If you’ve ever looked at your smile in the mirror and immediately grimaced due to the less-than-perfect appearance, you’re not alone. Countless people hide their smiles during social interaction, but feel they are unable to make the changes they would like to see in their smiles. In recent years, cosmetic dentistry services have become increasingly popular, and innovations in techniques and technologies make it possible for the team at Painted Skies Dental Center to offer beautiful, predictable results for those patients who want to transform their smiles. Contact our dentists and team to find out more or schedule a consultation today to discuss options for cosmetic dentistry in Las Cruces, NM.
One of the most popular cosmetic dentistry solutions we offer, porcelain veneers, effectively conceal a number of smile flaws including chips, cracks, gaps, and discoloration across several teeth with one comfortable, quick treatment. A veneer is a thin sheath of dental porcelain that is shaded to blend into the smile covering the front surfaces of teeth with cosmetic flaws. The porcelain veneers placement process is simple. Most patients should plan to visit our dental office at least two times over the course of about a month. During the initial visit, a very small amount of surface enamel is removed. This allows the veneer to lay flat within the natural smile line. We then capture bite impressions that are used by our trusted dental lab to craft a custom veneer. In the meantime, we place a temporary veneer to protect prepared teeth and allow patients to get used to the look and feel of their veneer. Once the final restoration is completed, patients return to exchange their temporary for the custom crafted porcelain veneer.
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Many adults and teens visit our dental office unhappy with their smile alignment, but they dread the thought of spending years with a mouth full of metal brackets and wires, don’t have the time to commit to frequent orthodontic visits, or their dental sensitivity has made traditional braces a less than ideal option. For these patients, we’re happy to offer a comfortable, cosmetically superior alternative – Invisalign clear braces. This alignment tray system takes about twelve months to complete, and typically, patients only need to visit our dental office for short checkups every six weeks.
One way we’ve made it even easier for patients to find the right treatment for their unique smile is by incorporating digital x-rays and photography to allow our patients to see the actual transformations possible before making a selection. This ensures patients feel completely confident in their treatment plan before we ever get started. We frequently refer to this part of the treatment process as digital smile design. We use digital photos and a specialized dentistry program to show patients what the various cosmetic and restorative treatments will look like once they’re completed. This same system also allows us to show patients just what will happen to their smiles walking them through every step of the treatment process. Patients are also welcome to take one or more photos with them to share with friends and family members to get their feedback before making the final choice.
It’s no secret that teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dentistry service. Take a walk down the oral hygiene aisle of your local grocery store or pharmacy, and you’ll find a number of whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, strips, and gels that offer dramatic smile brightening results. Unfortunately, even after weeks of use, these products have little or no effect on patients’ smiles. Professional teeth whitening with Zoom! in our Las Cruces dental office offers safe, effective, predictable results up to ten shades brighter in about an hour. We start by protecting the soft tissue and lips from the potentially damaging whitening gel. We then apply a thin coat of whitening agent over the surfaces of teeth and apply the Zoom! whitening light to accelerate the whitening process. Every fifteen minutes, we’ll remove the gel and check the whitening progress. It typically takes two or three applications to achieve patients’ desired results.
Store bought whitening products are ineffective for two main reasons: they are unable to use a strong enough dosage of active whitening agent, and they are unable to seal out saliva, which neutralizes the whitener. Our professional take-home whitening kits resolve these two issues. We create a personalized whitening plan with customized dosages and wear times to maximize patient comfort and effectiveness. Professional at-home whitening kits also include a customized application tray that keeps the whitening gel on teeth and seals out neutralizing saliva, allowing the whitener to remain active longer. At-home whitening is ideal for those patients who wish to achieve results similar to at-home whitening more gradually especially those with sensitive teeth.
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Tooth-colored, composite resin fillings are one treatment option we offer that blurs the line between cosmetic and restorative dentistry. These fillings offer superior quality restoration for patients with decay, chips, cracks, or gaps in their smiles, but they also cosmetically improve the appearance of the smile. These fillings, sometimes referred to as direct bonding, are placed directly onto the damaged dental structure. The putty-like composite resin is then shaped to restore the damaged tooth. Once the filling is shaped, a curing light is used to harden the material. One of our skilled dentists will carefully make any final adjustments, seal the filling, and polish the tooth.
Not sure if cosmetic dentistry is right for you? In the section below, our team answers some of the most common questions we hear from patients about cosmetic dentistry. We hope you find this information helpful as you consider whether or not to enhance the appearance of your smile. If you have additional questions or want to schedule a cosmetic consultation, don’t hesitate to contact our office!
The lifespan of your new and improved smile will vary based on which specific treatments you’ve completed. More extensive treatments like veneers typically last longer than quick and easy treatments, such as teeth whitening and direct bonding. Meanwhile, gum recontouring almost always produces permanent results since gum tissue doesn’t grow back. Invisalign is another treatment where results usually last a lifetime, especially if the patient wears their retainer afterward. If you want to keep your rejuvenated smile looking vibrant for as long as possible, be sure to practice excellent oral hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting a dentist every six months.
When performed by a trained cosmetic dentist in Las Cruces, most cosmetic dentistry treatments are perfectly safe for most patients. However, if you have an underlying oral health issue, it’s important to treat that issue first. For example, placing a veneer over a decayed tooth might make the decay more difficult to treat later on. That is why we always address oral health issues before beginning cosmetic treatment.
Some patients express concern to us about the safety of professional teeth whitening. However, the truth is that over-the-counter teeth whitening products are often made from cheap ingredients that could potentially damage tooth enamel and/or irritate gum tissue. Professional teeth whitening with Zoom!, on the other hand, only uses ingredients that are clinically proven to be safe.
Cosmetic dentistry can fix a wide range of dental imperfections that keep your smile from looking it’s absolute best. Are you 100% confident in the smile you see in the mirror? If the answer is “no”, you could most likely benefit from cosmetic treatment. Whether you want a brighter smile, straighter teeth, or to conceal chips or cracks, a cosmetic dentist in Las Cruces can help. Of course, the only way to definitively know whether you could benefit from cosmetic dentistry is to attend a consultation with Dr. Natalie or Dr. Ramon Ortiz. They can recommend which specific procedures would help you achieve your unique smile goals.
In general, most dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic dentistry. However, there are some exceptions, especially when a cosmetic treatment also provides oral health benefits. For example, a crown or veneer might receive partial coverage if it builds up or protects a damaged tooth. In addition, your insurance may partially cover gum recontouring if it helps you recover from a gum infection. If your insurance plan includes traditional orthodontic coverage, then it likely covers Invisalign to some extent as well. Our knowledgeable team will be happy to review your dental insurance plan with you to ensure you’re maximizing your benefits. We offer in-network dental insurance coverage for most PPO dental benefit plans, including Delta Dental of New Mexico, Guardian, Cigna, United Healthcare, and many more.