Restorative And Cosmetic Dentistry

Ben Mandel, DDS -  - General Dentist

Ben Mandel, DDS

General Dentist located in La Mesa, CA

When it comes to your teeth, fixing a dental problem is only the start of treatment. In many cases, the work isn’t done until the aesthetic look of your tooth is restored. Dr. Ben Mandel understands the importance of balance between the restorative and cosmetic aspects of dental care. If you live in La Mesa, California, or the El Cajon or Spring Valley area, call for an appointment or book online today.

Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry Q & A

What is the difference between restorative and cosmetic dentistry?

Oftentimes there’s little difference at all since the best technique to restore a tooth may also be the best-looking solution, particularly with the advances in dental services seen today. For example, dental veneers have a decades-long history of providing Hollywood-white smiles. Yet veneers can also repair chips, cracks, and misalignments that negatively affect your bite, so veneers offer both restorative and cosmetic benefits.

In other cases, the restorative and cosmetic treatments may be separate procedures, such as with root canal therapy and dental crowns. When the inner pulp of a tooth is compromised through decay or damage, root canal therapy cleans away decay and soft tissue at the core of your tooth, fills it with a rubber-like substance, and seals the root canal itself.

While such a tooth can remain viable, the root canal treatment doesn’t address the external look of the tooth after the procedure, and in some cases, may cause the tooth to darken in color. Resin composite fillings may be used to seal the tooth, providing a natural finish, rather than the dark metallic look of silver amalgam fillings. When the strength of the tooth is in question, a dental crown may completely encapsulate the visible portion of the tooth, adding physical integrity and improved cosmetic appearance.

What are resin composite fillings?

You may know these better as “white” fillings. Made from acrylic resins, these fillings are matched to the color of your existing teeth, so there are no flashes of metallic dental work when you open your mouth.

While metal can be used in a variety of dental procedures, Dr. Mandel chooses metal-free solutions whenever possible for the most natural appearance, whether you’re receiving fillings, porcelain crowns, or Lumineers® brand veneers.

What are Lumineers® and how are they different from regular veneers?

Conventional veneers are quite thin, but they still require the removal of some of your natural tooth enamel to make room for the veneer itself. Without this, it would be difficult to create a natural look with the veneer.

Lumineers® are ultra-thin, about half the thickness of conventional veneers. Not only does this permit natural-looking results, but Lumineers® can be taken off your teeth at some point in the future. If other veneers are removed, they must be replaced to prevent permanent tooth damage.