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Posts for tag: cosmetic dentistry

By Richard A. Oppenlander, D.D.S., P.L.C.
July 19, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Richard A. Oppenlander, D.D.S., P.L.C.
April 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Veneers, one of the most innovative cosmetic dentistry restoration options, improve the way your teeth look by covering up small surface flaws. Portage, MI, dentist, Dr. Richard Oppenlander, explains how you can transform your smile with veneers.veneers

Veneers address multiple problems

Veneers hide imperfections by adding a thin layer of porcelain to your teeth. As you can imagine, veneers must be very strong to stand up to normal wear and tear. Porcelain, one of the common materials used to create veneers, is extremely tough and reflects light the same way tooth enamel does. Veneers are only attached to the fronts of teeth, the area in which flaws are most noticeable.

Veneers are often recommended if you don't like the shape of a tooth. They're a good choice if a tooth is crooked, or if you feel that your teeth are too rounded or too square. Very crooked teeth will require orthodontic treatment, but if the problem is fairly mild, you may benefit from a veneer.

Slight damage to your teeth can also be concealed with veneers. Tiny cracks or chips can form in teeth if you bump your mouth or bite into hard foods or objects. Covering up these flaws with a thin layer of porcelain makes them vanish.

Teeth can become shorter due to frequent nighttime grinding. Although this might sound like a minor problem, even small changes in the length of your teeth can totally change your smile. Veneers offer a simple way to restore the length of your teeth.

Do you have a gap between your front teeth? Although you could take advantage of composite bonding to fill the gap, veneers last longer. They're also used to hide teeth that have become discolored and offer a very effective, long-lasting way to whiten teeth.

When you visit his Portage office, Dr. Oppenlander can show you how your new veneers will look by applying wax models to your teeth. Once you're happy with the look, he'll send an impression of your mouth to the dental laboratory that will make the permanent veneers. After the veneers are attached to your teeth with dental cement, you'll need to avoid eating very hard foods, but you won't have any other restrictions.

Would you like to improve your smile with veneers? Call Portage, MI, dentist, Dr. Richard Oppenlander, at (269) 327-9332 to schedule an appointment.

By Richard A. Oppenlander, D.D.S., P.L.C.
November 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.

"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."

As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.

For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.

If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.

If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”