*FAQ’s about Cosmetic Dentistry*

What is cosmetic dentistry, and how is it different from general dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is the art and science of designing wonderful smiles. Prosthodontists are skillfully trained at improving the appearance of an individual’s teeth, mouth and smile to look their very best.

General dentistry addresses necessary treatment at maintaining the health of your teeth and gums .They provide services such as cleanings, cavity checks, and general monitoring for possible problems that might otherwise go undetected. You should visit your dentist every 6 months to monitor your overall oral health.

Common cosmetic treatments include:

  • Teeth Whitening
  • Contouring/Tooth reshaping
  • Bonding
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth colored fillings
  • Smile makeovers

How long will each cosmetic treatment take?

Every smile is unique; therefore every cosmetic procedure is different. Some treatments can be completed in one office visit while others can take several office visits to complete.

Will my insurance cover cosmetic care?

All insurance coverage and out of pocket expenses can vary. Our office will contact

your insurance provider to see if cosmetic coverage is available. We will provide you with your treatment costs up front so we can choose the best payment options for your needs and your budget.

Am I a good candidate for teeth whitening?

Patients who experience the most benefit from having their teeth whitened:

  • Are in good dental health
  • Maintain good dental health (i.e. brush two times a day, floss, receive regular dental checkups every six months, etc.)
  • May suffer from slightly discolored, or yellow, teeth
  • Wish to improve the look of their smile for aesthetic purposes
  • Are in good physical health

Are there any side effects with teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening does not typically include any negative side effects. It is a safe and effective procedure.

Minor side effects may consist of:

  • Increased tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • White spots on the surface of the teeth
  • Nighttime whitening trays may cause additional gum sensitivity or irritation

Q: Is a Prosthodontist different from A “COSMETIC DENTIST”?

A: Prosthodontics is the “dental specialty” pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of oral function, comfort appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes. A Prosthodontist has graduated from dental school and has at least three or more years of continuing education afterwards.

Some common procedures will include:

  • Dentures
  • Partial dentures
  • Bridges
  • Crowns
  • Implants
  • Veneers

Q: How can esthetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

A: If you dislike your smile, esthetic dentistry may be the answer. This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile. From restoring a simple tooth or to having a full mouth make-over, your smile can be changed dramatically.

Other esthetic procedures include:

  • Bleaching
  • Bonding
  • Veneers
  • Crowns
  • Implants
  • Orthodontics

Q: How often should I have a dental exam or cleaning?

A: You should visit your dentist at least twice a year to have your teeth cleaned and examined. Depending on your oral health, your dentist will advise you on your recare frequencies for exams and cleanings to monitor, prevent, and maintain your dental health.

Q: How often should I brush and floss?

A: Brushing and flossing helps to control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria change certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing and flossing.

Tooth brushing should be performed at least twice a day, once in the morning and before bedtime. Also, brushing your tongue to remove bacteria will lead to fresh breath.

Flossing daily is strongly advised. It is the best way to clean the teeth under the gum line. It helps disrupt plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth and bones.

Q: How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

A: Many people do not know they have periodontal disease especially when it is in its early stages. Keeping up with regular examinations is very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist. Having periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms is possible.

Periodontal disease is when plaque, a film of bacteria, food debris and saliva is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy bone that supports teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will decrease the likelihood that plaque will lead to tooth loss

Other factors that increase the risk of periodontal disease are:

  • Tobacco use
  • Certain medications
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives and puberty
  • Systemic disease- Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV/AIDS, etc.
  • Genetics-patients with family history of tooth loss should pay extra attention to their gums.

Signs and symptoms of Periodontal Disease:

  • Red, puffy gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Spacing between teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus around teeth and gums- indication of an infection.
  • Receding gums
  • Tenderness or discomfort of teeth and gums.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

What should I expect at a dental visit?

It depends on your situation, whether you are just coming in for a routine visit or for a specific problem. Our office schedules one hour appointments for routine check ups and cleanings. If you are a new patient to our practice you will be asked to complete a new patient packet that will inform us of your important information, such as your medical history and insurance information if you have dental coverage.

How long will I have to wait in the waiting room?

We do not double book our appointments. We value our patient time as we hope our patients value ours.