Dental Jewellery-Add sparkle to your smile…

Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 | Last Update : 12:12 PM IST

Sink your teeth into art!

DC | Zoya Philip | 13th May 2013

Teeth Tattoo

Running out of places for your next tattoo? How about giving your teeth a shot? Dental tattoos and embellishments have become a hit with many youngsters today, with clients being as young as 13. One of the main reasons for this trend according to city dentists is that, unlike any other body art, this causes no damage to the skin or tissue, does not hurt and can be removed. Dr Abhilash Pasare at Smiles and More performs a number of these quick bejewelling procedures. “This isn’t a new trend in the West. Many musicians (think Pink and Kanye West) have sported the ‘bling’ smiles. However, it has come to India only in the recent years. That said, most of the times, it’s young girls who want their teeth to shine and sparkle with pretty stones in white and blues.   The studs are bonded to the teeth and are absolutely harmless,” guarantees the dentist. Depending on the stone, the cost for a dazzling smile can range from `3,000 to `6,000.The procedure is simple .He informs that it barely takes 15 to 20 minutes to set the studs or make a design. Also, removing them is equally easy and quick. “It takes barely five minutes to remove the jewels,” he promises. The enhancements are usually done on the upper front teeth for visibility. When it comes to accessorising the teeth with fancy stones, there are a handful of dentists in the city who are more than willing to do it. The average age of customers range from 15 to 35, both men and women. Now here is an interesting fact, unlike regular tattoos that at times tend to fade over time and due to exposure to sun, these designs will stay on your teeth for as long as you want. Even if you were to brush your teeth more than three times a day. To some, the idea for having something stuck on their teeth sounds a little difficult to digest, but for others it makes all the desired difference. Farah, a 29-year-old dentist got a violin tattooed on her front tooth. “I got it done for the fashion show in my college. It made me stand out from the rest,” exclaims the graduate. Now that you know what’s trending, you can get some bling bites too!

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Those seeking dental implants and weighing their treatment options may have encountered such terms as “fixed” or “removable” used alongside dental implants. These terms can create some confusion about the nature of dental implants and the treatment associated with them, so it’s important to define what is meant when use terms like fixed dental implants.
A dental implant is not, in and of itself, a replacement tooth. It is rather a small titanium post that is placed in your bone in order to act like the natural root of a tooth. Therefore, dental implants themselves are not meant to be taken in and out of place. They are meant to act as your new, permanent tooth roots. Replacement teeth are then retained by the implants, and it is these artificial sets of teeth (referred to as a “prosthesis”) that can be either removable or fixed. That is, it’s possible to get a prosthesis that can either be cemented permanently to your implants or a prosthesis that can be snapped on and off of your implants.
At our Dental Implant centre, we offer both removable and fixed prostheses for your implants. The fixed option is a prosthesis digitally designed and milled out of zirconia, the hardest material in dentistry that looks like a tooth. These fixed zirconia teeth will not only look like natural teeth, but will also feel and function completely like natural teeth. They can be cleaned exactly like natural teeth: by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste! This is the highest quality option available in dentistry for replacing missing or damaged teeth.
The “removable” option we offer is an implant supported denture. The denture is designed to snap on and off of your dental implants. This is a much-preferred alternative to traditional dentures, which have no implants to retain them and require adhesives to be held in place. Traditional dentures will also lead to bone loss, while implant supported dentures have dental implants to stimulate your bone and gums the way that natural tooth roots do. Better still, implant supported dentures don’t require nearly the amount of acrylic over your gums to stay in place, since they rely on implants rather than suction to stay in place.
Our Dental Implant Centre offers a removable option as a more affordable alternative to the fixed, as the cost of implant supported dentures is significantly less than fixed zirconia bridges. While the removable doesn’t offer all of the benefits of the fixed, it still provides you 13

Dental Implants In HSR Layout, Bangalore

Dental Implants, Bangalore

with dental implants for a firm and secure fit for chewing and speaking while providing healthy bone and gum stimulation to help ensure long-term oral health.
Contact our Dental Implant Centre today by calling us during business hours for an appointment. We will help you determine your cost and assess which form implant treatment is right for you after consultation with our doctor personally.

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Six Month Smiles: Short Term Orthodontics for a Beautiful Smile

Six Month Smiles is a type of bracket and wire orthodontic correction for straightening the front upper and lower teeth in approximately six months; although treatment times vary depending on individual misalignment problems.

Using clear brackets and tooth-colored nickel-titanium wires, Six Month Smiles braces can treat a variety of orthodontic problems that affect the cosmetic appearance of the teeth. The combination of low-movement forces and short overall treatment time increases patient comfort, safety and oral hygiene, making Six Month Smiles ideal for patients who want the cosmetic straightening benefits of braces but who do not need more complex corrections to their bite or occlusion.

