Top 3 Questions to Ask About Porcelain Veneers

smiling woman

While we say you can’t judge a book by its cover, nothing says more about you than an attractive set of teeth. From getting a job to impressing a new date, our smiles play a big part in first, second and all impressions.

Unfortunately, we can’t all say we’re proud of our smiles. Many of us are embarrassed about chipped, stained, misaligned and damaged teeth. At Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we find that many of our patients benefit from porcelain veneers.

Here are the top three questions we are commonly asked about dental veneers.

Are veneers right for me?

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain. Once applied, they can restore the look of natural teeth and provide resiliency akin to tooth enamel. Bonded to original tooth enamel, veneers will be custom made to contour to your teeth.

Porcelain veneers aren’t the right solution for every patient. Those who have extensive gum disease, badly fractured teeth, inadequate tooth enamel or large dental fillings may not be good candidates for the procedure. But veneers are perfect for teeth which are chipped, discolored, damaged or misaligned.

What is the procedure for dental veneers?

  • The first step is a consultation with Dr. Elliot or Dr. Nick at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. Together, your concerns and desires would be reviewed. If dental veneers appear to be the right solution, your mouth will be thoroughly examined.
  • The next stage would entail shaving tooth enamel to compensate for the additional thickness veneers would add to teeth. Once that process is complete, we will take impressions of your teeth for the lab.
  • Somewhere between one and two weeks later, the lab will return the veneers to Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. We will prep each individual tooth before setting the veneers. The last step will be using a unique light to secure the bond between veneer and tooth.
  • We will review your new smile, ensuring the tooth restorations are perfect.

How do I care for porcelain veneers?

Veneers can be cared for using the same protocols as natural teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.

Limit your intake of foods and beverages known for creating stains on teeth. If you tend to clench your jaw or grind your teeth excessively, you can cause veneers to chip or crack. You should consider wearing a night guard to prevent damage.

Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry is a full-service facility, offering general and cosmetic dentistry for everyone in Suffolk Country, Nassau County and Long Island. If you have a question about veneers or other oral health issues, feel free to give us a call or make an appointment.

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Arianne Udell

Can People Tell Your Age From Your Teeth?

In the age of the selfie, we are highly attuned to the slightest markers of aging, be it a receding hairline, crow’s feet or a furrowed brow. Most people are worried about their complexion, new wrinkles or the thickness of their hair when they should be paying more attention to their teeth. Why is that? Your teeth are one of the first body parts that really show signs of aging.

Your teeth and smile are like a business card, which conveys a wealth of information about your oral hygiene practices, your diet, your health and your age. If you ignore them, let them get stained, chipped or ridden with cavities, others will notice. A mouthful or yellow or damaged teeth can easily make you look 10 years older, and missing teeth can age you even worse.

The good news is that with proper preventative care, your teeth can look as young as you’d like. Daily brushing and flossing along with routine dental checkups can keep worn chompers from showing your age, or worse – making you look older than you really are.

Discolored teeth can age your face

Good oral hygiene just isn’t enough to fend off tooth enamel discoloration. Whether you’re a coffee addict or love red wine, staining drinks and acidic food can do a real disservice to your teeth. The best way to keep your teeth pearly white is to schedule professional dental cleanings every 6 months. If you skip these too often, built-up plaque can really age your face, while also contributing to gingivitis and gum disease. Professional cleanings include a deep polishing for removing staining pigments that can give teeth a dingy gray or yellow hue.

If you already have yellow teeth caused by diet or smoking, peroxide-based whiteners can help lighten the enamel by several shades. There are over-the-counter treatments, but most patients see quicker and better results with professional teeth whitening systems that use chemically-activated whitening agents.

Worn or damaged front teeth

As we get older, our teeth begin to show signs of wear and tear caused by chewing and – sometimes – tooth grinding. Beyond “stubby” looking teeth, we can also develop micro-cracks in the outer enamel, or chip off the outer edge on a piece of hard food. All of these blemishes can seriously diminish the attractiveness and youthfulness of your smile. A bite guard is usually effective for stopping tooth grinding and further erosion, but other issues are best corrected with cosmetic dentistry.

Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for restoring the shape, structure and aesthetics to a damaged or misshapen tooth, while tooth bonding can do the same with just one office visit.

If you have fillings in your front teeth, keep in mind that they need to be replaced every few years. Silver amalgam and even tooth-colored fillings should be checked for signs of tiny fissures and dark lines that indicate it’s time for a new restoration.

