons and customized according to your unique considerations.
What is it that you like or dislike about your smile or your teeth? Some aspects of your smile that we are going to review with you and that could be improved with a smile makeover include the following:
Tooth Color: 

When considering the color of your teeth, keep in mind that dark or discolored teeth may suggest an aged mouth.

A well-shaped smile comprised of bright, white teeth lends to a youthful appearance.

The shade we select for teeth whitening and veneers is carefully evaluated with special consideration given to the tone and color of your face and hair

Alignment and Spacing:

Teeth that are crooked, overlapping or have gaps between them can be straightened and aligned when necessary through orthodontics or clear aligner and improved with veneers.

Missing Teeth:

One or more missing teeth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile – as well as affect your bite and increase your risk for tooth decay – making replacement an integral part of oral health and facial esthetics. Missing teeth can be replaced by dental implants, bridges or partial dentures.

Harmony and Balance: Uneven, chipped and cracked teeth can be cosmetically bonded for an improved appearance, and a gummy smile can be re-contoured to help improve the overall look of the smile.

Fuller Lips, Smile and Cheeks: An unshapely or aging face can be improved or rejuvenated with certain procedures in the smile makeover category, including orthodontics and/or oral maxillofacial surgery.

Esthetic Components of a Smile Makeover

In addition to the color, alignment and balance of your teeth in the esthetic zone of your smile (the section of upper and lower teeth that show when you smile), there are several attributes of your teeth and smile that we will evaluate with you when planning your smile makeover. These include:

Tooth Length:

Long teeth lend a youthful appearance. Aging produces wear and tear that often results in shorter teeth, and a gummy smile also can make teeth appear shorter. A smile makeover treatment for shorter teeth may include reshaping and lengthening the two front central teeth with composite bonding or porcelain veneers. But if you have a gummy smile, we provide treatment to modify the gum line and lengthen the appearance of your teeth using laser dentistry procedures.

Smile Line:

The smile line is an imaginary line that follows the edges of your upper teeth from side to side, which ideally should be the same as the curve of your lower lip when you smile. This standard point of reference for smile makeovers may be used to help determine how long your new teeth should be.

Tooth Proportions:

We are going to examine your teeth to determine if they are in correct proportion with each other. Most people recognize a pleasing smile as one in which the two central front teeth are dominant and have a width-to-length ratio of 4-to-5. This proportion guides the length and width of other teeth in the esthetic zone so that the smile line appears balanced.

Tooth Texture and Characterization:

An artistic dentist can characterize your crowns or veneers to create a more feminine or a more masculine appearance, in addition to matching the look and feel of natural teeth or those you’ve seen in photographs.

The Life of Your Smile Makeover

Cosmetic dentistry procedures require regular oral hygiene care and may require maintenance over time. For example, teeth whitening must be repeated on occasion in order to maintain brightness. Porcelain veneers may chip or break off and need replacement. Permanent composite bonding may stain and require enhancement or replacement. Dental crowns typically require replacement after 10 to 15 years. Gummy smile improvements may also require enhancement over time.

Veneers

Dental veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry in which a shell or layer of tooth-colored porcelain or composite is placed over the facial surfaces of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing, discoloration and chips or cracks.

Cases need cosmetic veneers

Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:

  • Worn enamel: Over time, the thin, hard translucent substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled and discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or result from a genetic predisposition. However, it often results from consuming soft drinks, tea or coffee; smoking; using certain medications, etc.
  • Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.
  • Genetics: Certain people are born with abnormal spacing between their teeth that widens with age.
    Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.

Porcelain Veneers and Composite Resin Veneers

The two most common materials used to fabricate or create dental veneers are composite resin and porcelain. Indirect (created outside of your mouth) porcelain veneers and composite veneers are made by a dental technician in a dental laboratory; direct (created directly on your teeth) composite veneers are made by us during your appointment in our dental office.

Porcelain dental veneers are more appropriate solutions for severe cases involving dullness, wear, discoloration, extensive chipping, cracking, spacing or uneven teeth.

Direct composite veneer is an inexpensive, effective and minimally invasive way to restore and correct small chips, cracks and discoloration in the teeth.

In fact, veneers do have the added benefits of longevity and a proven ability to enhance the appearance of the mouth, smile and other facial features that are better supported by properly shaped teeth.

Minimal / “No-Prep” Veneers

The removal of any natural tooth structure is permanent, so our clinic today prefers to offer patients the most minimally invasive options first.

Like traditional veneers, the minimal preparation and “no-prep” alternatives ( Lumineeres) are adhesively bonded to the facial (front) surface of the teeth. However, these minimal preparation and “no-prep” options typically do not require us to grind, cut or file down any (or as much) tooth structure for proper placement. Certain cases may require minimal reduction of the tooth surface. If your natural teeth are functionally and esthetically adequate, dental Lumineers will be an appropriate treatment for you.