  1. Candidates for Six Month Smiles Treatment

Six Month Smiles short term orthodontic treatment is suitable for a variety of misalignment problems, including extrusions, rotations, intrusions and tipping. It also is appropriate for the problems that cause common cosmetic dental issues in the front teeth, including:

  • Diastemas and spacing
  • Overbites and open bites
  • Crowding and overlapping teeth
  • Canted midlines and asymmetry
  • Reverse smile line
  1. Six Month Smiles Procedure: What’s Involved?

During your consultation, your orthodontist will perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth, gums and oral health to determine if you are a candidate for Six Month Smiles. This will involve taking X-rays, intraoral and facial photographs, and impressions of your teeth for use in fabricating models that demonstrate how they fit together.

If your dentist determines that you are a candidate for Six Month Smiles orthodontic correction, these models will be used by the Six Month Smiles laboratory to calculate the precision tooth movement necessary to achieve the desired straightening effects on your front teeth, as well as where the clear brackets and tooth-colored wires should be placed.

At your next appointment, you will be fitted with the clear brackets and tooth-colored arch wires. Your dentist will fuse the brackets to your teeth by applying bonding adhesive to the enamel surface of your front teeth, as well as to the brackets. The brackets come precisely positioned inside a custom-fabricated tray that enables your dentist to place them exactly where they need to be on your teeth.

After applying the adhesive bonding agent to your teeth and the brackets, your dentist will insert a custom tray onto your teeth and hold it in place to ensure proper seating of the brackets. Once set, the tray can be removed. The adhesive is then hardened using a high-intensity light to ensure that the brackets are secure, after which your dentist will attach the tooth-colored arch wires and adjust them to ensure proper tooth movement.

After the initial placement appointment, you will visit your dentist every four to five weeks for adjustments and tightening of the arch wires until your treatment is complete. These adjustment appointments should last only about 10 to 15 minutes. Once your treatment is complete, the brackets and wires are removed.

  1. How Long Does Six Month Smiles Treatment Take?

Six Month Smiles treatment averages six months, but some case may require as few as four months or as many as nine months. Your dentist will determine how many months will be required to achieve your desired results.

  1. Six Month Smiles Braces Care

When Six Month Smiles braces are in place, it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and avoid certain foods. Inadequate brushing may lead to enamel damage, so it is very important to brush at least three times a day. Many orthodontists suggest carrying a toothbrush with you so that you may brush your teeth after lunch while at work. Interdental brushes and a water pik should be used to clean underneath the dental arch wires for even better oral hygiene. Fluoride mouth rinses also are recommended to maintain the underlying enamel and tooth structure.

Orthodontists also suggest diets which avoid sticky foods, since they can become stuck under the braces and possibly cause detachment. Hard foods and candy also should be avoided as they may break the bond between the brackets and the enamel, or possibly the braces themselves.

Foods such as apples should be cut into pieces to avoid damaging the dental braces. Avoid foods and drinks with high sugar and acid content, since they make oral hygiene much more difficult and could lead to enamel damage.

  1. Six Month Smiles Recovery and After Care

When Six Month Smiles braces are first placed and then later adjusted, you can expect to feel some tightness, which typically progresses to soreness, for approximately four to six hours after your appointment. This is a direct result of arch wires tightening the teeth into position. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are recommended to help manage any pain. You can expect the soreness to decrease in about three to five days. However, because Six Month Smiles uses low force movement, any soreness is expected to be less pronounced than with traditional braces.

Once your treatment is complete and your braces removed, you will need to wear a removable retainer at night, or a permanent retainer on the back of your teeth to ensure that they do not move back to their original position (relapse).

  1. Six Month Smiles vs. Traditional Orthodontic Correction?

While traditional orthodontic correction requires two years to complete, Six Month Smiles treatment requires only six months because treatment focuses on using low-force movement to correct only anterior spacing and alignment issues that affect the cosmetic appearance of the smile; it does not correct complex bite or malocclusion problems.

However, similar to traditional bracket and wire braces, Six Month Smiles requires dentists to bond brackets to the front enamel surface of the teeth, then attach arch wires to those brackets. What distinguishes the Six Month Smiles placement appointment from that of traditional braces is the use of custom-fabricated trays (which resemble teeth whitening trays) that enable your dentist to precisely position the clear brackets for bonding.

These trays, which are fitted with the clear brackets already positioned in the correct location, are fabricated at the Six Month Smiles laboratory based on models of your teeth that your dentist creates from the impressions taken during your consultation appointment. The Six Month Smiles braces system also provides your dentist with the appropriate tooth-colored wires and ties necessary to produce the low force tooth movement to achieve your desired treatment results.

  1. Who Performs Six Month Smiles Orthodontic Correction?

General dentists and orthodontists who provide Six Month Smiles orthodontic correction must undergo specialized training by the manufacturer before performing Six Month Smile treatments. These training programs provide dentists with the thorough knowledge and skills required to perform short term orthodontics, with an emphasis on case selection and treatment planning.

