McCordsville Family Dentist providing quailty, affordable dental care to the Fortville, McCordsville IN communities.
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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is the process of improving the appearance of a person's teeth, gums and smile. Although the American Dental Association (ADA) does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialty most cosmetic dentists are held in high regard because of their extensive education, training, and experience in improving the esthetics of a person's oral appearance. Cosmetic dentistry procedures differ from general dentistry or restorative dentistry procedures in that they are elected as opposed to required. Cosmetic dentistry has the added dimension of art as well as combining the oral health benefits of general and restorative dentistry to give patients the smile they have dreamed of.
The latest advancements in dental technology have allowed cosmetic dentists to utilize materials that are both durable and esthetically pleasing. The amount of additional training cosmetic dentists undergo allows them to blend both art and science into smiles that are healthy and beautiful. Materials such as porcelain or composite materials are closely matched to resemble the look and feel of your original teeth, giving a natural appearance of your teeth and smile that enhance one's oral appearance.
Cosmetic dentistry has also taken leaps in utilizing less invasive techniques that conserve as much natural tooth as possible. These practices combined with advancements in natural-looking, tooth-colored dental materials make today's cosmetic dental treatments more durable and predictable than in years past. In addition to these advancements many cosmetic dentists are available to perform many procedures in-office that used to require referrals to other specialists. The need for patients to see multiple dental care providers and experience multiple trips has been replaced by more convenient and advanced procedures and has reduced recovery time.
Cosmetic dentistry is a method of professional oral care that focuses on improving the appearance of your mouth, teeth and smile. And although cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually elective, rather than essential, some cases of treatment also provide restorative benefits.
The most common procedures used in cosmetic dentistry are fairly simple, whereas others are more complex and require specialized care. 


An "onlay" is a form of dental restoration used to repair a decayed, chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged tooth.  An onlay corrects damage extending to a "cusp" (the raised points on the biting surface), in contrast to an inlay, which is used to repair only that portion of the tooth between these cusps.
 
Generally speaking, there are two different types of dental restorations: "direct" and "indirect." For example, a "filling" is a type of direct restoration, because the material used to repair the tooth undergoes its hardening process while in "direct" contact with the tooth, and *inside* the mouth.
 
Unlike a filling, where a malleable material is placed into the tooth, and allowed to harden, an onlay is an *already* hardened material (like a crown) that is joined to the tooth by bonding or cement. Because the material used to repair the tooth is created *outside the mouth*, either in a lab by a dental technician, or via a computer-controlled milling machine, the process is considered an "indirect" restoration.
 
In all, there are five surfaces of the tooth eligible for restoration: the distal, occlusal, buccal, mesial, and lingual/palatal surfaces. With this dental procedure code, an onlay is is made from either porcelain or ceramic, and placed on three of those surfaces. An onlay constructed of either of these materials yields positive cosmetic results, with porcelain creating a more natural look than the "heavier" look of full ceramic. For this reason, an all porcelain onlay is typically used to repair decay on teeth within the "smile-zone," whereas a fully ceramic onlay is most often used in the rear of the mouth.
 
To prepare for a three-surface onlay, a dentist will first remove any decayed or weakened areas of the tooth. Then, depending on the process used by your dentist, either a physical impression of the tooth will be made, or 3D imaging will be used to render a digital impression. Next, you may be fitted with a temporary onlay until the custom version is completed, or if your onlay can be fabricated on-site your dentist will proceed with the installation.
 
Once the onlay has been prepared and is ready for installation, it will be laid into the excavated area of the tooth and bonded or cemented (luted) in place. Provided there is no damage to the tooth cusps, the inlay is placed directly onto the tooth surface. When the cusp or a greater portion of the tooth is damaged, however, an onlay is used instead to cover the tooth's entire surface.
Inlays and onlays are made in a dental laboratory from composite resin material and attached to the teeth with adhesive dental cement. They provide support to strengthen teeth, restore their shape and avoid any further decay or deterioration.  


