Helping You Build the Beautiful Smile of Your Dreams
A healthy, beautiful smile can open doors in life. If you’re dissatisfied with the way your smile looks, cosmetic dentistry could help!
Dr. Richard C. Brown and his team provide cosmetic dental services to brighten smile like yours across Carmichael and the surrounding Sacramento communities. Whether you need simple teeth whitening or a full smile makeover, we can help you achieve a look you’ll love.
Don’t spend another day hiding your smile. Schedule your cosmetic consultation with our office today!
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What is Considered Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is any procedure designed to improve the aesthetic of your smile. Dental cosmetics can correct a variety of issues with your dental appearance, such as removing stains and restoring chips or cracks in teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry covers a broad range of services, including:
- Teeth Whitening
- Composite Fillings
- Porcelain Crowns
- Inlays and Onlays
What are the Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry?
There are many benefits to a good-looking smile. An engaging smile is often the first thing people notice when they meet. Having confidence in your teeth allows you to smile more freely and express yourself without reservation.
While the goal is to create an attractive smile, some cosmetic dental services also have a practical function. Porcelain crowns and composite fillings protect your teeth from damage and decay, and their color-matched appearance ensures they won’t detract from your aesthetic.
Who Can Get Cosmetic Dentistry?
Most people are candidates for cosmetic dentistry if they are interested in enhancing their smile. Generally, smiles that have a good oral health foundation will have the best results.
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A Healthy Smile is a Beautiful Smile
One of the biggest determiners for a smile’s attractiveness is how healthy it appears. When treating a patient’s smile, the dentist may recommend and even insist on addressing certain health problems before dealing with aesthetic issues.
This comes down to three main reasons:
- Treating most health issues improves the appearance of certain dental issues.
- Healthy teeth and gums are more receptive to cosmetic treatment.
- If left untreated, health issues (such as cavities and gum disease) can ruin the results of cosmetic treatment.
Before you start a cosmetic treatment plan, it’s advised to schedule a dental exam and cleaning. These exams give the dentist a better understanding of your dental health and help to catch and address any health concerns.
Consider Teeth Whitening for Stubborn Stains
Even if you have a great at-home hygiene routine, it’s normal for teeth to become stained over time. Teeth whitening is easily one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. As a noninvasive and fairly quick procedure, many patients start with teeth whitening as the first step in enhancing their smile.
Visitors to our dental office can choose between in-office whitening and take-home whitening. Both options use professional-grade bleaching gel, ensuring notable results.
How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening uses a specially formulated bleaching gel, which penetrates the surface layer of the enamel to break up stubborn stains. Some types of whitening use a light-activated gel for enhanced effectiveness.
Teeth Whitening in the Dental Office
A teeth whitening session in the dental office usually takes about an hour and can whiten teeth by several shades depending on the level of staining. The dentist or hygienist prepares your mouth and ensures your gums are protected to minimize sensitivity.
The whitening gel is applied to your teeth and allowed to set for about fifteen minutes. This process is repeated two to three times per session, depending on your teeth and the level of staining.
Because your treatment is monitored by professionals, in-office whitening uses a stronger gel than the kind available in take-home kits or over-the-counter whitening. We’ll show you where your teeth are on a color chart before and after treatment so that you can see the impact of your whitening treatment.
Take-home Teeth Whitening Kits
If an in-office session is difficult with your busy schedule, take-home whitening provides a convenient alternative. Professional kits use custom trays shaped to your teeth to deliver even whitening across the tooth surface for best results.
Why Do Teeth Get Stains?
Most people assume that enamel stains come from food or from not brushing properly. While these things do contribute to stains, there could be many other reasons your teeth are yellowed. Take a closer look at these common staining factors:
- Dark foods and drinks (coffee, wine, soda, berries, tomato sauce)
- Acidic foods and drinks (such as orange juice)
- Poor hygiene habits
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Some illnesses
- Certain medications
- Acid reflux
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- The natural aging process
Some of these factors create stains that can’t be removed by teeth whitening. Talk to the dentist about what may be causing your staining to determine if whitening is the best option for you.
How Effective is Professional Whitening, and How Long Does it Last?
Professional teeth whitening is the strongest and most effective option for brightening your smile. However, it’s important to remember that whitening doesn’t actually change your enamel color – rather, it removes stains to restore your enamel to its natural color. If you want your smile to be dazzling white, you may want to consider adding on other cosmetic treatments, such as veneers, to achieve your desired results.
A professional whitening treatment can last for several years, depending on certain lifestyle factors. It’s recommended that you limit exposure to foods and substances known to stain teeth. You may also consider getting a take-home kit to touch up your enamel occasionally for long-lasting results.
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Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over-the-counter Whitening
There are thousands of retail whitening products available. Some, like certain whitening toothpaste, are fine for daily maintenance. However, most can’t lift heavy stains built up over the years, and some can actually harm teeth and gums under the wrong circumstances.
Professional whitening is stronger than over-the-counter products and includes the expertise and supervision of the dentist and skilled staff. These benefits make it a much safer and more effective solution.
Easily the most versatile cosmetic treatment, veneers are thin ceramic shells placed over the visible surface of your teeth. The semi-translucent material beautifully mimics natural teeth, creating a lifelike attractive appearance.
