Have you seen people with really bad dental work? Veneers that make teeth look huge or thick crowns with dark lines at the gum line. Do you want your dental work to disappear, to be truly not perceptible to the eye? To have seamless dental restorations done, you must work with a proven, respected, and well educated dentist.
For cosmetic dentistry, choosing a dentist with experience and specific training in cosmetic treatments is imperative.
If you’re concerned that a new denture, bridge, or crown will look unnatural, check out the before and after pictures on your cosmetic dentist’s website to see what he or she has done for other patients.
Dr. James Fondriest has years of experience and a long list of training, as well as a before and after gallery that shows his patients’ amazing smile transformations. Designing and making natural-looking restorations requires multiple steps and strict attention to detail.
In this article, you will learn about what goes into measuring, planning, making, and placing attractive and seamless dental restorations. The goal is to create a smile that looks better than it did before the dental work, while supporting great oral health.
The role of artistry in making seamless dental restorations
Fun fact: The German word for dentist, “Zahnarzt,” translates to “tooth artist.”
Modern cosmetic dentistry should focus on repairing the function and form of teeth. Any great dentist approaches his or her craft with an artist’s eye.
Dr. Fondriest has created a unique approach to cosmetic dentistry: Artistic Smile Design. Here’s what you can expect with your Artistic Smile Design:
Reasons for a consultation
At your first appointment, as you explain your concerns to the dentist, he’ll listen, ask questions, and take notes.
Here are some common cosmetic dental woes:
- a crown with a dark line at the base
- sunken cheeks and/or lips
- an aged appearance from jaw bone shrinkage
- yellow, blueish, brownish, or darkened teeth
- chips, cracks, and uneven teeth
- teeth that look too small or too large
- a “gummy” smile
- dark triangles between teeth, at the gum line
- recession occurs around bulky crowns on front teeth
- metal under crowns or other dental work that shows when you smile
- one or more missing teeth
- unattractive replacement teeth
- old dental work
The next step will be taking images — photos and x-rays. Our office offers advanced tools, like a special x-ray that provides a 3-D view of the jawbone, teeth roots, and teeth crowns. We will take photos of your face and mouth, too.
Dr. Fondriest will measure some areas of your mouth, jaw, and teeth. With all of this data and notes from your chat, the dentist can develop your new smile design.
He’ll share his ideas and plan, and answer all of your questions, from the treatment timeline to cost and payments. After you and the dentist decide on next steps, we’ll schedule your visits.
How is a seamless dental restoration made?
No two patients are the same. No two restorative treatments will be the same, either.
All cosmetic restorations should look, feel, and function just like, or better than, natural teeth!
To appear truly seamless, crowns, bridges, and dentures have to look balanced with the lips, eyes, nose, and cheeks. Artistic Smile Design requires developing a plan for each tooth, whether the patient needs a single tooth or a full denture.
Besides looking great, the restoration must fit well. In the design, the dentist will factor in how upper and lower teeth fit together. We call this occlusion or bite.
Dental crowns are restorations that fit over natural teeth. They mimic the appearance of a natural, healthy tooth.
The first step is to decide which material is best for you. Porcelain is hard to beat. Porcelain, or ceramic, matches tooth enamel’s density, wear patterns, luster, strength, and color.
However, Dr. Fondriest will discuss types of crowns with you, so you can make a good decision. Cosmetic front tooth crowns are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or zirconia.
After designing your new front tooth crown based on digital scans and Dr. Fondriest’s expertise, your teeth will be prepped. You’ll wear a temporary crown until your final one arrives.
Once your permanent crown arrives, Dr. Fondriest will restore your tooth with a crown that supports perfect occlusion. We want you to love the look and feel of your crown. With your seamless dental restoration, the tooth will look and feel natural.
When it comes to seamless dental restorations to replace lost teeth, a bridge is the gold standard. A dental bridge can replace one or a few teeth. We often make bridges from porcelain fused to metal because it closely mimics the color and shine of natural teeth, while offering great durability.
Two crowns on either end of the tooth bridge will attach to natural teeth. One or two solid replacement teeth will be supported by and suspended between the crowns.
For a longer lasting option, dental implants can anchor your bridge to the jawbone.
Fixed and Removable Dentures
If you need two or more teeth replaced, a partial or full denture may be the best and most practical option. Usually, partial and full dentures are made to be removable. Natural suction and/or adhesive will hold a top denture securely.
Lower dentures rely on denture adhesive for stability. Partials attach to healthy teeth with hidden clasps.
Also explore the option of securing your partial or full denture to implants, for an excellent hold. This requires dental implant surgery, but the outpatient procedure doesn’t take long. Dr. Fondriest places implants in our office, so you may not need an oral surgeon.
We work with a lab that uses premium cosmetic materials, so the dentures we deliver look completely natural. Your new dentures will probably look healthier and more attractive than your natural teeth.
If your health qualifies you for implant retained dentures, you should seriously consider them. They can last the rest of your life and eliminate common issues like:
- speech impairment
- clicking when talking
- dental implants for a loose or wobbly fit
- jaw bone density loss
- loss of dentures (particularly good for patients with memory problems)
Schedule Your Seamless Dental Restoration Today
Looks matter, and studies show that your smile is one of the first traits people notice. To talk about smile improvement with restorations that match your natural teeth, contact our office online or call (847) 234-0517.