Improve the youthfulness of your smile

Bad teeth are not only an age giveaway but can make you look older, even if your skin is smooth and wrinkle-free. Remember that your smile is one of the first things others notice, so why not make a great first impression?

To book a free consultation with experienced Suffolk County cosmetic dentists, we invite you to call Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry today!

Resources:

  1. WebMD, How Teeth Change With Age http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-gums-age
  2. Medical Daily, From Bone Health To Mental Health: What You Can Tell About A Person From Looking At Their Teeth http://www.medicaldaily.com/bone-health-mental-health-what-you-can-tell-about-person-looking-their-teeth-301934

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Ava Lawson

Maintain the Pristine Look of Your Porcelain Veneers

Lady smiling with dental veneers

Dental veneers are a wafer-thin sheet of porcelain that your cosmetic dentist can firmly bond to the front sides of your teeth. The reason why dental veneers are so popular is that they are an effective way to instantly makeover a person’s smile. Your new porcelain veneers can camouflage stubborn tooth discoloration, gaps between your teeth, chipped teeth, and even misaligned teeth.

The average veneer will last about five to 10 years before it will need to be replaced. By taking good care of your oral hygiene in general and dental veneers in particular, you can boost their longevity and keep your smile looking brilliant.

Oral hygiene guidance

Dental veneers do not protect your teeth and gums from the effects of plaque and tartar buildup. It’s essential to take good care of your teeth and gums to preserve your new porcelain veneers and protect your mouth. Brush your teeth at least twice per day using gentle, circular motions. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush; hard-bristled toothbrushes can have damaging effects. Remember to floss at least once daily.

Despite taking good care of your veneers and teeth at home, it’s still essential to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist. Most dental patients need an oral exam and professional cleaning twice per year, but certain patients may need to come in more frequently. A professional cleaning is necessary because flossing simply isn’t capable of removing stubborn tartar.

Exercise caution to avoid damage

Dental veneers are strong but can be chipped without proper care. To keep your veneers looking great for years to come, it’s essential to avoid chewing on hard, non-food objects such as fingernails and pen caps. Likewise, avoid chewing ice (it can damage your natural teeth as well as your veneers) and limit or avoid hard candy.

Talk to your dentist about bruxism

Do you grit your teeth when dealing with an unpleasant situation? Although keeping a stiff upper lip may be desirable in abstract terms, it’s actually not good at all for your teeth. Bruxism, which is the act of clenching one’s jaw and grinding one’s teeth, can result in considerable jaw pain and chips on your teeth. It can also damage your dental veneers. Generally, dentists recommend other treatment options for patients who have severe bruxism or TMJ disorder. If you develop bruxism after already receiving your veneers, talk to your dentist about wearing a nightguard to protect your pearly whites. Similarly, it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard while playing sports activities, since trauma to the facial area can result in damage to your veneers and natural teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry in Long Island

Your new smile awaits you at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry. Suffolk County cosmetic dentists Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot work closely with each patient to develop a custom treatment plan that will improve oral health and quality of life.

Whether you’re interested in a whole smile makeover or just want to learn about your options, you can schedule a free consultation by calling 631.296.0570.

Resources:

  1. WebMD, Dental Health and Veneers, http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/veneers
  2. Oral-B, What To Expect When Getting Tooth Veneers, http://oralb.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/what-to-expect-when-getting-tooth-veneers

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Jacky Gale

Orthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry Boost Esteem, Promote Health

smiling couple

From hair restoration and cosmetic dentistry to plastic surgery, Americans are seeking new ways to improve their appearance and address nagging flaws. While the majority of people seek cosmetic treatments to enhance their looks, they may also reap physical and emotional benefits from these procedures as well, reports a recent article in Boston Magazine.

It’s no secret that feeling good about your appearance can have a positive effect on your confidence and self-esteem. And thanks to today’s medical technology – including 3D digital imaging, stem cells and growth factors – patients are able to get faster, better results from minimally-invasive procedures. Advanced technology adds new precision and comfort to old techniques, from face lifts and hair removal to orthodontic treatments. Over the last two years, some 1,460,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada sought orthodontic treatments –a 16 percent increase over previous years. In addition to teeth straightening procedures, many people are looking to improve the aesthetics of their smile.

