A Smile That’s True to You-Cosmetic Dentistry in Santa Barbara

happy smiling couple at the beach

Many of us have things about our smile that we wish we could change. Fortunately, with cosmetic dentistry, it’s possible for you to have a smile that reflects your personality and fills you with confidence.

At Santa Barbara Dental Care, we provide exceptional cosmetic dental services to help our patients achieve breathtaking smile transformations. From teeth whitening to porcelain restorations made right in our office, our dentists can design and implement the treatment you need to renew your smile.

Find out more about what we can do for your smile. Contact our office and make an appointment today.


Am I a Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?

With advances in cosmetic options, practically anyone can benefit from personalized cosmetic service. Whether you’re unhappy with the dingy color of your teeth, you have chipped or damaged teeth, or you’re missing teeth entirely, there’s a cosmetic service designed for you.

To determine how cosmetic dentistry can help you, one of our experienced dentists will perform a cosmetic consultation. During this meeting, we listen to you so we can understand what you want to change about your smile. A thorough exam helps the dentist understand your oral situation so that he can recommend the most effective treatment options for you.

We work together with our patients to address their smile imperfections and create a look they love.

Cosmetic Dental Services We Provide

Cosmetic dentistry is as much an art as a science. Each cosmetic service we offer is personalized to our patient, ensuring that it is both flattering and functional.

Our cosmetic services include:

What is Smile Design?

blonde woman with beautiful white smile

Sometimes, a single cosmetic procedure alone isn’t enough to achieve the smile transformation you’re looking for. In these cases, we use smile design – also called a smile makeover – to provide dramatic results.

Each smile design is customized and centered around the patient’s aesthetic goals. We pair together the services that complement each other and provide the desired results while preserving the health and integrity of your natural smile.

Our dentists are careful to keep your unique oral health in mind when designing your treatment. A variety of factors are accounted for in the planning – not only your teeth, but the shape of your face, skin tone, lip thickness, and several other features. The goal is to create a smile that fits you and looks natural.

Which Services Should I Get?

Your smile design will vary depending on what you hope to achieve.

If you’re mainly focused on your most visible teeth, we may pair veneers with teeth whitening to create a bright, uniform smile. If you have misshapen teeth, we may recommend a combination of crowns and veneers. Missing teeth are hugely important for both dental health and cosmetic appeal. We can pair tooth replacement with cosmetic enhancements for a complete smile overhaul.

Take the time to consider what you want to achieve, and how extensive a transformation you feel comfortable with.

5 Questions to Consider When Planning a Smile Makeover

  1. What do you like or dislike about the color, size, shape, and spacing of your teeth?
  2. How do you feel about how much your teeth show, both when you smile and when your lips are relaxed?
  3. Do you prefer bright white, perfectly aligned teeth, or a more natural look with slight color, shape, and shade variations?
  4. Would you like more or less of your gums to show when you smile?
  5. What is the number one thing you would want to change about your smile?

How Long Does Smile Design Take?

Woman with picture of smile in hands

This will depend on how extensive your treatment is. Once planning is complete, simpler services like whitening and veneers can be done in two visits on average. More visits may be needed when multiple treatments are involved.

The timespan can also vary. Certain applications, such as veneers and Lumineers, must be crafted in a dental lab, which takes about two weeks to complete. Others, such as crowns and bridges, can be made in our office thanks to our CEREC® machine, and can be ready much more quickly. Ask the dentist for an estimate of the time needed for your smile design.

How Much Does Smile Design Cost?

A smile design is made up of multiple services in a custom plan, and the price will vary between patients. Generally, the amount and type of services needed will determine the overall price.

Some procedures may be covered by insurance, though others may not. Our office will work with you to determine if your treatment is eligible for coverage and what your payment options may be.

Transforming Your Smile with Veneers and Lumineers

When it comes to transforming the smile quickly and effectively, veneers and Lumineers can work wonders. Thin shells made of porcelain are custom-crafted to fit over your frontmost visible teeth, concealing various cosmetic issues behind them.

Should I Get Veneers or Lumineers?

young woman using shade guide to check veneer color

Each option has pros and cons, so choosing between them comes down to your unique situation and what you’re hoping to conceal.

Both Lumineers and veneers are made of thin shells of porcelain. However, Lumineers are notably thinner and require much less of the tooth to be reshaped for application. This preserves more of your enamel, but also means that Lumineers are more translucent and more fragile than veneers.

