Cosmetic Dentistry

Westchase Cosmetic Dentistry

Whether your teeth need subtle changes or major repairs, Dr. Alina de la Torre can use various cosmetic dentistry techniques to brighten and improve your smile! The term cosmetic dentistry encompasses a variety of dental procedures designed to address stained, uneven, or broken teeth. Using these procedures, Dr. de la Torre can reshape your teeth, close gaps, restore worn down teeth or lengthen naturally short teeth.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Reshaping and Contouring

Enameloplasty, also know as Contouring or Reshaping, is a simple procedure where the dentist gently removes some of your teeth’s enamel to change the shape or length. This procedure is used to correct misshapen, chipped and/or crooked teeth.This technique can even be used to correct overlapping teeth and to correct small issues in an individual’s bite. Once your teeth have been reshaped to your satisfaction, they will be polished for you to enjoy your new look. The main benefit of cosmetic contouring is that it provides instant results, but it can only be used to repair minor cosmetic problems.

Bonding

Bonding involves using a tooth colored material to fill small cavities, close spaces between the teeth, or change the color and shape of a tooth. This procedure can usually be done in one office visit.
Dental bonding can be considered when:

  • Repairing decayed teeth
  • Repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Improving the appearance of discoloured teeth
  • Closing spaces between teeth
  • Making teeth look longer
  • Changing the shape of teeth
  • Protecting a portion of the tooth’s root exposed by gum receding

A consultation with Dr. Delatorre will determine what dental problems can be solved with bonding. If you have teeth that are extensively damaged, then we may recommend other restorative or cosmetic procedures that will improve your long-term goals.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are used to change the shape and/or color of the front teeth. Veneers are placed over the teeth to address uneven surfaces, oddly shaped, discolored, crooked and or unevenly spaced teeth. Although veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, they also protect the surface of damaged teeth and can eliminate the need for more extensive treatments. Other benefits include durability, improved smile appearance, and stain resistance.

Veneers

To determine if you are a candidate for dental veneers, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Delatorre and she will go over all available treatment options. During your consultation, you will actively participate in the “smile design process.” It is important that Dr. Delatorre understands your goals prior to undergoing a veneer procedure. By sharing your preferences for the shape, length, and color of the veneers and the smile that you want them to create, you help ensure that your treatment will meet your expectations.

Crowns (aka Caps)

A crown, sometimes referred to as a “cap” is used to cover an existing tooth that has been fractured, has a large old filling, has had a root canal, or is severely damaged by decay. Crowns can restore a tooth back to its original form, function, and improve overall strength and appearance. Crowns can also be used to cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth.

Dental Crowns

 

Porcelain Inlays/Porcelain Onlays

Dr. de la Torre uses porcelain inlays and onlays to address fractured fillings, large fillings, for cosmetic enhancement, and to correct fractured or broken teeth.In particular cases, they are a more conservative alternative to full coverage dental crowns. Inlays and onlays can be used instead of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or structural damage. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during your dental visit, inlays and onlays are made at a dental lab, and then cemented to the damaged tooth.

The restoration is labeled an “inlay” when the material is bonded within the center of a tooth. Whereas the restoration is labeled an “onlay” when the damage involves the side of the tooth or full coverage of the top of the tooth.

Typically, an inlay or onlay procedure is completed in two dental visits. During your first visit, Dr. Delatorre prepares the damaged tooth. A molded impression of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where the restoration is made. In the meantime, a temporary material is placed to protect your tooth while the final inlay/onlay is being made. During your second visit, the temporary material is removed and your inlay or onlay is placed.

Bleaching (Whitening)

Whitening procedures are used to whiten the teeth and eliminate stains. Professional, in-office teeth whitening takes place under carefully monitored conditions allowing for the safe, controlled, pain-free use of a relatively high concentration of bleaching gel which yields immediate results. While Dr. de la Torre offers in-office bleaching procedures, such as Zoom 2 and Deep Whitening, she also provides her patients home tooth whitening systems. An in-office bleaching treatment generally lasts approximately an hour and the patient’s natural tooth color determines the number of treatments necessary to achieve his or her desired result.