Cosmetic Dental Concerns Suitable for Minimal and “No-Prep” Veneers

Minimal preparation and “no-prep” veneers may be suitable for adults and adolescents seeking to effectively address several cosmetic dental conditions, including:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Very slightly discolored or stained teeth
  • Gaps or spaces (diastemas) between teeth
  • Misshapen, fanged or pointy and slightly misaligned teeth
  • Slightly crowded teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Small teeth
  • Enhancing an already attractive smile into a “Hollywood” smile with a smile makeover

Veneers Cost Factors

The cost of dental veneers depends on many factors, including:

  • The fees of the cosmetic dentist performing the procedure.
  • The artistic and technical skill of the ceramist making the veneers and the cosmetic dentist who places the veneers.
  • The type of dental insurance you have. Dental insurance typically does not cover cosmetic procedures.
  • The material used. Porcelain veneers are more expensive than indirect or direct composite resin veneers.
  • The number of teeth requiring veneers.

Care of Dental Veneers

  • Care must be taken not to abuse veneers because the thin porcelain shells or composite layers can be damaged or break.
  • We will advise you against certain uses or dietary tendencies (such as eating carrots) and may recommend you wear a protective appliance while sleeping, especially if you are a bruxer.

Gingival sculpting

Gingival sculpting, also known as gingival contouring, is the process of reshaping the gum (gingival) tissue around your teeth. A cosmetic dental treatment that can help reinvent your smile and improve your oral health, gingival sculpting involves a minimally invasive laser procedure to remove and re-sculpt uneven or excessive gingival tissue. Typically, however, soft tissue sculpting also requires bone recontouring that cannot be accomplished with a laser alone. The result is healthy and natural-looking gums for a vital, young-looking and attractive smile that adds to your confidence and appeal.

Gingival sculpting procedures can be performed for cosmetic reasons, as well as for oral health reasons such as poor dental hygiene. The latter can result in the formation of deep gum pockets due to improper tooth brushing and the accumulation of calculus and plaque.

Common gingival esthetic problems that can be corrected with gingival sculpting include gummy smile (excessive gingival display), uneven (asymmetrical) gingival contours, the loss of papillae (small amounts of gum tissue between your teeth) and exposed root surfaces.

Gingival sculpting also can help address esthetic concerns of teeth that appear “too small” or are unusually shaped. This may result when the surrounding gum tissue has grown down and over a large portion of the teeth, creating the illusion of small or crooked/oddly angled teeth. The gum contouring process removes and re-shapes the extra gum tissue to lift the gum line and reveal more teeth and/or even out the gum line for enhanced symmetry. This procedure removes extra gum tissue without leaving a deficit and only exposes the part of the tooth that is normally visible.

What Gingival Sculpting Involves

Gingival sculpting is most commonly performed by periodontists and cosmetic dentists.

At our clinic the minor gum contouring procedure typically requires only one visit of about an hour. After a local anesthetic is applied to the gums, a soft tissue laser is used to trim away, re-contour and seal the excess gum tissue. There is only minor discomfort and no bleeding or stitches are involved.

But, the procedure to reduce tissue and bone requires more time and stitches, yet it creates no pain.

Gingival Sculpting Consultation and Treatment Planning

The fine points of your gingival sculpting consultation and subsequent treatment planning depends on the condition of your gums and your sculpting objectives.

For example, during a regular checkup, we may notice that the gingival tissues surrounding your teeth are receding or excessive. If this is the case, your gingival sculpting consultation may include a discussion of gingival tissue regeneration in order to prevent, correct or stop periodontal disease. So we may suggest multiple treatment options, such as flap surgery, bone grafts, tissue grafts, gingival colored composite build-up or tissue stimulation.

If you are planning a cosmetic dental procedure such as veneers or a smile makeover, we may advise you that the appearance of your gum line is uneven, or that you have too much gum tissue (gummy smile). If gum tissue reduction is necessary, will discuss laser treatments to remove the excess gum tissue — which require little-to-no healing time — or more invasive surgical options.

Keep in mind, however, that some gingival sculpting procedures — such as those involved with correcting minor unevenness of your gum line — may be completed without a formal consultation or treatment plan. Today’s dental laser technology makes it possible for us to discuss and treat such conditions as gingival asymmetry and gummy smiles during regular visits and/or cleaning appointments. Because every case is different, other situations may require more detailed discussion, planning and consultation.

Gingival Sculpting Recovery and Post-Procedure Care

In general, it is not uncommon to experience minor swelling and discomfort after the gingival sculpting procedure. The type of gingival sculpting procedure you undergo will affect your healing time, as well as the level of discomfort you experience during your recovery.

Typically, gingival sculpting procedures require no more than one day for healing; however, you will be advised to follow a strict diet of soft foods or liquids for a few days. If your procedure involves grafts or bone contouring, it will likely involve stitches and also may limit physical activity to prevent reopening of the surgical site.

Benefits of Gingival Sculpting

Gingival sculpting or crown lengthening is safe, fast and virtually painless. You can continue your normal activities right after treatment, and the results are permanent.

The laser gingival sculpting procedure — which seals and sterilizes the treatment area — significantly reduces your chance of infection, minimizes inflammation and promotes fast healing. Lasers also provide greater precision, protecting the surrounding tissue from damage during the procedure.
Gingival sculpting can have psychological and social benefits, improving your looks and self-confidence, encouraging you to be more socially active and making you more willing to smile. You feel happier and seem friendlier and more approachable.