What makes a good cosmetic and restorative dentist?
Cosmetics in dentistry are more than just how teeth look. A cosmetic (aesthetic) dentist combines art, science, and technology to create restorations that are both beautiful and functional. A good aesthetic dentist must think like an artist, understand science, and have the technical skills of a master.
In order to understand cosmetic dentistry you must first understand one basic principle; something must work right before it can look good. Therefore, the process of improving aesthetics starts by preventing the breakdown of teeth. They will last longer by controlling the forces that are causing the breakdown to occur. With this problem solved, it is then possible to enhance the appearance of teeth and achieve optimal dental health with a treatment plan that is specifically designed for you. Cosmetic dentistry combines advanced techniques and materials to provide results that are as natural looking as they are durable.
Before choosing a cosmetic dentist, look at their education and credentials. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Be certain that the person you choose has specific training and expertise, not just someone who uses the term 'cosmetic' in an advertisement. Ask to see photos and/or testimonials of actual patients, not just generic photos that can be purchased and passed on as their own work. Speak with other patients who have had similar treatment to discuss their experience and results. This can be a life altering experience, so talk to the dentist and his dental team to make sure you are where you want to be. Do not let anyone talk you into doing anything; this must be something you want!
What can I expect at my first appointment?
One of our specially trained assistants, along with Dr. Moore, will examine and assess your current dental condition at your first appointment. As part of the initial examination we will listen to your concerns, take any necessary x-rays, record existing fillings, decayed, missing or broken teeth. We will examine how your teeth bite together and the way your jaw joint works. We will do an oral cancer screening and examine the health of your gum and bone tissue as well as perform a cosmetic evaluation. During our consultation we will examine your teeth through our intraoral camera; this device will show your teeth magnified into full digital images for your better understanding of the procedures. After we have gathered all the information, Dr. Moore will put together a treatment plan based on your concerns, values and dental budget.
I don't like my smile, can you help?
As unique as your smile, so is your reason for not liking it, but we are certain we can help. Dr. Moore is well-trained and experienced in determining key factors to enhancing any smile. Some key factors are:
- Cracked, chipped, crooked, missing or discolored teeth
- Uneven gums
- Unattractive or failing restorations
- Uneven or slanted teeth
- Underlying skeletal problems that can cause teeth to be crowded, excessively prominent or retruded, or have spaces between them
- Worn down or broken teeth
The best way to determine your needs is for you to come in and talk to us. During a consultation we can take close-up photos and molds of your teeth to help you identify those areas you would like to improve.
My back teeth have a lot of silver and gold. Is there a less obvious way to fill cavities?
New advances in tooth-colored porcelain and composite materials not only allow fillings to go unnoticed, but are stronger and more wear-resistant than silver and gold. This is one of the benefits being treated by a cosmetic dentist.
What should I know about amalgam or mercury fillings?
Amalgam, or "silver", fillings are the most commonly placed filling material according to the ADA. Since the largest component of amalgam is mercury, not silver, they could easily be referred to as mercury fillings. More than 78% of dentist surveyed by the ADA considered amalgam the material of choice because it is cheap, easy to place, and its longevity.
Years ago, Dr. Moore chose to stop using amalgam for the following reasons:
- Amalgam fillings weaken the tooth over time by expanding and fracturing teeth from the inside, similar to splitting wood with a wedge.
- The material usually 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. Several European countries have banned the use of the material and many states within the United States are regulated on proper disposal.
- Amalgam fillings are unattractive and because of corrosion, typically turn dark with time. There are more aesthetic and environmentally safer materials to use. With these new materials and biological 'super glues' it is possible to predictably bond teeth back together, virtually restoring them back to their virgin strength without the invasiveness of full crowns. In the majority of cases, more conservative techniques can be used instead of crowns. It is therefore possible to preserve healthy, remaining tooth structure.
Is there a reason to convert my amalgam fillings if they aren't bothering me?
Yes. Since amalgam fillings are not bonded directly to the tooth there is greater potential for tooth fracture and loss. If the tooth is compromised by the filling in any way, a restoration that is "tooth supporting" is desirable. New conservative treatments prevent toothaches, fractured and broken teeth before experiencing symptoms of hot/cold sensitivity and biting pain. We are also able to diagnose these problems earlier with the assistance of fiber optics and camera magnification technologies. Using a proactive rather than reactive approach to amalgam replacement is something many patients have chosen.
What can be done if I have stained or discolored teeth?
If you are satisfied with the shape and size of your teeth, an in office or take home bleaching process offers the simplest intervention. When bleaching is not sufficient to meet your needs, porcelain veneers, as well as direct and indirect resins, can be used to address multiple issues.
How can I replace missing teeth?
It is not necessary to live with missing teeth any longer. With the advanced techniques and materials available today we are able to offer many options, including bridges, implants, and natural looking partial or full dentures. A complete set of teeth will not only improve your self-esteem, but also increase the longevity of your natural teeth by redistributing the stress placed on them. In addition, you will notice improved speech, digestion, and taste.
I know my smile needs some work, but I'm not sure if I can afford to have cosmetic dental work done.
The cost of cosmetic dental work depends on how much work you want done. Like any cosmetic process, costs will increase with the amount of product or services you desire. Dr. Moore can explain various prices and the best procedure for you. Also, some cosmetic dental options are covered by insurance. Cosmetic dental work is probably not as expensive as you think. Investment in cosmetic dentistry is an investment in you. It can lead to an improved dental appearance and help improve self-esteem and overall confidence.
How does my dental insurance work?
Your insurance coverage is a contract between you and your insurance company. The amount of coverage depends on the plan your employer has purchased. We process all forms from insurance companies that allow you to go to the dentist of your choice. We will submit all claims for you and will do our utmost to help you derive the maximum benefits allowed by your plan. You can feel comforted to know that the quality of care will not change based on insurance coverage.
Do you offer payment options?
In order to provide our patients with the highest quality dental care on a sound business basis, we offer many different payment options and will work hard to find one that fits your budget and lifestyle.
Do you offer price quotes over the telephone?
That's almost impossible to do. It's a lot like asking how much a car costs without having any idea about make, model or desired options. Because a full conversation and dental analysis is needed, we ask that those who are interested enough to ask the question, please come in for a consultation. We know you will be glad you did!
Can Dr. Moore provide my family's basic dental care?
We welcome families and enjoy providing basic care. We specialize in life-enhancing dentistry and the subsequent maintenance of these adult patients.
Some Things to Consider in choosing a Cosmetic Dentist:
If a dentist is truly proud of his/her work, why would they ever show another dentists' work, and many times let the patients believe that it is their own?
If a dentist truly believes that what he/she is creating can have a dramatic impact on people's lives, why do so many dentists not have it done for themselves and their dental staff members?
Continuing education is vital. Extra training, in addition to a keen eye and natural ability can take dentistry to a much higher level.