A beautiful smile can have a significant impact on your life, boosting your confidence and helping you make the best possible impression in social and professional interactions. For many people, a minor cosmetic imperfection makes them hesitant to smile. Fortunately, these issues are easily corrected with cosmetic dentistry.
Dr. Heather Fleschler offers a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures which can address just about any cosmetic flaw you experience. In just a few short visits to our office, you can achieve the beautiful smile you desire.
The best way to determine the ideal treatment plan for your unique needs is to speak with Dr. Fleschler in person. Please call 713-660-6500 today to schedule an appointment at our office. We proudly serve the West University, Bellaire, Meyerland, and River Oaks areas of Houston.
Common Cosmetic Dental Problems
Your smile is an important part of displaying your personality. When you have cosmetic problems with your teeth you may refrain from smiling or laughing as much as you normally would. Some of the most common cosmetic flaws with teeth include:
- Crooked teeth
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Missing teeth
- Gummy smile
Dr. Fleschler and her staff want all of her patients to feel great about their smile. In the sections below, we’ll go into a little more detail about each of these issues and the solutions we offer to help you regain your beautiful smile.
Crooked Teeth Solutions
Crooked teeth are aesthetically unpleasing and can cause alignment issues with your bite. Whether your teeth are overlapped or even slightly twisted they can have negative effects on your oral health and overall function of your bite.
Crooked teeth, as well as underbites and overbites, are frequently inherited traits which are passed down from your parents. Other factors that can cause crooked teeth include having a mouth that is too small for your teeth which can cause your teeth to crowd and move, having upper and lower jaws that are not the same size, traumatic injury that causes alignment issues of the jaw, and early loss of baby or adult teeth.
Regardless of the cause, crooked teeth can have negative impacts, including:
- Problems with chewing
- Increased risk of cavities and tooth decay because teeth are hard to clean
- Increased risk of tooth breakage because of stress on teeth and jaws
- Self-esteem and confidence issues due to appearance of teeth
For mild to moderate alignment issues, Dr. Fleschler recommends Invisalign® clear braces. Invisalign® treatment uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to gradually shift your teeth back to their desired position. Invisalign® is often a preferred option for adults since the aligners are virtually undetectable to others. Invisalign® is not a good solution for major orthodontic and bite alignment conditions and Dr. Fleschler may refer you to an orthodontic specialist.
If you would like straight teeth but do not want to invest the time required for Invisalign® or traditional orthodontic treatment, then porcelain veneers may be a great option for you. They’re often called “instant orthodontics” because they can provide you with the appearance of straight teeth in just a few short visits to our Houston dental office.
Cracked and Chipped Teeth Solutions
Chipped and cracked teeth can create more problems for you other than looking unpleasant. When you have teeth that are cracked and/or chipped, the tooth weakens, which can cause it to decay or have an infection. A tooth may crack or chip as a result of traumatic injury, biting something hard, or from wear or decay from improper dental hygiene.
No matter how the tooth was damaged, it can be painful. If the affected tooth is not located in the front of your mouth, you may not even realize that it is chipped or cracked. A few common symptoms of a cracked or chipped tooth include:
- Pain while chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold liquids
- Tooth pain that comes and goes
For small chips, Dr. Fleschler may recommend dental bonding. She will apply the bonding materials in layers in order to sculpt the tooth into its desired shape. An ultraviolet light is then used to harden the bonding material, securing it to the surface of your tooth.
For more extensive damage, Dr. Fleschler may recommend a dental crown. Dental crowns cover your tooth to provide greater protection from additional damage or decay. Dr. Fleschler uses all-porcelain crowns in order to achieve beautiful results which blend in seamlessly with your smile.
If one of your front teeth has a minor crack or chip, porcelain veneers may be an excellent option. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of dental porcelain which get bonded to the front surface of your tooth. Porcelain veneers achieve beautiful, natural-looking results that will make your tooth look whole again.
Gapped Teeth Solutions
Gaps between teeth are a common cosmetic problem that can detract from a beautiful smile. While gaps between teeth aren’t necessarily harmful to your oral health, they can cause some people to feel self-conscious about their smile. There are a few reasons why gaps may form in teeth. These include:
- Having naturally small teeth that are too small for the space and cause gaps once the teeth spread out
- If your labial frenum, the skin that connects your upper lip to your gums, grows between your front teeth a gap may form
- Children who suck on their thumbs or use pacifiers past age 4 may develop gaps
- Tongue thrusting, when your tongue pushes against your teeth as you swallow, can cause a gap over time
For gaps in your teeth, Dr. Fleschler can use dental bonding to layer and build up the teeth to close the gap. The procedure is an effective way to produce natural-looking results. If the gap is large enough, you may achieve better results with porcelain veneers, which produce resilient, long-lasting results.