Dentists are seeing an uptick in slightly older patients – people who are looking to get back into the job market and want a competitive edge. Tooth whitening and porcelain veneers are some of the most requested cosmetic dentistry procedures, as both deliver quick results and require no downtime.

Advances in minimally-invasive dentistry

Dental veneers have come a long way in the last 15 years, promising beautiful, natural results in just two office visits. Ideal for teeth that are chipped, discolored, misshapen or damaged, veneers are custom-made for a perfect fit. Today’s veneers are akin to contact lenses, as the material is wafer-thin.  This facilitates a minimally invasive approach, that allows dentists to keep as much of the original tooth structure as possible.

Cosmetic dentistry can reinvigorate a smile, taking 10 years off one’s appearance. Veneers, CEREC crowns and dental implants can help improve aesthetics while restoring function. Patients who have lost multiple teeth due to periodontal disease or injury can truly benefit from 3D imaging, which allows dentists to place brand new implants in just one day.

Also known as the “All on 4” and “All on 6” procedure, same day implants have offered life-changing results for thousands of patients.  Numerous studies have shown that when people are happy with their smiles, this improved confidence influences other aspects of their life.

“When you smile, you will radiate a positive attitude, creating a positive impact on everyone around you. We see it every day. Whether is a small restoration, teeth whitening, full mouth reconstruction with implants, or a full smile make over, we see the positive impact right away,” explains one prosthodontist.

Suffolk County cosmetic dentists

As advances in cosmetic and restorative dentistry continue to evolve, not only for teeth whitening and custom restorations, Long Island residents will have increasing options to boost their confidence. As leading cosmetic dentists in Suffolk County, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick are proud to offer clients the latest modalities and treatments at affordable prices.

Whether you’re interested in fixing bite issues with Invisalign, addressing stained or yellow teeth, or correcting a “gummy smile,” we are here to help! To request a free consultation, please use our online contact form or call (631) 319-9509.

Resources:

  1. Boston Magazine, Fixing the Exterior and What Lies Beneath http://www.bostonmagazine.com/sponsor-content/fixing-the-exterior-and-what-lies-beneath/
  2. Your Smile Becomes You, Dental Implants, http://yoursmilebecomesyou.com/procedures/dental-implants/

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Ava Lawson

How To Fix A Chipped Tooth

Tooth chips and fractures are treated by dentists every day. They range from minor to severe, with treatment based on the extent of injury. For instance, craze lines affecting the outermost layer of enamel, often require no care to protect the underlying structures of the teeth, although patients may wish to correct the cosmetic appearance. Fractured cusps may not hurt, but can affect the functionality of the tooth if a piece of the chewing surface breaks off. A crack extending vertically toward the root, split teeth, and vertical root fractures should always be treated to minimize the risk of infection and more severe damage.

A consultation with Long Island cosmetic dentists Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot is the best way to determine which method is best for fixing your chipped tooth, but here are five possible options they may discuss.

Dental bonding

Composite bonding is a great, non-invasive way to repair a chipped tooth. We also use dental bonding to treat cracks, decay, discoloration, gaps and misshapen teeth. In most cases (except for significant decay), no anesthesia is needed, and results are long-lasting (up to 10 years!) Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot will prepare the tooth with a conditioning liquid and apply putty. After the putty is molded and smoothed, a UV light hardens the composite. Once the bonding has dried, it is shaped and polished to perfection.

Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an even longer lasting option that can cover damaged teeth for up to 30 years. Our cosmetic dentists gently remove the outermost layers of enamel, so the new tooth doesn’t appear too bulky. With same day dentistry, we can take impressions of the teeth using 3D software and create the veneers in a lab after your initial consultation, so you don’t need to wait a long time for your new smile.

Crowns

Crowns are the most common restorative treatments, typically done after someone bites a piece of ice, a popcorn kernel, or breaks a tooth off into some other type of food. If you are having pain when chewing or drinking, it’s likely you will need this type of chipped tooth fix. At our office, we administer sedation to relax you, prepare the tooth surface in the same way we do for veneers, take impressions of the teeth to create CEREC crowns, and cement the new structure in place. Crowns are important to maintain functionality of the tooth and prevent further damage.

Root canals

A chip or crack that extends all the way down to the pulp and root will require a root canal to prevent the damage from extending. Patients with chipped teeth who come in complaining of extreme tooth sensitivity, swelling and throbbing require root canals. This common procedure requires clearing out decay and debris, and removing the irritated nerve. We’ll take x-rays to assess infection and administer anesthesia to minimize discomfort (as well as sedation to relieve anxiety, if you wish). We will drill into the tooth, remove the pulp and nerve, then seal the tooth to prevent infection. In some cases, we add a crown on top to ensure the tooth maintains full strength.

