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4 Cosmetic Dental Treatments That Can Improve Your Oral Health and Smile

cosmetic dental treatments

There’s no substitute for having a bright white, beautiful smile. When your teeth are clean and straight, they look great and function well so that you can feel more confident about yourself and your appearance. Besides providing you with a picture-perfect smile, it is possible with cosmetic dentistry treatments to also improve the quality of your oral health overall.

At Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, Dr. Jeffrey Allred works closely with patients to develop highly customized treatment plans that not only help them achieve their aesthetic goals but also ensure that their teeth are performing at optimal levels. Given his vast experience, he can expertly determine which procedures are best suited for each patient. In this article, he details four cosmetic dentistry treatments that are beneficial for your smile as well as your entire mouth.

The benefits of cosmetic dentistry


Dental work that is performed to improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth, gums, and bite is categorized as cosmetic dentistry. These procedures enhance the smile and may address the shape, size, color, alignment, and position of the teeth and gums. Many San Marcos, CA patients turn to cosmetic dentistry to feel less self-conscious about flaws that may be present. Read on to learn how specific cosmetic treatments also work to improve your oral health.

Invisalign clear aligners


When teeth are crooked, crowded, or misaligned, numerous dental issues can result, including the build-up of plaque and tartar. Eventually, periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) may develop. If left unchecked, this condition can lead to tooth and tissue loss. Aligning your bite with clear plastic Invisalign aligners may prevent or correct these and other conditions.

With a thorough dental examination that includes x-rays and photos of the teeth, Dr. Allred can expertly determine whether patients are good candidates for Invisalign. Multiple sets of custom, tightly fitting aligners will be made for you to wear. Each is configured differently and apply pressure to your upper and lower teeth to move them slowly and precisely back into alignment. A customized treatment plan will also be devised by Dr. Allred. Typically, the aligners must be worn for 20-plus hours daily, and should only be removed while eating, brushing and flossing. In about six weeks, patients receive their next set of aligners. This process will continue for the duration of your treatment. One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is that they can straighten the teeth and create a stunning smile in about half the time as traditional metal braces.

Dental crowns


Also referred to as a “cap,” a dental crown is a prosthetic tooth made of porcelain, metal, or composite resin material that closely mimics a natural tooth. It can be used to repair or restore the original shape and size of a natural tooth when it is damaged or is missing. A hollow crown is fixed over the “crown” portion of a natural tooth or the metal post of a dental implant. Although it sits above the gum line, it may extend down onto the tooth’s root surface. Once cemented into place, it essentially becomes part of a patient’s tooth and usually is the only part of the tooth that is visible. Because crowns are made of durable materials, they can perform the same way as natural teeth and can also be cared for with routine brushing and flossing.

Dental crowns may support or replace a tooth that no longer functions properly on its own, such as one that has undergone a root canal. They can also act as a support structure for teeth with large fillings and protect weakened or cracked teeth from further breakage. A crown may be fixed atop a dental implant post to restore proper oral form and function. They can also be used to hold dental bridges in place.

Dental implants


When a permanent tooth is missing, everyday tasks like chewing can be difficult. Dental implants are one of the top options for patients to restore functionality to their teeth along with an improved smile. A dental implant consists of a custom-made prosthetic tooth (or crown) that is fixed atop a strong metal post made of the same material found in knee and shoulder implant devices. The post is surgically placed below the gum line and above or directly into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth root. With dental implants, it is possible to replace several teeth at once as part of a bridge.

Dental implants are fixed in place and cannot be removed from the mouth. They function and should be cared for in the same way as natural teeth, with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups. Because they are secured in the gums and jaw, implants do not slip or move around, like traditional dentures. This allows San Marcos, CA patients to speak and smile confidently, as well as enjoy all their favorite difficult-to-eat foods without the same restrictions as dentures. Dental implants are also the only dental restoration option that can also work to promote future bone growth while simultaneously preserving the health of the jawbone.

A diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, Dr. Allred is a specialist in dental implantology. At Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, they handle all phases of dental implant treatments, from bone grafting to the placement of the prosthetic teeth. The entire procedure is done at Allred Dental’s office, meaning that patients do not have to travel to different offices and see a variety of doctors for treatment.

White composite tooth fillings


For many years, amalgam fillings (also known as silver fillings) were the go-to choice for completing dental fillings. These are composed of a mixture of tin, copper, and mercury that are bound together to create an extremely durable filling. However, besides making the mouth look grey and generally unhealthy, concerns exist about the long-term safety of these fillings in relation to the amount of mercury that patients may be exposed to as a result of their placement and wear over time.

These days, Dr. Allred frequently recommends the removal of amalgam fillings and replacement with tooth-colored resin composite fillings. These fillings, which contain a ceramic and plastic compound, are considered extremely safe. Their color can be closely matched to the patient’s existing teeth, which makes them especially difficult to detect when patients open wide to eat, smile, or laugh.

Versatile cosmetic dentistry procedures are not only effective for improving the appearance of your smile but also can be beneficial for your oral health. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Allred of Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA and learn which procedures can work to keep your mouth looking and feeling its best.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.