Dental veneers, crowns, and gum contouring are all cosmetic dentistry procedures that can improve both the function and appearance of your teeth. Each procedure involves a different process and provides specific benefits. That is why knowing which treatment is most suitable for your unique needs is essential.

Visiting a dentist who practices cosmetic dentistry in Bloomington, IL, will better help you narrow down your treatment options. But understanding the differences between these three treatments before your visit may simplify the treatment planning process.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are part of cosmetic dentistry services that treat several imperfections in your teeth. They are custom-made and fit your teeth precisely. Veneers can restore the natural size, shape, and color of your tooth. They are made from a thin layer of porcelain and bond to the front surface of an existing tooth near the front of your mouth. Veneers are not practical for the back teeth.

Common conditions this procedure corrects are:

  • Chipping
  • Intrinsic staining from antibiotics or fluorosis
  • Uneven or narrow smile
  • Crowding or overlapping teeth

Veneers are not ideal for patients who grind their teeth or need to complete orthodontic treatment.

The Process of Getting a Veneer

If veneers are right for you, the dentist makes an impression of your tooth. Modern technology uses a digital scanner, while traditional methods require a mold. At Bloomington Modern Dentistry, we use the latest in digital technology to avoid uncomfortable molds and putty, and to ensure we get the most accurate images for the perfect fit.

When the veneer is ready, the dentist will bond it to the tooth using a special cement and harden it with a special blue light. Your dentist may suggest wearing a nightguard to protect the veneer from any clenching or grinding in your sleep.

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns cover the entire tooth. It can be made from gold, porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). Dental crowns are more durable than veneers and thus suitable for back teeth. This type of cosmetic procedure is used for the following reasons:

  • Repairing a tooth after injury or damage
  • Protection after root canal treatment
  • Protecting a tooth weaken by decay from further damage
  • Repairing staining and chipping

Dental crowns are another cosmetic dentistry option to create an aesthetically pleasing, custom-made restoration. However, crowns are not typically used for minor cosmetic work.

The tooth is reshaped to prepare for the crown placement. Any tooth decay must be removed before preparing for the crown, often requiring additional material to build up the tooth.

The Process of Getting a Crown

At Bloomington Modern Dentistry, we use digital technology to take an accurate scan of your mouth to create a 3D model. Depending on how many teeth are being restored and where they are located, you may be a candidate for a CEREC same day crown, which means your new crown is milled on site and placed within the same appointment. This means no need to book multiple dental appointments or having to wear a temporary crown until your new crown is ready.

In some cases, you may not be a candidate for a same day crown. For example, if you have a tooth fracture below the gumline where our intraoral scanners can get a clear picture. In this case, the scan of your tooth will be sent to a specialist off-site lab to be prepared. A temporary crown is fitted to protect your tooth until your new crown is ready.

Once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary one is removed, and the new crown is cemented. Adjustments will be made to ensure it fits properly and your bite is correct. As the crown ages, you may need to have it readjusted due to your teeth shifting position.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental service that alters the shape of your gums. These cosmetic dental services are used to remove extra gum tissue that creates the appearance of a gummy smile or to restore receding gum tissue that exposes too much of your teeth.

Several things can cause a gummy smile, but some of the most common include the following:

  • A bad bite
  • Hyperactive upper lip
  • Too much gum tissue

How you fix a gummy smile depends on what the cause is. However, gum contouring is one of the top solutions. Many dentists use this procedure when preparing a patient for dental veneers.

The Process of Gum Contouring

Once you and your dentist have discussed the procedure and are happy with the plan for your new gumline, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic.

A dental laser is used to remove tissue, which speeds up healing time, reduces the risk of infection, and is much more comfortable for the patient. The healing period will depend on your individual case, but you can expect to be fully recovered within seven to 10 days.

Premier Practice for Cosmetic Dentistry Services in Bloomington, IL

Veneers, crowns, and gum contouring all address cosmetic concerns. However, your unique needs and oral conditions determine your best procedure. The most important part of receiving dental treatment is treating the condition affecting your oral health.

At Bloomington Modern Dentistry, our experienced team offers the most advanced cosmetic dental services, along with personalized family and general dentistry, to provide you with exceptional results delivered in a comfortable setting. To learn more about how we can help you achieve your brightest smile, call us today.