Cosmetic Dentistry

Helping people achieve a smile to match their personality is Dr Carla's favourite part of being a dentist! 

At Dentista, we love working with you to achieve the smile you deserve!

Cosmetic Dentistry is all about using different tools to make the most out of your smile! Often a combination of several techniques are required to get the best outcome in each unique smile. Dr Carla has been helping people in the Morley and surrounding suburbs to help discover their smiles! She works closely with some of the best Perth technicians to deliver high quality results. 

Check out Dr Carla's work below.

Veneers 

A veneer is thin layer of material bonded to the surface of the tooth. Veneers can cover one, or several surfaces of the tooth. A crown covers the whole tooth. Veneers can provide the following benefits:

  • improving the colour of teeth

  • improving the shape of teeth

  • improving the alignment or position of the teeth

  • closing gaps between teeth

  • protecting worn or damaged teeth from further damage

  • widening the smile

  • restoring damage to the teeth caused by decay, trauma and erosion

There are two different materials available for dental veneers. Porcelain, and Composite Resin. Each individual scenario will determine which veneer material is best for you.

 

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers are hand crafted by a dental technician, so that each veneer is precisely designed and made to fit your tooth. It is then bonded into place by the dentist. For this reason, porcelain veneers are more expensive compared to resin veneers. Some other facts about porcelain are below;

  • stronger than resin

  • shinier than resin

  • do not stain like resin

  • colour of the porcelain will not change with time

  • require at least two dental appointments for treatment after planning appointments

  • often require irreversible cutting of the tooth enamel to make room for the porcelain. 

Composite Resin Veneers

Composite Resin veneers, as their name implies, are made from a compound of plastic (resin) and silica. Unlike porcelain veneers, resin veneers are usually made directly onto your tooth. This means they can be provided at a lower cost, and usually saves on appointment time.

See some facts about resin veneers below;

  • not as strong as porcelain 

  • not as shiny as porcelain

  • can stain easily, and require regular maintenance

  • can chip easier than porcelain, however are easy to repair

  • can be completed in fewer appointments

  • may be completed without cutting of the tooth enamel - can be reversible

 

Are Porcelain Veneers always  better than Composite Resin Veneers?

No! Sometimes resin veneers are better!

Some situations where resin veneers may be more appropriate than porcelain veneers:

  • closing small gaps between teeth (see our before and afters in the section on White Fillings)

  • enlarging small teeth to make them a more proportional size

  • restoring teeth in young people who's teeth position and gum position is still changing

  • trial veneers. These can be used to assess a planned change in bite, position, aesthetics. This is especially great for people with extensive wear and tear on back and front teeth

  • interim veneers - a more affordable solution and then progressing to porcelain veneers in the future

  • when it needs to be done fast! Porcelain veneers take at least 2 weeks between having your teeth prepared ('shaved down') and having the veneers bonded onto your teeth     

crowns and veneers
Above, combination of porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers made locally in Perth for Dr Carla

Do you need to shave my tooth down?

It depends on the situation! Often times with porcelain veneers we need to shave the tooth down to get the best looking result, otherwise the teeth can look bulky, unnatural, and also trap plaque at your gum and cause gum disease. This is a big problem with Glam Smile Veneers.

 

With resin veneers, it is not always necessary to shave the tooth down. But it depends on every situation.

Dr Carla will always plan the final result to ensure only the very minimum amount of drilling (shaving) to your tooth has to happen! She will take frequent measurements during your treatment to keep track.

 

If you are considering veneers and no plan has been made before your teeth get shaved, you need to ask, 'where is the plan??!!!'

What are the cons?

