Cosmetic dentistry describes any procedure that is done primarily to improve the patient’s appearance. While some procedures, like implants, can also improve the function of the patient’s teeth, others are strictly aesthetic. Treatments done by Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS, our cosmetic dentist in Asheville, include the following:
• Veneers and laminates
• Teeth Whitening
What Is the Difference Between a Veneer and a Laminate?
Both veneers and laminates are cosmetic treatments performed by our cosmetic dentist in Asheville that are cemented to the front of the patient’s tooth. Veneers, however, are significantly thicker, so the dentist will have to pare down the patient’s teeth to ensure the veneers fit properly. Laminates are much thinner, so the dentist has to pare down little or no enamel.
Both veneers and laminates can be made with the CEREC machine. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, and it describes a device with CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing) technology that enables Dr. Willoughby to make the veneer or laminate right in our Asheville office. The patient is thus spared a second trip to the cosmetic dentist.
What Are Crowns in a Day?
Crowns in a Day describes dental crowns made by CEREC. Without CEREC, the dentist would have to take an impression of the patient’s teeth and send it to a dental lab to have the crown custom-made. The patient would have to wait for around two or three weeks and wear a temporary crown in the meantime. They would also need to schedule a second appointment to get the permanent crown. CEREC enables the dentist to make the crown onsite, so they can take care of the patient in one visit.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are restorations used to replace missing teeth. A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root, and it fits snugly in the jawbone like a real tooth root. The implant looks like a screw and is made from titanium, which has the advantage of being biocompatible, which means the body won’t reject it. Titanium can also fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration, which ensures the implant will remain within the jawbone for the rest of the patient’s life.
Dental implants can replace one or more teeth. Implants replacing a single tooth will be capped with a crown, while those replacing several teeth can be capped with a bridge. A group of implants can support dentures in a restoration called the hybrid denture-implant procedure. Our cosmetic dentist will use special attachments to secure the dentures to the implants and hold them in place.