Cosmetic Dentistry: Creating Beautiful Smiles
Do you wish you had a better looking smile?
Dr. Bec, one of the Best Cosmetic Dentists in San Antonio, Texas, employs the art and science dentistry to brighten, whiten, renew and re-make smiles of all ages. He has been recognized by many of his professional colleagues, such as Dr. Amy Jackson at South Texas Orthodontics, as the Cosmetic Dentist who consistently produces excellent cosmetic results for his patients.
In a nutshell, the field of cosmetic dentistry transforms the big picture appearance of the smile through changes of tooth color, location, size, contour, and shapes, closing gaps, and restoring surface imperfections. Using his Cosmetic Dentistry skills, Dr. Bec transforms smiles from “Bleh” to “OH WOW!?”
When is “Cosmetic” More Than Just Beauty?
A new smile means more than just “looking better.” Teeth are a central part of our appearance! Unfortunately, some people can’t or won’t look past your mouth and see the person inside. When that happens, dental problems create life problems. We’ve met people whose ugly teeth made it impossible to get a decent job. Other patients complain that their broken down teeth are messing with their dating life.
Sadly, we meet people every day who struggle with depression and lack of confidence because of their teeth.
Cosmetic Dentistry is one of the most meaningful types of dental work we do at Alamo Dental Health! Imagine helping a new college graduate get their dream job or a freshly divorced patient gain the confidence they need to move on. If your smile is stopping your success, there are lots of ways Cosmetic Dentistry can help you, too!
Cosmetic Dentistry and Whitening: Taking Smiles from Blah to Brilliant!
Sometimes all a smile needs is Teeth Whitening in order to look brand new again.
We use the advanced KOR Whitening system to whiten and brighten stained teeth. KOR is considered the most effective whitening system because it can treat both regular staining as well as brown tetracycline stains that doctors used to think were untreatable.
KOR is also the only whitening system that includes a sensitivity reducing step in the daily whitening process. Whitening with KOR is fast and long lasting thanks to the combination of at-home and in-office whitening treatments. Read more about the Science of Whitening and Sensitivity induced by Whitening Gels.
More Info on Teeth Whitening Services.
Cosmetic Dentistry and Smile Design: Because the Dazzle's in the Details
Creating a gorgeous smile takes teamwork. Dr. Bec has to carefully study your teeth and face proportions, and we need to hear from you what your ideal smile looks like. We need to understand your jaw and bite and choose restoration options that match and maintain balance. It’s also equally important to fit things in a budget. There are many ways to create a new smile and we want to pick the method that matches your timeline and your budget.
The 4-Step Process every Cosmetic Dentist must follow
Designing your smile is not much different than designing your house. Creating a beautiful smile is usually completed in 4 steps:
- 2-Dimensional Planning Phase. We take photos of your current smile from different angles and distances. We analyze the teeth color, shape and sizes, current wear patterns, chips, etc and complete a facial analysis, including facial proportions and lip thickness positions. Then, we create drawings or diagrams of the expected end result.
- 3-Dimensional Planning Phase. We make stone models fabricated from preliminary teeth impressions taken during your initial visit. Digitally or by hand, we will then create a wax model of the desired teeth. We call this a wax-up model, as the teeth are usually built out of wax.
- Trial Phase. Using the mockup wax models, we create Prototype Teeth Restorations. Teeth are prepared accordingly and these prototype restorations are cemented or bonded. During the next several days, weeks or even months, we will evaluate the success of our planning: specifically the form (dental esthetics) and function (chewing and speech) of the new teeth.
- Final Restorations Phase. Once you and our Cosmetic Dentist team are both satisfied with the Trial Results, Porcelain Teeth Restorations are fabricated according to the specific shapes and sizes of the Trial Teeth. These restorations then can be bonded or cemented with a very high degree of confidence they will meet the patient’s expected outcomes.
Each step in this process is critical to producing the results patients are expecting. Skipping any will lead to compromised outcomes and patient dissatisfaction. The multitude of patients with less than ideal dentistry completed by their “1-step dentists” are a testimony to the importance of Planning and Executing a Careful and Methodical Cosmetic Dentistry Approach.
