Las Vegas Teeth Whitening, Dental Implants, Veneers
From routine check-ups to specialty dentures, Island Smiles is equipped to
handle all your dental needs. To help you understand your options, we've
included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.
- Cosmetic Contouring
- Cosmetic Fillings
- Root Canal Therapy
- Scaling and Root Planing
- Specialty dentures
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Invisalign braces
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
People choose cosmetic dental procedures for various reasons -- to repair a
defect such as a malformed bite or crooked teeth, treat an injury, or just
improve their overall appearance. For these and many other reasons, cosmetic
dentistry has become a vital and important part of the dental profession and
one of the fastest growing areas of dentistry. For example, tooth-whitening
procedures have tripled over the past five years.
Common cosmetic dental procedures can be performed to correct misshaped, discolored, chipped or missing teeth. It also can be used to change the overall shape of teeth -- from teeth that are too long or short, have gaps, or simply need to be reshaped.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
- Cosmetic fillings -- Alternative, natural-looking materials to conventional silver-colored fillings made from porcelain and composite resins, which are colored to match natural tooth enamel
- Whitening/Bleaching -- Procedures that reverse the effects of such things as aging, food and tobacco stains, and medication use.
- Veneers -- Special thin laminates, called veneers, used to cover stains, correct discolored, worn down, cracked and chipped teeth, and close unsightly gaps between teeth.
- Bonding -- A tooth-colored material that looks like the enamel of your teeth and used to improve the color of a tooth, or close unsightly gaps.
- Cosmetic contouring and reshaping -- A relatively simple procedure that can correct crooked, chipped, cracked, and even overlapping teeth.
- Crowns -- Synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, that can be placed on the top of a tooth to restore its function and appearance, attach bridges, cover implants, or prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse.
- Crown lengthening -- Performed to reshape gums and bone tissue, and often used to correct a "gummy" smile.
- Bridges -- Natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth and restore the natural contour of your teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth. Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants.
- Specialty dentures -- Lightweight dentures that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Most dentures are made from a combination of metals and synthetic material such as acrylic resin, and can be either partial or complete sets.
- Excessive or uneven gums -- Gum lifts or soft tissue grafts can be used to even gum lines, or cover an exposed root.
- Ridge augmentation -- A procedure that can shore up dents and other abnormalities in your gum line.
- Grafts -- Small pieces of tissue taken from other areas such as the palate and surgically implanted to correct severe gum disease, cover exposed roots, stop bone loss and gum recession, and even reduce pain-causing root sensitivity.
- Replacement of lost gum tissue -- Gum tissue can be augmented or replaced by a variety of means, including soft tissue grafts.
- Implants -- Synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are sometimes a viable alternative to partial dentures.
We are pleased to offer our patients CERECÂ® restoration services - a
superior method of creating precisely-designed, color-matched and highly
durable ceramic restorations right in our practice. From simple fillings to
full crowns to veneers, CERECÂ® delivers the results you need in a single
How does the instrument work?
CERECÂ® uses CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology, incorporating a camera, computer and milling machine in one instrument. The dentist uses a special camera to take an accurate picture of the damaged tooth. This optical impression is transferred and displayed on a color computer screen, where the dentist uses CAD technology to design the restoration. Then CAM takes over and automatically creates the restoration while the patient waits. Finally, the dentist bonds the new restoration to the surface of the old tooth. The whole process takes about one hour.
- Single visit convenience - no temporaries
- No uncomfortable impression trays
- Beautiful esthetics - color matched ceramic
- Natural looking smile
- Clinically proven - millions of successful restorations worldwide
- Enamel-like materials - natural look and feel
Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with
stained, dull, or discolored teeth.
The darker tissue of your teeth, the dentin, can become exposed as the outer layer of enamel is worn away by the effects of aging or things like caffeine and tobacco.
Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth's enamel by a certain protein. Products like coffee and tea, berries and soy sauce are notorious for staining teeth. Over time, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances.
One type of stain-caused by traumatic injuries, medications and fluorosis-actually begins inside the tooth; brushing and flossing don't help. Another type of stain-one that can be more easily attached by brushing, flossing and rinsing-is caused by external factors such as foods.
More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procedures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.
Some commercially available "whitening toothpastes" can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth a few shades brighter. However, many of these products have abrasive substances that can actually wear away your tooth's enamel.
Whitening agents actually change the color of your teeth, but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, bleaching agents have a difficult time removing brownish or grayish stains. These products also are not as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth, or on restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding and tooth-colored fillings (porcelain veneers or dental bonding may be more appropriate in this case).
Professional whitening performed by our office is considered to be the most effective and safest method; done properly, tooth whitening can last as long as five years. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely.
Before development of dental implants, dentures were the only alternative to
replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Implants are synthetic structures that
are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants
are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone and act as a
foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases,
implants can be used to attach dentures. Implants are so well-designed, they
mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a
synthetic yet biocompatible material like metal or ceramic.
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. Diabetics and people with chronic bruxism (teeth clenching) are generally not favorable candidates. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene. In general, good candidates who have dental implants can expect high success rates with the procedure.
Types of implants
- Full upper replacements: The upper set of teeth is replaced with implants.
- Anterior replacement: Implants are used to replace the front teeth (also called incisors and cupids).
- Full lower replacement: The lower set of teeth is replaced with implants. Full lower replacement usually only uses six implants (near the front), which are used to anchor a denture. This obviates the need for denture adhesive.
- Posterior replacement: Implants are used to replace the bicuspids and molars (the back teeth).
Single tooth replacement
Steps for these procedures include:
- Missing tooth roots are replaced with implants, which are covered under the gum line.
- A healing period of six months allows implants to take.
- The implants are uncovered and extensions attached.
- Replacement teeth are affixed to the implants and extensions.
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed
on the top of a tooth. They are typically used to restore a tooth’s function
and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When
decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth
must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth. Crowns are also
used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from
becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or
dislocated. Crowns also serve a cosmetic use, and are applied when a
discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
In just two or three dental visits, a veneer can
reverse years of stains caused by foods , caffeine and
tobacco use. Special thin laminates, called veneers, can also be used to
correct discolored, worn down, cracked and chipped teeth. Veneers can also
be used to close unsightly gaps between teeth . Stronger
types of veneers made of porcelain, also called composite veneers, typically
last longer because they are bonded to the tooth.
An impression of the tooth must be made and a veneer molded by a lab technician. Because veneers require a small amount of enamel to be removed, they are permanent and non-reversible.
The process involves buffing the tooth, removing an extremely thin layer of the tooth to allow for the thickness of the veneer, an impression of the tooth, and final bonding of the veneer to the tooth with special cement. A special light is used to complete the process.