Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions? We hope to address the most commonly asked questions here. Please contact us if you don’t find the information you need. We’re here to help.
Why do we refer to our patients as "guests"?
We’re here to take care of you and we want to treat you like a guest. We want your experience with us to be a positive one and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you leave feeling great.
Braces or veneers?
If you are happy with the shape and color of your teeth, then orthodontic teeth straightening may be a good option for you. If you want to whiten and enhance the shape of your teeth as well as straighten them, then cosmetic dentistry will give you the results you are looking for while saving you time and money. Clear teeth aligners provide a great alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign is the latest generation of “invisible” teeth aligners. Some people will choose to undergo some teeth straightening prior to be fitted with cosmetic veneers, but it may not be necessary.
Is there a difference in quality among various types of veneers and crowns?
Yes. Aesthetic dentistry is the ultimate blend of art and science. If quality and service are important to you, look for experience, proven results, and a focused approach to your unique needs and desires. There are many different materials used in veneers and crowns. There are also a variety of commercial brand name veneers, including Lumineers™, DuraThins™, and DaVinci Veneers™, to name a few. Dr. Spaulding creates all restorations with the help of a dedicated ceramist.
What is bonding and how is it different from a veneer?
Bonding is done by placing tooth-like material onto the tooth to build it up and/or to alter its shape. Over time the bonded portion of a tooth will change color as compared to the natural, unbonded portion of the tooth. The advantage of bonding is that it is an ultra-conservative way to restore a tooth and is completed in one visit. The disadvantage is that it will discolor over time and is more prone to breakage than a veneer.
What is an all-porcelain crown or veneer?
Many restorations are designed with a metal lining covered with porcelain (porcelain fused to metal or PFM). They appear “flat” because the metal does not let light pass through like a natural tooth does. There is often a dark line next to the gum line that is undesirable (often the metal irritates the adjacent gum tissue in the form of an allergic reaction). Always inquire! Dentists will say that it is porcelain. And it is…on the outside. Dr. Spaulding provides 100% all-porcelain restorations. When properly seated, they are as strong as or stronger than their metal predecessors. And the appearance is strikingly similar to a natural tooth, allowing light to pass through (referred to as translucency).
Is cosmetic dental work expensive?
Cosmetic dental work is probably not as expensive as you think. The cost of cosmetic dentistry depends on how much you want or need. Like any cosmetic process, costs will vary with the amount of product or services you desire. A skilled cosmetic dentist can explain various fees and the best procedure for you. Also, some cosmetic dental options are covered by insurance if “need” can be established. People often take advantage of a monthly payment plan provided through Springstone Financial.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a surgical procedure designed to replace a missing tooth. An dental implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed in the bone and replaces what was once the root of the tooth. A crown is attached to the implant to simulate an individual tooth.
How is a dental implant different from a dental bridge?
A dental implant replaces a missing tooth. It simulates the root of a tooth to which the cosmetic dentist attaches a cosmetic tooth. A dental bridge, on the other hand, is nonsurgical and uses the adjacent teeth to support a new cosmetic tooth. A dental implant is not invasive to surrounding teeth (especially desirable if they are healthy and in good condition). By simulating the root, it engages the bone and keeps it healthy. Because a dental implant is an individual tooth it is also easier to floss. A dental bridge can be a good choice if the adjacent teeth are in need of restoration. However, there are other subtle factors such as age, timing and bone health that you should discuss with Dr. Spaulding when deciding which options may be best for you.
How long does the Dental Implant process take?
Once a person is deemed a good candidate for dental implants, there is one visit to surgically place the implant. Some applications are ready for immediate restoration, others may be required to wait anywhere from 3 to 6 months for bone growth to solidify around the implant to anchor it. At this point the implant can be restored to completion.
Do cavity fillings need to be obvious?
New advances in tooth-colored porcelain and composite materials not only allow fillings to go unnoticed, but in many cases are stronger and more wear-resistant than amalgam (silver fillings).
Why are straight teeth important?
Never underestimate the power of a nice smile. A nice smile is not only beautiful, it also promotes good health:
Teeth that are straight and evenly spaced are easier to keep clean, leading to better oral health. Better oral health can reduce the incidence of heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, and other health conditions.
Teeth that are properly aligned chew more efficiently, and that aids in proper digestion
Teeth that are straight and properly aligned create a perfect bite, and that avoids excessive stress, headaches, and strain on your supporting bone and tissue.
The social benefits of a beautiful smile are also important:
- Confidence – in job interviews, public speaking and personal relationships.
- Clearer speech – teeth play an important role in your ability to speak.