The following before and after photos of our patients show just how much cosmetic dentistry can completely transform your appearance. Yet finding your perfect smile is much more than simply placing some veneers to close spaces.
One of the most common, and interesting choices in
cosmetic dentistry involves whether or not to close a diastema. A diastema
is a distinct space between the two front teeth seen on many people
including such famous personalities as Madonna and David Letterman.
It is a personal decision to either close the space completely, or simply
improve the shape and position of the teeth while retaining that special
aspect of the smile that most distinguishes you.
Q: What is the first thing you notice about Ms. Ss smile?
Q: Isnt it necessary to grind down the teeth a lot in order
to place veneers?
Q: But if Ms. Ss teeth are too forward, how do
you correct the alignment with veneers?
Q: Ms. S chose to close her diastema. Do you feel that
you influenced her decision?
A: Yes, she was absolutely sure she wanted to keep the space,
although we did lesson it by about a millimeter. Ms. O said her husband
was enthusiastic about her having cosmetic dentistry, but he loved her
smile and didnt want her to make it any less unique. I believe she
made the right decision, particularly because retaining the diastema made
it look completely natural; her teeth look great but no one would guess
she had any dental work done at all!
A: In most cases the expected lifespan of porcelain veneers
and crowns is 10-20 years, although they frequently last much longer.
The great thing about porcelain is its immutability-it doesnt stain
or discolor, and the bonding agent that secures it to the tooth makes
it very strong and not easily subject to fracture. I always tell patients
that they shouldnt chew on pencils, or open potato chip bags with
their teeth (and patients without porcelain work shouldnt do this
either), but otherwise there are no food restrictions. It is also important
that the patient maintain the health of the tissue, and regular prophylaxis
are essential so that the gums do not recede.
Q: How is this patients veneer case different from the others?
A: There are several aspects of Ms. Cs smile that can be improved: the shade, the shape and position of the teeth, and the area at the gumline. In order to improve the shade we did the Britesmile light activated bleaching technique to remove the yellow stains in the enamel.
Q: How long did this whole process take?
A: Ms. Cs bleaching and veneers were completed over
three appointments about a week apart. Today, teeth whitening can be completed
in a single office visit with light activated bleaching in about an hour.
For 24 hours after the technique patients must refrain from eating or
drinking anything that would stain a white t-shirt. Most veneer cases
require only two appointments; one to prepare the teeth, take impressions,
and place temporary bonding so that the teeth look nice and you will be
comfortable chewing, and the second to permanently place the veneers.
Q: Her smile looks completely different. How did the veneers change the shape of her teeth?
A: The biggest change comes from the tissue recontouring I did at the gumline. If you look at the before photo, you can see that not only was the right lateral protruding forward, but all of her teeth appear very square. Her gumline is straight across the top of the teeth, rather than following the natural arch of the teeth at the tissue. Also, when you smile your teeth should curve naturally, following the lower lip line with the front teeth longest and the laterals slightly shorter. Teeth should also be wider at the incisal edge and taper at the gumline. I was able to improve Ms. Cs "smile line" and the shape of her teeth by recontouring the tissue and changing the shape of her teeth with porcelain veneers.
T. Paolini, D.D.S.,
205 East 64th Street
New York, New York 10021
Office Hours By Appointment