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Cosmetic dentististry, veneers, Lumineers, bonding article

Posted Aug 24 2008 6:38pm 1 Comment

A patient from Wheaton asked me today about an article he saw on MSN (content by Parade) concerning cosmetic dentistry. The article gave a quick overview on what a cosmetic dentist can do for a dull smile.

Cosmetic tooth recontouring was discussed first. Here the cosmetic dentist reshapes misaligned edges along the teeth to make them look more even or more in alignment. This works great for minor problems. We just had a lady from Lisle in who had one front tooth slightly shorter than the other. In a few minutes they matched again.

The next option listed was porcelain veneers. We have people drive long distances to get a great set of veneers. These are like putting a new “front on a house.” There are different types from no prep Lumineers , to more translucent Empress porcelain veneers . A young lady from Lisle just had 12 veneers placed for graduation—she wanted something that would change her smile and “last for a lifetime!”

Bonding is an old standard. For cosmetic cases it is generally limited to smaller cosmetic alterations and is not as strong as porcelain veneers. We had a lady in from Wheaton today who complained of a chipped tooth—with a tooth colored bonding it looked like new!

Composites are replacing the older amalgam fillings rapidly. Silver amalgam fillings are still being used by the majority of dentists. We had a patient from Naperville recently who wanted all her old amalgam fillings out for “health” reasons. I personally have not placed amalgams for over 20 years, as the tooth color fillings have improved so dramatically over the years.

Not listed in the article was Invisalign and conventional orthodontics for straightening. Also changes in cosmetic dentures, gum lifts for gummy smiles , smile design, smile styles, power bleaching, Zoom bleaching, and advances in dental implants . Cosmetic crown advances were not listed either.

For more information please check other blog articles or the website at

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Bonding involves applying tooth-colored plastic putty, called composite resin, to the surface of chipped or broken teeth. This resin is also used to fill cavities in front teeth (giving a more natural-looking result) and to fill gaps between teeth. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that cover the front of the teeth. They can improve the appearance of damaged, discolored, misshapen, or misaligned teeth. Reshaping involves the removal of enamel from a misshapen tooth so that it matches other teeth. Orthodontics uses braces to correct the position of crowded or misaligned teeth. Implants are artificial teeth which are attached directly to the jaw to replace missing teeth.


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