Talk to the dentist for more information on each option, and ask if he recommends one particular choice over another for your specific case.

What If My Teeth Need Repairing?

Poor dental health naturally has a significant impact on your smile’s aesthetic, making it hard for you to smile with confidence.

In the past, issues such as tooth decay or missing teeth were hard to conceal, since restorations were typically made of metal and didn’t look or feel natural in the smile. Fortunately, our patients can enjoy a strong, healthy smile that also looks as great as it feels.

Composite Fillings

Made of composite resin, these white fillings are shade-matched to your enamel to blend naturally into the tooth for discreet protection.

Porcelain Crowns

These porcelain caps completely encase the visible tooth, making them useful for both protection and cosmetic enhancements. Our crowns are custom-designed and created right in our office for quick and effective treatment.

Porcelain Inlays & Onlays

Somewhere between a filling and a crown, these pre-made restorations cover part of the tooth when a filling would be too large. They preserve more of the natural tooth than a crown, yet still provide strong and discreet protection.

Porcelain Bridges

Missing teeth can be effectively replaced thanks to porcelain bridges. Up to three prosthetic teeth (called a pontic) is supported between two of your remaining teeth, which are fitted with crowns to support and hold the bridge in place.

Dental Implants

Implants are the most permanent tooth replacement option, and the only one that replaces the tooth root as well as the crown. Implants can support any range of missing teeth, from one porcelain crown to a full set of dentures.

Convenient High-Quality Cosmetic Restorations with CEREC®

Our office is equipped with a CEREC milling machine, allowing us to create beautiful restorations for our patients quickly and effectively.

We start the process with a digital impression of your tooth. The impression is sent to our machine, which uses sophisticated tools to carefully shape a ceramic block into your custom crown or bridge. Once complete, the dentist checks the fit and cements the tooth in place, providing you with a functional and realistic restoration.

Should I Whiten My Teeth?

closeup shot of brunette smiling

Over time, dark foods and drinks can leave stains on your enamel, making your smile less vibrant than it used to be. While toothpaste and whitening products can be great for touchups or keeping stains from worsening quickly, they lack the power to treat set-in stains that have developed over years.

Professional teeth whitening uses a potent bleaching gel to penetrate the enamel and eliminate stubborn stains, restoring your teeth to their natural brilliance. Our office provides both in-office and take-home whitening for the convenience of our patients.

In-Office and Take-Home Whitening: Which is Right for Me?

Both of these options provide professional-strength whitening you can’t find outside a dental office. As for which one is best, it depends on your goals and your limitations.

With in-office whitening, you receive the strongest level of whitening carefully applied and monitored by a dental professional. This helps to ensure your whitening is effective and even across your smile, and also minimizes the potential for tooth sensitivity after treatment.

Take-home kits, on the other hand, provide patients with busy schedules to conveniently whiten their teeth at home when it’s easiest for them. Each take-home kit comes with a custom whitening tray to ensure the gel is applied evenly across each tooth. While the gel is not quite as concentrated as in-office whitening, it can still whiten teeth by several shades and is also great for touching up before a big event.

Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?

Whitening is not permanent, but it often takes years for stains to develop after a professional whitening treatment. You can help your whitening results to last as long as possible by limiting your consumption of dark foods and drinks, avoiding tobacco, and visiting the dentist for cleanings twice a year.

Should I Whiten Before or After Cosmetic Treatments?

three young people with whitened teeth smiling

When crafting your custom veneers or restorations, we match the prosthetic to your nearby teeth to help it appear more natural. Once crafted, these restorations can’t be whitened any further, and may look out of place if you whiten the rest of your teeth. For this reason, we strongly recommend getting your teeth whitened before you have cosmetic or restorative work completed.

Ready for Your Dream Smile?

At Santa Barbara Dental Care, our patients know they can count on us for expert dental care in every service. Whether you need a simple touchup or a complete smile makeover, we’ll work with you to craft a smile you’ll love.

Contact our office and schedule your consultation to get started today!


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2411 Bath Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 682-0282

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Santa Barbara Dentists at Santa Barbara Dental Care are dedicated to cosmetic dentistry such as Exams, Teeth Whitening, Veneers and more. We are looking forward to your visit to our Santa Barbara, California dental office.

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2411 Bath Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

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