The big day has arrived! You have completed your “smile interview”, communicated well with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara about your smile goals, and approved the mockup. It’s time to get your new smile.
What Type of Dental Work Goes into a Custom Smile?
Because we create a smile customized for every patient’s specific needs and desires, the answer to this question may be different for every person. We can slightly oversimplify and explain three different dental procedures we use to create beautiful smiles. Please keep in mind that these are generalizations. If you have specific questions, call us today to schedule a consultation visit with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara. They can be more specific with you.
Let’s talk about veneers first. If you have looked into cosmetic dentistry, you are probably familiar with veneers. What you may not know is that there are a few different kinds of veneers. They each have pros and cons.
If you are not familiar with veneers, you should know that they are simply a covering of the visible surfaces of the teeth to produce a better esthetic appearance. A veneer differs from a crown in that it only covers the visible portion of a tooth, and a crown covers the entire exposed body of a tooth.
Composite is the name of the tooth-colored filling material dentists use for “invisible” dental restorations. It comes in countless different colors so that we can perfectly match your natural tooth color. Composite bonds (attaches) to enamel very strongly and can function well under normal chewing forces.
Composite veneers use composite material to cover and change the appearance of a tooth. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers take one dental visit only. Also different from porcelain, composite veneers are repairable! If a small piece chips or breaks off, we can repair it quickly and painlessly without needing to remove the entire veneer.
Porcelain veneers also cover the visible surface of a tooth and change the appearance. Some porcelain veneers are as thin as a contact lens, and others require a thickness of several millimeters. Typically, your dentist will determine which thickness of porcelain will best meet your goals based on the color of the tooth and the amount of change desired.
A dental lab technician creates the porcelain veneers on a replica (model) of your teeth, so there is a short period of time during which you wear “temporary” veneers. Porcelain veneers require a minimum of two dental visits to achieve your new smile. Porcelain veneers have the advantage of being glazed glass, so their shine is unmatched.
Porcelain crowns are very similar to porcelain veneers. They also require two dental visits and a period of wearing “temporary” crowns. They also provide a beautiful, shiny glazed surface. The major difference between porcelain veneers and crowns is that crowns cover the entire exposed surface of a tooth.
Crowns are typically the best option when the desired cosmetic changes need to take place on teeth with existing dental work, like large fillings or crowns.
You might be thinking, “I’ve seen porcelain crowns, and I do NOT want that ugly grey line at my gums!” What you are envisioning are traditional (and by tradition, we mean old) porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. This older type of crown has a core of dark silver metal, with porcelain overlying it. This is not what we are talking about. The type of porcelain crown we are referring to is one you have never seen because when it is done correctly, you cannot tell that it is a crown.
If you have existing crowns on your front teeth that you do not like, this is the option for you!
Which One is Right for Me?
Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara will help you answer that question after they perform the mockup step. Because they perform a rough draft of the dental work during the process of the mockup, they know where they might face limitations with certain procedures. For instance, one tooth might appear way too bulky if a contact-lens-thin veneer were selected. This tells them that they need to remove tooth structure (“prepare” the tooth) and use a different type of material to achieve the desired goal.
This is why we believe the mockup is of such great value! It helps us select that best treatment option for your specific teeth to meet your specific smile goals.
And that’s why we call them “custom smiles”!
Would You Like More Information about Custom Smiles at Prosper Family Dentistry?
Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara. You can get started on the road to your smile goals as soon as your next dental appointment.