Chances are good that you already know how important a good oral hygiene routine and regular checkups with an experienced dentist are to maintaining dental health. Brushing twice daily, flossing nightly, and scheduling bi-annual appointments with your dentist are essential components of keeping your whole mouth healthy and feeling good. What you might not know is that your dentist’s office can make your smile look amazing, too!
More and more adults are looking for ways to enhance their natural smile with brightening, shaping, or straightening, leading to a huge surge in growth for the cosmetic dentistry field. Here at Scott Edwards DDS, we’re excited to offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures for patients all over the Mid-South. Keep reading below to learn more about what cosmetic dentistry is, what our procedures include, and why it’s important to find an experienced dentist to carry them out.
The basics of cosmetic dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is an umbrella term for all elective procedures that are aimed at improving the appearance of your smile. These procedures are able to create a positive change to your teeth, leading to a positive change in your smile as well. Modern cosmetic dentistry has evolved to address both functional and aesthetic concerns, and a qualified cosmetic dentist like Dr. Edwards is able to offer numerous procedures designed to improve your appearance, smile, and self-confidence, from tooth whitening to straightening your smile with Invisalign clear aligner therapy.
Why it’s important to choose an experienced cosmetic dentist
As cosmetic dentistry grows in popularity, there is an increasing number of dentists offering these procedures in order to meet the demand. It is important to find a qualified cosmetic dentist, but with no real referral system in place to assist with the selection process, having so many choices available can sometimes seem overwhelming.
Scott Edwards DDS is your Memphis cosmetic dentistry experts! We are a cosmetic and family dentistry practice with decades of combined experience in providing comprehensive, individualized treatment to patients of all ages. Dr. Edwards has been providing general and cosmetic dentistry in the Memphis area for 35 years. Dr. Prince and Dr. Groshart are members of the American Dental Association and numerous other professional organizations. All three of our doctors are committed to providing the best in personal service for every patient they see. Our practice has the testimonials to prove it! We also showcase some of the beautiful smiles we create in our up-to-date Smile Gallery, featuring before and after photos of real patients.
Our cosmetic procedures
As we age, our teeth can become stained or discolored. Some of this may be due to normal wear and tear, but it can be especially obvious if you’ve ever smoked, taken certain types of medication, or been a heavy drinker of beverages like coffee, tea, or soda.
At Scott Edwards DDS, we use Zoom! Whitening, an in-office, chairside whitening system that brightens your smile within just a couple of hours. While over-the-counter whitening kits can produce noticeable results, they may also cause temporary tooth sensitivity. Zoom! is a reliable and pain-free alternative that has adjustable intensity settings to help maximize comfort. Most patients experience very little sensitivity as a result, though we do recommend you brush with a sensitive formula toothpaste for a few weeks prior to your whitening appointment. This will help to further protect your teeth.
Zoom! isn’t meant to clean the teeth, only whiten them, so it’s important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing at least twice daily and flossing before bed. Note that your teeth can become stained again after Zoom! if you continue exposing them to substances that can discolor them.
During cosmetic bonding, your dentist will attach or “bond” materials directly to your tooth in order to change their color and shape. The natural tooth enamel is then fused together with bonding materials such as porcelain or resin to create a strong structure that still looks and feels like your original tooth. This is used most often as a method for repairing chipped teeth, but because the bonding materials and porcelain used are a natural color, bonding can also improve teeth that are broken, stained, or cracked. We also sometimes use bonding materials to fill small cavities or protect the exposed root of a tooth. Although bonding can last for several years, it tends to chip, stain, or wear down more easily than other types of restorative dentistry.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that have been crafted of a tooth-colored material, like porcelain or plastic. They are designed to cover the front side of the teeth, and are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available. That’s because their look, fit, and feel is superior and long-lasting. Veneers can improve teeth with excessive spacing, or those that are chipped, worn, permanently stained, poorly shaped, or even crooked.
Because it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your tooth to accommodate the shell, having veneers put on is usually an irreversible process. They tend to be extremely durable, although a veneer might chip or fracture occasionally. Staining and discoloration can occur so you may be advised to avoid some types of foods or beverages after having veneers placed, such as coffee, tea, or red wine.
Sometimes referred to as caps, crowns completely cover a tooth, restoring its normal shape and appearance. Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain, resin, ceramic materials, or a combination of these. They are used to improve both the look and function of your teeth by:
- covering a misshapen or discolored tooth
- protecting a weak tooth
- restoring a broken or worn tooth
- covering a tooth that has a large filling
- holding a dental bridge in place
- covering a dental implant
- covering a tooth that’s had a root canal procedure
If you take good care of them, permanent crowns can have a long life!
Invisalign is an alternative option to traditional metal braces that uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to gently shift your teeth into more desirable positions over time. These trays are composed of a smooth, comfortable plastic that’s virtually invisible. The aligners fit snugly over your teeth, and you simply switch them out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. No brackets or wires to navigate, and because the aligners are removable, you don’t need to worry about changing your dental hygiene routine or sticking to any food restrictions.
The Invisalign system is not only comfortable and low maintenance, but it’s also versatile, too! The aligners are able to correct many common dental and orthodontic issues, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, crowding, and spacing issues. Most patients seeking a straighter smile are a good fit for Invisalign. Treatment is often faster than traditional braces, and is just as effective, particularly for cases that are mild to moderate.
Bring out the best in your smile with Scott Edwards DDS
The condition of your teeth, gums, supporting bone structure, and bite will have an impact on how you respond to any cosmetic dental procedure, including how successful it is and how long it lasts. For this reason, we recommend scheduling an appointment with us to discuss what your goals and expectations are before beginning any cosmetic dentistry treatment.
If you’re in the Memphis area, look no further for your cosmetic dentistry experts! Whether you want a brighter smile, a straighter one, or something in between, our doctors are here to help you decide which cosmetic procedures could work for your smile. Get in touch today to schedule your free consultation!