Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Holidays and Healthy Smiles – Good Choices for a Cavity Free Season

Happy Holidays and Healthy Smiles – Good Choices for a Cavity Free Season
Although it’s not as obvious as other icons, sugar is as much a connotation for the holidays as anything else. Treats like cookies, candy, pie, chocolate, sweet beverages and lots of carb-rich foods seem as essential to the season as any other form of tradition. While a lot of these fun and festive things make us smile, they’re not especially beneficial for the smile. This time of year is right up there with Halloween for boosting the cavity count, but does that mean you should sit out the season and insist your family do the same? With a few adjustments and a more mindful approach to holiday indulgence, you don’t have to.
When it comes to baking and preparing holiday favorites, whether for or with your family, choosing a recipe that’s naturally low in sugar or less chewy and sticky is better for your teeth. Remember, sugar content is not as big of a factor for cavities and tooth decay as the duration of the sugar contact on the tooth enamel. In other words, the longer the sugary, sticky or carb-rich food stays on or between your teeth, the more damage it can do.
That’s another reason why holiday eating damage control can help save your teeth from cavities. If you can, brush your teeth about thirty minutes after you’ve eaten or had an acidic beverage like coffee or wine. If you’re far from your toothbrush and floss (though it’s not a bad idea to bring them with you for holiday feasts), drink plenty of water before and after you indulge. Not only will you indulge less, you’ll flush away some of the food and drink residue that would otherwise stay on the teeth to stain and decay your enamel.
If there’s anything good about holiday feasting, it usually means there are plenty of choices and alternatives. As long as you’re mindful about what you put on your plate, it’s not hard to prevent and manage smile damage. Skip snacking on crackers and just go for the cheese-- even better than that, hover around the raw veggies. Stay away from hard and chewy candies all together and quell any sweet cravings with a piece or two of chocolate, or just have some xylitol gum or a mint to abstain. Make your side a salad, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower instead of candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce or beets. When it comes to sipping hot chocolate, cider or flavored coffee, try to use a straw to avoid slow sipping and contact with the teeth. This minimizes staining in addition to exposure to sugar and acidity.
Last but not least, try to let go of some of that holiday stress and make sure you get rest when you can. Everyone seems to be busy and overwhelmed this time of year, but much of it is preventable and takes a real toll on our health, including the teeth. Grinding and clenching of the jaw, whether conscious or unconscious, causes cavities, straining, cracks, chips and other forms of costly smile damage. The extra caffeine and alcohol or days when things become busy and festive can contribute to bruxism, TMJ and other problems. Enjoy yourself but don’t allow upcoming celebrations to be an excuse for excess or extra cause for stress.
And don’t forget, a new toothbrush makes a great gift for everyone on your list!
Happy Holidays to all!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Would You Rather Have A Root Canal?

Would You Rather Have A Root Canal?

Can you think of something you’d happily forgo in favor of a root canal appointment? The adage “I’d rather have a root canal” remains so effective because of the unpleasant, downright dreaded, connotations of this endodontic procedure. If you’d rather have a root canal, that other option must be seriously unpleasant.

While the “I’d rather have a root canal” saying will likely live on-- much to the dismay of modern dentists and endodontists – it’s fortunate for patients that the root canal isn’t all that terrible an experience. In reality, a root canal is probably pretty preferable to most of the unpleasant and inconvenient matters we all have to deal with from time to time. Go to the DMV? Be stuck in line at the post office? Lose an hour of sleep? Get a flat tire? Turns out a root canal can actually be less harsh than a lot of everyday things.

That’s because the modern root canal is a painless and efficient procedure—nothing like the torturous experience that plagues childhood memories, dental phobic nightmares, and common misconceptions. The most common cause of pain that’s related to the root canal is actually the infection which prompts the need for an endodontic procedure. So if you’re delaying a root canal due to pain, you’re actually hurting yourself more by not addressing the problem before it gets worse.

Rest assured that root canals can be performed painlessly under a minimal amount of local anesthesia. The process is no more invasive than filling a cavity. Once the infection has been identified with an x-ray and the anesthesia has taken effect, a small hole is drilled in the tooth. This entry point allows the tooth pulp, bacteria, and any infected tissue to be cleared from the root of the tooth. The hollow part of the tooth is completely flushed out and cleaned of all infection, decay and residue. Either during the same appointment or after a brief healing time-- during which medication may be used to ensure the tooth is infection-free-- the tooth is permanently sealed. The root canal procedure is then complete. It’s that straightforward.