Types of  teeth whitening include :

Custom trays, also known as take home whitening systems, use clear plastic trays created from impressions of the patient’s teeth taken in office. The patient takes home these trays along with whitening gel stored in syringes. Upon use, the patient dispenses the whitening gel into the custom trays and places the trays in their mouth. The whitening gel sold in dental offices contains a higher percentage of bleach than the over-the-counter products thus resulting in a faster and brighter outcome.

Teeth Whitening Trays

Whitening strips are thin flexible membranes coated with a bleaching gel that are designed to conform to the shape of the teeth. They are very convenient, portable, and easy to use. However, strips are less effective than custom trays and are not suitable for crooked teeth.

Deep Bleaching is a two-step technique that yields great results. The first step is a 90 minute appointment in which a special whitening light is used on the patient’s teeth to activate the whitening gel. The second step is the use of custom trays at home which helps to deepen the whitening over time. This technique whitens even the toughest, deepest stains.

A consultation with Dr. Delatorre will help you decide which bleaching/whitening method will work best for your desired smile.

Common reasons teeth become discolored:

• Normal wear and tear on the outer layer of the tooth.
• Genetics (hereditary).
• Excessive use of fluoride during tooth development (fluorosis).
• Teeth may become stained due to the consumption of certain foods and beverages (i.e., coffee, tea, medications, tomato sauce, berries, etc.), as well as unhealthy lifestyle choices (i.e., smoking or chewing tobacco).

Dentures/Partial Dentures

Dentures (commonly known as a plate) are custom-made replacements for missing teeth that can be taken in and out of the mouth. Dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as your natural teeth, however, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever!

Dentures can help you eat and speak more comfortably in addition to helping to improve your appearance and smile. Without the support from a denture, facial muscles can sag, making a person look older.
Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.

There are three types of dentures:

Conventional Full Denture

A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth.

Immediate Full Denture

An immediate full denture is placed right after the remaining teeth are removed. (The dentist takes measurements and makes models of your jaw during a prior visit.) While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be relined or refitted several months after being inserted because the bone reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.

Partial Denture

A partial denture has replacement teeth fixed to a plastic base that matches your gum and attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges or implants.
Dr. Delatorre can determine which of the three types of dentures described above is best for you.

Fixed, Porcelain Dental Bridges

A bridge spans the space where one or more teeth are missing. As the name implies, “fixed” bridges are cemented to the natural teeth next to the space created by the missing teeth. The teeth next to the space are prepared, and a custom-made bridge is fitted and adjusted to cover the prepared teeth. After the adjustments are made, the bridge is permanently cemented into place. Bridges can be made to attach to teeth or implants. At least two visits are generally needed to prepare the teeth, take an impression, make the bridge, and place it in the mouth.
It is important to take care for your natural teeth and bridge. A fixed bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. It is necessary to clean and floss around the bridge to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay that could cause the bridge to fail. Regular dental check-ups and professionally cleanings are vital for maintaining a healthy smile.

Dental Implants

Dental implants can be an effective method to replace one or more teeth. An implant is used to permanently replace a lost tooth and its root. When you lose one or more teeth, your remaining teeth can drift out of positon. This can lead to changes in your bite and smile, loss of additional teeth, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Each implant consists of a metal anchor that is placed into the bone and a protruding attachment that is fitted with an artificial tooth. Implants can also be used to support a bridge and to secure a removable or fixed denture.
In order to get dental implants, you need to have healthy gums and bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.

Dr. Alina de la Torre and her staff are dedicated to helping those in and around Westchase and Tampa, Florida, attain the smile they have always wanted. If you would like to learn more about how we can help improve your smile, contact Delatorre Dentistry today at (813) 792-9400. We look forward to meeting you!

If you reside near Tampa, Fla., instead of avoiding the dentist, let Dr. Alina de la Torre and her staff perform your dental procedures while you are comfortably sedated. To learn more, contact Delatorre Dentistry at 813.792.9400 today.