Dana Point dental treatments enhance your smile with more than cosmetics
Posted By Dr. Mark Cruz
In this country, a woman between the ages of 17 and 78 spends more than $300 per month on appearance improvement. Though the figure is less for men, it is still over $200 monthly. Clearly, most of us want to look our best, and a good first impression starts with the smile. If you are in the Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, or South Orange County area, Dana Point dentist, Dr. Mark Cruz, urges you to look beyond cosmetics and consider how to enhance your smile for the long term with dental treatments.
Q: What is cosmetic dentistry?
A:Cosmetic dentistry is any treatment intended to improve the appearance of your teeth or smile. In reality, there is a great deal of crossover between restorative and cosmetic dentistry. In the care of an experienced dentist, aesthetics is a consideration with virtually any restorative procedure, from fillings or crowns to tooth replacement and even gum disease treatment. Alternatively, some cosmetic services have a beneficial impact on oral health (keep reading for more information on this subject).
Q: Does cosmetic dentistry contribute to oral health?
A: It certainly can, in several ways. First, an ethical dentist will not recommend or perform a cosmetic treatment that is detrimental to oral function. Dr. Cruz performs a comprehensive examination prior to suggesting cosmetic options. If gum disease, tooth decay, or other issues are present, they are addressed before proceeding with enhancements. That level of prioritization helps patients keep their own teeth, ideally for a lifetime.
Next, some cosmetic treatments, such as dental veneers and crowns, strengthen natural tooth structure, reducing risk of chips, fractures, or breakage in the future. Gaps detract from an attractive smile. So, tooth replacement with a bridge, dental implant, or denture improves appearance. It also keeps other teeth from shifting out of position. Crooked teeth may lead to unusual wear and TMJ problems. They also have crevices that trap food debris and allow dangerous bacteria to flourish, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease.
Finally, most patients are extremely satisfied with the results of cosmetic dentistry. They may feel compelled to improve daily oral hygiene and stop harmful habits that could compromise the smile. Some people are inspired by cosmetic dentistry to make further lifestyle changes such as fitness, a new hairstyle, or wearing more flattering clothes.
Q: What smile-enhancing treatments are available in Dana Point?
Whitening – Professional teeth whitening removes stains embedded in enamel and brightens the underlying (yellowish) dentin layer of tooth structure. Dr. Cruz uses carefully-chosen products and techniques to whiten teeth safely, with minimal risk of sensitivity or injury to soft tissues. Stunning results can be achieved with gradual whitening using an at-home kit, or in the office in about two hours, with a light-activated system.
Bonding/tooth-colored fillings – Bonding is a composite of non-toxic plastic and finely-powdered glass. The hardened material is color-matched to your own dentition and reflects light similar to the way tooth enamel does. Bonding can be used to close spaces and hide chips, cracks, or other minor flaws. As an alternative to silver-colored amalgam, composite fillings cannot be detected in the smile.
Porcelain veneers – These thin layers of lustrous ceramic material are meticulously designed, one by one, to mask imperfections. A single tooth may be veneered, or with this technique, symmetry and balance can be restored to the entire smile – without losing its unique character.
Crowns, inlays, and onlays – While these porcelain restorations are often used to repair the damage, they are extremely aesthetic. A full porcelain crown may also be used to improve the shape, size, or proportions of a tooth.
Tooth replacement – A missing tooth may be replaced with a partial denture, ceramic bridge, or a dental implant. Only an implant, however, helps to preserve facial bone. The implant resides in the jawbone, replicating the tooth root. It stimulates bone maintenance, helping to avoid a sunken, aged appearance.
Q: How long does cosmetic dentistry last?
A: Dr. Cruz uses high-quality materials and partners with reputable dental laboratories. His expertise and experience are instrumental in delivering cosmetic dentistry with lasting benefits. Yet your own oral hygiene and lifestyle have a tremendous impact on the longevity of any dental treatment. Dr. Cruz will talk with you about how to care for your mouth to get years of enjoyment from your enhanced smile.
In Dana Point, enhance your smile with dental treatments. Cosmetics need to be re-applied daily and trends change frequently. A healthy, radiant smile, however, stands on its own 24/7/365. Call (949) 661-1006 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cruz.