Depending upon the need for restoration, the tooth may be protected with an inlay, onlay or full crown—all of which will not only preserve the tooth’s structure, but also make your smile look complete and beautiful.

The terrible reputation of root canals versus the reality is an interesting contradiction to consider. You may wonder why the root canal retains so many dreadful notions. A combination of primitive dental tools and methods throughout history, along with stories of recent day procedures performed without proper knowledge or equipment, likely account for many of the horror stories you’ve heard. You can take assurance that these situations are rare and can be avoided when you rely on accredited and trusted dentists and endodontists. When a root canal is performed by a qualified professional, with modern dental capabilities, there’s virtually nothing to fear or dread.  If you are experiencing tooth pain, don’t hesitate to call our office at 847-247-4444.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Healthy Halloween Smiles

Healthy Halloween Smiles  

It’s October, which means you’ve probably seen store shelves filled with costumes, jack-o-lantern kits, spooky decorations and, of course, candy. Once kids have gotten their back-to-school checkup out of the way and excitement for dress up, parties and trick-or-treating builds, sensible smile habits probably aren’t foremost in mind. Parents face an interesting dilemma in all this. Where do they draw the line between letting their kids enjoy Halloween to its fullest and make the types of memories they fondly look back on, and doing everything they can to protect their children’s teeth from decay, cavities and sticky braces? Are trick-or-treating and Halloween parties a time to indulge and enjoy, or is it an opportunity to teach kids about moderation and keeping healthy, resilient habits? Most parents decide to merge the two options, allowing their kids to have one or two pieces of candy a night, or a handful over the weekend. It seems like a good idea with respect to moderation and patience, but what few parents consider is that two or three weeks of nightly candy can actually be worse than a one night snack-fest, at least when it comes to teeth. One time exposure to excess sugar isn’t as bad for your tooth enamel as prolonged exposure, even if it’s in limited amounts and it’s followed by a thorough brushing. So what’s the best smile friendly way to enjoy Halloween parties and trick-or-treating? The tips below may help you find some balance between keeping the kids excited and smiling, without doing damage to their smiles?

Take Part in a Halloween Candy Buyback

More and more dental offices, as well as schools and other organizations throughout the country, will invite kids to bring in the spoils of their trick-or-treating adventure and donate them for care packages that are sent overseas to troops and charitable organizations. Kids can become very enthused by the idea of knowing their trick-or-treating fun will make someone else very happy as well, especially if they’re involved from the start. It’s a great way to teach a charitable lesson and give kids the wonderful feeling of helping others. Community members can plan a buyback event and offer incentives to kids, such as hygiene kits, gift certificates and prizes. You can also donate candy to a local food bank.

Have an After Halloween Party

Getting back to the idea of enjoying candy as an indulgence, rather than over a period of time, an after Halloween party can be a balance between letting your kids enjoy their candy, time with their friends, and sharing their treats with many others rather than just enjoying it on their own. Make or buy a piƱata and fill it. Kids will be more focused on the fun of the party than the idea that they’re “giving away” their hard earned candy.  Provide colorful toothbrushes, mini toothpaste and flavored dental floss as the goody bag. This also gives kids another opportunity to show off their costumes. Lots of candy can be frozen, so if you have a party or celebration coming up in a few weeks, save it and bring it back out at a more appropriate sharing time.

Snack Smarter

If you’re going to go the traditional route and just let the kids have their cake (candy) and eat it too, choosing the right treats can be the best way to minimize the damage. The acidity levels of sour candy can be detrimental to teeth.   If possible, make sour treats like lemon drops, Sour Patch Kids, Pixy Stix and other sour candy off limits. If there’s no way around it, moderation is best. Drinking milk or water with candy can at least dilute the acidity and make it harder for residue to cling on and between teeth. It’s also best to wait before brushing after acidic foods, as acidity softens tooth enamel and can subject the teeth to abrasion. Treats like pretzel sticks, solid chocolate and gum flavored with the decay-fighting sugar xylitol are a bit better than taffy, hard candy, caramel and other sticky, chewy options.

If your kids are due for a fall cleaning, schedule an early November appointment. If you’re going to be indulging along with the kids, come and see us for a checkup and teeth whitening for yourself!    

