Cosmetic Dentistry Las Vegas refers to any dental work that improves the appearance of teeth and smiles. It focuses on the aesthetics of your smile in terms of color, shape, size, position, and alignment.
A cosmetic dentist has extensive training in these procedures, real-world experience with them, and a refined artistic eye. Some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
Many people cite the desire for whiter teeth when asked what they’d like to improve about their smile. The cosmetic dentistry treatment that can deliver on this wish is teeth whitening, also known as bleaching. This simple procedure can be performed in the dental office, often in just one visit. The dentist first cleans the tooth to remove any plaque or tartar, then applies a whitening solution to the tooth’s surface, bleaching it a shade lighter than its original color.
The whitening process takes between 30 and 60 minutes, after which the dentist will rinse it off and apply fluoride to prevent sensitivity in the gums. The whitening product must be reapplied regularly (typically every two to three weeks) until the desired tooth color is achieved. Some people may experience sensitivity during or after the whitening treatment, but this should disappear shortly after.
Teeth whitening isn’t a permanent treatment, and the effect will fade over time due to staining from foods and drinks such as red wine, tea, coffee, tobacco use, or other factors. Regular brushing and flossing will help maintain the appearance of the teeth, but for the best results, it’s important to see your cosmetic dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
A general dentist is qualified to perform most cosmetic procedures, but some are more specialized. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, founded in 1984, is the world’s largest international organization dedicated to advancing cosmetic dental treatments. Its members are general dentists, specialists, laboratories, educators, students, hygienists, and other oral health care professionals.
When choosing a cosmetic dentist, it’s best to discuss your goals and ensure they have the skills and expertise necessary to achieve them. The team has extensive training and experience in the full range of cosmetic dental procedures, including veneers, whitening, Invisalign clear aligners, crowns and bridges, dental implants, and more. They can give you a beautiful smile that will last for years.
Composite fillings are tooth-colored resin fillers that can be used to repair small to medium areas of decay or cosmetically to improve the appearance of teeth. They are a highly effective and long-lasting treatment and can be placed easily in one appointment. Composite fillings can last ten years or more when correctly cared for. They are ideal for repairing front teeth and do not require the removal of a more natural tooth structure as amalgam fillings do.
Dental composite is usually available in a wide range of shades, so it can match the color of existing teeth or create an entirely new smile. This cosmetic treatment can be done with other procedures, such as tooth whitening, or on its own as a quick fix to a chipped or stained tooth.
Unlike traditional metal amalgam fillings, these tooth-colored composite fillings do not contain mercury. Instead, they are bonded to the tooth using a special light that hardens the material and seals it into place.
The dentist prepares the tooth by removing any decay and, if necessary, old fillings. Then, a bonding agent is applied to the tooth’s surface, which helps increase the strength of the composite’s bond with the tooth. Once this is done, a composite layer is applied in thin layers to build up the shape of the tooth filling slowly. Each layer is carefully shaped and polished to blend with the existing tooth structure.
Once the composite has been sculpted to fit the tooth, it’s set with a curing light and finally polished to feel comfortable and natural in your mouth. The procedure is virtually painless, though after the anesthetic wears off, it’s normal for the tooth to feel sensitive. However, this can be eased with sensitive toothpaste.
The composite will eventually wear away and must be replaced, but this is much less likely to happen if you practice good oral hygiene habits. Regular brushing and flossing, along with routine visits to the dentist, will help maintain the integrity of the filling for as long as possible.
Porcelain veneers are thin shells that your dentist can place on the tops of your teeth. They are used to change your teeth’ shape, color, or length for a more aesthetic smile. They can also fix issues like crooked or chipped teeth. A quality cosmetic dentist can match your new veneers to your existing teeth and make them appear natural.
Porcelain dental veneers last ten years or more and are resistant to staining. They are a great option for those who don’t want to undergo a lengthy dental procedure or who cannot tolerate the discomfort of a more invasive treatment.
Because veneers are made of porcelain, they look more natural than other tooth restoration options. Unlike composite resin veneers, which are usually made of a plastic material, porcelain veneers have a natural color and light-reflecting shine that mimics the look of your natural teeth.
However, not everyone can get porcelain veneers. There are a few instances where veneers won’t work, such as if your teeth are severely worn down or have an extremely irregular shape. Before suggesting this treatment, your dentist will likely suggest other procedures that suit you better.
Getting porcelain dental veneers requires more commitment than other cosmetic dentistry treatments. The dentist will have to remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of each tooth, which can lead to some discomfort for the patient. In addition, once the veneers are bonded to the teeth, they cannot be removed or replaced if you don’t like them. It is important to pick a qualified cosmetic dentist and follow their instructions to ensure you get the desired results.
Your dentist typically places temporary veneers on your teeth for a couple of weeks before permanently cementing them to your teeth at the third appointment. You can “test drive” your veneers and give feedback before committing to them during this time. If you don’t like how they look, let your dentist know as soon as possible so that changes can be made before they are bonded permanently to your teeth.
Dental implants are metal fixtures that act as tooth root replacements, anchoring artificial teeth like crowns or bridges. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. A cosmetic dentist can use them to replace a missing tooth or support a denture for multiple missing teeth. Dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth.
Cosmetic dentists can perform other procedures, including dental bonding, porcelain veneers (laminates), and crowns (caps). These are procedures that add dental materials to the teeth or gums. Cosmetic dentists can also remove materials from the teeth or gums to change their shape — enamel shaping or gingivectomy.
The cosmetic procedures performed by a cosmetic dentist may improve the health of your teeth and your smile, but they are not necessary for everyone. If you are considering cosmetic dentistry, a general dentist can discuss your options and help you find the right solution.
Cosmetic dental procedures can be very affordable compared to other elective surgery forms. Many patients report increased self-esteem and more confidence after getting cosmetic dental treatment. Some common procedures include teeth whitening, composite fillings, and porcelain veneers.
Almost any dentist can perform cosmetic procedures, although some have specific training in particular areas, such as veneers and dental implants. There is no such thing as a specialist cosmetic dentist, but many general dentists are interested in this area and will perform some form of cosmetic dentistry.