Cosmetic Dentistry - Smile Makeover

Question: What can a smile makeover do for me?
A smile makeover improves the total look of your smile, restoring your self-confidence while enhancing your outer beauty. It solves visible problems such as discoloration, chipped ooth, and crooked teeth, creating a bright and beautiful smile.

Question: What cosmetic dentistry treatments can I choose from?
A smile makeover normally consists of a combination of cosmetic dentistry treatments, which can include:

  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Porcelain Crowns and Bonding
  • Tooth Whitening
  • Porcelain Fillings
  • Laser Dentistry
  • Filling Upgrades

Question: Are the results of a smile makeover permanent?
They're long-lasting. Some treatments last longer than others, and the duration of the results will depend on how well you take care of your teeth and mouth. The whitening will be extended if you brush and floss regularly and avoid staining foods. Our porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns and bonding are very durable and long-lasting.

Question: Am I a good candidate for a smile makeover?
If you are self-conscious about your smile, find yourself trying to hide your teeth, or are in any way displeased by the look of your smile, you could be a great candidate for a smile makeover.

Question: A dental makeover sounds like a lot of work. Will it be painful?
Drs. Melnick and Miles are dedicated to providing you with painless and relaxed dentistry. Thier sedation dentistry techniques have proven effective for even the most sensitive patients and those who are resistant to numbing.

Porcelain Veneers

Question:  What can porcelain veneers do for me?
Porcelain veneers are a wonderful solution for many imperfections, including chipped tooth, cracks, misshapen or crooked teeth, and discolored or stained teeth that are resistant to whitening procedures.

Question:  Aren't porcelain veneers easy to chip and crack?
Porcelain veneers are made from a very thin shell of ceramic material. By itself, the ceramic material is brittle, but when bonded to your tooth it becomes very strong and durable.

Question:  What will porcelain veneers look like?
Porcelain veneers look natural in shape, size, color and texture. Their glass-like quality means that they absorb and reflect light in the same way as your natural tooth surface, making them undetectable to the untrained eye.

Question:  Will porcelain veneers feel like fake teeth?
No, they will feel, look, and perform like your real teeth.

Question:  Will the procedure be painful?
Drs. Melnick and Miles are dedicated to providing you with painless and relaxed dentistry. Their sedation dentistry techniques have proven effective for even the most sensitive patients and those who are resistant to numbing.

Tooth Whitening

Question:  What causes tooth discoloration?
Many factors can contribute to tooth discoloration including:

  • Aging
  • Tobacco products
  • Staining foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, dark berries
  • Old fillings
  • Dental trauma
  • Medications
  • Too much fluoride

Question:  How long does tooth whitening last?
Tooth whitening will last several years, depending on your personal habits. Proper brushing and flossing will extend its life, as will avoiding the use of staining substances such as tobacco, coffee and red wine. We often give our tooth whitening patients extra bleaching materials in order to maintain their brighter smile.

Question:  Does tooth whitening work on crooked or imperfect teeth?
Yes. While tooth whitening will not straighten your teeth it will vastly improve their appearance.

Question:  Can I whiten my fillings and crowns?
No. Tooth whitening will only whiten your tooth enamel. It will not whiten any metal, composite, or porcelain that you may have in or on your teeth. Therefore, if you need any crowns or fillings, it would be best to whiten first, so that the porcelain of the crowns and fillings can be matched in color to your natural teeth.

Question:  Is there an age requirement for tooth whitening?
Typically, we do not recommend tooth whitening for children under the age of 16.

Question:  Will tooth whitening damage or weaken my teeth?
Tooth whitening is completely safe and will not harm the enamel or the structure of your teeth.

Question:  Is tooth whitening painful?
No, tooth whitening is a non-invasive procedure and not painful. However, Drs. Melnick and Miles are committed to providing anxiety-free dentistry for all of their patients. If you find yourself avoiding dental procedures due to fear or anxiety, ask Dr. Melnick or Dr. Miles about their sedation dentistry techniques.