Cosmetic Dentistry and Fillings: A Minimal Cost with Great Results Combination
Tooth-Colored fillings do so much more than just fix cavities! They create a whole new smile when teeth are severely discolored, misshapen, or broken. In a process called bonding, tooth-colored composite is “bonded” to the fronts of teeth to make beautiful new teeth.
Tooth-colored composite bonding does absorb stain over several years and needs to be re-polished or replaced more frequently than porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. Despite the required maintenance, bonding is the fastest and least expensive way to get a new smile!
Cosmetic Dentistry and Veneers: Minimally Invasive, Maximally Esthetic
What do you do if your teeth are healthy but don’t look good? Porcelain veneers give you a new smile with sacrificing the least amount of healthy tooth structure. Getting veneers only requires shaving off a tiny amount (on average 0.5 mm) from the front of each tooth. Veneers are like a face lift for your teeth.
Buyer Beware: If veneers are not made to fit properly, they can crack, break or fall off. When they do properly fit your teeth, they provide a gorgeous smile that can last for years. The key? Be sure your dentist includes a thorough bite analysis in the treatment planning phase!
Cosmetic Dentistry Warning: Always Fix Orthodontic Problems with Orthodontic Solutions
Have you ever seen anyone whose front teeth look like chicklets or horse teeth? It’s possible that they were born that way, but it’s more likely that their dentist was trying to “do them a favor” and fix large gaps with extra large crowns or veneers instead of orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic problems always need to be corrected with orthodontic solutions. Teeth to Face Proportions must be kept appropriate if Cosmetic Dentistry is ever going to be successful. Paying no attention to these proportions invites unaesthetic results and certainly unsatisfied patients!
Cosmetic Dentistry and Crowns: Restorative, Protective and Beautifully Natural
When teeth are severely broken, decayed or defective, fillings and veneers don’t work. The only restoration that looks natural, protects the tooth and can replace a large amount of tooth structure is a full tooth crown.
Creating beautiful, natural looking crowns is a team sport. The dentist has to design your new tooth and pick the material that will best match your other teeth, while a dental lab follows the dentist’s design.
Crown materials have advanced amazingly in recent years. Ugly metal margins are never an issue these days because crowns are made from new materials that are 100% tooth colored, stronger and more life-like than ever. We choose the crown material based on the condition and color of the teeth being repaired, bite relationship, and the type of smile that each patient has in mind.
The lab that makes the crown is super important, too. Getting a beautiful strong new crown depends on choosing a lab that has the skill and equipment to create the dentist’s design. Here at Alamo Dental Health, we only use dental labs located in the USA with certified technicians, verified materials and long-term success record. A good crown design is meaningless with a bad lab, and poor lab work is one of the major reasons crowns fail.
A Word to the Wise about Dental Labs: Why They Matter…
When you get a new crown or veneer, who actually makes the new tooth? The dentist designs it, but he doesn’t actually make it. So who does? The lab does. Your dentist sends the tooth “prescription” with all the planning details and models to a dental lab where a lab technician crafts your new tooth.
Choosing a good lab is one of the most important decisions your dentist makes. The best dentist’s work is worthless if his lab isn’t paying attention or is using cheap materials. But that seems obvious so why mention it??
Here’s the key. Labs vary widely in quality AND in price. Their prices depend on their materials, equipment and training. Excellent labs charge dentists hundreds of dollars per crown and it can be tempting to use a cheaper lab. Some dentists even send their designs to China to be created there in labs at the lowest prices with unknown materials.
Your health and satisfaction are our highest priority
We want our patients to have peace of mind. Your health and satisfaction are our highest priority. We only use labs in the USA. Our labs have proven track records of the highest quality dental lab work. We know our labs’ technicians personally and work with them constantly to guarantee our patients get the best results possible. We also refuse to use any crowns or lab-created restorations that don’t match our original designs and will have them re-made even if it means our office pays for them twice.
Sometimes lab mistakes mean that a patient has to wait another week or two to get the final tooth. We understand that it’s frustrating to make multiple trips to the dentist, but refusing to use a defective crown is one way we can protect our patients from dental emergencies down the road.
Protect your mouth and your investment by always asking your dentist where their labs are located and how they choose their labs.