Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental Bonding and Composite Veneering

Front teeth sometimes are turned (rotated), undersized, severely chipped, heavily discolored, decayed, or have fillings that are failing. It is not uncommon for a tooth or group of teeth to have a combination of these problems. Depending on the severity of the problem, composite bonding and veneering may be an option.

An advantage of this service is that artistic control is directly under the control of the dentist. Appropriate colored bonding resins are chosen by the dentist with the patient’s input and can be viewed on the tooth as a trial “mock up”. Frequently the procedure can be accomplished in one treatment visit, as bonding does involve the dental laboratory.

Disadvantages of bonding and composite veneering include the following. This technique is not appropriate for teeth that are structurally weakened due to severe damage, as bonded fillings are made of plastic resin and quartz filler particles (of different sizes). Over time, the resin matrix of bonding can degrade, especially in the presence of alcohol. The edges of a bonded restoration can potentially pick up stain from red wine, grape juice, blueberries, tobacco, and other heavily pigmented foods. All things being ideal, however, Our Lexington dentist has done bonded composite veneers that look almost unchanged over ten years when done where properly indicated.

Request an appointment today with Lexington Dental Group!

Cosmetic Restoration

Over time teeth wear and chip. The edges of front teeth have a protective covering of a little more than one small millimeter (1/25 of an inch) of hard enamel. This enamel can chip and wear creating ragged and sharp edged teeth.

Once the initial edge enamel is worn off, the enamel on the front and back of a tooth loses its major protection and more easily chips away. Using fine diamond drills and thin sand paper abrasives the edges can be smoothed, corners reshaped and polished to resemble their original, or sometimes better than original appearance.

To learn more about Cosmetic Restoration from a Lexington Dental Group cosmetic dentist, please contact our Lexington dentist office today.

Surface discoloration on the enamel surface of teeth has become a common appearance-related problem. A common cause is over-fluoridation resulting in a condition called enamel mottling. There can also be decalcification around orthodontic brackets and bands, especially if the individual did not practice appropriate home health care.

This condition is typically confined to the surface enamel of a tooth, less than 1 millimeter in depth. If the discoloration is less than ½ the thickness of the enamel, it may be possible to "rub" the stain out using a paste that consists of a weak acid and a gritty pumice. Our Lexington dentist can carefully abrade the unsightly lesion.

After treatment, the tooth surface initially feels rough to the lip and tongue. By the next day, these surfaces recalcify from the calcium mineral that is present in saliva.

Micro Abrasion

Porcelain Dental Veneers

First developed as recently as 1983, small wafers of porcelain ceramic, smaller than a nail on a pinkie finger, are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. The teeth have been minimally reduced to receive them so as to insure that the final result will look natural in color without bulkiness. "Porcelain (laminate) veneers are potentially the most attractive, most highly compatible with gum health, restoration dentistry has produced," says Our Lexington dentist. Teeth that have been shortened through wearing and chipping, turned, uneven, have spaces between them, and/or are discolored, are all potential candidates for porcelain veneers. Moreover, the nature of porcelain is such that year after year porcelain retains its lustrous glaze making them possibly the longest lasting and most conservative restoration dentistry has to offer. Most often treatment is accomplished in two visits over a two to three week period.

When Are Porcelain Veneers the Best Choice for You

When your teeth need improvement in alignment (straightening) especially if there are issues of color (not bright or white enough). If your teeth are not heavily filled, especially if the existing fillings are small and most of the tooth’s enamel is still present on the teeth. When you feel orthodontic correction of tooth alignment does not fit your life style.

Deciding How the Teeth With The New Veneers Should Look, how Long should the teeth be and What Shape Looks Attractive

At Lexington Dental Group our dentist treats each patient as a unique case with their personal goals for an attractive healthy smile as a priority in planning their dental needs. This includes those patients seeking porcelain veneers as well as a great number of other cosmetic dental services.
Our Lexington dentist always recommends the least complicated solution to help patients reach their personal smile goals which they express at their initial free consultation. Solutions could involve the use of porcelain veneers or possibly by the use of tooth reshaping (see Cosmetic Recontouring under services offered). Sometimes conservative bonding will help the patient reach their goal for their smile.

Our Lexington dentist works closely with the patient on each porcelain veneer case. Asking patients what they don’t like about their smile. Do they wish their teeth were longer, shorter, or are the teeth already the length they like but the individual tooth sizes don’t have balance or there are unsightly spaces  between teeth. Is the smile broad enough to fill the space between the lip corners and the fronts of the back teeth called the “buccal corridor”. These are some of the reasons why an individual might choose porcelain veneers to enhance the attractiveness of their smile.

