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Frequently Asked Questions
(Click on any question to jump down to the answer.)
A very important question. For the best results, it is important to know the qualifications and experience of the treating dentist. The term "cosmetic dentistry" has become trendy and many dentists are promoting themselves as cosmetic dentists. At this time, cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty (like oral surgery, for example). However, it is a discipline of dentistry that requires a thorough knowledge of science and an artistic eye. Ask your dentist about his or her training in this area. Ask about continuing education courses and experience. A very effective way to understand your dentist's skills is asking to see "before and after" photographs. Dentists who are dedicated to the art of cosmetic dentistry always take photographs of their cases.
Yes! Silver fillings ("Amalgam") are becoming a thing of the past. There are many ways to restore teeth with materials that virtually disappear and blend with the natural color of your teeth. To learn more, click on white fillings.
Dental Bleaching (whitening) is one of the most popular cosmetic services. A simple and affordable treatment can give you a bright, white smile. To learn more about Dental Bleaching, click on Whitening.
Like plastic surgery, insurance does not usually cover treatment done for purely cosmetic reasons. However, treatment that is needed to repair broken or decayed teeth, or to replace existing restorations that are defective may qualify for some insurance reimbursement. To learn more about fees, finance options, and insurance, click here.
The answer to this question is, "it depends." In some cases, orthodontic treatment (braces) is the best approach. And, today we can offer 6-Month Braces in our office. However, in some cases of misaligned (crooked) teeth, other methods may be used. Porcelain Veneers are a breakthrough procedure that can help correct this problem. Spaces (gaps) and crowding can also be corrected with Veneers. In some cases, Bonding can be used effectively. To learn more, click on Porcelain Veneers or 6-Month Braces.
Small chips or fractures can often be repaired with a "bonding" procedure. A tooth colored material is used to recreate the lost tooth structure. The color and shape are blended to match the natural tooth. The result is undetectable and restores your smile. In some cases, veneers may be needed. To learn more, click on Bonding.
This is a common problem. It is usually caused by a "dead" pulp in the tooth. Sometimes as the result of trauma to a tooth, the pulp dies. Often this can happen without any symptoms (pain). The pulp is made of nerve and blood vessels. When the pulp dies, the blood cells break down and stain the tooth from the inside. Treatment usually begins with root canal therapy (a painless treatment). After that, in many cases, a bleaching procedure may be used to lighten the tooth. In other cases, a crown or veneer may be the best approach.
I had some crowns placed some time ago, and I noticed that now I have a dark line at the gumline. What can I do?
Many patients have this complaint. Until recently, crowns were done one of two ways: gold, or "porcelain fused to metal." The porcelain fused to metal crowns (PFMs) have been the standard way to make a white, or tooth colored crown, for many years. The porcelain is baked onto a metal substructure. The metal was necessary for strength. Unfortunately, it is difficult to mask out the dark color of the metal. This results in porcelain that looks opaque or chalky. The margin of the crown (where the crown meets the tooth) is often in metal. This is what causes "dark line syndrome." Dentists would often try to hide this metal margin underneath the gumline. This results in the gum appearing dark in this area. Or even worse, if the gum recedes, the metal is exposed creating a very unattractive appearance.
Today, we have a solution! Today's all-ceramic (all-porcelain) crowns eliminate metal completely. That means no darkness at the gumline... ever! To learn more, click on crowns.
In many cases, the answer is YES. If you have teeth that are worn, shifted, missing, broken, or a combination of these, full-mouth reconstruction may be the answer. Full-mouth reconstruction can restore your smile and, at the same time, make eating easier and more comfortable. To learn more, click on Full-mouth Reconstruction. It's also important to address the cause of the problem, which is often a night-grinding habit to prevent future problems and preserve the investment in your reconstruction.
There are too many factors to accurately predict how long any dental treatment will last. The condition of the teeth prior to treatment influences the longevity of the restorations. Home care (hygiene) and eating habits are part of the equation. Of course, the quality of the treatment itself influences the long term outcome as well. Regular visits to the dentist can help insure that your dental treatment is being maintained. While there is nothing we can do to render a tooth completely immune to future problems, preventive maintenance will prolong the life of your dental treatment for many years.
Costs for cosmetic treatment can vary widely depending on your needs or desires. Whitening would represent the lower end of the spectrum, while veneers fall at the higher end. To be more specific, costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Simple whitening and minor bonding might be in the range of a nice television. Some complex full mouth reconstructions may require an investment comparable to the cost of an average car. Many cases fall somewhere in between. Cosmetic dentistry is very much like plastic surgery. It is mostly elective and serves to enhance your appearance. Of course, the investment can have many intangible returns such as increased confidence and self-esteem. Many social studies indicate that feeling good about your appearance can improve your chances at excelling in your career or social life. The best way to determine your options and costs is to arrange a consultation.
To learn more about financing your dental treatment at Palm Beach Smiles, click here.
Click on Internet Offer to find out how to receive a complimentary cosmetic evaluation.
Serving Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, and the extended Palm Beach County areas.
Copyright © 2013 Michael I. Barr, D.D.S., All Rights Reserved