» Cosmetic DentistryDentist | Lynchburg

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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is a special focus on the teeth you see when you smile as well as how the teeth support your face. With proper attention to detail you often look dramatically younger. To get the job done right your dental team needs to pay close attention to your bite, your gums, your tongue, your cheeks, your lip line, your speech, and many other factors. With most cosmetic procedures, we are seeking to change the position and/or contour of the teeth.

How its done

Smile analysis starts with a keen eye for proportion and symmetry. We use photographs and several methods for manipulating digital images to do a digital preview of the changes. We look at the lower third of one’s face, lip support from the front teeth, where the edge of the top teeth falls during function, and many dozens of other important considerations. In some cases, we “frame” the smile using a small amount of Botox to relax creases or fillers to even out the skin and cheeks.

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Altered views of the same patient show the impact of one’s lower facial third on overall facial and smile aesthetics

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Side view shows whether orthodontists or even oral surgeons are needed to achieve satisfactory facial aesthetics.

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The line drawn from these three facial landmarks enables fast evaluation of facial aesthetics.

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Where the edge of the top teeth falls when smiling, talking, and chewing is very important.

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The contours of the gum frame the teeth. Paying attention to this symmetry and correcting where necessary can make a large difference in the smile

The art & science

Many foundations for beauty are based on mathematical proportions. One of the oldest proportions is the Golden Ratio, \varphi. We use this ratio to look not only at the proportion of each tooth by itself but with each tooth in reference to its neighbor as well.

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We set the width of each central incisor tooth to one and look for proportion as the smile line fades towards the corner of the lips.

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We use idealized proportions for the width and height ratios of each tooth to achieve customized results.

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We will analyze the amount of scalloping of the gums to make sure that the gums and teeth match.

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We obsess about each tooth’s height to width ratio. Most of our patients usually want to make small changes, which is why conservative and reversible cosmetic prototyping is the best place to start.

Once we have established ideal contours, height to width ratios, color, lip support, and smile line, we can safely proceed to the next step. This involves duplicating the cosmetic prototype with permanent restorations so our patients already know what the final result will look like. To provide high-level cosmetic service, we use the best: master ceramist Bob Clark from Williams Dental Laboratory. Our doctors have spent hundreds of hours a year learning the latest methods and techniques, even training alongside Bob in person. We have equipped our office with the full array of these specialized tools and materials for aesthetic restoration. If you would like to see before and after photos, please check out our smile gallery here.

Whitening for Life

If you are happy with the position and contour of your teeth, whitening can often provide a dramatic improvement to one’s smile. The process involves applying a form of peroxide gel to your teeth. You do this until your teeth are white enough that you are satisfied. For most, this is 5-10 shades lighter depending on where you start. Our whitening protocol depends on your desired results:

  • For the most dramatic improvements, we recommend the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching System. This option is the most comprehensive available and involves both in-office and at-home treatments along with a large array of support materials to ensure the best results. Click here for before and after photos submitted by KöR patients. Click here for FAQs about the KöR system.
  • For everyday use and the most common bleaching needs, we provide prescription-strength peroxide gel with custom trays for at-home use. This option is a great value and will provide many patients the results they are after with the option of maintenance use to keep your teeth white over time.
  • If you are after instant results, we offer Zoom Whitening for in-office use. This option is great for getting your teeth white in a hurry and with minimal modification to your diet. We sometimes use this option for touch-ups after completing one of the at-home treatments.

If you decide to use one of these systems, we will provide you with enough bleaching gel for at least one year of use. And if keeping your teeth as white as possible is your main concern, we can provide a regimen of cleanings and bleaching to make sure your teeth are as radiant as possible. Depending on your needs, we often provide the maintenance gel free of charge as a thank you. Please consult with your treatment team if you have questions or concerns.