Natural Looking Dental Veneers on Long Island

Judy slipped and fell on the ice during our January snowstorm. Today the temperature climbed to 7o degrees – a record for early March so it is hard to remember that we were knee-deep in snow just two months ago.  My daffodils and crocuses are in bloom today.  But getting back to January and Judy’s fall.  Unfortunately she fell facedown, and she fractured two front teeth.  As you can see below, the right front tooth was beginning to darken from the trauma. You can also see fracture lines in that tooth and the one to the right of it.  One of the traumatized teeth required root canal, the other did not.  She then elected to have veneers placed on all four front teeth to cover and protect the fractured and discolored teeth and to achieve the beautiful smile that she had long wanted.  We lightened her tooth color and removed the space between the two front teeth. A nice result!



Fractured Teeth Needing Restoration

X01265A2Repaired with Porcelain Tooth Veneers

Mary did not like her smile. Her front teeth were dark and uneven. She was ready for some cosmetic dentistry to give her a smile she could be proud of. We spoke about placing veneers on several of her front teeth but she wanted to see how we could improve her smile with minimal dentistry. I felt that we could achieve what she wanted by placing porcelain veneers on her two front teeth. The veneers would lengthen and brighten her smile. She is so happy with how her teeth look that she is now considering placing veneers and crowns on her other teeth that could also use restoration.


Before: Broken teeth, stained and decayed.


After: Porcelain veneers to brighten her smile.

Carol desperately wanted to have her teeth fixed. They were crooked and discolored and chipped.  Several were decayed. She wanted white, white teeth that were straight, straight. She came to our East Setauket dental office at 9:00 this morning and by noon she had temporary crowns that were white and straight – just like she wanted. She has to have some gum recontouring done, then impressions and cementation of the permanent crowns. We will also whiten her lower back teeth.  The permanent crowns will look even better than the temporary crowns – but for now Carol is thrilled!


Before placing crowns


     Temporary Crowns

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In August I posted a blog entry called Laurie from Coram: New Implant Crown.  I told how she had an impacted canine which had to be extracted, orthodontic treatment undertaken and an implant placed.  She wore a temporary crown while the implant integrated to the bone.  On Friday we completed the treatment. Laurie went with me to the Dental Laboratory where the ceramist applied and adjusted the shade of the porcelain so that it matched her other teeth.  Not a small thing to match one tooth to its neighboring teeth.  Once we were satisfied with the shade of the implant tooth, we returned to my dental office where I cemented the crown. Laurie looks fabulous.  She said that the wait was certainly worth it! Can you guess which is the implant tooth? (Answer at the bottom of this post.)
It’s the second from the right!

Recently, as many know, Regis Philbin retired from hosting Live with Regis and Kelly.   A New York Times article on November 18 noted: “In a daytime landscape filled with bland, polished hosts and smarmy good cheer, Mr. Philbin was crumpled, nasal and histrionic. He was a snaggletooth amid cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers.”

Is the author endorsing a snaggletooth (a broken or crooked tooth)?  Does this mean the death-knell for cosmetic dentistry?  For porcelain veneers?  Are there too many shiny, white, perfect smiles on daytime T.V.?  I was mulling this over when I saw an ad for Tony Bennet’s New York stage appearance.  His publicity photo also sported broken and worn teeth.  Is there some connection here?  Are we returning to the days of unattractive teeth, to the time before we had the wonderful materials that we have today that allow dentists to create beautiful – and, I might add, healthy, smiles?  I hope not.

And wouldn’t you know it, my husband just chipped his central incisor.  But no snaggletooth for him.  He has an appointment with me tomorrow for some beautiful and natural porcelain veneers that will be long lasting and protect his teeth from further wear.

So you really think you are too old for cosmetic dentistry?  Well, you should know that cosmetic dentistry can brighten a smile of any age. Multiple modalities are available to the dental professional today, ranging from relatively inexpensive teeth bleaching, recontouring, and bonding to more complex procedures consisting of veneers, ceramic crowns and implants.

A simple whitening procedure can brighten teeth that are yellow or gray from age. There are several options from drugstore brighteners to custom dental trays or in-office whitening, depending on your budget and the quality of whitening desired. Tooth whitening corrects brown, yellow and mottled teeth and can brighten a dull smile.

Another simple procedure is the recontouring or reshaping of chipped or misaligned teeth. With recontouring and reshaping, crowded or chipped teeth can sometimes easily and non-invasively be corrected in one visit.

Composite bonding is another procedure that can be used to close a space between teeth or to repair chipped or cracked teeth. It is often non-invasive and anesthetic is not always needed.The composite material is chemically bonded to the tooth and polished to match the remaining tooth surface. Worn out silver fillings can also be replaced with tooth-colored bonded composite restorations.

The above are all relatively non-complex cosmetic procedures.  For a more long-lasting solution, the modern porcelain veneer offers the most esthetic result.  The porcelain veneer is a thin shell of ceramic that bonds  to the front surface of the teeth. The porcelain veneer does not stain or discolor. Veneers can close spaces, straighten crowded teeth, and cover discolored and chipped teeth. Placing custom veneers requires a high degree of technical skill as well as attention to cosmetic detail. Veneers require less tooth reduction than conventional crowns and can conservatively transform a smile.

