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More FAQ’s From Our Patients

Hansen: Hi there, Dr. Hansen Liang from Fresh Smile Dental Group. For today’s video we’re going to answer another bunch of questions we frequently get asked from patients.

How can I make my teeth whiter?

This is a question I get a lot. Everyone wants a whiter and brighter smile. There are a number of different ways to whiten your teeth. Whitening products are available at your local pharmacy or drug store that can work in some situations. I always recommend that if you’re interested in whitening those are a good place to start. We also offer in-office products that involve taking impressions of your teeth and making trays that are custom fit to your mouth. If your teeth are crowded or not that straight, this may be an option that works better for you. You’ll receive a kit with some syringes of bleaching solution that you can take home with you to use.

Whitening toothpastes do work a little bit to remove surface stains, but they aren’t going to work to actually change the color of your tooth. The problem with those toothpastes is that they are abrasive and over time they can scratch or take off the glaze of your crown or bridgework. If you want to change the shape, position and color of your teeth, then cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics may be what is needed.

Why do I need photos?

Here at Fresh Smile we do take a lot of photos. I know I’ve always said a picture says a thousand words, and that is definitely the case with photos that we take. The photos help us discuss the condition of your teeth and the overall oral health. We can show you areas of concern and discuss options to restore a beautiful, functional and healthy mouth. The photos are also used for insurance pre-authorizations so the insurance provider can have a picture of the clinical condition of the issue or of your tooth.

Will it hurt?

I think this is probably the biggest thing on every patient’s mind when they come to see the dentist. Here at Fresh Mouth we always do everything we can to make sure that you are comfortable during your visit. Whether it’s a blanket or a hand to hold or medication and oral sedation, we will make sure that your experience is as comfortable and as pain-free as can be. Remember, you’re always in control, so if you need anything just ask.

All our hygienists are certified in providing anesthesia or freezing, so if it is needed to make your hygiene visit more comfortable please just let one of us know. If you have an appointment with myself or one of our other dentists, we always make sure that you are fully numb and comfortable before starting any procedure. We have TV in every operatory to help you relax and take your mind off things. You can catch up on the news, a TV program, or just listen to some music and zone out.

After your appointment, we’ll go over what you can expect over the next few days and talk to you about what you can do at home to help speed your recovery. We always end our appointments with a hot towel and a mirror to help you freshen up and feel like yourself again.

Can I make my smile better?

I get this question a lot, and the simple answer is, of course, yes. There are many different options available to you to help improve your smile, but it all comes down to these four things; time, comfort, function and finances. It can be as easy as coming regularly to your hygiene visits or something as complicated as a full-mouth rehabilitation.

Here are some things to consider.

Alignment.

Are your teeth straight? Is there something that you would like to change? We can discuss with you whether traditional braces or an option like Invisalign is right for you. Your bite. Are your teeth biting correctly? Do you have any missing teeth? Missing teeth can cause changes in your bite and also cause drifting of other teeth into those spaces. Do you have worn teeth? Do you have a lot of wear on your teeth? Do you grind or maybe clench your teeth at night? Do you have sensitive teeth? All these things can be indications that worn or premature wearing of your teeth is occurring.

Staining.

Are you happy with the color of your teeth? Do you drink a lot of coffee, tea and red wine? How about things like blueberries or beets? How about medications that you’re taking or have taken? All these things can cause staining or yellowing of your teeth. Do you have broken, chipped or sensitive teeth? Decay can cause pain, sensitivity and discoloration of your teeth, affecting the way you smile.

Old restorations.

Do you have old amalgam fillings? Amalgam fillings can stain the underlying tooth structure, causing a darkening or graying effect that you may not like. Amalgam fillings can also cause cracks or fractures in the tooth that can lead to secondary decay or fracture of the tooth itself. Even composites or tooth-colored fillings can stain and darken over time. Gum health. Gum disease can lead to increased sensitivity, bone loss around the teeth, and even mobility or loss of the tooth itself. We will go over all of these considerations with you during your visit and whichever options you choose, we will work with you to achieve your best possible smile.

What are porcelain veneers and are they for me?

Porcelain veneers are individually shells of porcelain that are bonded to the surface of your existing teeth, kind of like a false fingernail. They are very thin, and when bonded to the tooth surface are very strong and won’t stain. Veneers are beautiful and a long-lasting solution if you are looking to restore or enhance the youthfulness and beauty of your smile. Veneers can be used to restore function and beauty if you have the following dental concerns: worn or chipped teeth, discolored or stained teeth, spaces between your teeth, misshapen teeth, teeth that have minor crowding, or teeth that are too large or too small.

The process of restoring your smile will require multiple visits. I’ve been training and mentoring other dentists on smile design and smile design principles for many years. The first thing that we would do is to take impressions of your teeth. With these impressions or molds, they are sent to a lab to create model or a wax-up of your new smile. We’ll have you back, take a look at your new smile, and make sure that you are happy. At the next appointment, your teeth will be minimally prepared and shaped to allow for the bonding of the veneers. You’ll leave with temporaries that are exactly like the model or wax-up of your new smile.

Trial Smile gives you an opportunity to see and feel what your new smile will be like. I always encourage patients to talk to family and friends and see what they think. After a few days, I’ll have you back to evaluate how your new smile feels, looks and fits with the proportions of your face, lips and mouth. Any tweaking or adjustment is done so on the temporaries. We’ll also finalize the color and shade of your veneers, and only when you’re completely happy will we have the lab fabricate your custom veneers. At the final visit, your veneers are fitted and bonded to your teeth and you will leave with your beautiful new smile. Veneers are an excellent and conservative dental treatment that can restore and give you that beautiful natural and healthy smile that you deserve.

As with all our patients, we will discuss with you, your desires, your needs and wants, and the options available to improve your smile. There are lots of options to address things like chips, cracks, old fillings, worn teeth, crowding and discoloration. To find out what’s possible for you, just contact us for a free consultation. Then we’ll work with you to achieve the best possible outcome, short-term and long-term.