Cosmetic Dentistry

Secondary_Caryn

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF SMILE DESIGN.

Porcelain Veneers

We consider porcelain veneers to be some of the ultimate tools of cosmetic dentistry. These thin, sculpted layers are applied to the front of the teeth. Porcelain veneers can dramatically improve the position, size, color and shape of your teeth while maintaining a natural sheen and translucency.

Porcelain is also harder than tooth enamel, so it resists wear and staining. In fact, veneers do not discolor with age like natural teeth. All veneers are custom-fabricated and can provide permanent aesthetic results in just two appointments. Drs. Bryant and Pavinee are experts in the placement, design and coloration of veneers, so they can create results that look just like your natural teeth, only better.

Gum Lifts

If a patient has a “gummy smile,” we can create a more beautiful gum line by removing excess tissue. This is most often done by using laser or periodontal plastic surgery; a quick and very safe procedure that can be performed across the gum line or in isolated areas. 

We also offer several other gum treatments designed to restore, regenerate or preserve healthy gum tissue.

Gum lifts can be performed on natural teeth as well as teeth covered by crowns. If the surgery affects teeth with crowns, sometimes a procedure called “crown lengthening” is required before the gum lift. The procedure is fairly quick and simple, and can usually be done under local anesthesia.

Not every patient is a good candidate for a gum lift, as it requires that they have healthy, firm gum tissue of a certain height or shape. In certain cases, other procedures may be performed to achieve the same effect.

Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are used to correct smaller cavities or replace mercury (amalgam) fillings. Old-fashioned mercury fillings cause cracking and discoloration of teeth over time. Inlays and onlays, made from tooth-colored porcelain or composite resin, are virtually undetectable in the mouth.

Inlays and onlays also conserve more of your natural tooth structure, and when bonded in place, can strengthen the teeth by up to 75 percent. Perhaps best of all, they can protect teeth from further damage and the need for more extensive restorations.

Crowns are restorations that are similar to veneers, except they cover the entire tooth. They are used to fix teeth that are badly damaged or worn, have large cavities, or have undergone root canal therapy. Crowns are also used to strengthen weakened teeth. Adjacent crowns can be connected together to stabilize loose teeth.

Crowns can be constructed from various materials. No matter the material or construction technique, crowns can help restore the look, strength and bite function of natural teeth.

Composite Bonding and Fillings

Today’s versatile high-tech composite bonding resins are very strong and natural-looking, allowing us to restore or enhance your smile in a single visit. Composite resins can be bonded directly to the tooth surface to repair chipped or worn teeth, replace mercury fillings, and fill small cavities or gaps.

Additionally, composite bonding is sometimes performed as an alternative to veneers.

The composite bonding process first involves preparing teeth for the application of bonding resin. Once the resin is applied, it is shaped and smoothed to achieve the desired look. Once the desired look is achieved, the resin is hardened by laser light. Thereafter, the composite bonding is buffed and polished.

A composite filling is done in the same manner, except the resin is applied to the cavity rather than the surface of the tooth.

Teeth Whitening

White teeth are one of the most important elements of a dazzling smile. Seattle Specialty Dentistry offers ZOOM!® Whitening and At-home night whitening. Both can eliminate the superficial stains, yellowing and darkening that come with age.

ZOOM! Whitening is popular because it can safely whiten your teeth in about an hour. The process involves three steps. First, we apply a bleaching gel to your teeth, and then activate the gel with a special chair-side lamp that accelerates the whitening. This takes about 15 minutes and is repeated during a single appointment until the desired color is achieved. We carefully monitor the bleaching process to ensure your teeth look white — but not too white. We aim for an effect that’s beautiful, yet also very natural.

If you don’t want to spend an hour in the dental chair, we offer an alternative option that’s so simple, you can literally do it in your sleep. We call it night whitening, and it’s a take-home kit with custom-fitted mouth trays, professional-strength dental bleach and easy-to-follow instructions. You apply the bleach to the mouth trays before bed, wear them while you sleep and wake up with whiter teeth.

Not only does night whitening save time, it also allows you to control and maintain the shade of white you want. If you notice the brightness starting to diminish, you can use the trays to touch up your smile so it remains bright and beautiful.

Though whitening is very effective for most patients, it won’t work on certain types of stains or discoloration. During your exam, we will be able to tell you if teeth whitening is right for you, and discuss your options for getting a dazzling smile.

FAQ

Though many dentists advertise cosmetic work, the American Dental Association does not recognize “cosmetic dentistry” as a specialty. Though many cosmetic dentists do excellent work, the lack of a recognized ADA designation means there are no set standards or educational requirements for practicing cosmetic dentistry.

Because of this, some of these dentists may not be qualified to address the complex needs of the patient seeking cosmetic dentistry. Prosthodontics is the only dental specialty that includes cosmetic restorative dentistry. Dentists earning an advanced prosthodontic degree must complete additional formal education after dental school, as well as maintain standards set by the American College of Prosthodontics. By choosing a prosthodontist, you can ensure your cosmetic procedure is performed by a dentist specially trained in all aspects of cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry.

This depends on your goals and the condition of your teeth and gums. For example, some patients with stained teeth can get the results they want from bleaching; other stains do not respond to bleach and may need veneers, crowns or other restorations. The same is true with issues such as crooked teeth, gaps or an uneven gum line. At your consultation, we can discuss your options, and we’ll work with you to achieve the results you want.

Again, it depends on the procedure and the condition of your teeth. Many procedures, including ZOOM! whitening, veneers, composite restorations, gum lifts and some crowns, can be completed in two visits or less. Other procedures, such as orthodontics, implants, bridges and dentures, can take months. We will discuss timelines with you during your consultation.

With good care and dental hygiene, the results should last decades or more, especially crowns, veneers and implants. Teeth whitening procedures and gum surgery will need maintenance or touch-ups every so often.

If the procedures (such as composite fillings or porcelain crowns) are replacing old or failing dental work, insurance may cover all or part of the cost. For procedures that are not covered, we offer convenient financing through CareCredit and ChaseHealthAdvance, and we also accept most major credit cards.