Cavities and small fractures leave many teeth with defects that progress over time if untreated. In the past, metal restorations served a need but left many teeth discolored and strained from the wedging effect of the metal. Today, tooth-colored composites blending into tooth structure provide an excellent option for restoring defects. Composites can often be placed in thinner layers than metal, preserving more of the natural tooth.
Composites serve both functional and aesthetic roles, often at the same time. For example, a cavity invading the front of a tooth along the gum line may be visible in your smile. By gently cleaning out the soft, discolored area the decay ceases to destroy healthy mineral surfaces. And when a composite shade matching the tooth is sculpted into place, the tooth looks better than ever.
Composites contain a mix of liquid resin embedded with finely ground glass particles. After being molded against conditioned tooth structure, blue light applied directly to the composite leads to a firm set within seconds. Shaped and polished, a high shine reflecting the beauty of natural enamel results in an invisible restoration: strong, smooth, conservative. 


At Ladd Dental Group of McCordsville, watching patients discover a brilliant new smile highlights our days. Veneers can transform a smile dramatically, sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics.” A set of veneers can correct chips, stains, and even deeply discolored teeth. But they can also alter the length and size of teeth, or help teeth that seem rotated suddenly appear straight. While it sounds dramatic, only the stunning visual outcome is surprising. Veneers provide a highly conservative approach to esthetic smile makeovers.
Veneers display the ultimate in dental art and science, handcrafted and customized to fit your smile. Like a contact lens, these paper-thin pieces of porcelain bond to the outside of your natural teeth. But don't be fooled by the thin characteristics of this material. Many unique features can be incorporated into the ceramics, replicating any look you want to create.
While veneers provide a conservative way to repair bad teeth, the steps behind the process require a high level of training to produce accurately. So what's involved in bringing a smile like this to life? Careful planning of your veneers is vital to a successful outcome. Models, photographs, and digital x-rays allow you and Dr. Shoba to create a perfect blueprint to direct your case from start to finish. Like all successful projects, this planning can't be compromised. She will consider your input and incorporate your desires into your veneer case, from color to shape and a number of other factors. 
Once Ladd Dental Group of McCordsville plans your case, usually two appointments leave you with a stunning new smile. At the first visit, the teeth are gently prepared to allow space for the ultra-thin porcelain to be crafted over by a master lab technician. Dr. Shoba provides all the information to a specialized lab that's needed to create a masterpiece.
Dr. Shoba also produce acrylic temporary restorations that mimic the veneers, worn for about three weeks. These temporaries provide a preview of the general appearance of your new smile and allow further input regarding the appearance of your upcoming smile. After hours of custom craftwork in the lab, you'll return for a second appointment. Dr. Shoba will try in each veneer and evaluate the appearance and fit, giving you an opportunity to preview the new look. She will then go through several precise steps to bond the thin veneers to the outer surface of your teeth, creating an incredibly strong bond between tooth and porcelain. Minor adjustments to your bite and a final polish will leave you with a smile that may have you wondering why you waited so long to find Ladd Dental Group of McCordsville!


One of the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedures, teeth whitening or teeth bleaching can be performed at your dentist's office. Whitening should occur after plaque, tartar and other debris are cleaned from the surface of each tooth, restoring their natural appearance. Teeth can also be bleached to achieve an even lighter shade than this original color, according to the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site.
Over the years, teeth become stained and worn from food, drinks, medication and personal habits such as smoking. Sometimes a new smile emerges from the simplest steps. Teeth whitening removes years of dingy stains from your teeth. Coffee, tea, wine, tobacco, and chocolate dull white enamel surfaces. A brilliant boost along with some gentle polishing and reshaping of chipped, uneven edges can create an easy transformation. Simple and safe, most patients don't realize how much discoloration embeds into their teeth until they see a new shine emerge.
Numerous products crowd supermarket shelves. While we don't discourage these methods, you may want to consider the advantages of professional whitening:
Customized system: We offer in-office whitening that removes years of stain within an hour or less. We also can make trays that fit your teeth like a comfortable glove for whitening at home. Together we'll find the right system for your situation and the best results, sometimes even combining the two methods for maximum short and long-term benefits.

