Q: How Can My Dentist Improve My Smile?
A: From subtle changes to major repairs, Dr. Chetty can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. We can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers and reshaping and contouring. These improvements are not always just cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as an uneven bite. Bleaching Bleaching is a common and popular process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while others just want a whiter shade. Discoloration occurs under the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea and cigarettes. Discoloration also can be hereditary or due simply to getting older. Most of our patients prefer to have their teeth whitened in the office. We use a system call Zoom!. It is the same one used by Extreme Makeover on ABC. People like this because it is fast and convenient. The typical whitening process is completed in about an hour. We also offer a custom take-home whitening system. With this, our patients can whiten their teeth at their own convenience. The process usually requires about 5-7 applications and can be finished in one week. Bonding Bonding is tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Requiring a single office visit, bonding lasts several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restorations, such as veneers. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also is used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities. The benefit of bonding is that it can be very conservative and little excess tooth structure needs to be removed. Crowns Crowns, also known as caps, cover a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and appearance. Due to their cost, they are used in cases where other procedures will not be effective. Crowns have the longest life expectancy of all cosmetic restorations, but are not for every situation. Veneers Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic placed over the front teeth to change the color or shape of your teeth. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or teeth that are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Little or no anesthesia is needed. Veneers are used to treat some of the same problems as bonding. This treatment may be an alternative to crowns. Contouring and reshaping Tooth reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth or even overlapping teeth in a single session. Tooth reshaping and contouring is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping. This procedure is ideal for candidates with normal, healthy teeth but who want subtle changes to their smile. Dr. Chetty will take X-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there's enough bone between the teeth to support them
Q: Which procedure is right for me?
A: Dr. Chetty can answer any questions you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and the desired result you want often dictates the best procedure. If you are considering a treatment, there are a few questions you can ask Dr. Chetty before deciding if a particular procedure is right for you. What will the changes look like? What should I expect through the course of treatment? What type of maintenance will be required?
Q: What Color Is Your Smile?
A: There is beauty in the magic splendor of softly falling flakes of snow against the backdrop of winter's color palate, but when it comes to teeth, most people want one shade: the whitest white that white can be. Unfortunately, teeth come in many shades and can change color from a variety of causes. As the tooth enamel develops, the color can be affected by many factors, says Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Howard S. Glazer, DDS, FAGD. "White, bright teeth certainly help maintain a youthful appearance," said Dr. Glazer. Unfortunately, stains from food and drink can darken teeth over time, usually resulting in a yellow or orange hue. Illness, heredity or environmental factors can cause discoloration. In rare cases, injury can discolor teeth. Maternal use of certain antibiotics, notably those of the tetracycline family, during pregnancy can cause brown or gray discoloration of the baby's tooth enamel. Children who take this medication during the period of permanent tooth development may have similar discoloration of the permanent teeth. But you don't have to live with a dull smile, says Dr. Glazer. "With today's techniques and materials, we can change the color of a patient's teeth to provide a more healthy, youthful appearance," he said. Professional tooth-whitening products can improve enamel color in many instances, although severe discoloration may require bonding procedures for good cosmetic results. Ask Dr. Chetty what treatment options are available for you.