What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the terms used to describe a number of treatments that improve the beauty and health of your smile. Almost every dental procedure includes two variables: appearance and function. Quality cosmetic dentistry considers both of these elements so you can enjoy long-term results that look great.

What are some examples of cosmetic dentistry procedures?
Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of procedures, ranging from tooth whitening and aligning, to repairing and replacing teeth. Cosmetic veneers or laminates are a popular treatment. These wafer-thin sheets of porcelain offer a more conservative restoration than traditional crowns because they require less removal of healthy tooth structure.

Why would anyone need or want a cosmetic dentistry procedure?
Cosmetic dentistry offers benefits beyond a healthy, pleasing smile. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, cosmetic dentistry can increase your self-esteem and self-confidence. Cosmetic dentistry is a good option if you want to improve the quality of your smile, oral health or quality of life.

How have technological advancements improved cosmetic dentistry?
The quality of materials used in these procedures, such as porcelain and composite resins, have improved to provide stronger functionality and a more natural-looking appearance.

What is a cosmetic veneer?
A veneer basically is a more conservative crown. Instead of covering an entire tooth, a cosmetic veneer is bonded to the front of a tooth. Much less tooth structure is removed when you are fitted for a veneer. A veneer can align, lengthen, repair and whiten teeth to create the desired smile and bite.

How long do veneers last?
When “seated” correctly, veneers are durable and can last for many years, even a lifetime with proper oral hygiene.

Will veneers eventually stain?
Porcelain veneers are non-porous, which means they are not susceptible to staining or discoloration.

Can veneers and crowns differ in quality?
Yes. Cosmetic dentistry is a perfect combination of art and science. When quality and service are important to you, look for experience and proven results in your cosmetic dentistry provider. Exceptional cosmetic dentistry requires unique skills and extensive training beyond dental school. Ask to see before and after photos of patients’ smiles when choosing your cosmetic dentist. Confirm that the dentist you are meeting with completed the work in the photos. There are numerous materials used in veneers and crowns. Palmetto Dental Arts creates all restorations from the finest materials available today, and works in cooperation with a ceramist dedicated to our team and our patients.

How is bonding different from veneers?
Bonding involves placing tooth-like material onto the tooth to build it up or alter its shape. The advantage of this procedure is that it is a conservative approach to tooth restoration and is completed in one visit. It’s drawback is that it will discolor over time and is more prone to breakage than veneers.

What is an all-porcelain crown or veneer?
Some restorations are designed with a metal core coated with porcelain- referred to as porcelain fused to metal. They can have a “flat” appearance because the metal doesn’t let light pass through like a natural tooth does. A dark line often is visible next to the gum line.  As the name suggests, all-porcelain crowns and veneers don’t include metal in their makeup. We provide 100 percent all-porcelain veneers and crowns. When properly seated, they are as strong or stronger than their metal counterparts. They closely resemble a natural tooth because they are similar in translucency.

Is cosmetic dental work expensive?
Cosmetic dental work likely isn’t as costly as you think. The cost of cosmetic dentistry depends on your needs and desires. A skilled cosmetic dentist will recommend the best procedure for you and explain the fees. Many patients take advantage of monthly payment plans provided by CareCredit and Springstone.

What is a dental implant?
This is a surgical procedure designed to replace a tooth that has been lost due to trauma, decay, or a tooth that is congenitally missing. A dental implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed in the jawbone and acts as the tooth’s root. A crown is affixed to the implant to restore form and function.

How is a dental implant different from a dental bridge?
Dental implants replace missing teeth. They simulate tooth roots. A dental bridge is non-surgical and uses the neighboring teeth to act as an anchor to support a new cosmetic tooth. A dental implant requires no procedures on surrounding teeth, which is favorable if those teeth are healthy. By acting as the root, the implant engages the bone and keeps it healthy. Because a dental implant is an individual tooth, it is also easier to floss.

How long does the dental implant process take?
If you are an ideal candidate for an implant, the implant is surgically placed during one visit. In some cases, a porcelain crown immediately can be placed onto the implant. In others, you may have to wait three to six months for the implant to integrate into the bone growth. Once that happens, the implant can be restored to completion.