Dr. Wilhelm has over twenty five years of cosmetic dentistry experience, performing thousands of enhancement procedures and diagnosing and treating complex dental problems. He is an expert in smile design and restoring teeth to create strong, lasting, and beautiful solutions for his patients. Dr. Wilhelm works with his patients to understand their individual needs so that he can find the best solution. Whether you are experiencing discoloration, decay, spaces or gaps, misalignment, loose teeth and overall asymmetrical teeth positioning it is important to understand how a cosmetic dentist such a Dr. Wilhelm, can help improve your smile.
To learn how Dr. Wilhelm can help you achieve the smile you want, give him a call at 651-227-2427 or send him an email. We have also included answers below to our patient’s most frequently asked questions to help you determine whether you should see a cosmetic dentistry expert and if so what to expect.
What is a cosmetic dentistry expert and why should I see one?
The American Dental Association recognizes a cosmetic dentistry expert or prosthodontist as the only dental specialist specifically trained to replace missing teeth, diagnose and treat bad bites while creating new smiles. A cosmetic dentistry expert goes through three years of advanced postgraduate training at an accredited dental school where he or she receives certificates in fixed, removable and maxillofacial prosthodontics. Most cosmetic dentistry experts also complete a master’s degree in dentistry and dental materials science.
Many smile enhancements require an expert understanding of the anatomy and mechanics of your bite and jaw function so it is important to see a cosmetic dentistry expert who has extensive training in these procedures. Where do most dentists go to fix their teeth? Often they see a cosmetic dentistry expert.
What should I expect at my first consultation?
Restoring a broken smile or changing a nice smile into a gorgeous one requires meticulous attention to detail so it is important to talk with your cosmetic dentistry expert about your desires and concerns. Before any evaluation you need a careful and comprehensive examination of your bite and the way that you use your teeth. If you have any significant wearing away of your teeth or recent changes such as developing spaces these may be signs that there is problem with your bite or occlusion. This is the most misunderstood aspect of dental restoration and requires the skills of a trained cosmetic dentistry expert. If your teeth are simply restored without attention to the occlusion or cause of the initial destruction, then your new expensive smile will immediately begin to break down in a process similar to the one that caused its initial demise. Be sure to communicate any apprehension you have and if you require any sedation dentistry or calming medication be sure that your cosmetic dentistry expert can accommodate your needs.
What procedures can help improve my smile?
Cosmetic enhancement for your smile encompasses many procedures including:
- The simplest and easiest is teeth whitening, which can painlessly change the color of your teeth to a whiter brighter smile in as little time as an hour.
- Adult orthodontics
- For teeth that are in good condition but misaligned, teeth movement or orthodontic correction may be the answer. Adult orthodontics is common and just as affective as they are for children.
- Restorations that are fabricated in the laboratory by a skilled technician are referred to as indirect (not made in the mouth). Indirect restorations make up the bulk of cosmetic enhancements for the teeth. These restorations are considered permanent and can last a lifetime. They utilize the latest in technology and create the most natural results available.
- Porcelain veneers
- Porcelain veneers require minimal alteration to your tooth structure and can help alter the color of darker teeth as well as instantly correct minor misalignment issues.
- When teeth have decay or missing structure then a more extensive restoration or cover called a crown may be needed. Crowns can restore the backside of your teeth as well as improve the appearance of the front. These are often required when restoring significant damage or wearing.
- Bonding is an additional procedure, which can improve minor defects or create temporary changes to teeth color and shape. Bonding requires little preparation or drilling of the tooth and uses a chemical process to glue tooth colored material in place. Once bonded, the material is shaped and polished right in the mouth.
How can I make sure that my teeth won’t look artificial or show dark lines?
A cosmetic restorative specialist or prosthodontist has the skills required to plan the correct type of restorations that will survive the rigors of your functional needs while also creating a natural appearance. Correct diagnosis of occlusal problems will ensure that your new smile will have a better chance of lasting a lifetime.
A cosmetic dentistry expert understands the relationship between your bone and gum tissue in order to create restorations that appear symmetrical both from side to side as well as top to bottom. Aesthetics are not just about the white of your teeth. It has to do with how the teeth appear in your face and how they relate to the gums. You will want to ask your cosmetic dentistry expert about optimizing your gingival architecture (gums). Following many cosmetic procedures the gum will recede or pull back if the doctor isn’t aware of the affects of the underlying bone and its location in relation to the edge of the visible gum. Sometimes, corrective procedures to the bone or gum or even slightly moving the tooth in or out in the jaw will make or break a perfect smile.
A gorgeous smile requires the participation of a master technician who can work with the properly prescribed materials to shape and color your restorations. When consulting an expert, ask to see examples of his work not just promotional posters or photos that may have been purchased at a marketing supply house.
What if I am missing some of my teeth?
Missing teeth is the main reason why it is important to find the right cosmetic dentistry expert for your needs. Choosing when to utilize a conventional crown and bridge procedure, and when to place dental implants is critical to ensuring that you receive optimal results. Only a select group of cosmetic dentistry experts in the United States are trained and experienced in placing and restoring dental implants without the need of a referral to another specialist.
How long will my new teeth last?
The answer to this question depends on how accurate your occlusal diagnosis is performed. A bite that is not working will wear out and destroy teeth. Just because the teeth are restored and “look” fixed, this doesn’t mean that they are in a relationship that “works”. A defective bite will wear out the teeth and will wear out or break new porcelain. Because you won’t be able to tell by the way it looks or feels be sure to have your occlusion thoroughly examined. If your occlusal diagnosis is performed accurately and your bite works well then you can expect your new teeth to last a lifetime.