Tooth colored fillings
Composite fillings, also known as white or tooth-colored fillings, are dental restorations designed to be inconspicuous and natural in appearance. Since its development in the late 1950s, composite resin has been constantly researched and improved upon, yielding the durable and esthetic materials we have today. In addition to the improved esthetics over silver amalgam fillings, composite also micromechanically bonds to the teeth. This allows minimally invasive tooth preparation to conserve natural tooth structure. Composite can be used to restore decayed teeth as well as teeth that are chipped or broken.
Our selection of composite resins includes a wide range of shades and translucencies. Although placement of composite is more technique sensitive and may take a little more time than placing a silver amalgam filling, your new fillings will be properly contoured to promote gum health, they will not collect food, and they will be fully sealed to ensure maximum longevity and to avoid sensitivity after they are done. And when all is said and done, your teeth will look like…teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is a safe and easy way to brighten up your smile. If you are satisfied with the overall appearance of your teeth but simply desire them to be lighter in color, bleaching them may be the appropriate treatment.
The treatment takes two appointments. At the first appointment, we take impressions of your teeth in order to fabricate the clear, thin, flexible, custom-molded “trays”. These trays fit right over your teeth and you can wear them when you’re awake or asleep. The second appointment is scheduled for when the trays are ready (usually the next day). At this appointment, we review all of the instructions for use of the trays with professional bleaching gel (you have a choice of flavors and we have three different strengths available). We also take photos of your teeth to document initial tooth shade. These photos can be used for comparison later in the bleaching process in order to assess how much your teeth have whitened. For most patients, tooth bleaching leads to delightful results.
If you are interested in more information about teeth bleaching, we invite you to read Dr. Sekijima’s blog post: www.fillingyouinblog.com/blog/whitening.
Bonding is a minimally-invasive artistic dental procedure that can be used to repair teeth that are fractured, chipped or worn. It can also be used to close spaces between teeth or change the contour of a tooth. In this procedure, composite resin is shade and translucency matched to your natural teeth. Minimal tooth preparation and use of the appropriate dental adhesive materials allow bonding of the composite to teeth to create a more esthetically pleasing smile without undergoing a more invasive procedure.
This procedure is appropriate to correct minor cosmetic problems, such as a tooth that is only slightly too long or slightly misshapen or teeth that are slightly uneven. It is also referred to as enameloplasty, or removal of enamel. No anesthetic is needed, as there is no sensation or pain associated. Sanding or polishing instruments are used to remove the small amount of enamel at just the right place, and oftentimes the removal of less than a millimeter makes all the difference.
If the esthetic changes you desire for your teeth can’t be achieved to your (or our) satisfaction using the above methods, porcelain veneers might be the best option.
Porcelain veneers are crafted to our specifications for your teeth by our ceramist, then bonded in place on your teeth. The process begins with a discussion with Dr. Sekijima to determine what changes you desire for your teeth, as well as digital photos and impressions to make models of your teeth for careful study.
Using the models, we create a mock up in wax to allow you to see what the final veneers would look like. You are able to dictate any changes you would like to make at this stage. We then use a process to transfer the desired shape of the veneers from the models into acrylic veneers that temporarily adhere to your teeth. You can try smiling and speaking and once you (and we) are happy with the appearance and function of the acrylic veneers, we proceed with the tooth preparations.
Tooth preparation for veneers often involves removing a thin layer of enamel is enamel. A new impression is then made, and our ceramist fabricates your ceramic veneers to replicate the ones we made in acrylic. The final ceramic veneers are beautifully esthetic and strong and are bonded to your teeth at the final appointment. When used in the right circumstances, ceramic veneers create a natural, bright, and attractive smile.
There are cases where the treatment options above would not be appropriate for achieving the patient’s desired smile. If the crowding or rotation of the teeth is too severe, orthodontic treatment is needed to achieve optimal tooth function and esthetics.
We think orthodontic treatment for adults is a great thing. Many patients have had adult orthodontic treatment (even Dr. Henricksen, the original owner and founder of this practice). Whether it’s done with Invisalign or with attached brackets, the treatment is typically easier than people anticipate and the results not only yield a more pleasing smile, but teeth are easier to care for when they are optimally aligned.