Once upon a time, creating cosmetic dentistry was at odds with creating functional dentistry. The most common esthetic restoration then was porcelain fused to metal. Unfortunately, it never looked natural because light can’t pass through metal. So, we had to hide the edge of the crown under the gum line which can cause inflamed gums. In some cases where the teeth are naturally small, as with lower incisors, we created bulky looking crowns because we needed a minimum thickness of porcelain to hide the underlying metal. Also, since porcelain fused to metal crowns are CEMENTED to the underlying tooth, we had to remove more tooth structure to prevent cement failure and loss of the crown.
Today, cosmetic dentistry is in harmony with functional dentistry. Today, we BOND (not cement) porcelain (just porcelain, no metal) directly to teeth. So, we don’t have to hide the edge of the crown below the gum line and our gums are happier for it. Now, the teeth are the correct size after crowning since we don’t have mask underlying metal. The best part about today’s cosmetic dentistry is that, by in large, we only need to remove the diseased and fractured parts of the teeth to restore them. You see, bonded porcelain restorations need much less tooth removal to assure a strong and retentive restoration.
A beautiful smile can say a lot about you. It can be the ultimate expression of your personality. A beautiful smile can bring you and others around you joy. Using specialized training and cutting-edge technology, Dr. Foushee and our team strive to give you a beautiful, long lasting smile. If you want a whiter, brighter, or straighter smile, our team can deliver the stunning results you want. As an experienced cosmetic Aliso Viejo dentist, Dr. Richard Foushee has the skills to refine your smile. You can have the smile of your dreams when you come see the professionals at our office.
Our patient presented with esthetic concerns regarding his upper front teeth.
Examination showed failing restorations on teeth that had been restored and re-restored over the years. We also noticed evidence of Occlusal Disease.
To explain Occlusal Disease, all of his teeth were in constant contact while chewing. This creates destructive forces for front teeth which are not designed to take the strong forces for which back teeth are designed. You see, the brain only allows light forces on front teeth when only those teeth are touching. But when back teeth and front teeth are touching at the same time during function, the extra forces grind down the front teeth.
In a happy confluence of form and function, the solution to his esthetic concern and the solution to my esthetic and functional concerns was the same: restore the teeth with all porcelain crowns and lengthen those teeth so that, during function when the teeth are not in centric occlusion, the back teeth separate. When only the front teeth touch, the biting forces are greatly reduced.
Unless the dentist realizes that it is safe to lengthen the front teeth (in other words, without the restorations breaking off), he (or she) may not even attempt my treatment plan. Understanding the mechanics of biting forces is essential to finding a solution for this patient.
When I began my career as a dentist, all esthetic dentistry was a compromise to function. The technology just wasn’t there. Well, it is now!