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tips to Keep Your Kid's Teeth Healthy

Back to school is a busy time of year, but as your kids are getting ready to start up another school year, don’t forget to make time for the essential back-to-school dental visit. Along with their new backpacks, fall clothes and haircuts, they should be ready to greet their classes with a beautiful and healthy growing smile.
Dental checkups are just as important as regular medical checkups for children. While they’re imperative for catching any existing or potential problems early on and correcting them, it can be difficult to invoke kids’ excitement, or even their cooperation, when it comes to maintaining their own periodontal health. After all, how could going to the dentist be as exciting as picking out new clothes and accessories to show off in September? With your help it can be!
The back-to-school dental checkup can be just what parents and kids need to make the transition from long summer days to productive school nights. Besides that, daily periodontal health practices can serve as a great foundation for busy schedules—helping kids find structure and security amidst homework, new friends and afterschool activities. To make it easier and more enjoyable for both kids and parents, here are some ways to get your child interested in their dental care this fall:

  • Brush to their favorite song: This helps keep track of time and keeps them focused on something that they already enjoy.
  • So many choices! Which toothbrush to choose: Bright colors and favorite characters keep them interested. You can even try an electric toothbrush. They often have lights, music, vibrate and move around, keeping children engaged. If they are excited to use their toothbrush, they’ll be more likely to do a better job at brushing. Just ensure that the toothbrush indicates ADA approval.
  • Save the date: To add to the excitement of a new toothbrush and encourage consistent brushing over time, mark the family calendar three months from the day your child selected their back-to-school toothbrush. Something as simple as looking forward to picking out a new toothbrush in the near future can be a great incentive for young kids.
  • Pick a toothpaste flavor they’ll enjoy: While you may hate the taste of bubblegum, it might be your child’s favorite flavor. If they are using flavored toothpaste they enjoy, they won’t be in a rush to get the brushing over with. As long as the toothpaste is ADA approved for children and contains fluoride, pick something that can be all theirs alone. A few dollars spent on a favorite toothpaste can save you a lot in the long run as cavities are prevented.
  • Use colored floss: Even for adults, it can be difficult to get into the habit of flossing. If kids are excited about using floss in their favorite color, they’ll be all the more likely to pick up the habit. Flossing with your child before bed is a great teaching experience and a surprisingly simple way to bond and focus after a busy day. When they’ve reached the end of their floss roll, reward a job well-done and get them excited about picking out a new color or flavor.
  • Reward them (without candy): Pencils, erasers, a new book, a trip to the playground, a weekend slumber party, anything that lets them know that you appreciate their good behavior, can be a real motivator for kids. You can also use a points system that leads up to a bigger reward at the end of the month or rewards based on the end of a tube of toothpaste or following a cavity-free dental checkup.
  • Give them a role model: Post up a picture of their favorite pop star or character to give them motivation to keep their smile as healthy as their idols. Even better than that, act as a role model yourself by brushing and flossing with your kids. If your child sees you emphasizing good oral hygiene, they’re more likely to take their own health seriously throughout their lives.
  • Use a timer: An egg timer or hourglass can help keep track of how long your child is brushing their teeth. It keeps them from rushing through and taking the time to prevent those cavities.
  • Try a science experiment: Your child may not know why it’s so important to brush their teeth. Place an egg in vinegar for two days and observe how the egg softens, just like the enamel on a tooth does if you don’t brush them. Similarly, you could cut a hole in an apple and pretend it’s a cavity. Check on the apple over the course of a few days and look at the effects.

Keeping oral care fun will keep your child interested in maintaining a healthy smile. Along with regular checkups, you can better ensure the health of your child’s smile by developing regular dental habits at a young age.
Don’t forget to schedule those pediatric, back-to-school appointments!


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Pitfalls of Not Getting Orthodontic Treatment

Some people think that orthodontic treatment is done only for aesthetic purposes. This could not be farther from the truth. Properly aligned teeth are necessary for more than a pretty smile. Actually, a pretty smile is only a byproduct of the actual benefits.

Orthodontic treatment corrects bite irregularities. When you close your mouth, your upper and lower jaw should line up.  For some people, their upper and lower jaws are different sizes. This causes the top teeth to protrude (overbite) or the lower teeth to protrude (underbite). These conditions are also called malocclusions. If your bite does not line up correctly, then you need orthodontic treatment. Failure to correct bite problems leads to jaw tension, bone damage, headaches, and other problems. If your bite is misaligned then your teeth may wear unevenly, which can weaken enamel and lead to tooth loss.

