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All About Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Over the last 40 years, giant steps have been made in cosmetic dentistry technology. Ranging from whitening your teeth to replacing missing teeth with natural and realistic-looking bridges, dentures, and implants, the list of cosmetic dental procedures continues to grow. Enhancing your smile boosts your self-confidence greatly. West Meade Dental would like to share with you an overview of the different types of cosmetic dentistry with information from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).


Teeth Whitening

Most everyone’s teeth can endure a whitening procedure. In an external whitening procedure, teeth are bleached by direct contact with a commonly-used, safe whitening agent. This procedure takes place either in our office at West Meade Dental or your own home.


Considered to be a reliable tooth replacement method for years, dentures can have issues from resting directly on the teeth and gums, which can result in bone loss, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. With advancements being made in dentures over the years, there is a new and improved version of dentures now. Overdentures are a combination of traditional dentures and the newer dental implants.

Dental Implants

Replacing the roots of lost teeth, a dental implant is attached to a crown to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. Dental implants help to maintain the bone structure of the adjacent teeth, which increases their lifespan. Considered to be a permanent procedure, dental implants are expected to last years and years. The best choice for replacing missing teeth, dental implants look so much like natural teeth that you will never be able to tell the difference.

Porcelain Veneers

Made from porcelain, veneers cover the front part of a tooth and leave the rest of the tooth as is. If your teeth are healthy, we recommend porcelain veneers to our patients who want to change the color or size of their teeth. We also recommend using veneers to fill in gaps and spaces between teeth. Some cosmetic dentists use veneers made from resin, but we prefer porcelain because it has excellent stain-resistant properties and it is thin yet very strong and durable.

Porcelain Bridges and Crowns

Another option for replacing missing teeth, porcelain bridges are designed to be natural in fit and appearance to restore your smile to its former beauty. Porcelain crowns can improve the appearance of your teeth and your smile, but unlike veneers, crowns surround the entire tooth in porcelain. Crowns are also thicker and most often used when a tooth has begun to decay.


Fillings have significantly improved over the years. Now we use high density composite resins or porcelain to replace tooth structure lost to decay. Less repair work is needed for these new fillings, both immediately and in the future. It is almost impossible to tell if someone has a filling because the materials are so natural in appearance.

Have any questions about the cosmetic dentistry procedures offered by West Meade Dental? Contact us to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation to get started on improving your smile.

All About Porcelain Veneers

Do you have relatively healthy teeth, but they are chipped or broken, have shifted or moved and made a space in your smile, or look dirty and yellowed? You may be a perfect candidate for porcelain veneers, which are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth. These veneers provide strength and resiliency just like natural tooth enamel, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) [http://www.aacd.com/index.php?module=cms&page=574]. At West Meade Dental, we can make your smile look better than it has ever looked with porcelain veneers. We would like to share with you more information from the AACD about this option.


What happens during a veneers consultation at West Meade Dental?

When you come in for your visit, Dr. Shelley A. Sigur will start with an analysis of your smile to see exactly what she will need to do to get the smile you want. She will also explain to you what the entire porcelain veneers process will be like for you. She can even show you a picture of what your new smile will look like with cosmetic imaging.

What is the typical porcelain veneers procedure like?

Before Dr. Sigur can apply the adhesive layer and the thin strips of porcelain to your tooth, a very small amount of your original tooth enamel has to be removed so your veneers will fit properly within your mouth. We also have to do this step to best restore natural tooth function while creating an even better appearance than the original tooth. The bond between the original tooth and porcelain veneer is crucial because this bond must be strong for correct veneer function. Dr. Sigur will then place light-sensitive resin between the original tooth and the layer of porcelain and then harden it with a special curing light.

What are the benefits of porcelain veneers?

This cosmetic dental treatment has several strong points, including the following:

— realistic appearance, feel, and function
Porcelain veneers are individually sculpted and custom-made to each individual tooth, and it is close to impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Even better, veneers are made of high-tech materials that resist coffee, tea, and cigarette smoke stains.

— minimal alteration to your natural teeth
In order for your veneers to properly fit, not much is needed to do to your original teeth besides the removal of a tiny bit of original teeth enamel. Your original teeth stay mostly intact in the veneers process as compared to a crown procedure.

— long-term white teeth
As previously mentioned, porcelain veneers are stain-resistant. Veneers can also whiten even the darkest stained teeth.

How do I maintain my porcelain veneers?

Very simply as you just treat them like your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential in keeping your veneers looking their best.

Interested in fixing your smile with porcelain veneers? Contact West Meade Dental to schedule a veneers consultation with us.

How to Reduce Dental Anxiety

Are you afraid of going to the dentist? If so, you are not alone. Many people fear the dentist, and this fear can cause serious dental problems as neglecting to visit the dentist can lead to losing teeth, developing gum disease, and other issues. Reducing dental anxiety is something we at West Meade Dental promote to our patients who fear the dentist. Talking with our staff about your worries can take away some of the nervousness you may feel. As this is a common issue with many people, we would like to share some ways to reduce dental anxiety. We hope this information from Colgate about treatment options will alleviate your dental fears.



Sometimes all you need to reduce the anxiety you feel at the dentist is some sort of distraction during your exam or procedure. Listening to music through headphones and watching television are great ways to distract yourself during your dental appointment.


The biggest reason people fear the dentist is pain. Telling our staff about your issues with pain allows us to give you proper pain management during your visit. We have a wide variety of handling pain with different medicines and techniques so that you will never be in pain during your visit. These pain management tools include topical anesthetics, laser drills, electronic anesthesia, and nitrous oxide.


At West Meade Dental, our staff is very experienced with assisting patients in relaxing. We use several relaxation techniques including deep breathing, guided imagery, and progressive relaxation. Our patients generally have success with one of these ways to relax and to reduce their dental fears, which makes their appointments go much smoother.


For some patients, sedation is a necessity during dental visits. Whether they have experienced a painful dental visit in the past or they simply fear the dentist, these patients need sedatives such as Valium to feel calm and relaxed during their appointments. Valium relaxes the central nervous system and can be necessary to reduce certain patients’ dental anxiety.


A technique that can create a state of relaxation, hypnosis is very similar to meditation. If you have serious dental fears, seeing a therapist to learn self-hypnosis methods can be extremely beneficial. If you have problems with being able to use these techniques yourself, some therapists will come with you to your dental visits to assist you with this method of relaxation until you can master these skills on your own.


Since dental anxiety is such a common issue, it is easy to find support groups in your community for those who suffer these anxieties. Of course, support groups will provide you with emotional support, but you generally will also learn coping skills as well as practical tips for reducing your dental fears. To find a dental anxiety support group, ask our staff to refer you to a group that will best help you conquer these fears.

Want to learn more about how to reduce dental anxiety? Contact West Meade Dental to speak with our staff about how we can relieve your fears.

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