Having practiced dentistry now for 12 years, I’ve seen a lot of different stuff, tried different technologies, different techniques, etc. Most of it works pretty well, some of it we discard and look for something new or better, and occasionally we scrap the new and return to the tried-and-true techniques and methods that have been around for a long time. The ultimate goal, of course, is to provide the best dentistry possible that will last the longest time, right? Because after all, I know that you want to sit in my chair as little as possible. 🙂
Of all the different things we do, though, there is now 1 that is just so incredibly satisfying to provide our patients, and that is LANAP, or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Protocol, which we perform with our Periolase MVP-7 laser. First of all, it’s is just pretty cool that we have a laser! (Imagine here Dr. Evil from Austin Powers putting his fingers up and saying “Laser” LOL) But what’s simply AWESOME about having the Periolase is what we can do with it, and that is to treat periodontal (gum) disease more comfortably and effectively than anything else available. Because of how amazingly well the Periolase works, it is just this terrific feeling we get every time we treat a patient, or when we see patients coming back in for follow-ups, because they actually LIKE coming to see us! And I have to tell you, there aren’t many things that patients WANT and LIKE coming to see us about. The other one, of course, is our 6MonthSmiles Clear Adult Braces – adults love getting their smile looking good so much faster than they ever imagine, and more affordably, too.
So let me show you just 1 example of why it is so satisfying helping people save their teeth from the trash can, because it is so typical and normal of what we see on a regular basis. Colleen had LANAP done in December 2009, which means it is just at 9 months since her treatment. She is getting ready to start 6MonthSmiles in September, which will help even more, but notice that her front teeth have already improved in position just by getting the infection under control. Just how much of an improvement is this? Well, in the before picture, we had not even treated her yet, but in the After picture, it is immediately after a gentle cleaning……and her gums look great!
No wonder we love doing LANAP! If you’re concerned about losing your teeth to gum disease, please call us today at 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment Online.
Please let us know what you think about this amazing result or if you have any questions in the Comments section below. Thanks!
Ever since we started doing six-month braces about five years ago, the number of smile makeovers that we’ve done with porcelain veneers has dropped dramatically. This is because we can create beautiful smiles much more conservatively with six-month braces than we can with veneers, simply because there is no drilling on the teeth. There are times however, when porcelain veneers are an excellent option. Caroline’s case is a perfect example of how the two can work together: we first used six-month braces to straighten her teeth, then whitened them. Finally, we used our CEREC CAD/CAM machine to make to 2 porcelain veneers right in our office, in a single appointment to complete the smile makeover by matching her peg lateral incisors to match the rest of her smile.
If you are interested in learning more about either porcelain veneers or 6MonthSmiles, please contact us at either 704-364-7069, or Request an Appointment Online.
A Full-Mouth Smile Reconstruction
Quite some time ago, I showed this case as an example of how badly teeth can be damaged by grinding them, whether at night, in the daytime, or both, and why something as simple and inexpensive as a nightguard (my recommendation is a NTI-tss). It is especially inexpensive in comparison to the cost of rebuilding a smile that is so broken down. This gentleman came to us in 2008, looking for options to feel good about his smile again for various reasons. After plenty of discussion, we agreed that the only option that would truly give him the smile that he wanted was a Total Smile Makeover/Reconstruction with porcelain crowns. After showing the Before-After pictures of his smile, I’ll discuss some of the issues you need to consider if you are thinking about significant cosmetic dentistry for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions about Smile Reconstruction
When rebuilding a smile such as this, it is crucial to establish a proper bite relationship of the top and bottom teeth. Sometimes this can take a little while to figure out, because – when the teeth are so worn, the patient has long since adapted to a very bad bite relationship. The muscles have to be relaxed, accurate records taken, and excellent communication is necessary among the patient, the doctor, and the lab, to ensure that the crowns are made to look good, feel good, and last a long time. However, in severe wear cases, we always remind the patient that s/he already did a pretty good job destroying their natural set of teeth, so a nightguard is an absolute requirement as “insurance” to protect their investment, and even then they are more likely to break or chip the porcelain than others who don’t have that history. Simply put, these cases are far more complicated and require a great deal of time to get right, so you need to be absolutely committed to proceeding and working closely with your dentist to get a good result.
How Much Does a Smile Reconstruction Cost?
