From cars to vacation destinations, what we as a species consider to be “attractive” varies considerably from person to person. Yet, there is one feature that appears to be universally attractive: a healthy smile! Cosmetic dentistry in Murrieta, CA, at Dr. Valerie Scola’s office, restores the appealing teeth and gums that you used to have. Likewise, Scola Family Dentistry’s range of cosmetic treatments can help you get the beautiful smile that you have always wanted.
“Elect” for these cosmetic treatments
Some cosmetic dentistry procedures offered by Dr. Scola are elective, meaning that patients select them to improve the appearance of their smile. These procedures generally include professional teeth whitening and veneers. Teeth whitening at Scola Family Dentistry is safe and works. We design whitening trays that are customized to fit your mouth. We will show you how to fill those trays with professional-strength whitening gel. When worn as directed, these trays deliver the gel to your discolored teeth. They whiten teeth gradually.
At our office, you can also choose from either direct veneers (dental bonding) or indirect veneers (porcelain veneers). When composite resin is color-matched and applied to your teeth, Dr. Scola uses this pliable material to cover up cosmetic flaws – from stubborn stains that resist whitening, to chips and gaps. Porcelain veneers may be used to correct the same conditions that dental bonding is designed to disguise; however, instead of applying, sculpting, and bonding the material directly to the tooth’s surface, these layers of thin porcelain are prepared and fabricated to your specifications. After a small amount of natural enamel is removed to make room for the veneer, it is bonded or “fixed” directly to the surface of the tooth. If you are a great candidate for veneers, we can discuss the pros and cons of bonding or porcelain veneers with you during your visit.
Restorative Treatments That Are as Aesthetic as They Are Durable
The above elective treatments to improve the appearance of your smile must be applied to healthy teeth and gums. If you need to resolve existing decay or disease, Dr. Scola offers restorations that are designed to look and feel indistinguishable from healthy natural teeth. We have listed a sampling of those treatments below:
● Tooth-colored fillings – No obvious-looking silver that stands out (unnaturally) in your smile here. We use a durable and toothlike composite that is matched to the surrounding tooth structure to “fill in” cavities.● Porcelain crowns – Sometimes, fillings can’t sufficiently resolve tooth decay. In those cases, a little more “coverage” is required. We prepare, design, and place crowns that fit precisely over the natural tooth. They look and feel no different than a natural tooth that is in great shape.● Advanced tooth replacement – In addition to strong and stunning dental bridges to replace missing teeth, Scola Family Dentistry is a proud provider of dental implants. Each implant is designed to function as a tooth root. Other types of tooth replacement only replicate the portion of the tooth above the gumline, the crown.
Since implant-supported crowns, bridges, and dentures are designed like natural teeth, you get the “best” in form (looks) and function.
Fix gaps between teeth and so much more with dental bonding in Murrieta, CA.
Are your teeth starting to show their “mileage”? Wear and tear with the passage of time or behaviors such as bruxism (teeth-grinding) can show up on our teeth as chips, fractures, worn-down or “short” teeth, and shape-related irregularities. Over time, teeth may drift, or the gaps that you have had since childhood may no longer seem so “cute.” Fortunately, Scola Family Dentistry in Murrieta, CA, can repair these and other cosmetic issues with dental bonding.
Disguise Your Flaws; Get a Dazzling Smile
Modern dentists such as Dr. Valerie Scola can replicate portions of a tooth or an entire tooth using dental materials that have been fabricated and prepared to “mimic” healthy, natural teeth in every way: how they feel in your mouth, how they look, and how they function. For bonding, we use a type of dental material called composite resin. The resin is matched to the surrounding natural teeth. So it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your smile. The material is applied to the teeth as putty. Then, Dr. Scola uses her skills to shape that putty. She may use the resin to cover up chips and modest cracks. The material can also camouflage stained or otherwise discolored teeth and close gaps between teeth. Your dentist can even sculpt the resin to “reshape” or “resize” a tooth with shape and size irregularities. For instance, excessive wear can result in a tooth that appears overly short. Dr. Scola molds the resin to add “height” to the tooth. Additionally, dental bonding may be used to cover up teeth with very dark stains or intrinsic discoloration. Even professional teeth whitening may not sufficiently improve the appearance of deeply or severely stained teeth.
