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At Delmarva Dental Services, we offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments to address your aesthetic needs. Our cosmetic dentists perform procedures such as porcelain veneers, cosmetic bonding, teeth whitening, and others that can create a beautiful smile you can wear confidently. It is our goal to use our advanced dental skills paired with innovative technology to give you a one-of-a-kind experience and a vibrant new smile.

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How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist

Finding a qualified cosmetic dentist with whom you feel both comfortable and confident is one of the most important aspects of attaining exceptional cosmetic dental care. As you go about the process of choosing a cosmetic dentist, there are some specific things to look for that can provide further insight into his or her abilities. It’s a good idea to determine the types of technology and services offered by the dentist you are considering and to thoroughly review the doctor’s biography for a clearer picture of their skills and experience.

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Smile Design and Cosmetic Imaging

A smile design from one of our experienced dentists is an opportunity to evaluate the aesthetic condition of your teeth and gums. During the exam, photographs will be taken from different views while you are resting, smiling, and speaking. This shows not only what you see in the mirror, but also what others see that you do not. Measurements and tooth shades are also recorded, which will be taken into consideration. Our dentists can design different cosmetic options, which can then be imaged using your photographs. This allows you to see the “after” before committing to a procedure. This “sneak peek” can illustrate how crowns, veneers, and other cosmetic dental treatments might appear.

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Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can be a good option for patients who wish to conceal chips, gaps, cracks, or other perceived flaws, upgrading the overall appearance of their teeth. Our dental veneers are handcrafted by daVinci Dental Studios. This process, unlike pressed veneers, gives a natural look where no two patients are exactly alike.

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Teeth Whitening

Bleach away surface stains with our professional teeth whitening procedures. We offer a variety of in-office and at-home treatments that include the use of whitening trays or strips to help you effectively brighten your teeth.

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Cosmetic Bonding

We offer cosmetic dental bonding to improve the appearance of teeth that have been affected by chips, cracks, gaps, or discolorations. We utilize advanced bonding materials, comprised of either plastic or resin, that are applied to the surface of the tooth to conceal these perceived flaws. The material is shaped and smoothed to create as natural an appearance as possible. We can typically complete this procedure in one office visit. Expected results should include attractive, long-lasting bonding that can provide the tooth with a strong supportive structure.

BOTOX® Cosmetic

BOTOX® Cosmetic has been around for many years. When we think of BOTOX® injections, most of us think of erasing lines and wrinkles in an attempt to regain a youthful appearance. However, BOTOX® injections can do so much more. This product is designed to relax your facial muscles, making it hard to pinch up your face, creating the look of lines and wrinkles. You are still able to make facial expressions, but your muscles are relaxed.

BOTOX® Cosmetic In Dentistry

We use BOTOX® injections in dentistry to help address a gummy smile. This product can help relax your lip so it does not come up as high. In turn this can hide more of your gums, creating a prettier smile. We want to help make your smile as pretty as possible and sometimes that means more than just working on your teeth.

Snap-On Smile®

There are many great cosmetic dentistry procedures that have developed over the years, like bleaching, plastic bonding, and porcelain veneers. Now there is an innovative cosmetic dental prosthesis called Snap-On Smile®. It is a flexible plastic resin appliance, custom-made in a lab, to fit over your teeth. This is accomplished with no needles, drills, or alteration of your existing teeth.

With Snap-On Smile®, impressions of your teeth and bite are taken and recorded. You then select the color and design of your new teeth. There are a variety of movie star smiles and other smile choices in the catalog we have to choose from. You may prefer the Cameron Diaz or Britney Spears smile or you may want a smile that reflects your own unique personality. Your Snap-On Smile® is made at the lab and you will receive it at your next office visit. It is adjusted for that perfect fit and feel, so you can leave with your new smile. There are no adhesives and you just snap it into place. However, you should clean it daily and leave it out while sleeping.

Our patients love that the Snap-On Smile® is affordable and much less costly than traditional cosmetic treatments. Individuals who fear the dentist will like the simple, non-invasive way it is made. Snap-On Smile® is ideal for weddings, proms, and senior portraits. It is also great for those considering investing in no preparation Lumineers®, a type of porcelain veneer, but who want to test it first. It can be used to replace missing teeth, similar to a bridge, and works well for individuals with gaps between their teeth. It is not recommended for people with flared teeth or to cover over cavities and gum disease. The Snap-On Smile® makes it easier to have the smile of your dreams in a snap!

The History of Modern Cosmetic Dentistry

Modern-day cosmetic dentistry began in the late 1920s and early 1930s when Dr. Charles Pincus began making making temporary acrylic veneers for movie stars. He glued these onto their teeth with a denture adhesive to close gaps and improve shape and color. The child star, Shirley Temple was never filmed showing the missing teeth normal to children age 5 to 12. Judy Garland wore acrylic veneers during The Wizard of Oz. Humphrey Bogart developed his classic upper lip roll because his lip would stick to Dr. Pincus’s acrylic veneers. Pre-made acrylic veneers called Mystique were introduced in the early 80s. Although they adhered better, they also wore and picked up stains.

The explosion of cosmetic dentistry occurred in the 1990s with three technical developments: the creation of stronger, more durable plastic fillings; the publishing of the porcelain veneer technique; and the study showing the effectiveness of home tray whitening. However, these techniques were not without much controversy.

In the 1960s, an orthodontist made plastic trays for his patients who wore brackets. He had them put a peroxide gel in the trays and wear it overnight to help the gum irritation that occurs with brackets. He noticed their teeth got lighter and told other dentists about it at meetings over the years. Dr. Haywood, a dental professor up for tenure at the University of North Carolina Dental School, felt God’s calling and, against his superiors advice, went to Jacksonville, North Carolina to give a lecture on cosmetic dentistry to a group of dentists. After the lecture, one dentist commented that all those cosmetic techniques are very nice, but down here we just put a peroxide gel in a nightguard to whiten our patients teeth. Dr. Haywood and Dr. Heymann did research on the technique and published a study in 1989 called “Nightguard Vital Bleaching.” Today the bleaching technique and its evolution have proven the most cost-effective, safe cosmetic technique to improve your smile.

In the mid 1980’s Dr. Robert Nixon, a root canal specialist in Wilmington, Delaware, published his technique for porcelain veneers. This was porcelain, not acrylic like Dr. Pincus’s earlier veneers and the Mastiques; it adhered to the teeth with lasting strength. He later moved to Los Angeles and became a famous cosmetic dentist to the stars.

Plastic fillings are composed of acrylic filled with glass particles. They were primarily used in the 60s and 70s for front teeth. They stained quickly, bonded poorly, and did not wear well. The adhesion techniques, color stability and wear rates improved starting in the 80s by changing the size and increasing the number of glass particle sizes. This continued to the point where they could be used in back teeth and compete with silver fillings.

During the late 80s and through the 90s there was controversy about these new techniques. There was a large school of thought we will call “Functional Dentists” who believed that no invasive treatment should be done on any teeth for cosmetic reasons. Many dental schools fell into this camp. They thought that dentists who removed the minimal amount of tooth structure to do porcelain veneers for cosmetic reasons were unethical. They also believed bleaching would destroy the teeth. However, over time, when they saw the amazing results, satisfied patients, and longevity of the procedures, they adopted the procedures themselves. At Delmarva Dental Services we began providing porcelain veneers in 1987, whitening (bleaching) in 1989, and plastic fillings on back teeth in 1990.

— Dr. Joseph Harmon

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