Artistry has driven cosmetic dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry has driven us to create masterpieces. Of course, producing the best results is only possible with a combination of the best materials, the most current techniques and a highly skilled team.
Any procedures involving the aesthetic improvement or modification of your smile is classed as ‘cosmetic dentistry’. These treatments are varied and are often pain free and may not even require anaesthetic, so please do enquire.
We can compliment these with other ways of transforming smiles immediately with cosmetic bonding and inlays and onlays. At Chelsea and Fulham Dentist, we can offer all of these treatments in our central London location.
Dental veneers are permanent wafer thin shells of porcelain or similar materials that can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. It is a similar concept to the application of false fingernails, but they last a lot longer!
Veneers are custom made to specific shapes, sizes, colours and characteristics so to appear harmonious with the rest of your smile. We work closely with our highly experienced dental technicians to ensure that you are happy with the comfort and look of your veneers.
Veneers are a popular, minimally invasive versatile treatment choice that can be used in a number of scenarios; closing gaps between teeth, covering discoloured or damaged teeth and realigning teeth in smile makeovers.
How are teeth prepared for a veneer?
Sometimes, a small amount of the shiny outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and will be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an ‘impression’ (mould). This will be given to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer. The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.
How long will it take?
A veneer takes at least two visits: the first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.
Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?
Because the preparation of the tooth is so slight you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth.
What happens after the veneer is fitted?
Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made. Your dentist will probably want to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted, and make sure that you are happy with it.
How long will a veneer last?
Veneers should last for many years; but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. Your dentist will tell you how long each individual veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
What about alternatives?
A natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This is excellent where the tooth supports a filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners. There will always be a join between the tooth and the filling material. If the remaining tooth is weak and has little support for a veneer, we may do a full coverage dental crown.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are used to replicate and replace missing or defective natural tooth structure. They are used to restore larger spaces, where cosmetic bonding may not be appropriate. They can have benefits over large bonded filling as they can replicate the tooth anatomy more accurately and can be made from various materials, including porcelain, which is one of the strongest materials used in dentistry.
Dental Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth that have been fractured, weakend by decay or a large filling or have had previous root canal treatment. Protection of the remaining tooth is important to minimise the risk of fracture and subsequent need for extraction.
Other reasons for providing crowns include masking or discoloration, changing the shape of teeth and providing support for missing teeth in the form of a bridge or denture.
A bridge is a restoration that consists of multiple crowns joined together to close a gap (missing teeth) between one or more supporting healthy teeth. We work closely with the dental technicians that we trust at carefully selected laboratories to ensure the results are to the highest standard.
Types of crowns and bridge materials available:
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns: These have an inner core of metal which fits over the prepared tooth, and then the porcelain is ‘bonded’ by a special process in the laboratory over the metal to give a strong durable and aesthetic result.
- Porcelain and all ceramic crowns: There is a wide range of this type of crown available today and technology can now provide very strong and aesthetic crowns that are free of metal. The level of aesthetics achievable is breathtaking, and therefore can be made to fit into any existing smile.
- Gold crowns: These are particularly durable and we often use these on teeth unsuitable for ceramic crowns.
- Other materials: composite and acrylic are like hard wearing ‘plastic’ and may be indicated as a long term temporary or even permanent crown.
Dentures are an excellent way to effectively replace missing teeth. There are two main types; partial dentures (where there are natural remaining teeth present) or complete dentures (complete arch tooth loss).
We pride ourselves on being able to offer a wide variety of materials from which dentures can be made from one of Europes leading denture labs. The main types include:
- Acrylic – A modern high impact versatile light-weight plastic
- Cobalt Chrome – A strong, yet discrete light metal framework that allows less coverage of the mouth, good for patients with strong gag reflexes and to maintain taste sensation
- Flexidentures – A new, super-strong, flexible nylon-type denture with high comfort and cosmetic advantages. These dentures are fantastic for single tooth replacements as an interim comfortable replacement.
- Implant retained dentures – Have the additional advantage of providing solid support to prevent your dentures becoming loose. Though this is not a new concept it is becoming progressively more popoular with the introduction of mini-implants.