Veneers can be used to address a variety of cosmetic issues, including:
- Chipped teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Worn or misshapen teeth
- Teeth with deep or heavy staining
- Minor alignment issues
Are Veneers Permanent?
To place veneers, the dentist smooths out the surface of the tooth to create a good hold for the veneers. He then uses a special dental cement to fix them in place. With proper care, veneers can last an average of 10-15 years.
How Will Veneers Change My Smile?
Veneers are typically placed over the most visible teeth in the smile, such as the top four or six front teeth. They’re designed to appear as natural as possible. The shape, color, and angle are all customized to your unique smile, providing a healthy and natural aesthetic. Many of the smiles you see on celebrities and public figures are thanks to veneers.
How Do I Take Care of My Veneers?
You can mostly treat your veneers like natural teeth. Brush and floss them regularly just as you do your other teeth. When flossing, be careful not to put too much pressure on the veneers, which could weaken their hold.
Veneers can’t get tooth decay, but could become stained over time and can’t be whitened later. To help them last as long as possible, use whitening toothpaste and avoid staining substances, such as dark foods, drinks, and tobacco.
Considering Veneers? Here are 5 Questions to Ask the Dentist:
- Are my teeth healthy enough for veneers?
- Which of my teeth would benefit from veneers?
- Will my insurance cover veneers?
- Should I get teeth whitening before veneer treatment?
- How long will my veneers last?
White Composite Fillings for a Strong and Seamless Smile
If you’ve ever put off getting a cavity filled for fear of having a noticeable filling in your mouth, you aren’t the only one. Many people feel unhappy with the appearance of silver or gold fillings in their teeth.
Fortunately, you can have a healthy smile without obvious fillings thanks to composite fillings. These white fillings are shaped and shaded to your tooth and blend in almost perfectly with the rest of the tooth.
What is a Composite Filling?
Composite fillings consist of a special resin material placed into the open space where decayed enamel has been removed. The material is carefully packed into the space, hardened with a special light, then shaped and polished to mimic the tooth’s natural surface. The color of a composite filling can be matched to the rest of the enamel, creating an almost invisible restoration.
White Fillings or Metal Fillings: Which is Better?
Both white and metal fillings have their advantages, and which one is best for you will depend on the unique situation. White fillings are designed to match the rest of the tooth enamel, making them unnoticeable and preserving your smile aesthetic.
Another benefit is that the composite resin bonds to the tooth enamel, filling smaller spaces and creating a tighter seal, which means the dentist can save more of your natural tooth.
Metal fillings are generally considered more durable and are often recommended for back molars where chewing force is strongest. However, white fillings continue to improve each year and are quickly catching up to metal fillings in effectiveness and durability.
If you’re unsure which type of filling to get, ask the dentist what they recommend for your situation.
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Porcelain Crowns: Strength and Beauty in One
Dental crowns serve a vital function in helping to protect and preserve your natural tooth. While past crowns were always metallic and obvious, today you can choose a porcelain crown for discreet protection.
When Do I Need a Crown?
Dental crowns are used for a variety of treatments depending on your needs. Some of the most common uses include:
- Capping a tooth after root canal therapy
- Anchoring a dental bridge
- Restoring a worn or misshapen tooth
- Protecting a cracked or fractured tooth
- Protecting a tooth with a large filling
- Finalizing a dental implant
Is a Porcelain Crown the Best Choice?
There are three options when it comes to crowns: metal, porcelain, and porcelain-fused-to-metal. Choosing the best one will depend on various factors, such as which tooth needs a crown, what the crown is for, and your personal preference. Dr. Brown takes the time to talk to each patient about their needs and works with them to choose the best crown for their situation.
Got a Chipped Tooth? Consider Dental Bonding!
Dental accidents can happen when you least expect them, leaving your tooth with a noticeable chip that not only affects your smile, but could impact your speech, eating, and have other consequences. Dr. Brown can help you correct minor tooth damage discreetly with dental bonding.
The special tooth-colored material is bonded to the damaged tooth, replacing any chips or cracks and completing the tooth.
What is Bonding Used For?
Bonding is a versatile treatment and a good choice for many minor dental issues. Consider bonding if you have:
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- A gap between teeth
- A worn tooth
While effective, bonding is not as sturdy as some other cosmetic or restorative options, and may not be the ideal choice for more advanced dental issues. Talk with the dentist about which options are best for your teeth.
What is a Smile Makeover
When a single cosmetic procedure isn’t enough to help you meet your smile goals, it might be time for a smile makeover. This is a custom treatment plan of two or more cosmetic procedures designed to help you achieve your desired smile.
Common cosmetic treatment plans include pairing services like teeth whitening and veneers, or veneers and porcelain crowns. Dr. Brown takes the time to understand his patients and their goals, then builds a comprehensive plan around those goals.
Enjoy Your Smile at Its Best
Dr. Brown and his dedicated team love helping patients achieve the smiles of their dreams. He applies his experience and skill with an artistic flair to help create a smile that reflects your personality and is flattering to you.
Make an Appointment with Dr. Brown!
Find out how cosmetic dentistry can transform your smile. Contact our office and make an appointment today!