Dental implants

If your chip or crack extends below the gum line or broken pieces are completely missing (as in the case of many traumatic incidents), we will have no choice but to extract the remaining tooth. A dental implant includes a substitute tooth made of porcelain, as well as a titanium screw and post that act as an artificial root. Tooth implants are designed to last a lifetime, but the procedure is a bit more involved. You will need to wear a temporary restoration and allow some time for the new foundation to fuse to the jaw bone before the final implant is placed.

For more information about treatments for chipped or damaged teeth, please call Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry to arrange a free consultation: 631) 296-0570.

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Jenn Fusion

How to Protect Tooth Enamel from Erosion

porcelain veneers

Tooth enamel may be the strongest substance in your body, but it is still vulnerable to erosion and decay. Over time, enamel erosion can lead to tooth sensitivity and cavities.

If you want to avoid these unfortunate and uncomfortable consequences of tooth enamel erosion, there are a few tips you want to know about.

Causes of tooth decay

There are a number of causes of tooth decay:

  • Excessive sugar in your diet
  • Too many acidic foods in your diet
  • Acid reflux disease (GERD)
  • Frequent vomiting due to alcoholism or eating disorders
  • Carbonated drinks, fruit juices and alcohol
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Harsh brushing or teeth grinding

Many of these causes can be controlled, reducing your risk for tooth decay. However, some causes will be harder to control. It is important to recognize the signs of tooth decay early so you can take steps to stop it and prevent future damage.

Signs of enamel erosion

There are signs that your tooth enamel is slowly eroding, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities and decay.

These signs might include:

  • Rough edges or cracks on the teeth
  • Sensitivity to hot, cold or other sensations
  • Smooth or shiny areas on the teeth, due to mineral loss
  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • Small dents or rounded areas on the teeth

Preventing enamel erosion

Because correction of enamel erosion can involve costly dental procedures, it is much better to prevent the problem before it begins. Preventative measures begin with reducing your consumption of substances that promote erosion, such as carbonated beverages and acidic foods. If you do drink beverages that could lead to enamel erosion, use a straw to pull the liquid past your teeth into the back of your mouth.

Rinse your mouth after meals, particularly after eating foods with a high acidic content. Finishing an acidic meal with a helping of cheese or milk may also help to neutralize the acid. Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva production, which restores important mineralization to the teeth after meals.

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, with one of those times occurring right before bed. Wait approximately one hour before brushing after an acidic meal to give your teeth a chance to restore their mineral levels once again. Select a small-headed toothbrush with medium bristles to reap the greatest benefits from your brushing sessions.

Cosmetic dentistry solutions

If enamel erosion has already occurred, there are treatments that can restore the health and beauty of your teeth. Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are both effective ways to hide the damage caused by enamel erosion.

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry are experienced in assessing risk factors for enamel erosion and can give you a full evaluation at your initial consultation. If erosion is detected, they can outline a treatment plant to restore oral health and a beautiful smile.

To schedule a free consultation with our Suffolk County cosmetic dentists, please call 631-319-9509.

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Whitney Taylor

Are Small Teeth Marring Your Smile?

woman have dental bonding

If one or more of your teeth are smaller than usual, you might have microdontia. As the name suggests, microdontia is a condition in which a person’s adult teeth have the appearance of baby teeth.

If left untreated, microdontia can lead to oral health problems, and some people may find it embarrassing to smile with large gaps between the teeth.

Types of microdontia

Cosmetic dentists have identified three main types of microdontia.

  • True Generalized Microdontia: Very rare. All of the patient’s teeth are smaller than usual, but are otherwise well shaped. This type may be associated with Down Syndrome and pituitary dwarfism.
  • Relative Generalized Microdontia: The teeth have the appearance of microdontia due to the disproportionate jaw size to the teeth size. However, the teeth may only be slightly smaller than usual.
  • Localized Microdontia: Relatively common. It involves only one tooth, usually the maxillary lateral incisor or the third molar.

When teeth are smaller than usual, a person’s smile appears flawed. However, microdontia can involve more than aesthetic issues. Microdontia can cause the upper and lower teeth to fail to meet properly. For some people, this can make biting and chewing actions difficult. Over time, it can even lead to chipping and other tooth damage.