Dramatic Improvement Without the Hassle
We can transform your smile in one visit. First, Dr. Scola will determine that you are a good candidate for dental bonding. This may be an appropriate treatment if your mouth is healthy. There should also be sufficient enamel to “bond” the resin to the natural tooth. If you have excessive enamel erosion or decay, you may be a better candidate for restorative procedures such as tooth-colored dental fillings and inlays.
Bonding is a conservative, reversible cosmetic treatment. If we move forward with treatment, the natural enamel is only slightly “etched” to roughen the texture of the tooth’s surface. This step in the process helps the resin bond securely to the tooth. After the material has been applied, shaped, and contoured to your needs and preferences, it is hardened and “fixed” to the tooth with a specialized dental instrument.
Treated teeth can look great and remain healthy for years with good oral care. To protect your teeth from conditions such as bruxism, we may recommend oral appliances such as nightguards. Schedule an appointment at our Murrieta office, serving Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Sun City, Canyon Lake, and the surrounding area. During your visit, we may find that some of these cosmetic flaws originate from oral health conditions. For instance, uneven spacing may be associated with progressive periodontal disease. In this case, therapies to restore gum health and halt the disease would be appropriate instead of an elective, cosmetic treatment like bonding.
Restore your smile with dental implants built like “real teeth” in Murrieta, CA.
From classic cars to vintage heirloom pieces that have stood the test of time, there is nothing quite like the “real thing” or “the original.” This same notion can be applied to our teeth. If, in partnership with you, we cannot “save” your damaged natural teeth with restorations and root canal therapy, Scola Family Dentistry is pleased to offer a fine substitute: dental implants in Murrieta, CA, at our advanced yet approachable office.
Superior Tooth Replacement
Dental bridges replace the part of the tooth that you see above the gumline, the crown. Conventional dentures are made with dental materials that are designed to replicate both crowns and gum tissue. The replacement tooth or pontic within a bridge system is held in place by neighboring “anchor” teeth or abutments. To optimally support the pontic, each abutment must be crowned.
Due to the anatomical structure of the roof of the mouth, well-fitting upper dentures are held in place by natural suction. Because of the anatomy of the floor of the mouth, lower dentures often need a little support in the form of products such as adhesive creams, sheets, strips, and powders.
Crowns, bridges, and dentures that are supported by implants do not need special products to stabilize them. Likewise, natural and healthy teeth in the mouth are preserved. There is no need to whittle down a portion of neighboring teeth to make room for crowns, as is the case for abutment teeth that hold pontics in place within a conventional bridge. Implant-supported teeth are designed like natural teeth that haven’t been marred by decay.
Shaped like a cylinder, dental implants are placed in the jaw. They are made from a biocompatible material that joins the surrounding bone as part of a natural process (“osseointegration”). Once the implant is integrated into the jawbone, it functions as a root to hold the tooth in place.
The Replacement Tooth
Depending on your needs, implants may be used to support a single tooth, a few teeth, many teeth, or a mouthful of replacement teeth. Since these artificial teeth are held in place by implants in the jaw that function like natural tooth roots, you don’t have to worry about dentures that slip when you eat, laugh, or speak. Your new teeth aren’t going anywhere! Designed like natural teeth, you take care of implant-supported bridges with the typical consistent brushing, flossing, and visits to our office. No specialized floss threaders are needed to clean implant-supported bridges.