Orthodontic treatment also corrects crooked, spaced, and crowded teeth. Straight teeth serve more than an aesthetic purpose. Chewing is the first step in digestion. Improperly aligned and crooked teeth cause problems with chewing food, which can lead to digestive problems if the food is not broken down completely in the mouth. Stomach problems are common in people who do not undergo orthodontic treatment because they cannot chew their food right, which irritates the stomach and can produce a lifetime problem.

Crowded teeth make it difficult to properly brush and floss. If you are unable to get the bacteria out of the spaces in between your teeth, cavities will develop. Over time, the festering bacteria lead to gingivitis and gum disease.  Combined with a misaligned bite, this leads to chronic jaw pain and headaches. Failing to correct misaligned bites and teeth lead to speech difficulty, facial asymmetry, and tooth grinding.

It is difficult to predict what the outcome will be if you choose not to get orthodontic treatment, but it most likely will not be positive. If your eye doctor recommends glasses, you would get them. If your medical doctor recommended that you get physical therapy, you would not second-guess his recommendation. The same should hold true for orthodontic treatment. It is a legitimate and medically necessary treatment that should be taken seriously.

The beautiful appearance that is a byproduct of orthodontic treatment is a great bonus! There is nothing wrong with having a beautiful smile, especially when you know that your teeth and mouth are healthy as well. Give your orthodontist a call today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Brushing and Flossing Routine

Brushing and Flossing Routine
Getting a better job, learning a new language, taking a class, losing weight, saving more money, quitting tobacco, and more are among the most popular new year’s resolutions. These are all great pursuits for improving your life and health, but did you know that only little more than half of Americans brush and floss on a daily basis? When you think about how important these two actions are to preventing the many pains and complication that result from gum disease, one would expect daily brushing and flossing to be somewhere on the list of popular resolutions; troublingly, it is not!
If you are making 2013 your year to lose some stubborn pounds, eat more greens and stay away from tobacco, you’re making a great choice--- and if you don’t do it already, why not add in a change that only takes minutes of your day and could add years to your health?
To help you make a new commitment to daily brushing and flossing, here are some tips to get you started and help you stick with it!
Fit It In With Your Current Routine
As you start and end your day, you probably have a routine that doesn’t vary that much from one day to the next. Whether it’s getting the kids on the school bus or checking your email before you head to work, find a way to work in an extra few minutes to care for your smile. Brushing and flossing is ideally done about thirty minutes after you eat. Simply brushing and flossing your teeth right when you leave the house in the morning and before you go to bed at night is an easy method of establishing routine.
Make It Easy
Since brushing and flossing only take a few minutes, it’s not something one can easily dismiss because they’re too busy. But if the act of brushing and flossing seems difficult or uncomfortable, it may be because you’re making it harder than it has to be. When you understand the proper way to do something, that means the habit is all the more likely to stick. Think about it; when you gave up resolutions in the past, your reason for doing so was probably because it felt too difficult or unnatural to keep up. Preparation and comfort makes it possible to avoid downfall. Try these steps for comfortable brushing and flossing:
  1. Get a soft bristle toothbrush that’s easy to operate.       Soft bristles are better for your tooth enamel and more comfortable, but they should be sturdy enough to do the job of removing plaque. If a thick rubber handle, arched neck or electric toothbrush is preferable for your grip, stick with a type that works best for you. The advantages of one type of toothbrush over another really depends on what best suits the brusher, and which you’re able to use with greatest ease.       Remember to replace your brush every three months, after you’ve been sick, or if there is visible wear on the bristles.
  2. Get toothpaste you like. There are countless flavors and formulas available in the toothpaste aisle. Find a taste you enjoy, just be sure it contains fluoride and is ADA approved.       An opaque white paste is best for those who are concerned with teeth staining. Toothpaste with potassium nitrate is great for individuals with sensitive teeth.
  3. Try a waxed dental floss. Waxed floss cuts down on a lot of the mechanical difficulty of getting the floss between your teeth. Flavored floss can make the process more pleasant for some people, but keep in mind that flavored dental floss is slightly thicker, which can make a difference when you have smaller spaces between your teeth or dental work.
  4. Try dental tape. Dental tape is thicker than regular dental floss, but patients with sensitive gums can find it more comfortable.       It also covers more of the tooth’s surface, making the flossing process more thorough.
  5. A flossing aid or alternative is better than nothing at all.       If you can’t get into the habit of flossing with traditional dental floss, or find it tough to grip or get around dental work, using a floss pick or dental brush is better than nothing at all. Start out with one of these flossing aids and make an effort to transition into proper flossing.
Make It Rewarding  
As you commit to daily brushing and flossing, remind yourself of the rewards. You’ll have fresh breath, fewer stains and plaque, and a cleaner feeling as you face the day and settle for rest. Your teeth with remain stronger and healthier year after year. You’ll protect yourself from periodontal infections that are costly to your health and your finances. You’ll also have a better experience when you come in for your checkup. Think of how great it will feel to experience all of these benefits, and when you’re asked if you brush and floss every day, you can honestly say yes!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Nutrition and Your Teeth