  1. Six Month Smiles Cost

The cost for Six Months Smiles treatment typically is less than the overall cost of traditional braces, averaging as little as $3,900 for treatment that includes the upper and lower arches. This fee usually includes the cost for any retainers required after treatment. Keep in mind that costs vary based on geographic location and your dental insurance coverage. Also, because Six Month Smiles is considered a more “cosmetic” orthodontic treatment that only repositions the anterior teeth and does not change a person’s bite, coverage limitations may apply43download (1)11

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Orthodontic Correction: Treatments for Overbite, Underbite, Crooked Teeth and Crowded Teeth

Dental abnormalities affecting the position or alignment of the teeth can dramatically affect the esthetics and functionality of your smile. Orthodontic treatment — with braces, retainers or clear aligners — corrects conditions such as crowded or crooked teeth, overbite (when top teeth extend beyond bottom teeth), underbite (when bottom teeth are too far forward or upper teeth are too far back), incorrect jaw position and jaw-joint disorders.

Orthodontic correction also may be necessary when the upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, resulting in an uneven bite (malocclusion). If not properly managed, an uneven bite could lead to the development of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Protruding, crowded or irregularly spaced teeth and jaw problems may be genetic. Certain situations and habits, such as accidents (tooth injury), not wearing protective devices like mouth guards during athletic activity, and premature tooth loss, thumb sucking and tongue thrusting also may contribute to conditions requiring orthodontic correction.

  1. Benefits of Orthodontic Correction

The correction of problematic conditions like overbite, underbite, crooked teeth or crowding will give you straighter teeth, a better bite, a more attractive smile and healthier teeth and gums. Additionally, an improved facial appearance increases your self-esteem and confidence in social settings.

Crooked and/or crowded teeth make it difficult to perform proper oral hygiene, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. A bad bite can interfere with chewing and speaking, as well as cause abnormal wear on tooth enamel, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue, and headaches, earaches and jaw problems.

If left untreated, these problems may worsen and require additional dental care and cost. For this reason, orthodontic correction can be viewed as a smile enhancer and potential long term money saver.

  1. Types of Orthodontic Correction

Braces, also called orthodontic appliances, are the most common type of orthodontic correction. Braces shift the position of the teeth, or hold them in place. Fixed braces are worn all the time and can only be removed by your dentist. Conversely, removable braces can be taken out of your mouth; however, your orthodontist or dentist will advise against repeated, long-term removal of the appliance for optimal results.

Brackets, which attach the wires to the teeth, come in three varieties: metal, ceramic or plastic. Although more noticeable, metal braces are the strongest and work best for complex bite problems. Ceramic brackets, which are slightly weaker and more brittle than metal braces, are clear or tooth-colored, making them more attractive to some patients. Inside, or ibraces — which have brackets that attach to the back of teeth so they are hidden from view — appeal to patients seeking the strength and efficiency of metal braces coupled with the esthetic appeal of “invisibility.”

Aligners, an alternative to traditional braces, are a series of clear (invisible), customized removable appliances. Unlike metal braces, aligners do not trap food particles and plaque between your teeth. Each aligner is worn for approximately two weeks, only to be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. A recommended option for adults with mild spacing problems, invisible aligners are not suitable for children and adolescents with non-permanent teeth.

Space maintainers are another form of orthodontic correction, though not as comprehensive an option as braces. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, space maintainers steady the remaining teeth around the missing tooth gap, helping to keep the jaw’s natural position in place. This prevents the teeth around the gap from moving into the empty space, which otherwise could cause overcrowding and crooked teeth when the permanent tooth eventually erupts. If this condition is left untreated, it could possibly require extensive and expensive orthodontic treatment later on. Small, hardly noticeable and easy to adjust to, custom-fit space maintainers are an easier and less expensive option for holding teeth in place.

Removable computer-generated appliances can treat selective cases in which orthodontics would otherwise be needed. However, these appliances may cost more. Depending on the complexity of your case and what must be achieved when moving your teeth, removable appliances with wires may be used.

A palatal expander frequently is used when the upper arch isn’t as wide as it should be. Such an appliance is best for developing children between the ages of eight and 10.

  1. Length of Orthodontic Correction

The length of time you will have to wear orthodontic appliances depends on your condition and treatment plan. The more complex your spacing or bite problem, and the older you are, the longer the treatment period.


Most patients wear full braces between one to three years, followed by some time wearing a retainer to hold the teeth in their new positions. A typical length to wear a retainer is one year. However, some adults must wear a retainer at night for the rest of their lives.