Porcelain Fillings

Question:  Do porcelain fillings tarnish or change color?
No, unlike silver amalgam fillings, porcelain will not tarnish, turn, or discolor your tooth.

Question:  Why should I choose porcelain over other types of fillings?
For most people the primary reason is appearance.

  • Only porcelain fillings have a completely natural, color-matched, and life-like quality
  • Silver amalgam fillings are very visible, can darken or tarnish, and sometime discolor the entire tooth
  • Composite fillings do not reflect light in the same way as your natural tooth and tend to look dead
  • Porcelain is a great alternative for those who are concerned about potential health risks associated with amalgam fillings

Question:  Will I be able to feel the filling in my tooth?
No. The filling will be seamless, with no raised or rough edges. It will look and feel like a part of your tooth.

Question:  Will it be painful?
Drs. Melnick and Miles are dedicated to providing you with painless and relaxed dentistry. Their sedation dentistry techniques have proven effective for even the most sensitive patients and those who are resistant to numbing.

Laser Dentistry

Question:  What can laser dentistry do for me?

  • If you have a "gummy" smile or teeth that appear too short, we can reduce the excess gum tissue, revealing the natural length of your teeth
  • Uneven gum lines can be sculpted to their proper shape

Question:  Will laser gum re-contouring damage or harm my teeth?
No. The laser is set to a frequency that will target your gums without affecting your teeth or underlying structure.

Question:  What are the advantages of laser dentistry gum re-contouring?
The laser is very precise, and seals the tissue immediately, eliminating the bleeding and risk of infection associated with scalpel re-contouring. Healing is much faster and there is little to no pain or swelling.

Question:  What kind of recovery can I expect from laser gum re-contouring?
You may experience some tenderness and minor swelling for a few days.

Question:  Is laser gum re-contouring painful?
Drs. Melnick and Miles are dedicated to providing you with painless and relaxed laser dentistry. Their sedation dentistry techniques have proven effective for even the most sensitive patients and those who are resistant to numbing.

TMJ

Question:  What are the possible symptoms of TMJ?
The most common TMJ symptoms are:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Numbness in the fingers and arms
  • Locking/limited jaw movement
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Jaw pain

Other TMJ symptoms can include:

  • Facial pain
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Cracked teeth
  • Sensitive or sore teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Earaches with no infection
  • Ears that feel "full"

Question:  I have been in pain for years. Will it take years to recover?
No. Some patients are relieved of their TMJ symptoms and pain after just a few months of TMJ treatment, and for others, it's overnight.

Question: Does TMJ treatment hurt?
No. These services are non-surgical and non-invasive. 

Question:  What causes TMJ?
There are numerous causes such as:

  • Trauma (such as an auto accident or sports injury)
  • Diseases (such as fibromyalgia or arthritis)
  • Poor posture
  • Oral habits
  • Some health care procedures

Question:  Who gets TMJ?
Anyone can get TMJ, but it is most common in women of reproductive age.

Question:  TMJ treatment sounds complicated. Will it be painful?
Drs. Melnick and Miles are dedicated to providing you with painless and relaxed dentistry. Their sedation dentistry techniques have proven effective for even the most sensitive patients and those who are resistant to numbing.

Dental Implants - Implant Dentistry

Question:  Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
If you are missing a tooth, several teeth, or you are considering dentures, dental implants may be the perfect solution for you.

Question:  Why should I get dental implants instead of removable dentures?
Dental implants avoid many common problems normally associated with dentures including:

  • Bone shrinkage
  • Denture slipping
  • Gum irritation
  • Pain
  • Difficulty eating

Bone shrinkage will alter your appearance over time, making you look older than you really are. It also means having to get a new set of dentures every few years.

Question: Are implants painful?
No. The placement and restoration of dental implants are not painful. 