Cosmetic dentistry offers solutions

Cosmetic dentists can perform several different treatments to resolve microdontia, depending on the individual patient’s needs and preferences. For those with mild microdontia, dental bonding may be appropriate. The dentist can apply tooth-colored composite material onto the affected tooth and shape it appropriately. Then, the dentist hardens the composite material and polishes it. Dental bonding is particularly well-suited to patients who have minor damage caused by microdontia, since the composite material will cover missing parts of the tooth.

However, some patients need more extensive cosmetic dentistry for microdontia. Another possible solution is porcelain veneers. Dental veneers are custom-fitted to the visible sides of the teeth. They look exactly like natural teeth, both in color and shape. Before applying the veneers, the dentist may need to remove a small amount of the enamel from the tooth before making teeth impressions, which are molds that are used to create the veneers. Veneers are carefully shaped and shaded before being applied to to teeth, offering an instant smile makeover.

Not everyone is a good candidate for dental veneers. Those who have difficulty with bruxism or TMJ disorder in addition to microdontia may be better candidates for dental crowns. A cosmetic dentist who has invested in CEREC technology can offer same-day crowns, which means there is no lengthy wait for a laboratory to create the restoration.

Creating beautiful smiles in Suffolk County

Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a comprehensive suite of restorative and cosmetic dentistry services to enhance your smile, including CEREC crowns and porcelain veneers.

Schedule a consult with Dr. Elliot or Dr. Nick today to discuss the best option for restoring your pearly whites. You can reach our Long Island cosmetic dentistry practice by calling 631-319-9509.

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Jacky Gale

New Year’s Resolution to Finally Fix That Smile

As we ring in 2016, many of us are making important goals for the New Year.  Resolutions often fixate on the notion of living a healthier and happier life, with an eye toward losing weight, eating better, quitting smoking and enjoying the company of loved ones and family. Resolving to improve your overall well-being is a great way to kick off the year. Some people even decide to take care of dental issues they’ve been neglecting for years – problems ranging from stained and missing teeth to advanced gum disease.

At Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick can help you achieve your New Year’s resolution to finally fix those teeth and start flashing a brilliant smile.

Smile transformation in 2016

Lifestyle, eating habits and poor oral hygiene can take a toll on our smiles. But an imperfect smile is nothing to be ashamed of. In some cases, genetics, a sports injury or the aging process itself can lead to a less than flawless smile. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry offers a number of solutions to fix any number of aesthetic issues, whether you have an overbite, gapped teeth, misalignment, discoloration, or suffer from tooth loss.

These state-of-the-art treatments can restore confidence, self-esteem and give you a vivid smile that you’ve always dreamed about. Whether you need a professional teeth whitening treatment to address stained enamel, veneers to fix chipped or damaged teeth; or a total smile makeover using dental implants, our Suffolk County cosmetic dentists have the experience and knowledge to help!

Popular cosmetic dentistry options

Porcelain veneers effectively tackle several dental problems, including cracks, chips, dark stains and issues with spacing. In many cases, veneers alone can dramatically enhance a smile without the need for lengthy orthodontic treatment and other invasive therapies. Moreover, veneers look and feel just like your own teeth.

For more than 30 years, dental implants have been the go-to treatment for tooth loss. With today’s permanent implants, you can enjoy your favorite foods, smile with confidence and stop fretting about slipping dentures. Dental implants look and function just like your natural teeth and can be used whether you’re missing just one tooth or need a whole set of replacement teeth. Best of all, they are a long-term solution and can last upwards of 20 years, making them very cost-effective in the long run.

Start 2016 off with a new smile

A healthy, radiant smile often gives people the boost needed to achieve their other New Year’s resolutions – just another reason to consider a smile makeover in 2016. If you’re tired of hiding your smile, contact Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry today.

We’ll discuss your concerns and goals and determine the best cosmetic dentistry treatment plan for you. You can email or call our Rocky Point dental office anytime at 631-319-9509.

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Ava Lawson

Lumineers vs. Veneers

dental veneers

Advances in cosmetic dentistry give patients several options when it comes to fixing crooked, chipped, gapped or misshapen teeth. Two of the most popular and lasting treatments are porcelain veneers and Lumineers. While both can address minor tooth imperfections and are similarly priced, there are some differences that potential candidates should know. An in-depth consultation with your dental professional will help determine which treatment is best suited for your particular case when choosing between Lumineers vs. veneers.