  1. Who Performs Orthodontic Correction?

Most dentists are trained to treat minor orthodontic problems. If your general dentist determines you or your child should see a specialist for treatment, you will be referred to an orthodontist. An orthodontist has two to three years of specialized orthodontic training beyond dental school and focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

  1. Cost of Orthodontic Correction

Your costs will be affected by the type and duration of treatments, the dental professional performing the treatment, the material(s) used and laboratory costs, the location, dental insurance coverage and cost of any other dental work needed before or during orthodontic treatment.

Costs of braces range from $2,500 to $7,000. Typically considered restorative, orthodontic treatments are covered by many dental insurance plans. Special types of orthodontic treatment, such as clear aligners (e.g., Invisalign and ClearCorrect) also may be covered by dental insurance; the cost of clear aligners is about the same or higher than the cost of braces. Consult with your orthodontist’s or dentist’s office and/or dental insurer to learn what orthodontic treatments you qualify for.



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All On Four Dental Implants FAQs

Will my implants feel and look like natural teeth?

Yes, the all on 4 dental implant teeth look and feel like your natural teeth. Most people won’t be able to recognize the difference at all, or will comment that you look younger.

How long does the surgery last?

The surgery lasts for a couple of hours per arch and in most cases the individual gets fitted a new set of teeth and gets to walk home the same day. Yes, it just takes just ONE DAY to get back your brilliant smile with all on four dental implants!

Can I get all on four implants on the bottom arch?

Yes, you can. If you need all on four implants on both arches, your surgeon may advise you to get them done at the same time, as this may reduce the cost, surgery and recovery time effectively.

Who is the right candidate for all on 4 dental implants?

The ideal candidate is someone who is currently wearing dentures, or who will need dentures in the near future. Rarely are we not able to offer this as a choice. This help patients avoid denture problems. The overall health of the individual is also evaluated before advising this treatment, to reduce the chances of post-surgical complications.

What if I don’t have enough bone?

We routinely treat patients with dental implants that were told years ago “You don’t have enough bone”. We are experts at providing immediate teeth to solve patient’s problems with failing/bad teeth or that wear dentures.


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How to Choose an Orthodontist

Finding a qualified orthodontist used to be relatively straightforward: your general dentist, probably the one who recommended realignment in the first place, simply gave you a referral. But today, with an increasing variety of straightening procedures available, and with more and more non-specialists offering orthodontic treatments, the choices can be bewildering.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when selecting an orthodontist:

  1. Pre-Consultation Considerations
  • Your general dentist’s recommendation remains a valuable one. General dentists not only work with orthodontists in coordinating patient care, but also regularly view the results of alignment procedures and can pass their evaluations on to you. If your dentist’s children have or had dental braces, ask which orthodontist they used.
  • Ask your friends, neighbors and business colleagues whom they recommend. If the treatment is for your child, check with the teachers’ and parents’ associations at your child’s school.
  • Contact a local dental school and ask its orthodontics department which local practitioners they recommend.
  • Before you set up a consultation with an orthodontist, make sure he or she is a licensed member of the Indian Orthodontic Society, an organization requiring adherence to rigorous training and ethical standards. Members of this organization have completed three years of full-time postgraduate training. Once members have their own practice, they must remain up-to-date on research and technological advances, through various courses.
  1. Your Orthodontic Consultation

When you meet an orthodontist for a consultation, we strongly recommend consideration of the following:

  • What is the orthodontist’s level of experience and how long has he/she been practicing?
  • How extensive is the orthodontist’s practice?
  • Ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients. Are the results to your liking?
  • How varied and advanced are the treatments offered? Revolutionary new technologies such as removable translucent aligners (such as Clearpath) , short term orthodontic treatments (like Inman Aligners) and Self-ligating braces allow for less conspicuous appliances that may save on treatment time and reduce discomfort, as well.
  • Check to see if the orthodontist uses high quality materials like brackets and wires which are of international standards, as the outcome of the treatment depends on this.
  • What is the orthodontist’s diagnosis and plan of action for your teeth and how clearly has it been explained to you? Did the orthodontist provide information about alternatives? How practical is the treatment plan in light of your personal, business and social needs?
  • What is the office ambiance like? Specifically, are you (or your child) comfortable with the orthodontist’s chair-side manner? Is the staff friendly, welcoming and quick to address your concerns? Since orthodontic treatment takes an average of two years, with appointments typically every four to eight weeks, it is important to establish a rapport with all of those who will be providing services. This is particularly important with teens and pre-teens who may feel resentful about having to wear braces in the first place. An orthodontist and staff who establish good rapport are better able to encourage and motivate such clients to stick to a home regimen of scrupulous brushing and flossing, headband- and retainer-wearing, etc.
  • Is the orthodontic practice conveniently located close to your home, office or child’s school? Is the orthodontist available at flexible timings on all days? Check on this too.
  • Emergencies like breakage of braces are possible, so check on the availability of the Orthodontist. Certain clinics have an orthodontist visiting once or twice a month only,so missed appointments can unduly delay your treatment.
  • What are the payment options? If your child requires orthodontics and you are facing financial hardship, ask about the possibility of EMIs, which some orthodontists offer.
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Dental Spas: The Ultimate in Relaxation Dentistry


Dental Implants In HSR Layout, Bangalore

Dental Implants, Bangalore

To ease the fear and anxiety often associated with dental visits, dentists across the country have created welcoming and relaxing environments for their patients by adopting the pampering amenities and services of day spas. These emerging dental practices often are termed “dental spas” or “dental day spas.

