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Cosmetic dentistry is a particular branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of patients’ smiles. A wide range of services is available for addressing different types of concerns, including gaps between teeth. In Woodbridge, VA, cosmetic dentistry is offered at Occoquan Smiles. Our experienced team of dentists can recommend specific procedures for closing the gaps in your smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Services for Fixing Gaps

We have several methods for fixing gaps between teeth at our general and cosmetic dentistry office in Woodbridge, VA. Some procedures and services that can close gaps in the smile include:

Dental Bonding: Small gaps between teeth are filled with a tooth-colored resin material that permanently bonds to the teeth. After applying the resin, a special curing light is used to harden it. Once dry, the resin blends in with the rest of your smile, and the gap will be gone. Dental bonding can also be used to repair teeth that are chipped or cracked.

Porcelain Veneers: Wafer-thin laminate covers that are bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can be used to conceal small gaps between teeth. They can also conceal other types of imperfections, such as stains or discolorations.

Crowns: A dental crown is a hollow tooth-like cap that is placed over a tooth to improve its appearance. In some cases, placing a crown over a tooth can fix a small gap. Crowns can also improve the appearance of teeth that are crooked, misshapen, or discolored. Additionally, crowns can strengthen and protect damaged teeth, as well as restore function in teeth too weak to bite and chew food.

Invisalign Clear Aligners: Another option for fixing gaps between teeth is Invisalign clear aligners. Custom clear aligner trays are worn over the teeth and gently exert pressure on them so they gradually move into the desired position over time.

Other Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help

In addition to fixing gaps between teeth, cosmetic dentistry can address many other problems with your smile. Some of the cosmetic issues that can be improved with the right treatment or procedure include:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Dull, stained, or discolored teeth
  • Crowded/overlapping teeth
  • Odd or misshaped teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • A gummy smile

Cosmetic dentistry can fix gaps between your teeth, as well as many other smile concerns. Our skilled dentists can recommend certain services and procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire. For cosmetic dentistry in Woodbridge, VA, call Occoquan Smiles at (703) 490-9094.

By Occoquan Smiles
January 20, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  

You probably wouldn't be surprised to hear that someone playing hockey, racing motocross or duking it out in an ultimate fighter match had a tooth knocked out. But acting in a movie? That's exactly what happened to Howie Mandel, well-known comedian and host of TV's America's Got Talent and Deal or No Deal. And not just any tooth, but one of his upper front teeth—with the other one heavily damaged in the process.

The accident occurred during the 1987 filming of Walk Like a Man in which Mandel played a young man raised by wolves. In one scene, a co-star was supposed to yank a bone from Howie's mouth. The actor, however, pulled the bone a second too early while Howie still had it clamped between his teeth. Mandel says you can see the tooth fly out of his mouth in the movie.

But trooper that he is, Mandel immediately had two crowns placed to restore the damaged teeth and went back to filming. The restoration was a good one, and all was well with his smile for the next few decades.

Until, that is, he began to notice a peculiar discoloration pattern. Years of coffee drinking had stained his other natural teeth, but not the two prosthetic (“false”) crowns in the middle of his smile. The two crowns, bright as ever, stuck out prominently from the rest of his teeth, giving him a distinctive look: “I looked like Bugs Bunny,” Mandel told Dear Doctor—Dentistry & Oral Health magazine.

His dentist, though, had a solution: dental veneers. These thin wafers of porcelain are bonded to the front of teeth to mask slight imperfections like chipping, gaps or discoloration. Veneers are popular way to get an updated and more attractive smile. Each veneer is custom-shaped and color-matched to the individual tooth so that it blends seamlessly with the rest of the teeth.

One caveat, though: most veneers can look bulky if placed directly on the teeth. To accommodate this, traditional veneers require that some of the enamel be removed from your tooth so that the veneer does not add bulk when it is placed over the front-facing side of your tooth. This permanently alters the tooth and requires it have a restoration from then on.

In many instances, however, a “minimal prep” or “no-prep” veneer may be possible, where, as the names suggest, very little or even none of the tooth's surface needs to be reduced before the veneer is placed. The type of veneer that is recommended for you will depend on the condition of your enamel and the particular flaw you wish to correct.

Many dental patients opt for veneers because they can be used in a variety of cosmetic situations, including upgrades to previous dental work as Howie Mandel experienced. So if slight imperfections are putting a damper on your smile, veneers could be the answer.

If you would like more information about veneers and other cosmetic dental enhancements, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”