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"My approach is simple. Listen carefully to what my patients want, then do for them what I would want for myself, and in the very best way I know how"
~ Dr. Rebecca Castaneda

Frequently Asked Questions

Veneers Questions

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers have been likened to “fake” fingernails. These are laminates of porcelain that are custom made to fit over prepared teeth. They are used by an aesthetic dentist or a cosmetic dentist to enhance smiles and function in situations where teeth are worn, chipped, mis-aligned, too small or where shape and color can be improved.

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Q: What can be done to correct my Buccal Corridor? I’m 27 YO Female.

My first recommendation would have been clear braces. However, you have indicated that you have already explored that option and that you are not a good candidate for orthodontics.

Yours appears to be a narrow upper and lower jaw situation. From your photos, it looks as though your back teeth are properly aligned, ie, straight up and down, not pointing inward, and that your bite fits well. In which case, you can rule out clear braces as an option.

Porcelain veneers is your best solution for a broader smile. I would recommend that the dentist you select do a “chair-side mock-up”. This is a “test” to see how far back you need veneers to get the smile you want. With this technique, you can also determine how far out you can build your smile with porcelain veneers. Having done this literally with hundreds of my patients, patient goals are not only realistic, but we provide information to my master ceramist so that he knows how to form the final porcelain veneers.

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What are the advantages of porcelain veneers?

What sets porcelain veneers apart from other dental restorations is their life-like translucent nature that mimics natural tooth enamel. It is truly amazing how art and science and of course, and a set of skilled hands, come together to create dental restorations that are absolutely indiscernible from real teeth, even to a dental professional.

Advantages – stain resistant
Another major advantage of porcelain veneers is that they retain their original color; they do not stain like bonded fillings that stain over time.

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How long will porcelain veneers last?

The life expectancy of porcelain veneers depends mostly on the individual wearing them and on how well they are taken care of. (It is very much like wearing and caring for shoes.) With good oral hygiene and care to not put excessive forces on the veneers, they should last over ten years. However, severe "grinders" should be treated with porcelain crowns instead of porcelain veneers because the veneers can fracture with the forces of grinding and clenching.

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What kinds of changes can veneers make?

Some of the most common applications for porcelain veneers are to conceal imperfections defects on teeth, such as chips or wear, or to replace old bonded restorations.

Porcelain veneers also conceal dis-colored teeth and can sometimes be used as an alternative to orthodontic treatment.

Porcelain veneers are also used to alter the shape and size of teeth. The result is a beautifully enhanced smile.

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Dental Implant Questions

Which manufacturer makes the best dental implants?

Different manufacturers make very different implants for various clinical conditions. Some are short and fat to go in bone near a sinus. Some are narrow to fit between front teeth. Some integrate very quickly. Some can be loaded immediately. All implants sold in the US are good. Some better than others in certain situations.

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Getting a Dental Implant After Tooth Extraction

If there is no infection, then the implant is often placed at the time of the extraction. However, if there is infection around the extracted tooth, then several months are required for the infection to clear up and for the bone to fill in properly before the implant can be placed.

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Teeth Whitening Questions

When Do White Gums Return to Normal Color After Teeth Whitening?

It is common for gum tissue to get irritated following a bleaching procedure. The tissue of the affected area will typically turn white before changing to a red appearance the next day. The tissue is usually back to normal with 48-72 hours. There are two ways to keep this tissue irritation to a minimum. First, make sure that your bleaching trays are custom made at a dental office to ensure a tight fit. Also, be sure after inserting the trays you take your finger and wipe any excess bleach that may initially come out of the tray when it is being seated. These two things should keep gingival irritation to a minimum while bleaching.

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Crowns & Bridges Questions

What are crowns used for?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth -- to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

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How Long Will the Dental Implant Bridge Last?

Depending on the specific circumstances, this bridge can last a few years, (for example, if you are not careful with oral hygiene, the supporting teeth can decay and cause the bridge to fail) or the bridge can last you over thirty years (if your hygiene is good and you are careful not to bite into extremely hard objects, such as a fork).

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General Questions

Q: Where do I start? All my teeth show when I smile.

Showing upper and lower teeth is very common in young people. If you are 18, then chances are you look fine and absolutely normal. However, if you also show some gum beyond the upper and lower teeth, then you may have a discrepancy in the size of your face (the soft tissues including the muscles and skin) and the underlying boney support (the facial bones). This would have to be corrected with surgery to shorten the facial bones. You can visit an orthodontist to get a professional opinion. Hopefully you get some reassurance that you look perfectly normal!

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