  1. Patient Perks

Spa services that may be offered in dental spas are as wide-ranging as those offered in any other type of day spa. However, not all dental spas offer all spa services and amenities. Dental practices are independent businesses, so the dentist owner determines what, if any, spa-like services are offered.

Typical “spa-like” services and amenities offered at dental spas include:

  • Relaxation and massage therapies
  • Paraffin wax hand treatments
  • Aromatherapy
  • Neck pillows, fleece blankets, heated hand mitts, etc.
  • Complimentary beverages and snacks
  • Music headphones
  • Entertainment (movie/video goggles, virtual reality glasses, flat screen TVs, overhead chair side TVs with remote control, etc.)
  • Reflexology


Other perks include “spa-like” décor and lighting, pre-treatment meditation and breath work, special sound-wave massage chairs before and after treatment, and facials. At some dental spas, patients are treated to hotel-style concierge services (dental staff making your dinner reservations, taking your cell-phone calls, babysitting or dog sitting and ordering in food for you); complimentary limo service to and from the practice; and “parting gifts” such as a bouquet of roses, specialty wines and customized CDs burned with your favorite tunes. If taking care of business will reduce your stress level, some practices will let you access your e-mails or surf the Internet while getting dental treatment, or take advantage of their office fax and courier service.





Benefits of Dental Spa Dentistry


The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends stress reduction techniques in dental offices, particularly for patients with anxiety or heart conditions.


Apart from the relaxation benefits and drawing power to get reluctant patients in for treatment, the spa-like amenities also contribute to patient safety while making the dental staff’s job easier. According to many dental professionals, relaxed patients pose less risk of injury and are easier to work with than tense, unhappy individuals squirming in their chairs. For certain stressed, drug-sensitive and/or pain phobic patients, spa dentistry offers a gentler, more pleasurable and drug-free alternative to sedation dentistry, which relies on the use of tranquilizers, anti-anxiety medication, laughing gas (nitrous oxide), etc.


The Cosmetic & Luxury Connection

Cosmetic dentists in particular seem to have embraced and adopted the concept of dental spas. Cosmetic dental work can account for 50 percent of income in some dental spas. Popular cosmetic dental procedures are teeth whitening and “smile makeovers” (reconstructive dental work, such as veneers, crowns and bridges).


The esthetic emphasis has prompted some dental spas to incorporate beauty salon services into their mix of offerings. At such practices, you can go for the regular host of cosmetic and restorative dental work and also receive hairstyling and sunless spray tanning at additional fees, or complimentary mini spa treatments like a manicure or foot massage while undergoing dental bonding and root canals. Some dentists are opening their offices to skin specialists who offer cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections and microdermabrasion. Keep in mind, though, that the ADA recommends that ancillary services, such as Botox treatments, laser skincare treatments, collagen injections, acupuncture or reflexology, be performed by licensed individuals in accordance with local and state regulations.

In other practices, on-staff massage therapists are specifically trained in specialty areas such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) reflexology and myofascial release – both proven effective in treating the pain associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and headaches. In addition to shorter complimentary sessions with a massage therapist, full sessions that last about an hour are available for an additional fee. Massage therapists also are available to focus on jaw, neck and shoulder areas before, during and after treatment.


Taking the luxury spa concept even further, some dental spas promote destination or travel dentistry, through which patients can combine dental work with a vacation to places like Hawaii. At such dental spas, the goal is to create the ambiance of an upscale resort. Sterile, impersonal waiting rooms are replaced with relaxation rooms featuring elegant furnishings, oil paintings, fireplaces, waterfall music, aromatherapy and lavish refreshment centers stocked with a wide assortment of beverages and freshly baked goods. The bathrooms boast freshly cut flowers, beauty product samples and shoeshine machines. Instead of hygienists in scrubs, attentive dental concierges dressed in tasteful outfits welcome you.


The Price of Pampering: Dental Spa Costs


At most practices, spa-like amenities are included in the cost of the regular dental services, but since many dentists who offer spa features concentrate on cosmetic dentistry, these dental fees often are not covered by insurance. At offices where they provide both general and cosmetic dental services, there may be a limit to what your insurance will cover, so you may incur higher-than-usual out-of-pocket expenses. Prices generally are higher at dental spas than at other area dental practices.


