Probably not. Almost everyone has something that they feel could be improved upon, and often, it is their teeth. Maybe your teeth are gappy or crooked, or, over the years, they have become stained and discolored. The good news is that many dental imperfections can be corrected, and often, the cost is not all that much.
If you want a full set of crowns, then yes, you should be prepared to pay a fair bit. Many imperfections can be corrected with porcelain veneers, though, at a lower cost, and sometimes bonding, or inlays or onlays are all that are needed. Dr. Jack Fong can help you determine the cosmetic dentistry procedure that is right for you.
You could think of dental bonding in much the same way as you might think of someone fixing up cracks in a cement wall. They do not pull down the entire wall and replace it. They do not take out individual stones and replace them. They just slap a bit of cement on what remains, and it is good for years.
This is the way that dental bonding works. Your dentist identifies chips or cracks that can be filled in with a bit of tooth-colored composite. Then he goes to work filling in the cracks and chips. Once he is finished, the tooth looks the way it did before the damage occurred.
The only disadvantage to bonding is that it will last several years at best, and then the procedure will have to be repeated. But when you consider the cost of bonding as opposed to more costly treatments like crowns or porcelain veneers, and you consider the fact that it can be re-done many times, often it is the best solution for chipping and cracking.
Inlays and Onlays
Sometimes, the damage is so severe that dental bonding is not a good option. If you run your tongue over your teeth, for instance, and you identify a lot of ridges that are causing you discomfort, then bonding is not likely to do the job. By the same token, the damage might not be bad enough to warrant crowns. Inlays or onlays could be the solution.
Inlays are made from essentially the same material as if you had bonding. It is a tooth-colored compound, and your dentist installs it over the cusps of your teeth – the areas where you feel sharp points digging into your tongue. Onlays are just extended inlays – instead of treating one or two cusps, they are installed over a series of cusps.
To create inlays or onlays, Dr. Jack Fong scrapes or drills away any damaged areas. Then he takes impressions of your teeth to send to a lab where master ceramists make inlays and onlays. These are restorative treatments, and once cemented in place, you will no longer feel discomfort.
Porcelain Veneers and Lumineers
Many cosmetic dentistry issues can be corrected easily by means of traditional porcelain veneers and Lumineers. These are cost-effective treatments that are appropriate for virtually any patient. They are often a perfectly good alternative to more expensive dental crowns, and are effective for issues like discoloration, shipping, or gapping. Click here to learn more about porcelain veneers and Lumineers.
Teeth Whitening – KöR®
Sometimes, all you really need to improve your smile is a professional dental whitening treatment. Dr. Jack Fong can provide you with in-office, in-home or combination treatments using the KöR whitening system. Do not waste your money on over-the-counter whitening solutions when you can get better results from your dentist. Discover more information about teeth whitening on our teeth whitening page.
Dr. Jack Fong can offer several cosmetic dentistry procedures that will improve your smile and make it easier for you to bite and chew. To find out more, call us at 806-353-8184, or book an appointment using the form on our contact page. Our dentist office is located at 3131 Bell, Suite 207, Amarillo, TX 79106. Come and see us so that we can discuss the ways that we can improve your smile with the many benefits of cosmetic dentistry.