woman's mouth being worked on with dental instruments

Cosmetic Care

  1. Cosmetic Teeth Whitening: Also called “teeth bleaching,” this procedure can brighten and whiten your teeth from discoloration and/or staining. It can be done in the dental office or at home. Not everyone’s teeth can be bleached, so it is very important to check with your dentist first.
  2. Cosmetic Dental Veneers: Veneers are a thin shell made out of porcelain or composite material. They are custom made and cemented to the front side of the tooth. A veneer can be used to treat dental conditions such as a slightly crooked tooth, discolored teeth, chipped teeth, or even to cover spaces in between the teeth.
  3. Cosmetic Dental Implants: A dental implant is a metal device designed to replace missing teeth. The device is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. A dental implant is designed to act as the tooth root and can anchor artificial teeth such as a crown, bridge, or denture.
  4. Cosmetic Dental Crowns: Crowns, also referred to as caps, are custom made to fit over your whole tooth after the cosmetic dentist has prepared it. They are usually made out of acrylic or porcelain that has been fused to metal to withstand biting pressure. Crowns can be used in cosmetic dentistry to treat teeth that are poorly shaped, badly decayed broken, chipped, or have had large fillings, or to cover spaces in between teeth.
  5. Cosmetic Teeth Shaping: Also referred to as “enamel shaping,” the dentist can reshape the tooth by filing or removing some of the enamel. This process is usually not painful and can produce immediate effects.
  6. Cosmetic Tooth Bonding: Bonding is the process in which tooth-colored materials are adhered (bonded) to the tooth. This is a procedure that can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth that has been badly stained, broken, or chipped.
  7. Cosmetic Orthodontic Treatment: Orthodontics are not just for kids. More and more adults are seeking treatment from orthodontists for cosmetic purposes. If you have buck teeth or crooked teeth, ask your dentist if an orthodontist can help you.


Dental Health and Veneers
Veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures performed in the U.S. A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that is placed over the front of a tooth to restore its size, shape, and color. Dental veneers can be used to correct a wide variety of cosmetic issues, including broken or chipped teeth, teeth gaps, and stained or severely discolored teeth. Veneers are permanent because the natural tooth must be altered or filed down to adhere the veneer using dental cement. Veneers give teeth the smooth, shiny, uniform look that celebrities often have. In most cases they have chosen veneers for that look as a necessary option for a successful career. 
Dental instruments
Smilling woman in dental chair
woman in dental chair teeth whitening

Getting a dental veneer usually requires 3 separate trips to the dentist. 

Diagnosis and treatment planning. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During your initial consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. 


Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will reshape the tooth surface,  Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. 

Bonding . Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit. The tooth will then be prepared to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched. The etching process roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer. This light been activates the bonding product in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement.


The Popularity of Dental Laminates

Dental laminates are basically Porcelain Veneers. The appeal of dental laminates lies in the fact that they are customized for each patient’s unique teeth. It is quite difficult to distinguish between dental laminates and real, natural white teeth. Unlike real teeth, dental laminates are not susceptible to staining from coffee, tea or cigarettes.

Dental laminates are somewhat superior to your natural teeth. Dental laminates allow you to retain your natural teeth with minimal alteration. 

Porcelain veneers do not ruin your natural teeth! In fact, they are designed to fit over your teeth and enhance their naturally beautiful appearance. Porcelain veneers are not made of enamel like the front of your natural teeth and are not susceptible to decay.

Woman's mouth with dental device being used on her teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Image showing a smiling mouth with yellow teeth on one side and white teeth on the other side

Which Is Right for You?

If your teeth and gums are in excellent condition, you may want to consider at home procedures that may be prescribed by your dentist.

At-home teeth whitening kits are easy to use and relatively cheap. But if your teeth or gums are sensitive, custom-made trays that you get at your dentist’s office may help you avoid irritation.

Professional solutions used by your dentist are typically stronger than those in over-the-counter kits, so your teeth whitening may have quicker results. Our Dentists or Hygienist at West LA Dentistry will discuss the best option for you.

Dentist Office Procedures

The most common form of teeth whitening involves custom-made trays filled with bleaching solution that fit firmly over your teeth. Because your dentist supervises the procedure, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than what’s found in home kits.

He may recommend doing everything in his office. In that case, a light or heat source may be used to speed up the process.

Another option is to get fitted for custom-made whitening trays that you can use at home.