Services typically performed by office staff specifically trained in these procedures (like massage) are scheduled at the same time as the dental appointment and are billed separately. For instance, a mini (10-minute) massage of the neck, hands and/or feet during treatment may be complimentary. Once the dental procedure is finished, the patient is free to choose a customized full-body massage in the office’s spa area for an additional fee, which is generally comparable to the fees at conventional spas. Other complimentary mini spa treatments may include cooling eye gel masks and foot scrubs while having fillings replaced, and hot wax mittens during root canals. For additional fees (around $95), you can receive acupuncture by a trained hygienist for relaxation during standard dental procedures; microdermabrasion might be free the first time you come for a standard dental procedure, then offered at $75 after that or $350 for a series of five sessions.








The Dental Spa Revolution


The growing popularity of spa treatments in hospitals, health clubs and resorts/hotels fueled the popularity of the spa/medical combination in the early 2000s. Between 1997 and 2002, the niche grew 143 percent. The spa concept first worked itself into dentistry about a decade ago. That’s when innovative dentists seeking a competitive edge and a way to entice hesitant patients to agree to necessary dental treatment began incorporating the techniques and procedures from day and medical spas.


The term “dental spa” is open to interpretation. Definitions of dental spas include dental practices that add non-dental procedures (ie, spa services), while other meanings suggest any dental practice that offers patients a more relaxing experience than the traditional office exclusively devoted to oral health procedures. Dental spas now include dental practices that specialize in cosmetic dental care; offer alternative dental care such as meditation and hypnosis instead of traditional pain-reducing treatments; create a “spa-like” atmosphere or environment, as described above; and add spa treatments such as listed earlier to offer dental care and spa treatments under one roof.


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Cosmetic Dentistry: Treatments and Trends

IMG_6084 - Copy

Teeth Tattoo

Teeth Tattoo

Instant Orthodontics to close midline gap and level the front teeth

Instant Orthodontics to close midline gap and level the front teeth

While traditional dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing and treating oral disease, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, mouth and smile. In other words restorative, general and/or family dental practices address dental problems that require necessary treatment, whereas cosmetic dentistry provides elective – or desired – treatments or services.

Cosmetic dentistry may also provide restorative benefits. For example, dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat decayed teeth. Previously, most dental fillings were composed primarily of gold, amalgam and other materials that left visible dark spots on the teeth. Today, dental fillings may fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, because you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that closely match the color of your teeth, thus maintaining the natural appearance of your teeth and smile. Many people may choose to have their older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance.

Cosmetic Dentistry Trends

Technological advancements in natural-looking, tooth-colored dental materials make today’s cosmetic dental treatments more durable and predictable than in years past. Additionally, dentists are now using more conservative cosmetic dentistry techniques to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, depending upon your specific clinical situation.

Cosmetic dentists may also use such technologies as lasers in order to perform some procedures necessary for cosmetic treatments in their own offices – without the need for referrals to specialists. This makes cosmetic dental procedures such as smile makeovers more comfortable and convenient for patients, as well as helps to reduce recovery time.

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

Cosmetic dentistry treatments currently in use include:

  1. Inlays/Onlays: Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays made from porcelain or composite materials are a long-lasting yet cosmetic way to provide a “filling” to teeth with tooth decay or similar structural damage. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory before being fitted and adhesively bonded into place by your dentist.
  2. Composite Bonding: Chipped, broken, discolored or decayed teeth may be repaired or have their appearance corrected using a procedure called composite bonding. A dental composite material with the look of enamel and dentin is applied into the cavity or onto the surface of a tooth, where it is then sculpted into shape, contoured and hardened with a high-intensity light. The result is a restoration that blends invisibly with the remainder of the surrounding tooth structure and the rest of your natural teeth to create a healthy, bright smile.
  3. Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening is perhaps the most commonly recommended cosmetic dentistry procedure. Teeth are often stained from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea or red wine) or poor oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can enhance the appearance of your smile.
  4. Dental Veneers: Composite or porcelain laminates that are adhesively bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct and repair chips and cracks will improve a worn appearance or severe tooth discoloration. Veneers may also be recommended if you have gaps in your teeth or if you have not had success with teeth whitening. Evaluate porcelain veneers cost and determine whether dental insurance may offset the cost.
  5. Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used as a part of prosthetic (artificial replacement) dentistry in order to compensate for tooth loss. Often the result is not only an enhanced smile, but also a more youthful appearance, since missing teeth cause the face to collapse, making you look older.
  6. Smile Makeover: Smile makeovers involve a comprehensive assessment of your smile esthetics in order to improve its overall appearance. Typically one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, dental implants, gingival sculpting and teeth whitening, will be required for several teeth in both the upper and lower arches in order to achieve the look you want.
  7. Full mouth reconstruction: While consulting with you about a smile makeover to primarily improve the esthetic appearance of your smile, your dentist may discover that there is a need to provide necessary treatment to correct functional problems with your bite, muscles, teeth and bone structure. If you need full mouth reconstruction, the materials available today make it possible for your dentist to provide you with durable, functional and clinically sound treatments that also look natural.


