Cosmetic dentistry is both an art and a science concerned with improving the appearance of one’s smile through various cosmetic dental procedures. The expertise of cosmetic dentistry often gives models, TV broadcasters and Hollywood actors their perfect pearly whites. These procedures are now widely available to anyone.
Often, cosmetic dentistry involves the whitening of teeth, veneers, bonding or other dental procedures. Cosmetic dentistry differs from traditional dentistry, which focuses more on the maintenance of good oral health and hygiene and maintaining the proper function of the teeth for chewing and biting. Although these things are vital for any dentistry performed including cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic dentistry adds in the need to have whatever procedure is done blend in with the teeth to appear natural while enhancing the smile to look the best it can possibly look – healthy, white, straight and beautiful.
Cosmetic dentistry is not a specialist field within dentistry so there are no officially recognised qualifications in cosmetic dentistry. For patients seeking cosmetic dentistry it is advisable to research your dentist’s background ensuring they are experienced, skilled and up to date with the latest techniques and technology available. Dr Tiang’s main focus is on cosmetic dentistry and he has amassed a wealth of knowledge over his 10+ years in the field, having travelled all over the world to learn from some of cosmetic dentistry’s leading experts. He is also an active member of a number of many national and internationa dental associations promoting the provision of the highest quality of work for dental patients.Click here for a full CV of Dr Tiang’s extensive training and qualifications.
There are a number of options available now to improve your smile and just because you were not born with a stunning smile doesn’t mean you can’t have one now. See below to find out about all the different treatments available which might work for you. Of course, to know what the right treatment is for your individual needs we suggest you make an appointment with us for a personalised consultation.
Porcelain Veneers (also known as porcelain laminates) are thin, custom made ‘shells’ permanently bonded to the front of your teeth. Veneers can transform teeth that are broken, chipped, worn down, or stained ,and can even make a crooked tooth appear to be straight or be used to close a gap between two teeth. Basically porcelain veneers can mask out any problem with an ugly tooth or teeth, hiding them behind a perfect looking facade. In partnership with some of the most skilled dental ceramists in the country (in the laboratories which custom manufacture porcelain veneers), Dr Tiang is able to offer this treatment option for either one tooth or your entire smile.
Veneers improve the colour and shape of your teeth, and give a spectacular lift to your smile. Your teeth don’t lose any of their strength, and you’ll be able to bite and chew normally. Porcelain veneers are also highly resistant to staining and are made of very durable ceramics with an apperance identical to that of tooth enamel.
Dr Tiang’s philosophy is to be as conservative as possible. This means only removing the minimum of tooth structure (none if possible, such as for small teeth or teeth which lean backwards) to achieve the desired result. Porcelain veneers can be an excellent treatment choice in many cases and Dr Tiang can advise you if this options will suit you.
Dental Bonding,also known as composite bonding or simply ‘bonding’, is a quick and effective solution for many cosmetic dental problems from a minor chip, stained or cracked tooth to a whole mouth of problems. Bonding can be used in the hands of a well trained cosmetic dentist to provide a repair of a small corner broken off a front tooth right the way up to a total smile makeover.
Dental bonding involves the skilled use of composite resin that is specially designed enabling it to be color-matched to each patient’s teeth to provide a completely natural-looking result.
As with most dental procedures, the more teeth a patient needs fixed, the longer the procedure will take, however minor dental bonding can usually be done within a couple of hours, often with minimal or even absolutely no drilling.
Layers of composite resin filling material are built up on a tooth, recreating the 3D colour and shape of that tooth or enhancing it as part of a pre-planned scheme to perform a cosmetic smile enhancement.
Composite Fillings were created as an alternative to traditional metal fillings. Dentists can choose from a selection of natural tooth colours which are made of plastic dental resin. These types of fillings are, durable and are much more natural looking than amalgam fillings.
Many people still have amalgam fillings (silver). These fillings contain mercury which was said to be poisonous to the body as well as the environment. The amounts of mercury in the fillings however are theoretically not significant enough to be a real threat but amalgam fillings are generally not as advantageous as composite fillings because they demand more aggressive drilling and tooth removal leading to weakening of the tooth, and can be susceptible to corrosion.
Can you believe that only 30 years ago, dentists used to think that the bigger the hole they drilled (even for a small bit of decay) the better it was for the health of your tooth? Of course now they realise that they were wrong and have gone in the other direction, making fillings as small as they possibly can, catching the decay as early as possible and minimising the amount of drilling done. However, there is a generation of people who had this aggressive dental treatment and now have large, black amalgam fillings in almost all of their back teeth. Is this you?
There are only very few people who manage to avoid having a cavity. There have been lots of advances in modern dentistry that make this process much more comfortable and use materials that are safer and more aesthetically pleasing.
If you have a cavity in a tooth or broken fillings or if your teeth are full of mercury/ amalgam fillings you may want to ask Dr Tiang about changing to composite dental fillings.
Dental Bridges are used to fill in areas where teeth are missing.
Dental bridges are false teeth used to fill gaps where a tooth has fallen out in order to improve the look and function of the teeth. Dental bridges are most effective for people who have only a few missing teeth, because when they are inserted they are usually anchored to surrounding natural teeth.
Teeth can fall out due to disease, decay and physical trauma, but bridges can be inserted to reconstruct a person’s smile. When a tooth falls out there is always a chance that the surrounding teeth will naturally shift to fill the empty space. There is also a chance that decay may occur in the surrounding teeth, or that gum disease and speech impediments may result from the loss of a tooth. In severe cases tooth loss can lead to a collapsed bite and jaw problems. Luckily, dental bridges can help prevent these problems by filling in the vacant space that is left when natural teeth fall out.
Dental bridges are made from porcelain and usually have a metal substructure. There are a few different types of bridges: fixed bridges, bonded bridges and cantilever bridges.
It is important to remember that the type of bridge that is necessary and the length of time it takes to have it inserted will depend on the size of the bridge needed and the extent of the problem that needs to be corrected.
Crowns and Onlays are actually used to describe a few different procedures using different kinds of material. Crowns and onlays are ways to repair extensively damaged and weakened teeth. Crowns or onlays are manufactured in a dental laboratory. Compare this to the other option of having a filling (metal or composite) which is made by the dentist directly on your tooth.
In the most basic of terms, a dental crown is a tooth cap that is placed over a tooth thus covering the tooth to restore its shape, its size and much of its original strength, thus making it look more attractive and ’normal’.
People choose to have dental crowns for a number of reasons it may be due to decay that has permanently eroded parts of their teeth, to protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth. Other cases may be an accident or to restore a broken worn tooth, support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left and cover misshaped or discoloured teeth.
There are also a host of different materials you can choose from for your dental crowns talk to Dr Tiang about what options are best for your teeth.
Dental Implants are a synthetic “root” made from titanium which is literally implanted permanently within the space where the natural tooth once lived. Your body will grow new jaw bone to knit around the synthetic root and make it very stable.
Then, depending on the circumstances, anything ranging from a single artificial tooth to a bridge to a denture can be attached to the implant.
The problems of gum shrinkage due to the loss of a tooth/teeth, irritation from unstable dentures and changes in speech are eliminated with the use of dental implants.