Cosmetic Dentistry in St. Albert
These days it can be easy to catch ourselves comparing our teeth to the ones we see on the big screen and in the magazines. Beautiful, straight and bright smiles are all the rage – and there’s good news: you may obtain the smile of your dreams with cosmetic dentistry! Many of the procedures that are used on the stars are now commonly available through your local dentist. Not sure what you need? Our dentists are happy to consult with you about the possibilities!
Root Canals and Crowns
Have you had a root canal performed? While some root canals can be sealed with filling material, often the opening into the tooth is too large to support it. Without the majority of the tooth’s structure in place, teeth can be weak and prone to cracking. In order to provide the strength and aesthetic you desire, your dentist may recommend a crown.
Crowns are placed over the prepared natural tooth once the inner pulp of the infected or diseased tooth is removed. Without the inner pulp, your tooth will not access blood supply and the risk of infection is alleviated. Your dentist will prepare the natural tooth by shaping and etching it to increase the strength of the bond between the tooth and the crown. The crown will be made in the shade of your natural teeth and will cover the entire tooth – making it virtually indistinguishable from neighbouring natural teeth. With a crown, your tooth’s strength will withstand bite forces and eliminates the need to extract the tooth.
If you’ve previously had root canal therapy performed on one of your teeth and you find that the tooth is greying, you will likely find your efforts at surface bleaching wasted. Since, in these cases, the tooth is discolouring from the inside out, it is necessary to gain access to the core of the tooth in order for bleaching efforts to work. This is done by making a small hole in the tooth and injecting a concentrated bleaching solution into the tooth. The solution is left to bleach the inside of the tooth for several days before the tooth is cleaned and closed with filling material.
If you have lost a tooth and currently have a gap along your dental arch, a dental bridge may be placed. Dental bridges use a false tooth, called a pontic, to replace the tooth that has been lost and will hold the position to decrease the likelihood of any neighbouring teeth drifting into the unoccupied space. The bridge is held in place by anchoring it to the adjacent teeth on either side. Like a crown, a pontic is made in the shape and likeness of your natural tooth and will look as natural as its neighbours. Crowns and bridges are not made of natural materials and as such they are resistant to the effects of decay. It is important to note, however, that in order to maintain the health of the soft tissues that surround them, the area must be brushed and flossed to limit the exposure to acidity and food debris.
If your teeth are otherwise healthy, dental veneers can be applied to the visible side of the teeth to improve the shade and shape of the teeth and bring symmetry to the smile. Veneers are thin, one-sided overlays which can be bonded to the teeth after etching. Etching involves removing a small amount of the tooth’s surface, typically about the depth of an egg shell. Veneers can be applied to one or many teeth and offer a less invasive alternative to caps or crowns when the structure of the natural tooth is sound.
Cracks or gaps between teeth can be treated using dental bonding agents. Your dentist uses a dental resin in the colour of your natural teeth to fill areas and promote the improvement of your smile’s esthetic. The resin is cured using a blue light which hardens the resin into a durable cover over the natural tooth. Bonding helps to build and shape the look of the teeth and can be applied with versatility – over dentin, enamel, metal or ceramic.
Taking care of Your Cosmetic Dentistry
It is important to note that while your bridges, crowns and veneers are resistant decay and staining – your natural teeth are not. Consuming stainers like coffee, tea and red wine can discolour the natural teeth and lead to a difference in the appearance of the colour of the natural teeth as compared to teeth that have benefitted from restorations or artificial substitutes.
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