Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, mouth and smile. In other words restorative, general and/or family dental practices address dental problems that require necessary treatment, whereas cosmetic dentistry provides elective – or desired – treatments or services.

Cosmetic dentistry may also provide restorative benefits. For example, dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat decayed teeth. Previously, most dental fillings were composed primarily of gold, amalgam and other materials that left visible dark spots on the teeth.

Today, dental fillings may fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, because you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that closely match the color of your teeth, thus maintaining the natural appearance of your teeth and smile. Many people may choose to have their older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance.

Cosmetic dentistry is the art of dental procedures focused on restoring teeth to their natural looking beauty also enhancing a smile’s esthetic appearance, while also helping maintain the health and function of the teeth.

By improving the patient’s appearance and smiles often times has a positive emotional and psychological impact on the patients’ life.

There are many new dental procedures and techniques used in cosmetic dentistry. They include, but are not limited to:

Porcelain Veneers

Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement.

Dr. Arteaga Family & Cosmetic Dentistry specializes in porcelain veneers. Dr. Arteaga will first prepare the tooth by removing half a millimeter of the natural tooth, to allow for the thickness of the veneer. Afterwards, Dr. Arteaga will take a mold of the tooth so that the veneer can be fabricated.

Finally, the veneers are permanently bonded or cemented to the natural tooth using strong and tooth shade cements.

Veneers are used to cover discoloration and imperfections. Porcelain veneers can aesthetically change the size, color and shape of the teeth. Dr. Arteaga can mount the veneer using little to no anesthesia. Veneers because they are made of porcelain are resistant to staining, including stains from coffee, tea and cigarettes.


Lumineers are similar type of porcelain veneer which is used in cosmetic dentistry to correct teeth that are stained, chipped, discolored or even misaligned. Lumineers are unique in that much less of the natural tooth needs to be removed, since Lumineers are much thinner than traditional veneers. With less tooth removal, the need for dental anesthetic is minimized. Lumineers are always made out of Cerinate porcelain, which is extremely durable. This allows the veneers to be fabricated as thin as .2 to .3 millimeters.

Teeth Whitening

Dr. Arteaga Family & Cosmetic Dentistry knows that everybody loves a bright white smile.

Dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. A child’s deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous. Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco. Certain antibiotic medications (like tetracycline) can also cause teeth stains or a reduction in the brilliance of the enamel.

The process of bleaching teeth is considered to be the safest cosmetic procedure available today. Research and clinical studies show that under the supervision of your dentist, whitening teeth with carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide is safe for both teeth and gums. Typically, these whiteners usually come in a gel form and are applied by the use of a custom-fitted mouth guard, which Dr. Arteaga will make for you, fitting your teeth exactly.

If you are a candidate for tooth whitening, you should consider chair side tooth whitening at Dr. Arteaga Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. Sessions generally take from 30 minutes to one hour and are pain free. We can also provide you with a bleaching kit for convenient home use.

After examining your teeth, Dr. Arteaga will suggest customized cosmetic treatments that will fit your smile. Call Dr. Arteaga Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.