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Chirstopher Basiago DDS | Cosmetic Dentistry in Long Beach

Basiago Family Dentistry

Christopher Basiago, DDS

Jonathan Basiago, DDS

Call us today to schedule your appointment!

(562) 429-5965

Cosmetic Dentistry
 

In my opinion, a modern General Dentistry practice should be practicing cosmetic dentistry as a matter of routine. Since the early 1980's, patients have demanded more cosmetic products and procedures.

 

Tooth Whitening / Teeth Bleaching

Tooth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the world. Around since 1990, it is a relatively simple, non-invasive procedure. Tooth structure does not have to be removed and patients love any procedure that can be done without the need of an injection of local anesthetic. Minor to moderate tooth and gum sensitivity subsides as soon as the procedure is completed. In light of the dramatic improvement to one’s smile, tooth whitening is the most cost effective of all the cosmetic dentistry procedures. You can read more about this procedure by going to Teeth Whitening here on our website.

 

Tooth Bonding / White Fillings

Tooth bonding is another common technique of cosmetic dentistry and refers to the use of composite resin restorative material that is bonded (glued) to the natural tooth structure with an adhesive. Front teeth with small chips can be repaired conservatively with composite bonding material.

I favor this restoration because it usually involves just replacing tooth structure that is already lost. It often does not require removing any additional healthy tooth structure. This makes it a procedure that is very kind to the tooth while greatly enhancing its appearance and integrity.

This same composite bonding material can be used to fill cavities in the back teeth. When used on a back tooth, it is usually referred to as a white filling, rather than tooth bonding. In years past, composite resins would quickly discolor and the material was not strong enough to use on back teeth. That has changed dramatically. These materials are color stable and strong enough to use anywhere in the mouth.

 

Porcelain Veneers

A porcelain veneer is a thin sheet of porcelain that is made in the lab and bonded onto the front surface of the tooth. Since porcelain has a heat glazed glass surface, it has a shinier finish than a composite resin. This is an ideal restoration when there are significant cosmetic defects on the facial surfaces of the anterior teeth. Porcelain veneers will give the smile an enhanced and uniform appearance.

The main draw back with this procedure is that it often requires removal of healthy tooth structure to make room for the new veneer surface. To address this negative issue, various companies have come out with ultra thin veneers, like Lumineers. Because of their thin dimension, it is sometimes possible to use these veneers without removing tooth structure. Some cases can still appear bulky, though, even with the ultra thin veneer. If the goal is to enlarge smaller retruded anterior teeth, these porcelain veneers can work quite nicely. Porcelain veneers are one of the most costly restorations used in cosmetic dentistry.

 

Orthodontics and Invisalign

Because orthodontics has been around for many decades, it can be forgotten that orthodontics often provides the best cosmetic dentistry benefit for straightening crowded or buck teeth and closing spaces between teeth.

In recent years, porcelain veneers have sometimes been used as "instant orthodontics." The goal is to try and accomplish instantly what would take orthodontics a number of years to achieve. But in many cases, significant tooth structure is removed when utilizing veneers to straighten teeth. I consider orthodontics a more conservative and superior solution.

Invisalign is the latest orthodontic cosmetic dentistry innovation. Rather than using traditional brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of computer designed clear plastic trays to slowly move the crooked teeth into a better position. Although not as controllable as traditional wire braces, the huge advantage is that Invisalign trays are removed to eat and brush the teeth. The trays are relatively thin and most people can speak quite well with them in the mouth. The cost of Invisalign is comparable to traditional braces.

 
 
 
Long Beach Dentist | Cosmetic Dentistry. Christopher Basiago is a Long Beach Dentist.