What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

pretty smile
Cosmetic Dentistry has changed a great deal over the past few years. Aside from the unfortunate fact that most general dentists market themselves as a cosmetic dentist, making it hard to find a dentist properly trained, there have been many advances in materials, techniques, and most importantly results.

Porcelain veneers are now just one of many beautiful ways to transform your less than perfect grin into the stunning, life changing smile you've been looking for. Many of my patients will choose a combination of invisalign or six month smile, lumineers, porcelain veneers, and Zoom whitening. What's great about cosmetic dentistry today is by using different techniques we no longer have to prep down as much natural tooth structure

No Prep Cosmetic Dentistry

implant happy male customer
So what does no-prep cosmetic dentistry mean? In the past before Lumineers, invisalign and snap on smile, the only choice patients had to redo their smile was to prep down natural tooth structure to make room for porcelain crowns and veneers. While beautiful and long lasting, porcelain crowns and veneers require the doctor to remove healthy tooth to make room for them.

With advances in materials and techniques we can now make veneers so thin (think of a contact lens thickness) that we don't have to make room for them. They simply bond on to the front surface of your natural teeth. Imagine whitening and straightening your smile without cutting down your natural teeth? It can be done.

Porcelain Veneers - A Beautiful Smile Today!

Porcelain Veneers are thin as a contact lens and as strong as your natural teeth. The are a thin layer that is placed over the front surface of your natural teeth. This allows you to immediately fix chips, gaps, whiten and even straighten your teeth in one day. They can last as long as your natural teeth and are as strong as a crown. The only real downside is you usually need to prep down some natural tooth structure to make room for the veneer.

If you don’t you’ll end up with bulky or thick looking teeth. Many patients will consider veneers or braces or both to achieve the smile they have always wanted. It’s best to consult with Dr. Tsai first to see what your options are and what the clinical limitations are.

Smile Design - Designing A Beautiful Smile

smile design
So how is it done? How do Cosmetic Dentist “design” your smile? A skilled cosmetic dentist will take in to account all aspects of your facial features including lips, lip support, midline alignment for eyes, nose, lips, chip, forehead, hair line, etc. They will also look as your body shape, face and head shape along with complexion, eyebrow color, and eye color.

Finally, taking into account your current teeth color and shape they will design a wax model of your new smile. This allows you to see your smile before you take any action. Then can then prep and make your veneers from the wax model. There are twelve basic smile styles. Click her to see a photo of the smile design types that most people try to achieve. You can also click here to see a slide show of Cosmetic Smile Design.

Snap On Smile

snap on smile copy
Though the technology has been around for many years, Snap on Smile has only been popular for awhile now. What is it? Exactly as the name indicates - you can snap on a temporary smile. It can look natural especially in photographs and from a slight distance.

Snap-on-smile small
It is a quick way to whiten up and straighten your teeth for weddings, important meetings, interviews, or social events. It is not a long term solution, but it sure looks nice and only takes a couple of weeks. The cost is much less than veneers and crowns and much easier than having braces or invisalign.

How Do You Find a Cosmetic Dental Office?

It's not so much a cosmetic dental office as a cosmetic dentist that you should be looking for. As I mentioned most dentist market themselves as cosmetic dentists and I supposed to a certain degree this is correct. However, very few dentists here in the Bay Area have gone on beyond their general dentistry training to take advanced cosmetic design and neuromuscular dentistry speciality. It takes a special dentist to be able to design and deliver a beautiful smile that is unique to you and fits your personality and style while maintaining proper occlusion and function.





Where Do I Start with Cosmetic Dentistry?

The best place for patients to start their new smile is to take a few minutes and decide what you'd like to accomplish. Do you want whiter teeth or do you want to reshape and re-contour your smile? Do you have gaps that you want to close or chipped or missing teeth you'd like to replace? Many patients come in looking to redo their smile and are happy to find out that six months in invisalign and a whitening appointment later and they have that beautiful smile they've wanted for years. My point is don't assume you have to get veneers and crowns.

Second I would grab a few magazines focused on fashion for your gender and cut you some photos of smiles you like. With these pictures we'll be able to help you understand the subtleties of smile design.

Finally, come in to my office for a consultation. In most cases we offer a free cosmetic dentistry consultation. During this appointment we will show you examples of other smiles we've improved and we can even do a computer simulated smile with your photo. It's amazing to see what you'll look like with your new smile.

Beautiful Smiles Improve Your health

I know what you're thinking, here comes the marketing speak. It's true though. We see it all the time with our actual patients. Many come in with low or depressed self esteem. Once we deliver their new smile - white and confident - their self esteem and affect picks up. They hold their head higher, speak more confidently, and love to smile. We've designed many smiles for patients on their way to big job interviews, weddings, graduations, and even renewing their vows. A healthy confident smile really can change your life.

Cosmetic Dentistry Makes a Beautiful Smile Possible

Want a free Cosmetic Dentistry consultation? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tsai

Or you can always e-mail or call us: 650-583-5880

Dr. Sherry Tsai provides an cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers, crowns, snap on smile, six month smile and invisalign in Millbrae, San Bruno, Burlingame, San Mateo and the Bay Area

88 Capuchino Dr.  
Millbrae CA 94030

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