|Everyone wants a beautiful smile. Today’s dentistry lets us have the smile we choose, not just the smile we were born with. Cosmetic dentistry is all about getting the smile that you want. It goes beyond the procedures that a person needs for a healthy mouth, and provides choices for all of us to improve the appearance of our smiles. Dr. Patel has been helping people in the Overland Park, Kansas area get the beautiful smile they want.|
Dental Bonding is a wonderful and safe technique for fixing cosmetic flaws in teeth and even replacing damaged tooth structure. It is a fast and affordable way to conceal stains and cracks, fill gaps, and restore chipped or broken teeth. Dr. Patel uses a moldable plastic, called resin, to cover existing teeth or replace missing part of the tooth structure. Once the resin hardens and bonds to the existing tooth, it blends in and looks very natural.
What can bonding do?
Bonding can quickly and painlessly solve a number of dental problems. It can:
Change the color of teeth
Whiten teeth that are too dark or stained
Hide cracks in teeth
Close spaces between teeth
Lengthen small teeth
Restore chipped or broken teeth
Restore decayed teeth
Restore worn teeth
Protect teeth from further damage
How does bonding work?
Basically, bonding is a composite resin that is molded to replace tooth structure or is applied in a thin layer to cover part of an existing tooth. This resin is a soft putty-like material that can be colored and shaped according to the patient’s needs. A high intensity light turns the flexible resin into a hard durable material that looks like natural tooth.
How long does bonding last?
Bonding is considered a permanent tooth restoration, but that does not mean it will always last forever. Estimates on average lifespan vary from five to twelve years. Often new bonding can be used to repair a damaged portion of the bonding restoration, and the entire restoration can always be replaced if necessary.
Sometimes the surface of a tooth becomes too badly damaged to be fixed with a filling or other dental technique, but the root structure beneath the gums is still strong. In this case, Dr. Patel can cement a crown or “cap” on the old tooth. This crown will completely cover what is left of the existing tooth, and will be sized and shaped just like the original healthy tooth. Crowns are made of different materials, and the circumstances of each patient will determine which material is best.
Why use a crown instead of pulling the tooth?
The roots of your teeth are firmly planted in your gumline, and your teeth affect the way your face looks. A crown rebuilds the tooth to its original size and shape, saving as much of the healthy tooth and root as possible, and preserving the spacing between the remaining teeth. Removed teeth leave gaps that can cause improper bite and change the appearance of your face.
What are the types of dental crowns?
Crowns are distinguished by the materials they are made from. There are typically three types available, gold crowns, all porcelain or all ceramic crowns and porcelain-over-metal crowns.
How long do crowns last?
Crowns are considered permanent dental restorations, but that does not mean they are expected to last forever. With proper hygiene a dental crown will probably last from ten to fifteen years, but could last much longer.
A bridge is a false tooth that is fused to one or two crowns. This false tooth, or pontic, is held in its position on the gum by the anchoring crowns next to it.
What kind of bridges are there?
The traditional fixed bridge is a false tooth fused to two crowns. The crowns fit permanently on the teeth on both sides of the new false tooth, and anchor it in place as a “bridge” over the gum. This dental technique is otherwise similar to regular crown procedure. The fixed bridge offers the most natural fit and appearance.
The cantilever bridge is a false tooth that is anchored to a tooth or teeth on one side, and not the other. This dental technique is otherwise similar to regular crown procedure. A cantilever bridge does not have the same strength as a traditional fixed bridge and can only be used in areas of less stress, like front teeth.
The removable bridge is not cemented permanently. It may be available at a lower cost, but will require extra hygiene attention.
A cavity is tooth structure that has been weakened by decay. When Dr. Patel removes this decay, he replaces the removed structure with a filling to protect and retain the structure of the tooth. It is called a filling because it fills the space where the decay in the tooth has been removed.
What are cosmetic or tooth-colored fillings?
Traditionally, dentists have used metal “amalgam” fillings for this purpose. Cosmetic fillings, also known as composite fillings or tooth-colored fillings, are a tooth-colored alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. They are made of a composite plastic resin, and they look just like natural teeth.
What can I expect from the cosmetic filling procedure?
Once the cavity has been treated or the old amalgam filling has been removed, the process is very similar to the dental bonding procedure. Dr. Patel will prepare the tooth so that it is ready to bond tightly with the new filling. The filling made of composite, a plastic resin that is very flexible and can be molded like putty. He will apply the resin in layers, hardening each layer as he goes with a high intensity light. This is a one-appointment procedure that gives beautiful long-lasting results.
