Aesthetic Dental Treatment
We are dedicated to making our patients’ teeth look their very best, but we will not risk damaging them in the process. Our aesthetic (or cosmetic) dental treatment is accurately described as minimal intervention aesthetic dentistry.
We do not carry out any procedures which would involve the otherwise unnecessary preparation of our patients’ teeth, and the use of modern adhesive restorative materials means that teeth can be restored with much less use of the ‘drill’ than in the past.
Very careful planning and discussion of the alternatives is an integral part of any treatment plan. Treatment plans often include a combination of crowns, veneers and general shade lightening.
When several teeth are involved we usually have a preliminary diagnostic planning stage – it is vital for us to know what result you want. Our dental technician first makes a ‘wax-up’ which shows the result on models of your teeth. He also makes a plastic overlay to show you what it will look like on your own teeth. We then have a discussion and make any modifications. In this way, we can be sure of the results before your teeth are touched.
Veneers can be used to make dramatic improvements to the shade, shape, size and contour of front teeth. They can be made in composite material or porcelain, and involve very little re-shaping of the underlying teeth.
Composite veneers give an excellent natural-looking result and have the advantage of being completely reversible as there is no reduction of the underlying teeth. For this reason, particularly for young people, we often recommend composite veneers rather than porcelain ones. Layers of carefully matched composite material are built up by hand on the teeth until the desired aesthetic result is achieved. They are then highly polished to give a very natural appearance.
For porcelain veneers some reduction of the outer enamel is necessary, but a minimal preparation technique is always used to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. After the preparation, impressions are taken and the precise shade is agreed. The veneers are then made by our dental technician and once we are sure that they are just as you want them they are bonded into place.
General teeth whitening is often carried as an integral part of plans which are designed to improve the appearance. For example, if some restorative treatment is planned for the upper teeth (such as new crowns or veneers) we often lighten the shade of the lower teeth first so that the crowns can be matched to the new lighter shade. This gives a harmonious, natural appearance. The lightening process is usually carried out at home over a period of one to two weeks.
Crowns are advised when it is necessary to protect and restore teeth as well as improving their appearance. They are made with the same attention to detail as veneers. ‘All ceramic’ crowns give a particularly natural appearance as there is no metal.
Many of our patients also see one of our orthodontists for advice as to whether re-aligning their teeth would give the necessary improvements. Orthodontics for adults is very much part of our practice and can be carried out at any age.
More information is given on the orthodontics page.