If too much tooth is missing or damaged for a composite or porcelain veneer then an esthetic crown may be the answer. Today we have all-ceramic crowns and Zirconia crowns that are more life-like than the porcelain-to-metal crowns in use for the past 30 years. When carefully crafted by a talented cosmetic dentist and cosmetic dental laboratory, the all-ceramic crown is undetectable.

People are always embarrassed when their smile uncovers a missing tooth. Today the dental implant is a durable replacement that feels and functions like the missing tooth because the implant replaces the root as well as the tooth. The dental implant is surgically placed into the bone and fuses with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Restored dental implants are a very conservative way to replace teeth and help preserve facial structure.

Another less-costly option to replace a missing tooth is the bonded bridge for areas of light function or the conventional bridge, both of which can be fabricated of all-ceramic materials.

Some cosmetic procedures are elective, but other times the unsightly teeth are symptomatic of underlying dental disease. So a cosmetic procedure may also be an investment in your dental health and might even be covered by your dental insurance.  Teeth bleaching, recontouring, composite bonding, porcelain veneers, all-ceramic crowns and implants are all cosmetic procedures, sometimes just different ways to solve a problem. Call our East Setauket dental office, come in for a free consult, and explore what is the right solution for you!

I was at a business meeting this morning speaking to a man with a rather large gap between his two front teeth.We started talking about teeth, and he asked me if I knew that a gap between the teeth had become quite fashionable. I didn’t, so I went onto Google to check this out.

Sure enough a website on global fashion called Refinery29 features an article this month called “Gap Teeth: The Latest Must-Have Accessory?” The article includes photos of several models and actresses who flaunt their teeth gaps, including Lauren Hutton, Lara Stone, Georgia Jagger and Anna Paquin. As the author writes, these are “all beauts who know how to work a good gap.” Maybe so, but I can’t help but think their beauty would be enhanced by some excellent cosmetic dentistry.

Unfortunately and all too often, un-cosmetic dentistry, done by dentists without the proper training and experience, gives people an unnatural look. The author adds, “More and more (blessed be!), it seems those hideously super-sized, glow-in-the-dark veneers are being replaced by normal beautifully imperfect canines.” What she may not know is that well-crafted veneers are beautiful and natural looking and undetectable. Check out our veneers and see how naturally beautiful they look.

Last February I posted a blog entry called “Teeth Whitening at the Mall.”  I spoke about the dangers of having whitening (a dental procedure) done by unlicensed individuals. I mentioned that the State of Tennessee had outlawed this practice and that I hoped New York State (and that includes Long Island) would follow the standards set by Tennessee and outlaw the illegal practice of dentistry in the state’s malls.

Here we are just one year later, and New York State has done just that in their new guidelines just published! The guidelines from the New York State Board For Dentistry state:

“Recently, consumers in New York State have been exposed to a significant number of products involving teeth whitening. While certain over-the-counter products may be safe, other products available for self application or through retail outlets have the potential to cause harm.

“Underlying dental health conditions may make a patient a poor candidate for certain teeth whitening processes. These processes may not be effective, and may actually do harm to a patient’s teeth and gums. The application of teeth whitening products in a retail outlet, not subject to the infection control requirements of a dental office, creates a risk of disease transmission for the consumer and individuals working in such an establishment.

“The application of teeth whitening products by or with the assistance of someone who is not a licensed dentist or dental hygienist may constitute the illegal practice of the profession of dentistry, which is a crime. The State Board for Dentistry office will refer any allegations of the illegal practice of dentistry to the Office of Professional Discipline for investigation.

“Individuals should consult with a licensed dental health professional and have their overall dental health evaluated before making decisions regarding teeth whitening products and services.”

Read more about teeth whitening.

People who come to my East Setauket dental office for cosmetic dentistry often ask if I also do general dentistry. The answer is, “Yes.” I believe that it is a mistake for cosmetic dentists to limit their practice to cosmetic procedures. A dentist cannot ignore a patient’s dental health, and that is what a cosmetic dentist might do if he/she just does cosmetic dentistry.

Back teeth matter! You cannot just place veneers on the front teeth without addressing the health of the back teeth. Each tooth has a function, and all of the teeth must function in harmony. When dental cosmetics fails it is often because the back teeth were not considered in the treatment plan. And I am pleased that my cosmetic patients are so pleased with my cosmetic dentistry and the care that I provide that they want to continue as my patient and send the rest of their family for their general dental needs – and yes I treat children also!

A prospective patient came into my East Setauket dental office recently to ask about porcelain veneers. She was unhappy with how her front teeth looked. She had old composite bonding that was stained and chipped. Her teeth had spread out, there were spaces in between the teeth, and she noticed that her teeth were loose. She thought that her problem was just cosmetic, and she was concerned that her insurance company would not cover elective cosmetic procedures.

I took some close up digital photographs of her smile, as I usually do for consultations. We then discussed her photographs which I had enlarged on the computer screen. She could see the condition of her back teeth and the condition of her gums, and she began to realize that she had other problems that contributed to her unattractive smile. We took xrays to confirm that she had decay and defective fillings in her back teeth and she had the bone loss associated with gum disease.

My point is that what may appear to be solely cosmetic is often a symptom of underlying dental disease. Her needed dental work was not only cosmetic, and she was able to collect her insurance benefits. She completed the treatment, is now in good dental health and has a beautiful smile!