Properly proportioned healthy-looking gums can make a big difference in your smile because the shape of your gums affects the shape of your teeth. Gums contouring evens out uneven gums and restores the proper look and proportions to your gumline. Dr. Patel can comfortably remove excess tissue to fix a “gummy” smile, and can add tissue to receded gums that make teeth look too “long”.
What will Dr. Patel do to fix my “gummy smile”?
Dr. Patel uses special instruments, most commonly a laser, to trim excess gums and maybe excess bone tissue. This “sculpting” procedure is known as a gingevectomy. It will give your smile a more youthful, natural appearance, since your newly shaped gums will properly frame and showcase your teeth. The procedure will be quick and comfortable, and the laser will actually seal the gum tissue, helping you to heal faster.
Am I a candidate for gum recontouring procedure?
If you have a "gummy" smile that makes your teeth look short and unattractive, or if you reveal too much of your gum tissue when you smile, you are a candidate for gum recontouring.
Every way you look at it, dental implants are a better solution to the problem of missing teeth. While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.
What are the benefits to replacing missing teeth?
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Dentures are removable replacement teeth. If you have no healthy teeth, a complete denture gives you a brand new replacement set, while a partial denture replaces just some missing teeth. There are different types of dentures for different situations. Dr. Patel can explain which may be the best for your circumstances.
Why might I need dentures?
If you have lost some or all of your original teeth, or if they are beyond saving, your appearance and health could be at risk. Mouths that are missing teeth can be very unhealthy, and can make a face sag or develop a sunken look. This can make a person appear older than they really are. Replacing your teeth with dentures can also help you chew the foods you love, strengthen the muscles in your face, and help you pronounce words better - all the things that your original healthy teeth were designed to do.
What can I expect from the denture procedure?
Most procedures begin with the removal of existing teeth. Oral surgery is sometimes, but not always necessary to prepare the mouth for dentures. Anesthetics will be used to make sure that you remain comfortable during any of these procedures. Dr. Patel will make a wax bite impression to serve as a model for the new denture. If an immediate denture is being placed, he will make the necessary measurements before the final teeth are removed. Once the dentures are fabricated there will often be a number appointments to fine tune things like color, fit and shape.
What can I expect after I am fitted with dentures?
Dr. Patel will advise you on how to keep your new dentures clean. Cleaning your dentures and keeping them in good working order is important to helping them last for many years.
Things will certainly feel different, especially in the beginning as you adjust to your new set of teeth. At first, the dentures may feel bulky seem awkward while chewing. At this early stage, increased saliva and some discomfort is common, but should diminish over time. Denture wearers need to get used to speaking and eating with their new teeth, and this takes some time. If discomfort or fit problems persist, adjustments or new dentures may be necessary.
Whitening is a safe and effective way to quickly deliver a dramatic change to your smile. As we age, minerals penetrate the enamel of our teeth and darken them. Certain factors also affect the whiteness of our teeth.
Dr. Patel has different options available for whitening teeth, but generally it is accomplished by applying a bleaching gel directly to the teeth. The active ingredient in this gel, usually hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, breaks down and forces oxygen into the enamel and dentin of your tooth structure. The oxygen breaks down the stains and makes teeth whiter, without hurting the structure of the teeth.
How long does it take?
The length of time the bleaching process takes depends on the method used and the type of stains being removed. With take-home whitening procedures, results can typically be seen in as little as three to four days, with the final result commonly taking about two weeks. Of course the degree of staining and the level of desired whiteness are factors in the total time.
Is whitening for me?
Different factors will affect the process, and some people are better candidates than others. In general, yellow and light brown teeth, stained over a period of years make excellent candidates, while darker brown or grayish stains require special techniques. Whitening will not lighten artificial material in your mouth like bonding, fillings and veneers. Those with sensitive teeth, damaged teeth, gum disease, and pregnant women are encouraged to discuss their conditions with Dr. Patel.
What results can I expect?
Whitening produces results in over ninety percent of patients, and it doesn’t hurt teeth. Typical results can produce a change of several shades of whiteness, lasting three to five years. Different factors affect how long the process takes, what method is used and how long the whitening lasts.
Is whitening safe?
The American Dental Association has approved whitening products, and clinical trials and studies have found them to be safe and effective. Most people suffer no side effects from whitening procedures, but some sensitivity to hot and cold foods is possible. This typically lasts for less than 48 hours.
11755 W. 112th Street, Suite 200, Overland Park, KS 66210
Phone: (913) 469-6880