Notably, one of the greatest benefits of implant systems is their ability to keep your bone strong. Just like with your muscles, if you do not use the bone in your jaw (via functions such as grinding and mashing food), you lose it. Every time you chew food, the energy from that action is transferred through the tooth down into the jaw due to the connection between your artificial teeth and the implant. Conventional dentures and bridges do not have that “root” in the jawbone. So, they cannot transfer the energy required to keep your bone strong from the overlying tooth to the underlying jaw.
Composite, tooth-colored fillings in Murrieta, CA: For smiles that shine over the long haul.
Dr. Valerie Scola is fluent in both classic cars and dentistry. And at Scola Family Dentistry, we believe that restorations such as fillings should not only “shine” on the outside. But there should be no unpleasant surprises when looking “under the hood.” Dr. Scola designs and places aesthetically pleasing composite fillings in Murrieta, CA, that preserve maximum natural tooth structure and are durable. So, they are not just “beauties” in your smile; they are also highly functional and a healthy way to restore damaged teeth for the long haul.
Know Your Options
Historically, the “go-to” option to fill in or treat areas of decay (cavities) was with a filling made from a mix of amalgams or metals. That filling was silver-hued. So, the silver color would be visible in your smile next to the natural white color of the surrounding teeth. Patients appreciate the cosmetic options that are available today. Composite fillings are made from dental resins that are designed to replicate natural tooth material. They are color-matched to the shade of the surrounding tooth structure. Dr. Scola is happy to discuss your options for treatment during a consultation at the Murrieta, CA office.
Rebuilt Teeth That Patients Love to Show off!
The best-restored tooth is the one you never have to think about. You are not reminded of treatment every time you look in the mirror and see silver or gray areas. You do not have to hide your smile because you are not confident about the appearance of your dental work. Aside from the obvious cosmetic benefit and the fact that our patients smile, laugh, and speak confidently and freely, composite resin fillings are also:
● Conservative – All fillings require that areas of decay and damage be removed, and that natural tooth structure be shaped to accommodate the filling material. Generally, composite resin fillings require that less healthy natural tooth structure be removed than when placing fillings made from other materials, such as metals or amalgams.
● Durable – Due to the dental material itself, as well as the techniques that are used to bond or fix the filling in place, composite resin is considered to be a long-lasting type of restoration. The structural integrity of the reconstructed tooth depends, at least partly, on the amount of natural tissue that is removed to make room for the restoration. Composite fillings preserve natural tooth structure for lasting durability and the most natural appearance and feel in the mouth.
How Porcelain Crowns Can Restore Your Healthy Smile
We partner with you and your family. So, your smiles look their healthy best. After all, that is what “classic” dentistry is all about. But, should you ever need to repair a tooth damaged by decay, disease, or other trauma, you can have peace of mind that your restoration is in good hands with the team you already know and trust for preventive and general dentistry services. Here, Dr. Valerie Scola discusses when porcelain crowns in Murrieta, California, may be recommended and what to expect from your new, attractive, and durable teeth.
What Can a Crown Do for You?
Dental crowns are highly versatile. They may be used to replace a large filling that is worn, damaged, or old. Teeth with large fillings are more vulnerable to complications, such as breakage. Crowns may also be recommended to resolve large areas of decay that cannot sufficiently be treated with fillings. A tooth is often crowned following root canal therapy and is the “finishing touch” following the placement of an implant. Crowns are also part of a conventional dental bridge; the teeth on either side of the replacement tooth (pontic) are crowned to hold the pontic in place adequately. Crowns may even be used to cover up misshapen teeth, though we can also discuss a range of more conservative options with you to correct cosmetic flaws.
How a Crown is Made and Placed
The natural crown is the part of the tooth visible above the gumline. Artificial crowns are designed to replicate that visible, white part of the tooth. They are made from dental materials that resemble, feel, and function like natural tooth structures. Crowns (or “caps”) are shaped to fit precisely over natural tooth structure, almost the same way a crown or cap fits over a person’s head. After removing the decayed tissue, we make an impression of the tooth to be treated. We use an intraoral scanner and CAD/CAM technology to design and fabricate your crown in the office as you wait. Once the crown is ready, we will check that all looks and feels excellent before permanently “fixing” the crown.
