Dental health isn’t just about keeping teeth strong and healthy. It’s also about creating and maintaining a beautiful smile that makes a great first impression. At our Miami area dental practice, Bliss Dental, our skilled staff emphasizes oral health as well as the beauty of our patients’ smiles to deliver optimal patient care. The teeth draw attention to themselves when we speak, eat, and express emotions and cosmetic issues affecting the teeth can cause self-consciousness and have a negative impact on first impressions. Dr. Gaertner is a cosmetic dental care specialist in Kendall, FL, who aims to create minor aesthetic changes that offer maximum impact for his cosmetic dentistry patients
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dental care is a type of dentistry that is performed on an elective basis to improve the appearance of one’s teeth. When a person has had any necessary dental work completed and is in good dental health, Dr. Gaertner and his team can place their focus on a patient’s aesthetics if they are concerned about cosmetic issues. During a smile makeover, the staff at Bliss Dental may work to improve the alignment of the teeth, tooth whiteness, tooth size, and shape, and replace missing anatomy to restore or create a complete set of teeth. Dr. Gaertner practices different types of dental care including general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and sedation dentistry. The dentist also provides some endodontic treatments like root canals. By providing a full-service dental clinic, most patients’ needs can be met at a single location.
The Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation
Prior to undergoing cosmetic dentistry procedures, Dr. Gaertner must ensure there are no problems with the patient’s oral health. The dental team will perform a thorough examination of the patient’s mouth, including X-rays, and will go over the patient’s goals for cosmetic dental work. This appointment is an excellent opportunity for the staff to get to know each patient and to learn more about his or her lifestyle. With this knowledge, the experts at Bliss Dental can make informed recommendations regarding the type of dentistry procedures that a patient should consider. Many patients are unaware that there are several ways to address even the most common aesthetic and health issues. There is no one-size-fits-all solution available in cosmetic dental care, but rather, customized procedures to address each patient’s particular needs.
Patients are encouraged to complete all necessary dental work prior to undergoing elective cosmetic treatments. This promotes the health of the teeth and gums and ensures that Dr. Gaertner can create final restorations on healthy teeth so his cosmetic work is not affected by future procedures. If a patient needs fillings, a composite resin material may be utilized to promote uniformly-colored teeth without obvious silver placements.
Available Cosmetic Treatments at Bliss Dental
Below are brief descriptions of some of the aesthetic solutions Dr. Gaertner may discuss during consultations at his South Florida office. By having an idea of the work he may perform, patients can make educated decisions about how to improve the look of their smile.
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Surgically installed in the upper and lower jawbones using metal screws, implant dentistry aims for the total restoration that may be necessary following tooth loss. When a tooth is no longer rooted in the jawbone, the area of bone loses stimulation and calcium, causing it to shrink. This can cause a person to appear much older than they actually are and lead to facial collapse since the upper and lower jawbones maintain the framework for the mid and lower face. Even if there is bone loss in the area, however, implants can usually be placed. In some cases, this will require bone grafting. The grafting material may be supplied by a bony part of the patient’s body or synthetic material that can be added to the jaw may be used.
A metal screw, most commonly composed of titanium, will serve as the new artificial tooth root, promoting regeneration and continued support of the jaw bone. Over the next few months, the bone will fuse with the screw to create a type of fusion that is similar to the natural root of the tooth. A crown will be created to serve as the visible tooth portion of the implant and will be designed to match any remaining teeth in the mouth. In some cases where a patient has lost an entire upper or lower row of teeth, Dr. Gaertner can utilize the All-on-4 or Teeth-in-a-Day methods where four screws are placed, which is sufficient to install a row of teeth. With a single loss or a few missing teeth, the dentist may opt to place individual screws for each implant. Implant dentistry is customized to the patient’s needs to ensure a beautiful smile.
Patients suffering from tooth loss may choose to complete their full set of teeth by undergoing bridge work. One of the main qualifiers for this procedure is the existence of healthy teeth on either side of the gap to serve as a dual-sided anchor for the artificial tooth. The adjacent teeth are abraded and crowned so they can form a bridge where the missing tooth or teeth are replaced in the central part of the dental work. Patients with extensive tooth loss may not be ideal candidates to receive a dental bridge since there must be existing natural teeth for support. A bridge is a non-surgical solution used for minor tooth loss. For patients with more missing teeth, implant dentistry may be a better option.
A crown is a replacement of the portion of the tooth that sits above the gum line. Created from a durable ceramic material, these artificial teeth cap the underlying tooth, which has been treated and abraded due to decay or other structural issues. Dental crowns can also be placed when patients dislike the look of the existing tooth or teeth.
The first step of the process is the shaping of the natural tooth to accommodate the ceramic cap. It will be sanded down so that the artificial tooth can fit snugly over the top of it. Dr. Gaertner will then take an impression of the modified area of the mouth. A mold is formed and a crown will be created by an expert dental laboratory team. The crown will match the color and look of the existing teeth and will be an appropriate height to maintain the patient’s bite pattern.