Things to consider before having veneers

  • any shaving down of your teeth is irreversible

  • the porcelain veneer or resin veneer may chip, break, or come off completely

  • you need to be careful with biting into hard and sticky things (like bones and toffee) with your veneered teeth, as you may damage or chip the veneer

  • if you grind or clench your teeth you may need to wear a night guard to protect your veneers

  • the veneers will need maintenance, and at some stage will likely require replacement

  • your gums may recede with time changing the look of the veneers

Above, A patient of Dr Carla's stone model of teeth before
crowns and veneers in porcelain
Above same patient of Dr Carla's, porcelain crowns on two front teeth replacing existing crowns that did not fit the teeth well anymore. Four porcelain veneers to improve the shape and colour of the other front teeth

Crowns

A dental crown is a covering that covers your entire  tooth. Normally a crown will be placed on a tooth for the following reasons;

  • to strengthen a tooth that has been structurally compromised. This includes teeth that have;

    • had a root canal treatment 

    • very large white resin fillings that keep breaking

    • very large fillings where food is getting caught between the teeth

  • to replace an existing crown that has decay under it​

  • to replace an existing crown to improve the look

  • to replace an existing crown to improve the fit and the gum health

  • to improve to look of a tooth that has turned dark from root canal treatment

Crowns can also be placed on implants to replace missing teeth. Read more about implants here

 

What are crowns made from?

There are several options for dental crowns, each option has pros and cons

  • Pressed All Ceramic: these are the most common. They can be 'bonded' strongly onto your tooth, they generally look the nicest too because they can mimic the 'lifelike' transulcency of natural teeth. They can be one colour with surface staining, or layered with different colours of ceramic

  • Zirconia Ceramic: These are very strong. They can be layered with different colours of ceramic as well. 

  • Gold: Believe it or not gold is actually the best material for crowns! The gold can be very thin (which means less shaving of your tooth), and they fit the teeth very well. They are very strong so are great for people who clench and grind their teeth. Because of the colour, most people opt for back teeth only... although Dr Carla has done some front teeth in gold! 

  • Porcelain fused to metal: these were very popular prior to the newer all ceramic and zirconia crowns. They consisted of a substructure of metal, and then veneered with ceramic over the top. These are very strong, however the veneering ceramic is prone to breaking, and due to the dark metal underneath having to be masked it makes the white ceramic over the top appear lifeless. 

Above, dental crown and shaved down natural tooth

Will my crown last forever?

Maybe! How long a crown lasts depends on lots of factors. Usually a crown is provided to help out an underlying tooth that has already been structurally compromised with lots of fillings or a root canal. So the starting foundation is not strong. Always remember that there is nothing stronger than your natural teeth, and if they didn't last forever it's unlikely anything else will!

Some things that help keep your underlying tooth, and crown for longer are;

  • regular maintenance and x-rays (to help see what's going on under the crown)

  • avoiding very hard and sticky foods like Minties, toffies, bones etc

  • keeping your mouth extra clean with tooth brushing and cleaning between your teeth with floss or brushes

  • wearing a night guard if you clench or grind your teeth

  • avoiding frequent exposure to acids (see our pH series videos) that can rot your underlying teeth

Bridges

 

A bridge is a way to replace one or more missing teeth. The supports to hold up the missing tooth/teeth can be other natural teeth, or implants. For conventional bridges, the supporting teeth or implants have crowns, that the bridge tooth (known as the 'pontic') is attached to. The bridge tooth rests on the gum and appears as though it is emerging from the gum like a natural tooth. 

Above:  A 3 unit bridge - two natural teeth support one pontic tooth
Above:  A 3 unit bridge - two implants support one pontic tooth

Bridges can be in many different configurations. They can be 3 units where there is a support either side of the pontic tooth, they can be 2 units where only one support tooth/implant holds up the pontic, or there can be more units involving multiple supports and multiple pontics. In some situations, primarily for replacing a missing front tooth, the support tooth does not need to be shaved down for a crown, this is known as a Maryland Bridge.

Bridges offer a great solution to replace missing teeth. The main disadvantage of a bridge is that because the support crowns are attached to the bridge (pontic) tooth, the floss cannot go between the teeth. Another point to consider about bridges is that they require the supporting teeth to be shaved down to support the bridge (i.e. have a crown placed on them). Sometimes this is beneficial if the support tooth has lots of fillings and could be strengthened by a crown. If however the support tooth has never had a filling, an implant may be more conservative.

 

Cleaning between the teeth can be achieved with interdental brushes, or threading supa-floss (stiff floss that can be threaded) under the bridge.

(08) 9375 2177

73 Camboon Rd, Noranda WA 6062, Australia

  • Google Places
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Dentista Dental Centre ©2021