Similarities of Lumineers and veneers

Dental veneers and Lumineers are both crafted from a thin layer of porcelain and are designed to repair and cover the surface of damaged or misaligned teeth.

In this respect, both types of custom-made restoration:

  • Address cosmetic imperfections such as gaps between the teeth
  • Hide cracks or chips
  • May add length to a tooth
  • Can correct severe discoloration
  • Promise a flawless smile that is whiter and brighter
  • Are durable and easy to maintain
  • Offer a beautiful, natural-looking result
  • Will not discolor or get darker over time
  • Yield little to no tooth sensitivity

Primary differences of veneers and Lumineers

The notable difference between the two is that Lumineers require no tooth preparation, reshaping or drilling prior to placement. Because Lumineers are only .2 to .3 millimeters thick, they can be bonded directly to the exterior of the tooth without removing enamel beforehand – a process known as “trimming.” This simple application process is one of the great advantages of Lumineers, which can normally be placed in just one office visit. People who are especially anxious about dental work or who cannot tolerate numbing shots may be ideal candidates for Lumineers.

By contrast, porcelain veneers are roughly .5 mm thick, which requires tooth reshaping and trimming to achieve a more aesthetically-pleasing outcome. This involves numbing injections and the etching away of enamel, which is the tooth’s natural protective barrier. In the event that the veneer comes off or needs to be replaced, the tooth is more vulnerable to decay and injury.

Pros and cons of both

Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and choosing the right protocol will depend on many factors. Those who are looking for minor changes such as covering a small chip or camouflaging a lightly stained tooth may do better with “no-prep” Lumineers, as long as they are placed by a highly experienced cosmetic dentist. However, because of their ultra-thin composition, darker stains may still show through.

For more extreme dental makeovers, such as addressing large gaps between teeth, traditional dental veneers are frequently recommended. However, because of the more invasive nature of their placement and necessary tooth preparation, the process is irreversible.

If you live in Suffolk County and have additional questions about Lumineers and porcelain veneers, and which is right for you, we invite you to call Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Elliot or Dr. Nick.  Call 631-296-0588 or stop by our Rocky Point dental office today.

In an effort to make quality cosmetic dentistry affordable to all of our patients, we offer attractive financing options and low monthly payment plans.

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Ava Lawson

Why Suffer the Shame of Bad Teeth?

An insightful article by Kansas-born journalist Sarah Smarsh in online magazine Aeon entitled The Shame of Poor Teeth illustrates how “bad” teeth have come to be viewed in our selfie society as connoting poverty, lack of initiative, lack of privilege and education, and even lack of talent. Fans of Orange is the New Black know Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett‘s gnarled, chipped and grey teeth were the embodiment of her drug addict character’s hostility and malicious intent. As the author writes, “If the eyes are the soul’s windows, its door is the mouth – the fence across which pass food, drink, words, our very breath.”

Only 50% of Americans have dental insurance

Ms. Smarsh challenges the view that people with bad teeth have somehow chosen that shortcoming when it could have been easily avoided. Ms. Smarsh points out that poor dental care and compromised teeth are often a result of lack of funds, no dental insurance, or lack of access–the US Department of Health and Human Services reports that over 45 million people living in rural or impoverished areas are plagued by a shortage of dentists.

The US population is about 250 million people. An estimated 126 million—about half—do not have dental coverage according to the US National Association of Dental Plans. Those who have some type of dental insurance plan can expect most routine cleanings to be covered, but insurance carriers may offer only from 20-50% on other more involved dentistry.

As Ms. Smarsh writes, “Poor teeth, I knew, beget not just shame but more poorness: people with bad teeth have a harder time getting jobs and other opportunities. People without jobs are poor. Poor people can’t access dentistry – and so goes the cycle.”

Teeth whitening, veneers, crowns are affordable solutions

Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick know the value of a well-cared for set of teeth and the wonderful smile that results. For better or worse, we are judged by our appearances, and our smiles are the first and most obvious display of who we are both socially and professionally. At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we continually strive to bring the finest in cosmetic dentistry to our clients at the most affordable pricing–including laser teeth whitening, veneers and up to $2000 off same day dental implants.

Call our Rocky Point office in Suffolk County, NY at 631-246-4992 to arrange a free consultation so we can develop a plan to work within your financial parameters. We are here to give you the care you need before your dental problems get far worse.

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Steve Cid