Controlled gel formulas: We use the highest quality whitening formulas available for safety and consistency: professional strength with careful quality control from known sources. Beware of temperature-sensitive gels stored in uncontrolled environments or made in an unknown setting.
Sensitivity management: You may experience temporary sensitivity in your teeth while whitening. We have specific strategies for you to use, and will customize the product and method to help you have a comfortable and safe whitening experience.
Long-term results: Buying a box of whitening strips every few months adds up. A session with us in the office can provide an instant effect that may take days and multiple boxes of strips to obtain. Alternatively, you'll have a system that should fit for years if you leave with custom trays. A simple refill syringe of gel picked up occasionally from our office allows you to keep your smile fresh for years to come.
Teeth whitening offers a predictable boost to your confidence through the power of a smile. Numerous factors need consideration and evaluation before starting any whitening procedure. Your Ladd Dental Group of McCordsville team draws on years of experience to help deliver a smile boost safely and comfortably.


Dental implants are used to replace teeth after tooth loss. The dentist inserts a small titanium screw into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth, which serves as the support for a crown. These implants are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth, and once the bone and supporting tissue fuse to the implant, they are permanently secured into place. Patients need to practice diligent oral hygiene during the implant placement period to clean plaque and food debris from the area.
If you're considering cosmetic dentistry procedures, it's vital to find a cosmetic dentist who specifically offers the option you're interested in. Talk with family and friends to find out if they can refer to you a dental professional, or check with the AACD for listings of dentists in your area.

Removable Appliances: Retainers

One of our goals is to provide the most conservative treatment possible in every situation. Oral appliances offer simple, non-invasive care for a variety of conditions. Regardless of the application, every appliance we prescribe is custom-crafted for you with excellent fit and function.
Appliances designed on models of your teeth can be used to fit on either upper or lower teeth, or on both at the same time. Whether we're treating nighttime sleep grinding, diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea, bite problems or jaw joint disorders, appliance therapy may aid our treatment. Dr. Shoba employs a variety of innovative designs depending on treatment goals and your preferences.
Following Invisalign or braces, retainers help to keep your teeth from regressing to their original positions. These removable appliances can also be used for small corrections such as moving a single tooth or closing small gaps between teeth. Additionally, retainers can help correct speech problems and help those with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). To see if you qualify for retainer treatments, speak with our dentists today.  

Under normal circumstances, your teeth should only contact for about 5 minutes each day. Normal chewing results in brief intervals of contact between enamel surfaces, the hardest substance in the human body. Slight amounts of wear over years of function frequently occur, and bite edges can chip a little. But these durable surfaces should wear at nearly undetectable rates.
Sometimes teeth develop a flattened, worn appearance, even in young patients. And x-rays may demonstrate unusually thin layers of enamel as if sandpaper has been drawn across the chewing surfaces of the teeth. A few minutes of chewing daily simply shouldn't erode the enamel so much.
If you're waking up with a sore jaw or headaches, or you've noticed chips or flattening of your teeth, a consult with Dr. Shoba should be on your list. The sooner the problem receives attention, the less damage there will be. Often a carefully calibrated night guard with a distinct bite relationship built in will eliminate the symptoms while protecting your precious enamel.
Daytime habits of clenching or grinding deserve attention, and strategies to reduce the problem may be developed. Dr. Shoba will also analyze the current relationship between your teeth to make sure they're moving against each other optimally when you chew. Regardless of the cause, eliminating the strain on the jaw and your teeth as quickly as possible can save you many problems as time goes on.

Fortville Family Dentist providing general, family, and dental surgery services to the McCordsville, Fortville IN communities.