A Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry

At Sunnyside Dentistry, both Clackamas dentists Drs. Hikade want to provide their patients with the smile they’ve always wanted. That’s why they offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services that can help improve your smile.

Even though improving your smile might seem like a luxury, you shouldn’t underestimate the benefits having your smiled repaired can offer. A great looking smile not only makes you feel better about your appearance, it can also give you the confidence needed to excel in your personal and professional life.

Despite the benefits, cosmetic dentistry can seem intimidating to some patients because they don’t fully understand what the different procedures entail. To help easy any uncertainty, here’s a brief explanation of some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Dental Bonding

Bonding is a procedure that uses a tooth-colored resin to improve a patient’s smile. The resin gets applied to the patient’s tooth, and a special light is then used to harden the material into place, thereby “bonding” it to the tooth. Dental bonding generally ranks among the easiest cosmetic dental procedures for Dr. Hikade to perform, and is generally used to fix chipped or cracked teeth, eliminate gaps, or to change the shape of a patient’s teeth.

Veneers

Dental veneers are incredibly thin, custom created shells that fit over the front surface of a patient’s teeth. Veneers are bonded to the front of the teeth to alter the color, shape, length, or size of a patient’s teeth, and they are often made from either porcelain or a resin composite. Veneers offer patients a more conservative approach to alternating their color or shape of their teeth when compared to dental crowns. However, the dental veneer process is generally not reversible.

Crowns

A tooth-shaped cap that’s fitted over a weak or damaged tooth, crowns help to improve the shape, size, strength and structure of a patient’s teeth. The majority of crowns will last anywhere from five to 15 years, and are often made from such materials as metal, porcelain, ceramic, or resin. Before a crown can be placed, the existing tooth must be filed down; the crown is then cemented over, which allows the crown to fully encase the tooth. Teeth can be covered to a lesser extent through the use of onlays or three-quarter crown, which don’t fully cap the tooth.

Orthodontics

A term that usually refers to the application of braces, orthodontics can help to correct a patient’s crooked or misaligned teeth. Braces correct a patient’s smile through the application of steady pressure, which slowly moves the teeth back into position over time. As a patient’s teeth shift, the bony tooth sockets that hold teeth into position also begin to change shape due to the pressure applied. Orthodontic technology has come a long way in recent years, and braces should no longer be thought of as only for children. New techniques now even exist that don’t require metal brackets to be placed on a patient’s teeth. This allows for nearly invisible realignment.

Teeth Whitening

A popular cosmetic procedure, teeth whitening can help to correct a lifetime of consuming enamel staining foods and drinks. At Sunnyside Dentistry, we provide you with a special bleaching agent to place into the clear trays that we custom fit for your teeth. This whitening agent helps to remove stains from your teeth’s enamel. Once your teeth reach your preferred brightness, only occasional treatments are needed to maintain your new, brilliantly white smile.

Composite Fillings

Existing fillings, especially those made from amalgam, occasionally need replacing due to excessive wear, chipping, or cracking. A lot of our patients use the opportunity to replace their old fillings with natural looking, tooth-colored composites, which offer a seamless smile without the problems mercury fillings can occasionally present.

Implants

Millions of Americans deal with tooth loss, with approximately 25 percent of all seniors over the age of 65 having lost all of their teeth, according to the American Dental Assocation. Dental implants acts as a replacement for tooth roots that have been damaged by gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Often made from titanium, implants offer a strong foundation for permanent or removable artificial teeth to replace those that have been removed.

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