Ask anyone how nutrition relates to teeth, and they’ll usually name things that you shouldn’t eat.  It’s true that many foods and drinks that contain sugar, acid and other tooth decay-causing ingredients are best to avoid for a healthy beautiful smile. While what you should eat to maintain that smile is a little less familiar, good nutrition is essential for oral and overall health. 

Enamel makes up the tooth’s outermost layer. Although it’s the toughest substance in your entire body, it can become eroded or damaged.  Strengthening this hard tissue is a key factor in how well your teeth can guard against decay, and eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D is one of the best ways to accomplish that.  Many of us are familiar with milk and other dairy products as a primary source of calcium.  Plain yogurt and cheese are also excellent sources of calcium, however if you can’t have dairy on a regular basis, even healthier alternatives are green vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach and celery. Vitamin D can be found in a variety of fish, eggs and mushrooms. 

When it comes to the health of your gums, vitamin C is essential.  The only trouble with vitamin C is that it’s found in many foods that also tend to be high in acidity, such as red peppers, grapefruit and oranges.  When enjoying these acidic though healthy foods, avoid brushing your teeth for about an hour after you eat them. Washing them down with cold water can help protect your tooth enamel from corrosion and staining. 

In addition to the nutritional value of foods, your teeth can benefit from the texture of what you eat. Virtually any crunchy fruit or vegetable can serve as a natural toothbrush—clearing the teeth of bacteria and food residue. Eating raw foods like carrots, apples, pears and celery also prompts the production of saliva, and healthy salivary function prevents the proliferation of harmful oral bacteria.

When it comes to sugar substitutes and sugar-free products, many patients are curious with regard to the role they play in oral health. Are they sensible choices or does sweet inherently mean bad?  It really depends upon the type of sugar substitute.  If a product that claims to be sugar-free still includes ingredients like fructose or surcrose, you’re still ingesting natural sugar, which is digested by decay-causing bacteria and subsequently increases the risk to your teeth.  Any sweeteners that aren’t digested as sugars don’t create this issue.  These ingredients include isomalt, sorbitol, erythritol, saccharin, sucralose and mannitol.  One way of sweetening food that’s actually beneficial for teeth is through the use of xylitol.  Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is found in the fibers of certain plants, including fruits, vegetables and grains. Xylitol is actually beneficial in the fight against tooth decay, and is used in many sugarless gums that can have dental health benefits.

While it’s not realistic to completely abstain from foods that contain acid and natural sugar, finding a balance between sufficient nutrition intake, dietary moderation and damage control against decay-causing substances, makes a big difference in your smile health.  Using fluoride-based products like toothpaste and mouthwash can help your teeth guard themselves against bacteria-caused decay.  Visiting for a professional cleaning every six months helps remove tartar and plaque that can’t be easily removed with household dental products.  Cutting down on sweet indulgences can help you control cravings and enable you to make healthier choices throughout your day-- which is great for your teeth, gums and the rest of your body. And last but not least, brushing and flossing daily and mindfully is where the real fight against tooth decay takes place.  These actions remove the food particles and residue that cause the most damage when left on the teeth.  

Combine these considerations with a diet rich in natural vitamins and minerals, and you can better ensure that your smile will last a lifetime of good, nutritious meals.   


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dental Specialties

When you need a dentist, usually that is all you need to know. Unlike other fields of medicine, the needs of the public are best served when the majority of dentists devote themselves to the practice of general dentistry. In some instances, your family dentist will refer you to a specialized dentist to care for a specific condition that you may have. Your family dentist is the authority on your run of the mill tooth decay, gingivitis, and biannual cleanings. The specialists support your family dentist by offering advanced dental care in a narrow scope of conditions.

