My Blog

Posts for tag: cosmetic dentistry

VeneersanAffordableLowImpactWaytoAchieveaMoreAttractiveSmile

There are a lot of ways to improve the appearance of your teeth. Some methods can be quite involved like crowns or bridgework, which require extensive alteration of teeth to accommodate them.

Other methods, though, can achieve stunning results with less tooth reduction or alteration to your teeth. Porcelain veneers are one such alternative that literally puts a new face on your teeth. A dental veneer is a thin layer of restorative material (usually porcelain) that is bonded to the outside of a tooth to cover blemishes. They’re an excellent choice for dealing with otherwise healthy teeth with mild to moderate chipping, wearing, staining or slight misalignment.

Veneers can be fashioned to match the shape and texture of the prepared tooth, as well as coloring that blends with neighboring teeth. They’re created by skilled dental lab technicians who use porcelain powder mixed with water to create layers of pliable porcelain laminated together to achieve the appropriate thickness and shape. The veneer is then oven-fired to produce a strong, durable product.

Their use in various dental situations does require some tooth preparation, though normally not as much as other restorative measures — usually no more than 0.5 mm of surface enamel. Removing this small amount will ensure the veneer doesn’t look too thick and bulky once bonded to the tooth.

There are some situations, though, where veneers aren’t the best choice: because they’re mainly a cosmetic solution, they can’t remedy problems like poor tooth position and bite or large discrepancies in root position. And teeth that are heavily decayed may require more extensive dental work to repair and preserve them.

In the right situation, though, veneers can make a huge difference to your smile and last for years, as long as you practice effective oral hygiene and don’t subject them to abnormal biting force (no cracking hard shell nuts with them — they can shatter). In skilled hands, veneers can transform your teeth from embarrassing to dazzling.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Smile Design Enhanced with Porcelain Veneers.”

BaseballsFranciscoLindorShinesasMrSmile

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

TestDriveYourFutureLookafterDentalWorkwithaTrialSmile

Most of us wouldn't think of buying a new car without a “test drive.” It's a serious investment, so you want to make sure you're comfortable with your new ride.

Like an auto purchase, the plan you and your dentist agree on to cosmetically enhance your teeth and gums — a “smile makeover” — is a significant investment. Wouldn't it be nice to “test drive” your future smile before you undergo any procedures?

Actually, you can — two ways, in fact. For one, your dentist could use computer imaging software that alters a photo of your face to show how your smile will appear after dental work. These computer enhancements are a great planning tool for making decisions on the look you want to achieve.

But even the best computer images only provide a static, two-dimensional representation of your new smile. It can't capture all the angles and movement dynamics of any proposed changes. That's where the other way, a trial smile, is a true test drive — you can see your future smile in action.

With a trial smile, your dentist temporarily places tooth-colored material called composite resin on your teeth to simulate the proposed changes. The resin can be shaped and sculpted to create a life-like replica that you'll be able to view in all three spatial dimensions. What's more it will give you a chance not only to see what your new smile will look like, but to actually experience how it feels in your mouth.

Creating a trial smile is an added expense and it's only available during your consultation visit — the dentist will need to remove the resin before you leave. But you'll still be able to get a good impression of what your final smile will be like. You'll also be able to take photos you can show to family and friends to get their impressions of your proposed new look.

A trial smile allows you to know beforehand what your dental work investment will provide you, and even fine-tune your makeover plan before work begins. With this particular kind of “test drive” you'll have greater assurance that you'll be happy and satisfied with the end results.

If you would like more information on trial smiles, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Testing Your Smile Makeover.”

By My Dentist
September 05, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

If you wish your smile was brighter and whiter, you may have considered teeth whitening. This fast and easy procedure can brighten your teeth whiteningsmile in just one dental visit and give you a look you will feel proud of. Understanding the ins and outs of teeth whitening treatments can help you determine if it is the best option for you. Find out more about professional teeth whitening with Dr. Sanjay Patel at My Dentist in San Bernardino, CA.

How can teeth whitening benefit me?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure which improves the appearance of your smile. By improving the way you look, you can boost your confidence and self-esteem. This makes face-to-face encounters or first impressions less awkward or difficult. With a smile you love, you can laugh and smile freely, without hiding behind a hand or turning away. Teeth whitening’s fast and easy procedure allows you to save a significant amount of time compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures.

What can I expect during a teeth whitening procedure?
Teeth whitening uses the chemical reaction between a whitening gel placed onto the teeth and the teeth’s stains to break the bonds between tooth’s stain’s molecules. This dissipates the stain on a microscopic level. Your dentist can adjust the strength of the treatment, allowing you to choose how subtle or dramatic your results end up being. Your dentist will simply place the whitening gel onto the teeth and allow it to remain in the mouth for about an hour. Depending on the type of whitening system your dentist uses, you may sit under a special UV light to speed up and strengthen the process. After the allotted amount of time, your dentist removes the gel and sends you on your way.

Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments in San Bernardino, CA
Unfortunately, the results you receive from professional teeth whitening procedures are not permanent. However, most patients schedule touch-up appointments every six months to a year to maintain their results. Whitening patients should be in good dental health and have realistic expectations for their results. Additionally, they should have no visible porcelain dental restorations as whitening systems cannot lift their color.

For more information on teeth whitening, please contact Dr. Patel at My Dentist in San Bernardino, CA. Call (888) 599-7005 to schedule your appointment today!

By My Dentist
March 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Smiling shouldn't be an uncomfortable sensation, but if you're dealing with noticeable cosmetic flaws in your teeth, you're likely to feel lumineershesitant to smile. It might surprise you to learn that in just one painless hour at Dr. Sanjay Patel's My Dentist office in San Bernardino, California, you can have a smile that you'll be proud to show off. Lumineers transform your smile by taking the concept of dental veneers one step further. You can learn more about them here.

What are Lumineers?

Lumineers, offered by your San Bernardino dentist, are a revolutionary way to improve the quality of your smile. They are wafer-thin pieces of porcelain that have been shaped, painted and shined to look just like the front surface of natural teeth. Each one is fitted onto the corresponding tooth using a bonding cement. Chipped or worn-down edges, irregular shapes or sizes, crookedness, gaps and discolorations are all easily masked by Lumineers' translucent porcelain.

What's the difference between traditional veneers and Lumineers?

Lumineers are durable and attractive, just like traditional veneers. The most remarkable difference is that Lumineers are much thinner - about the width of a contact lens versus half the width of a dime. This means that your San Bernadino dentist will not have to remove of any of your tooth enamel for successful placement. Traditional veneers require about five millimeters of tooth enamel to be permanently removed in order to adhere properly. Lumineers give the wearer the same beautiful results as traditional veneers; however, they're easier to place, less expensive and completely reversible if you change your mind.

Are there limitations with Lumineers?

Lumineers are durable, but care should be taken not to bite down forcefully on hard or crunchy foods like candy or ice, and to never use the teeth as a way to open packages or remove tags. The most important thing your San Bernardino dentist wants his patients to remember is that Lumineers do not replace natural teeth, so regular dental hygiene needs to be maintained.

Ready to learn more about how Lumineers can change your smile? We're ready to talk to you! Contact My Dentist in San Bernardino, California to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanjay Patel!