My favorite thing in the world is to see patients proud of their healthy, beautiful smiles. That’s why I offer safe, minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures to ensure that you can show off those pearly whites with confidence.
Bonding and Contouring
When all you need are a few tweaks to perfect the little imperfections in your smile, we offer bonding and contouring: two minor procedures that can greatly improve the symmetry, balance, and vibrancy of your smile.
Tooth contouring, also called enameloplasty or odontoplasty, removes small amounts of tooth enamel to improve the appearance of smile imperfections. It’s similar to filing your fingernails so they’re more even. We use contouring for situations like:
- Teeth with jagged or rough edges.
- Teeth of uneven height.
- Overlapping teeth.
- Overly pointy teeth.
Cosmetic bonding, rather than removing small amounts of enamel, uses composite resin (the same material we use when filling cavities) to build up or mask problematic area. Cosmetic bonding can be completed in a single sitting, and can address issues such as:
- Severe or intrinsic stains that cannot be addressed with teeth whitening systems
- Chipped teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Pitted or grooved teeth
Both of these procedures are safe for virtually everyone. Once you have your initial exam, we can talk about your options and see what’s best for your smile!
There are two categories of enamel stains:
Extrinsic stains: occur when external sources, such as foods, drinks, or tobacco products, leave discolorations on the surfaces of teeth. Teeth whitening systems are ideal for removing extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic stains: come from within the tooth and are most commonly caused by certain antibiotics, overexposure to fluoride during childhood, and internal damage caused by decay, some endodontic procedures, or trauma. Intrinsic stains do not respond well to teeth whitening systems but cosmetic bonding and porcelain veneers or intrinsic whitening can mask this type of discoloration.
We give you one option to remove extrinsic stains and brighten your smile:
At-home whitening: These kits come with custom-fitted trays and tubes of professional strength whitening gel. You just wear the gel-filled trays on your teeth for a half hour every day for a week or two. This system allows you to re-whiten your teeth whenever you want by just purchasing more gel. No need for a whole new kit.
Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped pieces of dental ceramic that are bonded to the front surface of teeth. Placing veneers is kind of like refurbishing your teeth – they are still your teeth on the underside, but with a Hollywood smile. Veneers mask a number of cosmetic smile imperfections, including:
- Misshaped or crooked teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Chipped or mildly broken teeth
- Severely discolored teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional tooth bleaching systems
- Teeth of uneven height
- Teeth with surfaces that are pitted or grooved
After we declare you a good candidate for receiving porcelain veneers, placement will usually require two appointments. At the first appointment, we remove a small portion of your enamel (~.5mm) to make room for the veneer. Next we take impressions of your prepared teeth. Skilled dental ceramicists will use these impressions to create custom-fitted veneers in a lab. They will also custom match your color to make them look natural and blend well with the rest of your teeth. After 2-3 weeks, your veneers return from the ceramics lab, and you will come back for fitting and bonding. Once in place, your veneers will give you a smile worthy of the red carpet.
Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth. They are the gold standard to replace missing teeth because of their permanence and their natural look and feel.
Placing dental implants is a multi-phase procedure. First, we perform a comprehensive examination to ensure that an implant is right for you. For patients with allergies, we recommend a Biocompatibility Test to ensure that the proper implant is placed. If a tooth needs to be removed or if new bone needs to be placed, we will need to wait 3-4 months for your bone to adapt and heal. Once there is sufficient bone, we will insert the titanium implant into the jaw bone. After the titanium post has completely fused with the surrounding tissue (usually taking another 3-4 months), you return to our office to place a crown on top of the implant.
Dental implants are great because of their ease of care and strength. You continue to care for your implant like you care for your natural teeth. Although this procedure takes a while to complete, once the implant is ready it’s as strong (if not stronger) than your natural tooth, and you can bite into apples, nuts, and any other food that you love.
Orthodontic therapy does more than straighten teeth. It also resolves:
- Crowded teeth that are difficult to clean properly and are more prone to cavities
- Protruding teeth that are more prone to chipping
- Malocclusions (uneven bites) that cause uneven tooth wear and damage to the enamel, or soft tissues of the inner cheeks and tongue
- TMJ problems
- Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
- Open bites that can lead to speech impediments or improper nutrition
Metal braces take an average of two years to complete. That’s a long time to live with discomfort and a metal-mouth grin. That’s why we offer Invisalign clear aligners.
Invisalign uses clear, BPA-free plastic, customized mouthpieces (called aligners) that fit over your teeth. Invisalign is so subtle that most people will not notice that you’re wearing the aligners. Treatment time ranges from 4-24 months, but averages about 12 months.
Invisalign is a better alternative to traditional braces because:
- Aligners can be removed during mealtimes and when you need to brush and floss. This means you maintain better oral hygiene and don’t experience tooth discoloration.
- It is more comfortable.
- They require fewer visits to the dentist for tightening and changing wires.
- Less irritation to the gums, cheeks, and lips.
- It’s more biocompatible.
- They look nicer while you’re in treatment (especially in pictures!)
Wrigleyville Dental is now offering PROPEL — an in-office treatment that shortens your treatment by half.
Invisalign and braces work by slowly shifting your teeth into place. When there is pressure applied to bones, they become temporarily inflamed and lose a little density for a short while. When teeth are less dense, they are easier to move. Propel takes advantage of this fact and slightly increases inflammation to allow the teeth to move faster. Occasionally patients are a little sore in the first 48 hours, but afterwards symptoms are rare. Typically one treatment is enough to cut treatment time by half.