Cosmetic Dentistry

The term “Cosmetic” can take on many meanings, especially in dentistry depending on who you talk with.  In my experience with my patients and listening to what they have to say, the term “cosmetic” means something that they can do to their teeth in order to make them look better, whether they want to or whether they need to!  Below you will find some of the types of services that are offered in dentistry in order to meet the “cosmetic” needs of our patients.

Tooth Colored Fillings 
Bonding, the use of the tooth colored composite resin material to restore teeth or improve their appearance, has been around for over 30 years.

Cosmetic Bonding
We use tooth colored filling material to make teeth look younger, whiter, and more natural looking. We can also eliminate unsightly spaces between your teeth.  This type of bonding requires great skill and a keen eye by your dentist in order to avoid an opaque or “one color” outcome.  Your teeth have different layers to them (enamel and dentin) and these layers have different colors, intensities of color, and gray depending on where in the mouth that we are working.  A typical cosmetic bonding procedure requires a minimum amount of three different layers of colors in order to look natural.

Dr. Benson has traveled to learn from some of the world’s top experts in the field of tooth bonding, Dr. Newton Fahl DDS in Curitiba, Brazil.  Dr. Benson also trained with Dr. Fahl in Foster City, CA during a hands-on course in advanced bonding.  Dr. Benson was then invited to Brazil to train for four days with Dr. Fahl on how to perform natural life-like composite tooth colored veneers, crowns and fillings.

Cosmetic Contouring
We can reshape teeth to make them look more appropriate for your age, gender, or personality.  Typically, cosmetic contouring or “enamelplasty” as it is referred to by definition, is the selective removal of tooth enamel in order to make a tooth or teeth look more pleasing to the eye.  Due to the fact that enamelplasty is a subtractive process we need to be very careful in our planning prior to performing this procedure because we can ultimately change the functional aspect of the tooth involved which could then have negative implications on your bite.  Typically, this procedure is only done after we have done a “dry run” on a set of properly articulated set of study models on your teeth so that we predict both the functional and cosmetic outcome prior irreversibly removing your natural tooth enamel.

Comprehensive Cosmetic and Bite Tests
These are a series of tests that are taken in one appointment to study the overall condition of your mouth and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for you to either maintain or restore your teeth back to optimum health and appearance. The tests performed are selected based on your own specific case, thus the fee for the tests performed at the time of your appointment can vary. Following is a list of possible tests:

Tests Performed During Your Appointment

  • A complete Medical and Dental History
  • An Oral Cancer Exam
  • X-rays of your teeth, supporting bones, and jaw joint
  • A specialized set of digital photos of your face, teeth, and gums
  • Precision molds of your teeth for evaluation and study
  • A record of how your teeth fit together and how they should
  • Facial measurements to help determine appropriate treatment outcomes
  • Measurements of the gums and bone around your teeth
  • Tooth color analysis
  • A comprehensive interview with you in order to ascertain your treatment goals and expectations

Tests and Follow-up Work Performed By Dr. Benson After Your Appointment

  • Study of your precision molds on a specialized bite machine to analyze your bite
  • Analysis of your case specific photos
  • Analysis of all other tests

Once the tests are completed and analyzed, you then return to see Dr. Benson to discuss his Report of Findings.  You can then decide on the course of treatment that best serves your treatment goals. If you are a patient who, for whatever reason, has only been able to receive “repair” or “patchwork” dentistry during your life and you desire a successful and long term comprehensive plan to make your teeth look great and last for a long time, then ask us how you can benefit from the Comprehensive Cosmetic and Bite Tests.

Clear Braces – Invisalign®
Invisible braces that are actually plastic retainers that you are able to remove to eat and brush your teeth. Please visit the following link for more details and call us if you wish to find out more about Invisalign or if you wish to schedule an appointment to find out if you are candidate.    

Teeth Whitening
Whiter teeth can be achieved in as little as 2 hours with our in-office system or as little as 2 weeks with our take-home tray system. Results with teeth whitening are determined by a number of factors including genetics, habits (coffee, tea, smoking), and compliance when using any whitening system. Call us for an appointment so we can help you determine what system if best for you.

Crowns and Tooth Tops
We can restore your bite, damaged teeth, or worn teeth with new man-made tooth colored ceramic tooth tops such as crowns and onlays.  Dr Benson takes a special approach to “crowns’, as patients sometimes call them.  Instead of “shaving the teeth down into little stubs” or “cutting all of the healthy enamel away”, as many new patients to the practice say has happened to their teeth, Dr Benson treatment plans each tooth differently- every design is different.  Dr Benson feels that the treatment goal for crowns should be to maximize the amount of enamel left on the tooth and maximize the ability of his patients to maintain easy and adequate hygiene of their new crown(s) so that they can last longer.  

Whether made of tooth colored filling material (composite) or man-made ceramic material (porcelain), veneers are a conservative alternative to crowns as a replacement for the front or back surface of a tooth. The thickness of the veneer is determined on a tooth by tooth basis depending on the overall goal of your case. In some cases, no tooth structure needs to be removed (“no prep” veneers). Properly placed in a stable and low-stress environment veneers can remain beautiful and functional for many years.