Prior to having the crown permanently bonded to the remaining natural tooth, a temporary crown will be placed. This ensures the remaining portion of the natural tooth below is protected from bacteria and maintains a normal look. Once the crown is ready for placement, Dr. Gaertner will dissolve the water-based glue and permanently bond the artificial tooth to the location. Crowns are expected to last 15 years or longer.
Porcelain veneers are an excellent way to improve the look of the teeth without impacting their structural integrity. Because the fronts of the teeth are the only portions that are visible, veneers are designed to enhance this part of each treated tooth. Composed of a thin porcelain shell, veneers are bonded to the tooth’s surface following a procedure where a minimal amount of enamel is removed from the tooth. Dental veneers can be created to offer a permanently whiter smile, to change the shape of the teeth, and to create a more aligned smile with straighter teeth. Veneers are popular in patients seeking to create a permanent and beautiful smile through a less invasive method than other treatment options. While dental implants are performed as a total tooth replacement, and crowns and bridges require extensive modification of existing teeth, porcelain veneers are performed as a surface treatment.
Professional Teeth Whitening
After learning more about the above restorative dentistry methods, current and prospective patients may have determined that they do not need an in-depth procedure and only wish to make minor changes to their smile. Professional tooth whitening is a non-invasive, non-surgical in-office procedure that does not require any changes to the existing teeth. Through a bleaching gel and an accelerating light, stains from the teeth are uniformly removed.
It should be noted that some tooth discolorations, such as those that are caused by a dying root structure cannot be whitened through this method. A root canal may be necessary to save the tooth and improve its appearance. Dental crowns and implants are composed of synthetic materials and will also not change color after a teeth whitening treatment. Patients should also be aware that due to varying colors of dentin, which is the part of the tooth below the enamel, results will vary as enamel is transparent.
One of the best ways to transform a smile is by permanently straightening the teeth. Through the use of nearly invisible braces, patients can see optimal results in about 12 months. Not only do properly-aligned teeth create a universally appealing smile, but straight teeth also promote better oral health. The teeth are easier to brush and floss and pressure are distributed more evenly. Invisalign also corrects bite issues that can detract from the look of a patient’s smile and improves wear patterns of the teeth.
Anti-Aging Cosmetic Dentistry
As people age, their teeth may shift, stain, and wear unfavorably. Cosmetic dentists are specially trained to address all aesthetic issues that occur in the mouth due to age. From replacing missing teeth with dental implants to repairing existing teeth with crowns and bridges or providing overall whitening, cosmetic dentistry procedures can fully renew a patient’s youthful smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs
WHAT DOES A COSMETIC DENTIST DO?
Cosmetic dentists aim to create better-looking teeth for each patient. The procedures are often elective and not necessary to a person’s dental health, but improve overall attractiveness. Cosmetic dentistry can address issues like tooth placement, shape, and color. In some cases, treatments that are performed out of necessity to replace missing teeth or correct improper alignment address both the function and form.
CAN SILVER FILLINGS BE REPLACED BY COMPOSITE RESIN FILLINGS FOR A MORE DISCREET LOOK?
Yes, in most cases metal alloy fillings can be replaced by composite resin or other durable, natural-looking materials. Silver-colored fillings appear dark in the mouth and serve as an obvious signal that a person has had dental work done. The teeth will appear lighter and healthier with tooth-colored fillings.
CAN DR. GAERTNER ADDRESS RIDGES ON THE FRONT TEETH?
Yes, Dr. Gaertner can use light buffing techniques to smooth the mamelons or the protuberances that may remain on certain teeth. This helps the teeth to appear more mature, as mamelons often appear in youth. The procedure also helps to create a more uniform smile.
I HAVE A CHIPPED TOOTH. HOW CAN THIS BE REPAIRED?
Chips can occur through trauma to the teeth, certain foods, or even tooth grinding or certain wear patterns. Minor chips in certain teeth may be repaired by composite bonding. The same tooth-colored material used to fill cavities can be used to replace missing natural material.
IS COSMETIC DENTISTRY COVERED BY INSURANCE?
In some cases, when procedures are medically necessary to improve a patient’s oral health, procedures are covered by dental insurance. For example, many plans will cover orthodontia (including Invisalign), dental implants, and dental crown or bridge restorations. Dental insurance may not cover the placement of veneers, metal filling replacements for color-match purposes, or tooth chip repair.
Dr. Gaertner of the Miami Area Practice, Bliss Dental
Dr. Gaertner of Bliss Dental was born to practice dentistry. Following in the footsteps of his father, who is a renowned dentist in their home country of Belgium, he developed a passion for the family business early in life. Through modern technology and advances in dental medicine, Dr. Gaertner has integrated lasers and Botox into his practice. He has also evolved his practice to include cosmetic dentistry procedures, allowing him to meet the diverse aesthetic needs of his patients.
Dr. Gaertner’s South Florida dental clinic is a full-service facility, offering top-notch patient care and providing services that range from routine dental care to endodontics to cosmetic and restorative dentistry services that enhance patients’ smiles.
Contact the Bliss Dental team’s Kendall, FL office at (305) 274-6500, or fill out the Bliss Dental Contact Form so a staff member can reach out to you for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.