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How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist

Finding a qualified cosmetic dentist requires careful consideration. With an increasing number of dentists offering cosmetic dentistry, a variety of procedures to choose from and the possible need for inter-disciplinary care before receiving cosmetic dentistry treatment, your choices can be staggering. There is no referral system in place or third party insurance administrator involvement to assist with the selection of a cosmetic dentist.

  1. Obtaining Referrals for Cosmetic Dentists

Your general dentist’s recommendation is a primary consideration. If you have been receiving regular check ups, your general dentist has a picture of the current status and condition of your mouth. If your dentist finds that your teeth, gums, supporting bone structure and occlusion (bite) is in need of further evaluation prior to cosmetic dentistry, he/she may refer you to a periodontist, prosthodontist, endodontist, orthodontist or oral maxillofacial surgeon. The condition of your teeth, gums, supporting bone structure and occlusion has an impact on the longevity of cosmetic dental procedures. You may require treatment for these conditions before cosmetic treatment begins. In some cases a full mouth reconstruction may be part of your cosmetic dentistry treatment. Ask your friends, neighbors, and business colleagues who have undergone a smile makeover whom they would recommend.

  1. Narrowing Your Cosmetic Dentist Choices

It is important to do your homework and investigate the level of cosmetic dentistry experience for each cosmetic dentist you consider before setting up a consultation appointment. You may want to ask if the dentist is skilled in providing full mouth reconstruction, or if he/she refers patients to another specialist if such treatments are needed. You may also want to ask if the cosmetic dentist has been certified, which requires adherence to rigorous study, ethical standards and examination to qualify as an accredited member.

  1. Other criteria for determining if a cosmetic dentist is the right one for you include:

How long has the dentist been practicing?

Are the results shown in before and after photos of previous patients to your liking? Are the photos of actual patients that the dentist has treated?

How extensive is the dentist’s practice? Does he/she offer study models, imaging technology and/or bonding previews when recommending and demonstrating procedure options?

What dental technologies (lasers, caries detection devices, CAD/CAM restoration, intraoral imaging, etc.) are used in the practice that may help serve your needs?

What patient comforts are provided through the practice – such as headphones that provide calming music, comfort chairs, spa services or sedation dentistry – that will make the treatment process a more relaxing and anxiety-free experience?

  1. What to Expect at your Consultation

Your initial consultation with a cosmetic dentist is an opportunity for you to learn about the practice that you’ve narrowed down your search to, as well as discuss what you like and don’t like about your smile. It’s also an opportunity for you and the cosmetic dentist to establish realistic expectations for your cosmetic dental treatment. Consultations for cosmetic dentistry treatments typically include records gathering. Because these records are important for developing a unique and precise cosmetic dental treatment plan that will satisfy your needs, a significant amount of time may be spent for this purpose. Records gathering involves, but is not limited to:

  • A comprehensive intraoral examination and inspection of any existing dental work.
  • Intraoral photographs
  • Radiographs (X-rays)
  • Impressions of your upper and lower teeth (models and study casts will be made later).
  • Looking through smile design books that show an assortment of before and after photographs of different cosmetic dental procedures.
  • Reviewing different tooth shapes and sizes to see what appeals to you.
  • Discussing tooth color
  • Using a computer monitor, reviewing your smile tooth by tooth with the cosmetic dentist so you can thoroughly understand what can be changed and how.



  1. Considerations for the Consultation


Cosmetic dentistry results may vary and are dependent on the skill of your dentist. Finding a qualified cosmetic dentist therefore requires careful consideration, even during the consultation stages of treatment. During your consultation, make note of how you feel about the practice’s ambiance. Specifically, are you comfortable with the cosmetic dentist’s chair-side manner? Is the staff friendly, welcoming and quick to address your concerns? Since cosmetic dentistry treatment can take time, it is important to establish a rapport with all individuals involved. If the cosmetic dentist provides you with a diagnosis and treatment plan during the consultation, it is important that he or she share that information with you in detail. Make sure that you understand your diagnosis and any viable treatment alternatives. Make sure that you feel completely comfortable with the level of detail and thoroughness of the explanations you are given so that you can make an educated decision about your cosmetic dental treatment.

Likewise, when providing you with a treatment plan, the cosmetic dentist should be able to tell you about the type of materials that will be used in the fabrication of your restorations. Be sure to ask about how long the results are expected to last and the type of maintenance required in order sustaining the benefit of the procedures. For example, teeth whitening must be repeated every three to six months – depending upon the procedure you choose – in order to maintain the benefits. Similarly, you may be required to wear a protective mouth guard at night to help maintain your veneers.