If there is any question at all whether porcelain veneers can solve the problem smile, Our Lexington dentist does a model wax-up and either temporarily bonds tooth colored resin to resemble this wax-up or fabricates an overlay of resin material that enables the patient to “field test” the anticipated change to their smile before committing to treatment

Our Lexington dentist is uniquely qualified to perform porcelain veneer procedures.   

To find out how our Lexington Dental Group cosmetic dentist team can use dental veneers to improve your smile, please request an appointment with our Lexington dentist office today.

Today people are aware that back teeth are very noticeable when we talk and especially so when we laugh. Everyone wants natural looking white teeth. Seeing dark unsightly areas of metal can detract from what otherwise might be a perfect set of teeth. If this is your concern, relax. Now we have available several options to correct this. In the case of small areas of decay or replacement of fillings that are not overly large, directly placed bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings can make a tooth look like new.

In 1955 Dr. Michael Buoncore demonstrated that an acrylic resin could be bonded to a tooth whose enamel has been roughened or etched with a weak acid. This resin placement today is commonly referred to as a sealant in today’s terminology.

Tooth colored composite resin filling material is composed of long chain carbon molecules linked by small molecules called monomers in a process referred to as polymerization. The resulting product is called a polymer. This was originally described to Bowen in 1965 and was often referred to as Bowen’s formula, chemically known as bisphenol glucidyl methycrylate (BIS-GMA). Dispersed within the resin polymer are inert crystals of quartz or silicone dioxide which give this hard material its strength and fracture toughness. The size variations and compactness of the quartz crystals are responsible for strength variability, and light refraction index which dictates how closely the material can mimic a natural tooth. Polishability of the material as well as its resistance to breakdown and staining are influenced by the size, shape, and the quantity of the filler material. Today, after four decades of refinement dentist have an array of tooth colored filled resin materials to choose from so that different materials can be placed that are more appropriate for one tooth’s location and appearance than another’s.

As back teeth receive a lot of heavy biting forces, large cavities and replacement of large old fillings could require the use of a porcelain ceramic or laboratory made resin ceramic inlay, which have greater strength than directly placed composite resin fillings. While this approach requires two dental visits, the results can dramatically improve the health, strength, and attractiveness of back teeth. Natural white teeth help you to exude confidence when you smile wide.

To find out if tooth-colored fillings are a good option for you, please contact Lexington Dental Group for a smile consultation with one of our dentists at our Lexington dentist office.


Tooth Colored Restoration

Whitening (Laser & Home)

Often, a smile can be improved simply by whitening teeth that have stained and yellowed over time. We offer the most advanced in-office whitening system utilizing a plasma-arc ("Brite-Smiles" style) light, as well as at-home office assisted whitening. Below are the types of whitening we do in our office. Visit WebMD for an in-depth discussion on tooth whitening and whitening agents.

In-office whitening

Our Lexington dentist will evaluate your teeth with you to determine if you are a good candidate to have your teeth whitened. Using a shade guide, you will determine the shade of your teeth prior to whitening. Our Lexington hygienist will then prepare your teeth, first by cleaning them using a polishing paste. Next a retracting device is placed to keep your lips away from your teeth and paints a membrane over your gums to protect them from the whitening agent. A 34% hydrogen peroxide gel whitening agent is then applied to your teeth. The patented "Rembrandt Virtuoso" plasma arc light, which hyperactivates the product, is placed in front of your teeth. Every 10 to 15 minutes for one hour, the agent is "agitated" and/or reapplied as necessary. You then can see, utilizing the shade guide, how much whiter and brighter your teeth look. The whole visit, from prep to whiter teeth, takes about 90 minutes. While having your teeth whitened, you can choose to watch a movie from our DVD library, which is projected just over head on our TLC monitor, or listen to music.

At-home office assisted whitening

Impressions are taken of your teeth from which custom-made whitening trays are made. You place whitening gel into these trays and wear the trays daily for approximately 1 1/2 hours over a two week period. You can wear these at any time of the day, even when you sleep. If used as directed, the results can potentially be as good as in-office whitening. The trays can be saved and utilized whenever you feel you need a little whitening touch up.

For a whiter, brighter smile that leaves a lasting impression, contact Lexington Dental Group cosmetic dentist team to request an appointment for a laser or an at-home tooth whitening consultation today.

Free At-Home Whitening (With Invisalign)

All patients undergoing Full Case or Teen Invisalign Treatments will receive a free at-home whitening kit valued at $200. Invisalign Express cases are eligible for an at-home whitening kit for 50% off or $100.

Call today and learn how Invisalign can straighten your teeth the invisible way!

To take advantage of "Free Whitening with Invisalign" please contact us.