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Smiling Woman

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic (Esthetic) dentistry is the area of dentistry that focuses on improving the look of a person's smile. The focus is generally on the teeth in the front of the mouth that are visible during smiling. Cosmetic dentistry is often associated with the much publicized 'Smile Makeover'.

Cosmetic Dentistry include treatment modalities such as: whitening, white fillings, bonding, veneers, crowns, bridges, cosmetic gum surgery, and orthodontic alignment of teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is not a dental specialty and therefore the term 'Cosmetic Dentist' is misleading as it implies a dentist has undergone formal training. In fact, most dentists perform cosmetic dentistry in their office.

The only dental specialty recognized by the American & Canadian Dental Associations that includes the practice of cosmetic restorative dentistry is Prosthodontics. Prosthodontists have 3 years of advanced training in perfecting the art of cosmetic dentistry while treating cases that range from restoring a single to tooth to full mouth reconstructions.

A common pitfall in Cosmetic Dentistry is focusing on restoring the anterior (front) teeth without consideration to the patient's posterior (back) teeth and the patient's functional limits. This may results in patient discomfort and early failure of the restorations. The Prosthodontist is trained to take into consideration the entire mouth when treatment planning ensuring there is harmony between esthetics and function leading to beautiful healthy long lasting smiles.

3 Keys to a Successful Smile

We believe the following 3 keys are essential to achieving a successful smile: beauty, function, and longevity.

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Key 1 - Beauty

Beauty is subjective, and it is often said that 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. For some it is a natural smile, and for others it is the so called 'Hollywood Smile'. At NDS we make great efforts at understanding what you are looking for in a beautiful smile. If you are not sure we will guide you. '6 Steps to a Beautiful Smile' starts with you and the dentist working together to create a shared vision of your future beautiful smile, and continues throughout the treatment process refining that vision at each step as necessary until achieving the desired result.

6 Steps to a Beautiful Smile - from visualization to reality!

  1. smile analysis and discussion - together we create a vision of your future smile

  2. computer imaging software - view your future smile in 2D on the computer

  3. diagnostic wax up of models of your teeth - 3-D prototype - view your future smile in 3-D

  4. mock try in your mouth (if possible) - view your future smile in your mouth before treatment begins

  5. temporary restorations - temporaries allow you to test drive what your new smile will be like both esthetically and functionally

  6. final restoration - the final restorations are tried in so you see your new smile and approve what you see

Key 2 - Function

Everyone wants a beautiful smile but without good function you may be experiencing the following: difficulty chewing, discomfort/pain, difficulty speaking, and/or breaking of the restorations. There needs to be harmony between function and beauty.The smile needs to be designed within the functional limits of the patient. Exceeding these limits will result in failure. The smile needs to be in harmony with the following: lips, cheek, tongue, occlusion (bite), chewing muscles, and the TMJ (jaw joint). At NDS we plan your smile to achieve both optimum function and esthetics. Based on a 3-D wax of your planned final restoration (see 6 Steps to a Beautiful Smile') temporary restorations are made, and you wear these temporaries until you and the dentist are pleased with both function and esthetics. The temporary restoration then becomes a template for fabricating the final restoration.

Key 3 - Longevity

In our opinion 'Longevity' is as important as 'Beauty' and 'Function'. Patients invest a significant amount of time and money in having their mouths restored, and we believe it is our obligation to create smiles that last.

At NDS we achieve long lasting results by:

  • selecting the treatment option that has the best prognosis long term

  • using durable materials for the restoration that have a good clinical track record

  • delivering a well functioning restoration

  • implementing a proper maintenance program following delivery of the restoration.

We believe our focus on creating long lasting smiles adds significant value to our services.

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