Porcelain is coveted for many cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. It shares the same properties as natural tooth enamel, including how porcelain reflects light. Dental porcelain is durable and biocompatible. So, the material gets along well with surrounding tissues and does not pose risks of allergic reactions or other sensitivities.
Regardless of the material used to make your crown, these restorations are designed to be cared for like natural teeth. They will serve you well for many years if you care for them with consistent brushing, flossing, a balanced diet, routine check-ups, and cleanings at our Murrieta, California office.
Curb bone loss with porcelain fixed bridges in Murrieta, CA.
Are you holding on to painful, broken teeth? Have gaps damaged your smile and affected your ability to eat comfortably? Porcelain fixed bridges in Murrieta, CA, may be an alternative to fill in gaps following extractions or long-term tooth loss. They restore the appearance of your smile and support long-term health and well-being. Scola Family Dentistry recommends tooth replacement soon after extractions. Bone loss arises rapidly after a tooth is extracted or lost due to trauma. For instance, the width and height of bone decrease by 50% among some patients with missing back teeth just 12 months after molars or premolars are lost. Bone loss alters how you chew food and pronounce words, and the appearance of your face. Adequate bone is needed to support tissues and maintain youthful facial dimensions and healthy functionality.
Restorative options such as dental bridges decelerate or halt bone loss. How can this be? The bone in the jaw must retain its strength to provide adequate support that facilitates healthy chewing, clear speech, and provides structure to the face. Bony tissue gets its strength from behaviors such as biting and grinding down food. The force from the act of chewing is transmitted from the crowns to the roots in the jaw. When teeth are lost, the supportive bone does not get the stimulation it needs to stay strong. Fixed dental bridges and implant-retained bridges are designed to function like natural teeth. When bridges are present, the force that is generated every time you chew is transferred to the jawbone. So, the height, width, and density of the bone are maintained, and the devastating consequences of bone resorption are avoided.
Types of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges may be “fixed” or stabilized in the jaw by neighboring, crowned teeth. The specific technique that is used to replace your teeth depends on the number of remaining healthy teeth and their positions, among other factors. Generally, at least one pontic or replacement tooth is made. The pontic is then fused to two crowns. A small amount of the natural tooth is removed from the neighboring or abutment teeth. By crowning these reduced and shaped abutment teeth, they provide sufficient support to hold up the pontic. When bonded to the neighboring teeth, the pontic fills the gap. The replacement tooth is not going anywhere. The appearance of your smile and healthy function are restored.
Replacement teeth may also be supported by implants placed in the jaw rather than by other neighboring teeth. Implants replace the tooth root. So, this design most closely replicates the structure of a natural tooth. Dental porcelain represents one of the most popular materials used to create a portion of a tooth or the tooth in its entirety. Porcelain mimics the appearance of tooth enamel, resists stains, and is durable. Porcelain bridges are sufficiently natural in appearance to replace teeth in the “smile zone,” even the upper front teeth. They are also adequately strong to restore back teeth.
Get your smile in top shape with porcelain veneers in Murrieta, CA.
At Scola Family Dentistry, we speak the language of “classic” cars and classic relationship-based family dentistry. So, to us, porcelain veneers are to dentistry what detailing is to the auto world. Cosmetic imperfections are eliminated. The true beauty of your smile is revealed. Porcelain veneers in Murrieta, CA, that are expertly designed and placed by Dr. Valerie Scola reveal a stunning, blemish-free smile by covering up existing gaps, chips, cracks, and other conditions.