Question:  Will a dental implant look like a false tooth?
No, your dental implant will look like your natural teeth. We will match it to the shape and color of your original tooth. Porcelain is translucent and will reflect light just like your real teeth, so it looks real and alive.

Question:. Will I be able to chew with my dental implant?
Yes. Your new porcelain tooth will feel and perform like your original tooth.

Question:  Are dental implants permanent?
Yes. The implant is placed in the jawbone, replacing the root of your tooth. Should you have an accident and chip or break the porcelain replacement tooth, it can be replaced, but the implant will stay. Unlike removable dentures, you will not need to be "re-fitted" for your implants.

Question:  How many visits will implant dentistry require?
Once the implant has healed, it will require two additional visits. One for impressions and one for delivery of the final restoration.

Question:  Are dental implants painful?
Dr. Alexander is dedicated to providing you with painless and relaxed implant dentistry. Her sedation dentistry techniques have proven effective for even the most sensitive patients and those who are resistant to numbing.

Gum Disease and Treatment

Question:  What causes gum diseases?
Many things can lead to gum diseases including:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Weak or compromised immune system
  • Tobacco use
  • Hormonal changes
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Stress

Question:  What can happen if I leave periodontal gum disease untreated?
Initially you will experience pain and inflammation of the gums. Over time the gum line will recede. Eventually, you'll probably lose some teeth.

Question:  Won't brushing and mouthwash cure the problem?
Proper oral hygiene can help prevent periodontal gum disease, but cannot cure it once it has taken hold. The bacteria involved move too far into the gums to be reached by normal brushing and flossing, and there is usually plaque beneath the gum line that must also be removed.

Question:  What are the different types of gum diseases?

  • Gingivitis - red, swollen, bleeding gums
  • Aggressive periodontitis - rapid detachment of gums and bone destruction
  • Chronic periodontitis - inflammation of the supporting structures of the teeth, progressive gum detachment, bone loss, receding gum line
  • Necrotizing periodontal diseases - death of gum tissue, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone
  • Periodontitis caused by systemic disease

Question:  Is gum treatment painful?
Drs. Melnick and Miles are dedicated to providing you with painless and relaxed dentistry. Their sedation dentistry techniques have proven effective for even the most sensitive patients and those who are resistant to numbing.

Sedation Dentistry

Question:  Is sedation dentistry safe?
Yes. Sedation dentistry is far different from general anesthesia. You may be partially awake and you will be breathing on your own.

Question:  Will there be needles involved?
The only needle involved will be for the local numbing. This will occur after you are fully relaxed, and you will not remember it.

Question:  How much will I remember?
You will remember little or nothing of your experience. If you're fearful of going to the dentist, sedation dentistry will help you gain confidence and overcome fear of going back, which in turn will give you better dental health.

Question:  I am very resistant to numbing. Will this really work for me?
Yes. Sedation dentistry has proven to be the only effective way of eliminating pain from dental procedures for some patients. Even those most resistant to numbing can have pain-free dental work.

Question: Can I drive myself home?
No. You should bring a friend or relative to drive you home. It is best to wait 24 hours before you drive.

 

Giving you reasons to smile about, visit Laurel Lakes Cosmetic Dentistry in Laurel, MD. Call 301.498.6511 or fill out our online Request an Appointment form to schedule an exclusive consultation with Daniel R. Melnick, DDS, Maurice S. Miles, DDS, or Mary B. Alexander, DDS, DMSc. Our patients come to us from Burtonsville, MD (Montgomery County), Laurel, MD, Beltsville, MD, Greenbelt, MD and Bowie, MD (Prince George's County).

Testimonials

I tried to think of the best way to thank you for my beautiful smile, and there simply isn't any way to express the gratitude I feel. This has changed my life. I have a confidence I never had before, and I no longer feel self-conscious during talks and meetings at work. I am no longer hesitant about smiling at people and everyone smiles back. I get comments all the time on my beautiful smile, and I owe it all to you!
~Corinne Boulanger

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