Since most cosmetic dentistry procedures include restorations made in a dental laboratory, ask about the dental laboratory technician your dentist plans to involve in your treatment plan. Is the laboratory technician or ceramist a Certified Dental Technician? Has the dentist worked with this laboratory technician for many years and/or on similar cases in the past?


When you select a cosmetic dentist, you are selecting a dental professional who will help you change your appearance by changing the look of your teeth and your smile. It is a very personal and important choice. Most procedures are not reversible, so you will want to take your time, ensure that you feel comfortable with the dentist, and that you feel confident with his/her skills and capabilities. When you do, you will likely be happy and completely satisfied with the results that are achieved with the cosmetic dentistry treatment you receive.

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What Are Advantages of Preventive Dental Care?

Taking care of your teeth is the most important part of preventative dental care. Thousands of bacterial species reside in the mouth. If the population of some species of oral bacteria are not regulated, dental plaque can result. This can result in a variety of problems such as gingivitis (gum disease) and progress to tooth loss. Oral bacteria also produce acid which can erode the enamel (outer covering) of the teeth. Brushing the teeth with fluoride containing toothpaste at least twice a day prevents the buildup of plaque. Brushing removes food particles which can provide fuel for bacterial growth. Furthermore, fluoride assists in maintaining the enamel by inhibiting bacterial acid production. It is recommended that toothbrushes be changed once every three to four months since the bristles get worn. Another crucial component of dental care is flossing. Flossing  removes particles of food lodged between the teeth inaccessible to toothbrush bristles. It is also recommended that flossing precede brushing to clear the spaces between the teeth, allowing fluoride into these areas. Preventive dentistry includes a balanced diet, with a limit on sweets to reduce sugar for bacteria to feed on. Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D are essential for strong bones and teeth. Regular dental checkups can detect problems in their early stages and dental cleanings complement daily dental care.There are many advantages of preventative dental care.

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Is It Normal for My Teeth to Move Immediately After the Braces Come Off?

There is nothing more troubling than to get your braces off and notice almost immediately that your recently perfect teeth are already moving! Is it normal for teeth to shift that quickly? Did the orthodontist do something wrong? Can it be prevented? How can these slight movements be fixed when they occur?

There is nothing in your body that does not wrinkle, sag, or weaken with time. Our hair gets thin, our tummies sag, and our faces wrinkle. Is it any surprise that the alignment of our teeth changes after our braces come off? The law of entropy states that everything in the universe naturally changes from a state of organization towards a state of chaos. In other words, things fall apart. The goal of orthodontic retention is not to prevent all movement. That is unrealistic. The goal is to minimize changes after the braces come off.

It is normal for the teeth to “settle” after the braces come off. This settling can result in a bite that is actually better than when the braces were in place. Movement of the front teeth however is undesirable and patients, along with their orthodontists, want to prevent it as much as possible. When the braces are on, the teeth are held tightly in place while the doctor carefully positions each one. After the braces come off however, there is no such control. The forces of occlusion, wear, and the tongue come back into play. Even if the teeth are held in place with a bonded retainer after appliance removal, the position of the teeth will still change with time.

Retainers are the key to preventing tooth movement. The most important time to be faithful with your retainer is immediately after your braces come off. Everyone is different and the length of time that retainers must be worn fulltime varies. Each patient must monitor their own teeth during the first month or two after their braces come off and make sure they wear their retainers at least as much as prescribed by their orthodontist, even more if necessary. If you don’t wear your retainers and your teeth move because you didn’t, you may have to have braces again to move things back where they were.

If you are wearing your retainers faithfully and your teeth still move, you may need to have a bonded retainer glued behind them for a while until they are more stable. If you have a tight bite, you may not have room to fit a retainer behind your front teeth. In these cases you will need to let the teeth settle and have the teeth bonded or veneered by your primary care dentist to close the space. The spaces in these cases are due to the narrow size or shape of the teeth and not their position. Consequently, the “fix” is to change the size of the teeth and not to try and move them again.

If you notice small but progressive changes in the days or weeks after your braces come off, your retainer may need to be adjusted or replaced. The sooner you notice the problem and report it to your orthodontist, the more likely it will be that merely changing or adjusting your retainer will be enough. Clear aligners can also be created to correct minor movements that have occurred. These aligners may then be worn as permanent retainers after the realignment is complete. Bigger movements may require that brackets go back on the teeth for a visit or two. The longer changes are left unaddressed, the more extensive the additional treatment will be.

Some slight change after your braces come off is normal and cannot be prevented. You need to have realistic expectations about how straight your teeth can remain after the removal of your braces. If you are wearing your retainers as instructed by your orthodontist and unacceptable changes still occur, you must return to your orthodontist as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer the road back will be.1 2 3 4

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