These areas of dentistry require additional knowledge and skills beyond the four years of general dental school training. If the dentist enrolls in additional postgraduate study, he/she can become a specialist. There are several areas of dental specialties.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMS) specialize in the broad spectrum of diseases and defects in the maxillofacial region, face, jaws, head and neck. Oral and maxillofacial dentists usually have a degree in medicine, and the specialty is a logical extension of that discipline.  They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cysts, tumors, cleft lip, cleft palate, craniosynostosis, and TMJ disorders. They also specialize in the surgery required to correct severe bite deformities, which do not respond to retainers and other noninvasive treatments.

Orthodontists specialize in the correction of tooth placement, usually through braces. Orthodontists specialize in the long-term growth, alignment, and design of the mouth and the corrective appliances that facilitate normal growth.
Periodontists are concerned with gums, the diseases that adversely affect the gum (periodontitis and gingivitis), and maintaining healthy function of the gums. When a patient’s gum disease progresses to the point where surgery is necessary, the general dentist will refer the patient to a Periodontist.

Prosthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the restoring the mouth to its natural state by the use of prosthetic devices such as dentures and dental implants. While a general dentist is qualified to perform a portion of these services, the Prosthodontic dentist works with more severe cases, which require surgery, accompanied by dentures or other dental appliances.

An Endodontist specializes in root canals and other diseases that affect the pulp (the soft tissue of the tooth). A general dentist may perform a root canal, but if it later develops an abscess in the gum, the Endodontist will take over from there.

An Oral Pathologist specializes in the diseases of the mouth and face. They rely on clinical exams, rather than visual exams. For example, if the patient has a bacterial growth, he will be referred to an Oral Pathologist. The Oral Pathologist will take samples of the tissue, have them examined at a laboratory, and then determine a course of action.

Pediatric dentists specialize in dental treatment for children and teens. They go beyond the general dentist as they are well versed on childhood diseases that affect the teeth and gums. As a pediatrician specializes in a growing child, the Pediatric dentist specializes in the growth of a child’s mouth.

Your family dentist will determine when you need to see one of these specialists. If you are in need of a specialist, you family dentist will refer you to one that he/she trusts and has a good working relationship with. The specialist and your family dentist will work as a team to provide you with the best care possible.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


If you are unhappy with the physical appearance of your teeth, veneers are one of several options for giving yourself a smile rejuvenation. Veneers are less invasive than other methods and do not destroy healthy teeth in the process. Veneers have become widely accepted as the price has come down, and also because the veneers have been perfected to seamlessly blend in with your natural teeth.

What are veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are affixed to the teeth to improve their appearance. They are so thin that they can be laid over the existing tooth without the need to drill the tooth surface. Each veneer is custom made to fit perfectly over the tooth.  The veneers blend in with the rest of your teeth and are not noticeable. Veneers are very strong, but they require a bit of care as they can chip.

What is the difference between crowns and veneers?
Veneers are affixed to the surface of the tooth, with minimal drilling necessary. Crowns require that the majority of the tooth be drilled down to a nothing more than a nub. The crown is essentially a new tooth that covers the leftover nub in your mouth.

Who are good candidates for veneers?
People with strong and healthy teeth are the best candidates for veneers. The veneers mask gaps between teeth, stains, chips, and irregular or dull looking teeth. Veneers are a cosmetic, not a structural, fix. For example, they do not correct the gaps between the teeth; they only cover them. Seriously decayed and damaged teeth cannot be corrected with veneers. In this case, restorative dentistry is the only option.

How long do veneers last?
Veneers typically last for about ten years. Daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings will prolong the life of a veneer. Cosmetic dentistry has increased in popularity in the past ten years. This has brought the price of veneers down significantly. Veneers range from $700 - $1,000 per tooth.

What is the process for getting veneers?
Veneers are custom made for each tooth and take more than one appointment to complete. During the first appointment, the teeth are shaped and the surface is roughened. Next, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth. The impressions allow the laboratory to make veneers that perfectly fit each individual tooth. Each veneer is essentially a work of art which is created by a skilled technician. Finally, the veneers are applied using a bonding adhesive. Once in place, the veneers are a permanent part of your mouth.

If you are considering veneers, be sure that you are working with a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry. Consider your other options to veneers as well. For example, if your teeth are only stained, tooth whitening may be a better option. It is important to note that veneers are a permanent solution. You cannot remove them later if you no longer want them. To consider all of your options and to decide if veneers are right for you, consult with your dentist.