Veneers in Action
As with all treatments at our office, you have to be a good candidate for veneers before moving forward with them. During an evaluation, Dr. Scola examines your teeth and gums to confirm that they are healthy. If active disease is present, it must be resolved before veneers are prepared and placed. She will also discuss considerations and behaviors that could affect the “lifespan” of your veneers, as well as your suitability for this particular type of procedure. Patients who grind or brux their teeth will probably be fitted with custom dental appliances to protect the veneers from damage. These appliances are worn during sleep when bruxers tend to grind their teeth and clench their jaws.
If we determine you are a great candidate for veneers, a small amount of natural enamel is removed from the treated tooth (or teeth). The alteration to the natural tooth is so minimal that it can often be done with little to no numbing anesthetic. The minimally invasive nature of the process also helps to reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity. After the teeth are prepared, molds or impressions are made of the treatment sites and surrounding areas. These molds serve as a guide for the skilled ceramists who will make your veneers from lifelike, durable dental porcelain. To protect the prepared teeth, you may wear temporary veneers while your permanent ones are being made in the lab.
Dr. Scola removes the temporary veneers as needed and places the permanent veneers on the front surfaces of the tooth. Due to precision planning and tooth reduction, the veneers should fit perfectly over the natural tooth surfaces – not bulky, oversized, or fake in appearance. Slight adjustments may be made at this time before cementing the veneers in place. Veneers resist stains, may be cared for easily (like natural teeth), and are a fantastic alternative to more invasive options such as straightening methods or restorations like crowns among patients with cosmetic concerns.
Teeth whitening in Murrieta, CA, is a fast and easy way to dramatically transform your smile.
Don’t you love how great your “beauty on wheels” looks after a good polish? Or how an old outfit can feel like new after minor alterations or even a thorough dry cleaning? At Scola Dentistry, we encourage patients to think about teeth whitening in Murrieta, CA, at our office in much the same way. With no alteration to the tooth structure, you can dramatically lift deep and unsightly stains.
Shedding Light on Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to lighten the color of your teeth and remove stains or discoloration. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as people strive to achieve a brighter, more confident smile. Here are some key points to shed light on teeth whitening:
Causes of tooth discoloration: Several factors can contribute to tooth discoloration, including the consumption of dark-colored foods and beverages (coffee, tea, red wine), smoking, poor dental hygiene, aging, certain medications, and genetic factors.
Types of teeth whitening treatments: There are various teeth whitening options available, ranging from professional dental treatments to over-the-counter products. The most common methods include:
● In-office teeth whitening: This is performed by a dentist and typically involves applying a bleaching agent to your teeth and activating it with a special light or laser. It is a highly effective and fast-acting method.
● Take-home whitening kits: Dentists may provide customized trays and whitening gels for home use. You wear the trays for a specified period, usually a few hours a day or overnight, for several weeks.
● Over-the-counter products: These include whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and whitening gels or pens. While they are generally less expensive, they may be less effective or take longer to show results compared to professional treatments.
Whitening agents: The primary whitening agents used in most treatments are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals break down stains into smaller pieces, making the color less concentrated and your teeth appear whiter.
Potential side effects: Teeth whitening is generally considered safe, but some individuals may experience temporary side effects such as tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, or mild gum sensitivity. These effects typically subside shortly after treatment.
Duration of results: The longevity of teeth whitening results varies depending on several factors, including your oral hygiene habits and lifestyle choices. With proper care and regular maintenance, results can last from a few months to a few years.
Candidacy and consultation: It's important to consult with a dentist before undergoing any teeth whitening treatment. They can assess your oral health, determine the cause of discoloration, and recommend the most suitable whitening option for you.
Limitations: Teeth whitening treatments are most effective on extrinsic stains (surface stains) caused by external factors. Intrinsic stains (stains within the tooth) caused by factors like trauma or certain medications may require alternative treatments like veneers or dental bonding.
Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene, regular dental cleanings, and avoiding habits that cause tooth discoloration can help prolong the effects of teeth whitening treatments and keep your smile bright and healthy.