Dental Options

Smiles & Anterior Teeth

No two people are the same so we treat every esthetic case differently and try to create a treatment that best reflects the individual person. Listed below are the different procedures and dental options in our Salt Lake City Utah office we have for people to create a beautiful smile, which is the result in most cases. We are doing a combination of treatments.

  1. Porcelain Veneers – If you want the perfect smile, this is your best option. Most smile makeover cases will involve 8-10 teeth, but sometimes we choose to treat just 1, 2 or 4 teeth. This is the best long-term solution to change your smile and if done correctly and maintained veneers can last a lifetime.
  2. Composite Veneers and Bonding – For small areas of discoloration or closing small gaps between teeth direct bonding is a good option. It is conservative care, and done in a single visit, often without anesthetic. Disadvantages are that the restoration can chip and discolor with time.
  3. Invisalign – For adults who have nice shaped teeth, but they are just crooked or have gaps, Invisalign is a good option. You wear a series of clear plastic retainers which gently guide your teeth into the correct position. Treatment can take from 6 months to 2 years.
  4. Teeth Whitening – If you have good shape and position of your teeth then just bleach them. For more information click on teeth whitening to the left.
  5. Cosmetic Recontouring – Often in combination with whitening we recontour the anterior teeth. With time these teeth may show signs of wear or may have chips. We carefully reshape these teeth to bring back a more youthful look.
  6. Laser Gum Recontouring – We use the laser to change gum heights if you show too much gum tissue when you smile or the anterior teeth look too short. Just removing 1 to 2 mm can make a significant difference in the esthetic outcome of your smile. This gum treatment can be done alone or in combination with veneers, Invisalign, or cosmetic recontouring.
  7. Dental Implants – Dental implants are permanent and effective solutions to missing teeth. Implants actually fuse with the bone to create the strongest option for a better smile, which can be a better option than dental bridges.

Esthetic Posterior Options

For posterior teeth we, here at our office in Salt Lake City, mostly use porcelain and composite. Which procedure we use to restore a tooth is directly related to how much of the natural tooth remains after removing the decay and old filling. If at all possible we try and use a direct filling. It’s the easiest, most economical way to restore teeth, but there must be sufficient remaining natural tooth structure for it to hold up long term. If not then we use inlays, onlays, and crowns.

When restoring a tooth our primary focus is to keep as much of the natural tooth as possible. This will be determined by the extent of the decay and the presence of a previous restoration. Most options will involve bonded tooth colored restorations. There are many advantages to this type of dental care. First, it’s the strongest choice, since we create a very strong bond directly to the enamel of the tooth. This also allows for a longer lasting restoration as well. Next, it’s the most conservative choice, since we only remove the unhealthy part of the tooth. No tooth structure is removed for retention as with metal work. Last, but not least, it’s the most esthetic. We can restore teeth with these procedures that look just like natural teeth.

Occasionally we have to use gold, but not often and only on the most posterior molars. There is no reason to ever consider silver-mercury fillings. They are inferior to porcelain and composite in every way possible, although the majority of dentists still place them and the ADA still approves of it. We stopped using dental amalgam fillings in 1995.