Discolored Teeth Solutions
Over time, our teeth lose their original sheen and shine. This happens naturally as we age because the enamel that protects our teeth slowly wears away. When the enamel is gone, a yellowish layer below is exposed called the dentin layer. Discolored teeth can also develop as a result of lifestyle choices and the foods and drinks we enjoy on a daily basis, such as:
- High acidic foods
- Coffee and teas
- Red wine
- Soft drinks
Having discolored teeth can be embarrassing and cause you to hide your smile. Fortunately, Dr. Fleschler offers teeth whitening solutions to combat discoloration by using Opalescence Boost, Opalescence Go, and Opalescence custom whitening trays. With these options, you have the choice to whiten your teeth in-office or gradually at home over a period of several weeks.
Missing Teeth Solutions
Missing teeth can be a serious problem that impacts both your overall oral health as well as the appearance of your smile. The health of your jaw bone, as well as its ability to move, can be affected by missing teeth. If you have a tooth missing, the bone and gums around the missing tooth lack the stimulation needed to stay healthy, which can result in bone loss and gum recession. Other negative results from missing teeth may include:
- Issues with your bite
- Alignment issues with your jaw
- Problems with the joints and muscles in your jaw
- Twisting or moving of the teeth that remain
- Undue stress on the teeth that remain
For missing teeth solutions, Dr. Fleschler offers dental implants. These provide you with the most effective tooth replacement option since they replace both your missing tooth and its root. However, if you're not a suitable candidate for dental implants, dentures or dental bridges will provide you with an effective alternative.
Gummy Smile Solutions
A gummy smile is a common issue that occurs when you have too much gum tissue showing. A gummy smile can make your teeth look very small and out of proportion with your gum line. There can be a number of reasons why you may have a gummy smile. Some of the causes include:
- Teeth that came out improperly and are still covered by some gum tissue
- Genetically small teeth
- Teeth that are small because of wear
- A small upper lip
- Gingival hypertrophy, the condition of having enlarged gums
- Vertical maxillary excess, a condition in which the top jaw is overgrown and causes the gums to swell
For gummy smiles, Dr. Fleschler can use laser dentistry to recontour and reshape your gum tissue and provide the balance necessary for a beautiful smile.
Benefits of Cosmetic Dental Solutions
As mentioned in the paragraphs above, we offer numerous solutions to deal with common cosmetic dental issues. These solutions all have unique benefits to help you address the problems you face so that you can have a beautiful, healthy smile. Below we outline the benefits of the most common cosmetic dental solutions.
Porcelain veneers offer a convenient cosmetic option that can cover up a gap, chip, or crack for a natural-looking smile. Wafer-thin shells of porcelain are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth using a special dental adhesive.
A few of the many advantages of porcelain veneers include:
- Maintain the translucency of biological teeth for a natural, healthy appearance
- Offer incredible stain resistance and durability
- Easy on the gums
- Easy to care for
Invisalign® Clear Braces
Invisalign® is a revolutionary system that straightens your teeth over a period of months just like traditional braces. Unlike metal braces, however, Invisalign® is virtually invisible. Using the latest computer technology, Dr. Fleschler makes a map of your teeth in their current position and then develops a series of clear plastic aligners that, over time, gradually move your teeth into the desired final position.
Advantages of Invisalign® include
- Virtually invisible
- Easily removable for meals, eliminating the food restrictions associated with braces
- No wires, rubber bands, or periodic adjustments
- Fewer visits to the dentist than with traditional braces
- A custom solution designed just for you
Dental bonding offers you a minimally invasive treatment that is convenient, affordable, and effective. Using a special dental-grade resin, Dr. Fleschler reshapes your teeth to reduce the gaps between them, as well as fix cracks and chips in teeth. Dental bonding offers numerous advantages, including:
- Less invasive than many other treatment options
- The resin shade can match your natural teeth
- The procedure can be completed in just one visit
- A very affordable option
Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing teeth. Having all of your teeth is important for the health and function of your mouth, and dental implants offer many benefits as an artificial tooth option. These benefits include:
- Helps keep other teeth from moving or twisting
- Helps preserve jaw alignment
- Long-lasting solution
- Helps maintain a proper bite
Contact Our Houston Cosmetic Dentist Today
Dr. Fleschler and her team make it their goal to provide each patient with personalized care to address your specific needs. By using the best materials and the latest technological advancements, she can customize a treatment plan just for you. Her patient-centered philosophy emphasizes quality and not quantity so that she can give comprehensive care to everyone who visits her office.
If you have one or more cosmetic smile imperfections you would like to address, please contact Dr. Heather Fleschler online or call 713-660-6500 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in the West University, Bellaire, Meyerland, and River Oaks areas of Houston, Texas.