Frequently Asked Questions
A. Aesthetic dentistry is a facet of dentistry that deals with enhancement, restoration and maintenance of optimal dental health specifically designed for you. It is based on artistic creation in a framework of sound scientific principles. It utilizes the most advanced techniques and materials to give natural looking and feeling results that can greatly enhance your life.
A. What the discriminating person understands is that dentistry is not a product but is a service. This means that all dental work is not created equal unlike a manufactured product would be. How your dental work is delivered is also important.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does insurance dictate treatment or do I decide with the dentist what is best?
- Do I want someone who is seeing four other people while at the same time
- trying to understand my unique problem?
- What kind of dental lab is being used? Is it local?
- Can and will the dentist consult with the technician fabricating my case to make changes to fit my situation? (This is especially important with cosmetic dental work)
If everyone's teeth, face, and body chemistry were the same then dentistry might be a commodity. But that is not the case.
Service dentistry means treatment and results are centered on you. You see the same people each time you visit who are familiar with your needs and situation. You are the most important thing and not your insurance coverage.
A. We offer a free consultation that could take from 5 to 15 minutes. Not only will you meet the staff and get a feel for the office, but all your concerns and questions will be addressed.
A. Yes. If your gums are bleeding it probably means you are not brushing enough. Bleeding gums are not healthy. If brushing your hair caused your scalp to bleed or left blood on the brush, would you think something was wrong? Yes, and likewise with your teeth. Healthy teeth and gums DO NOT bleed when they are brushed and flossed!
A. It means you have gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis is an acute infection of the gums and is reversable if treated and proper home care is maintained. Periodontitis is a silent disease that affects the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis is not reversible, but it is treatable.
A. There are a variety of solutions for this problem, some involving the use of lasers and no need for any anesthesia. Artistic sculpting of the gum tissue can take a smile from good to great.
A. It's a big deal and they last a lifetime. They are part of 21st century dentistry. All teeth that have no cavities or dental work should have a preventive resin coating to prevent decay. They are inexpensive and very effective. No shots or drilling required.
A. In order to better customize to your needs and budget. Some people need only to remove normal coffee and tea stains or reverse the effects of aging. Others need more aggressive bleaching because of tetracycline or other chemical staining. There are also lifestyle issues. Do you have time to wear trays at home? Do you just need a touch-up? See our page on Tooth Whitening for details.
A. It takes two working dental visits about 4-6 weeks apart. There are some planning visits prior to the working visits to determine what result you want and some follow-up bite adjustment visits. Porcelain veneers do not stain and are as strong as natural teeth. When properly placed they will not come off or break even when eating taffy, caramel, corn on the cob, spare ribs, or biting apples. Chewing rocks, opening bottle caps, or getting hit in the mouth with a baseball are not recommended. But natural teeth would break too. You should still practice good dental home care.
A. Amalgam fillings, sometimes referred to as silver fillings, are the most commonly placed filling material according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The material typically contains about 50% mercury and even though the ADA has deemed it safe, it is still considered a toxic and hazardous material outside the mouth. In fact, several European countries have totally banned the use of the material. Although we don't place amalgam fillings, we remove old ones using a special technique to reduce exposure to aerosolized mercury which can be readily absorbed through the lungs. Amalgam fillings are very unaesthetic and because of corrosion typically turn dark with time. There are more aesthetic and safer materials to use. It is my opinion that the major reason silver/mercury fillings are still in use is because insurance companies will not fully cover the newer resin or tooth-colored fillings due to the additional expense in spite of the benefits to you the patient.
A. This is old-century dentistry. Amalgam fillings expand with time and tend to fracture teeth from the inside, similar to splitting wood with a wedge. There are much better materials and techniques that don't weaken teeth and look better. Dentists have for years jokingly referred to silver/mercury filling as temporary crowns because they could see that if a person lived long enough the amalgam filling would damage the tooth enough to require a full crown.
A. This is what we call the "filled to death syndrome". It happens when the tooth has become weak from the use of silver/mercury fillings and cannot hold up under normal chewing. This problem is easily corrected with Tooth-Colored Fillings or Bonded Onlays.
A. Many options exist, including Bridges or Implants. There is no reason to live with missing teeth. Not only does a full set of teeth improve self esteem but it makes all the other teeth last longer by reducing stress placed on the remaining natural teeth.