Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Get a Smile Makeover!
You no longer need to hide your smile because of gaps, chips, stains, or misshapen teeth. With dental veneers, you can easily correct your teeth’s imperfections to help you have a more confident, beautiful smile. Veneers are natural in appearance and are a perfect option for patients wanting to make minor adjustments to the look and feel of their smiles.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain) designed to cover the front side of your teeth. To prepare for veneers, Dr. Barba will take a highly accurate digital impression of your teeth using an iTero™ scanner. Through the use of CAD/CAM technology, the veneer is created in the office. Before placing your new veneer, Dr. Barba may need to conservatively prepare your tooth to achieve the desired aesthetic result. When your veneers are placed, you’ll be pleased to see that they look like your natural teeth, making them one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures available. While veneers are stain-resistant, Dr. Barba may recommend that you avoid coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to maintain the beauty of your new smile.
The Difference Between Porcelain and Composite Veneers
There are two main types of dental veneers – porcelain and composite resin. While these two types are similar in appearance, they differ in characteristics and material. Porcelain veneers have a translucent quality, making them look more natural compared to composite resin. The surface of a porcelain veneer reflects light the same way a natural tooth does. Composite veneers, on the other hand, are somewhat opaque and do not catch light as brilliantly. With proper care, porcelain veneers should last for about 10 to 15 years, and composite veneers typically last around 4 to 8 years.
Once bonded to a healthy tooth, porcelain becomes extremely durable. While composite may be durable, it is not as strong as bonded porcelain. Porcelain veneers are permanent. The application process requires removing some of the surface of the tooth. Though a minimally invasive preparation may be done, once your tooth has been altered, it cannot be reversed. Composite veneers are bonded directly to the tooth, making them reversible in many cases. Composite veneers are initially more affordable than porcelain veneers but do not last as long. When determining which type of veneer is right for you, it is important to discuss your personal and aesthetic goals with Dr. Barba before beginning treatment.
Functional & Cosmetic Dental Crowns
Crowns are a cosmetic and functional restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. In our dental spa, crowns are a last-resort treatment when teeth are very weak, damaged, or decayed beyond the scope of more conservative treatment, like a filling or onlay. They may also be necessary when teeth are so damaged that the bite has collapsed and the jaw is in dysfunction. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
The process of getting a crown usually requires two visits to a dental office, but with the use of an iTero scanner and CAD/CAM technology, our Manasquan dental spa offers same-day dentistry. During your appointment, Dr. Barba will take a highly accurate digital impression of your teeth. All aspects of your bite and jaw movements will be examined, and your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed. Your crown will be “cemented” onto the existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface.
Dental Implant Restoration
People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, it is crucial to replace them. Without all of your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth, and if properly maintained, can last a lifetime!
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Advantages Over Dentures or Bridges
Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.
Teeth Whitening for a Dazzling Smile
There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for you. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Barba to discuss the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening. Professional-strength whitening is a safer and controlled process and often more comfortable if you require teeth whitening for sensitive teeth.
- In-Office Teeth Whitening is recommended for patients who have already achieved a healthy smile and also for those who are interested in teeth whitening after Invisalign treatment. During an appointment, your teeth whitening technician will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes, and you will see results immediately.
- At-Home Teeth Whitening can take many forms. Tray bleaching uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. This process whitens all your natural teeth and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes 10 to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.
Digital Impressions for Accuracy and Comfort
When you decide on cosmetic treatment such as porcelain veneers, crowns, or custom tray whitening, you can say goodbye to uncomfortable, goopy impressions thanks to the iTero intraoral scanner. Dr. Barba can now take a highly accurate digital impression, completely eliminating the tray and putty impressions where the experience is comparable to putting a large piece of gum in your mouth. The iTero scanner ensures a more accurate impression from the start, resulting in improved treatment and a more comfortable patient experience.