It’s not unusual for a patient to ask why it costs so much to do a Smile Reconstruction like this; it often seems like there should be a “volume discount,” so-to-speak, when doing a lot of crowns instead of just 1 or 2. The difference between such scenarios is the amount of time involved, the skill, training and experience required to successfully diagnose, complete, and treat, and that your dentist will have to work with a highly knowledgeable lab to make the crowns to not just look good, but fit properly and work smoothly in eating motions. Your dentist will likely spend at least a couple hours just in the planning stages! It’s usually a case of “You get what you pay for.” IOW – if you want a cheap smile makeover, you should reasonably expect a cheap outcome. To get excellence……it won’t come cheap. Depending on various factors, a case such as this will be the equivalent of buying a fairly nice car. The main difference, of course, is that you should expect to be “driving” your smile for a lot longer than most people keep a car!
- How Long Will This Take to Finish?
When doing so many teeth, you need to plan on a minimum of several appointments that could take 1/2-day to a full day each, as well as several other appointments to refine, modify if needed, polish, etc. From beginning to end, if everything goes perfectly, you might be done in as little as 1 month. That would be somewhat rare; more likely, you should plan on the entire process taking at least 2 months, and maybe many more. Extremely complex cases that involve implants, different specialists, and very complicated lab work may take a year or more due to the time needed for healing, verifying each stage is correct, and even just the time needed for lab technicians to do the custom work.
- What kind of Crowns will/should you get?
Due to improving materials and with the right techniques, in most cases nowadays you can have all-porcelain crowns made to rebuild a smile. The crowns used in this case are made of E.max porcelain, which is extremely strong and resistant to breakage. Numerous studies now show that this type of porcelain will likely last for 15-20 years, and quite possibly longer. For certain cases, though, and for patients who are even worse grinders than this gentleman was, gold crowns might still be necessary for the back teeth, simply because they are the strongest, longest-lasting crowns available. They can also take more abuse than any other material. Porcelain-to-metal crowns are also an option and have a long track record, but it is very important for the lab to be highly skilled so that you don’t see dark grey lines at the gum from the metal showing through.
- How Do I Choose the Right Dentist?
This is one of the trickiest questions, because the public doesn’t usually know enough about the training necessary beyond dental school that trains dentists to handle complex full-mouth reconstructions with skill and confidence. But here’s my recommendation: ask to see pictures of their other cases that might be similar to yours. That’s one of the reasons digital photography is such an instrumental and daily part of our dental practice – you will be able to see similar cases and know how the outcome will be before ever committing. The large majority of dentists who are well-trained in these cases also use digital photography, both for communicating with you as well as for documenting and tracking their own work over time. If you meet a dentist who can show you pictures of cases that were completed 5-10 (or longer) years ago AND s/he has recent follow-up pictures to show how well it has held up, THEN you should feel very confident that your dentist can take good care of you.
And then start imagining how much better you’ll feel when you can smile like Wayne does now!
Please feel free to ask questions or post a comment below, or to share with your friends! If you’re interested in a Complimentary Consultation in our office, please call 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment Online.
One of my absolute favorite things to do, is to see patients for their Complimentary Portrait Session after they finish some type of cosmetic dentistry, whether it is Six-Month Braces, Porcelain Veneers, Teeth Whitening, or some combination of those. There is such a level of satisfaction when a patient LOVES to smile for pictures instead of hide their smiles because they’re embarrassed. Caroline is a perfect example of this; when she first came to see us, she was really unhappy with her crooked teeth. Given what an amazingly cheerful person she is, hiding her smile was not something she wanted, but — like so many others — she assumed that braces would take 2-3 years, and as an adult, she simply was not interested, but she also didn’t want to have her teeth ground down for porcelain veneers, nor did she want to spend that much. So, with a combination of Six-Month Braces, 2 Porcelain Veneers with our 1-Visit Crown system (CEREC), and Whitening Trays, we dramatically transformed her smile in about 10 months total. Just look at her smile now!
This is really what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about, really — it’s about helping you feel good and confident about yourself, about your smile. If you would like to smile with the confidence that Caroline now does, give us a call at 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment Online!
Linda came in to our office today with 1 serious issue: a broken porcelain dental veneer on her upper right lateral incisor (second from the middle). Naturally, since she’d been through the process of getting veneers done previously, she was expecting that she would leave with a temporary (aka provisional) veneer after we’d taken a mold of the tooth, and she’d have to come back in a few weeks to have the real one bonded in. However, she was pleasantly surprised by the end of her appointment today, because thanks to the CEREC AC Bluecam, we were able to make a brand-new porcelain veneer in just ONE visit! No second appointment to bond the veneer in, no temporary veneer, no tooth molds, no second time getting numb……..NONE of that! So judge for yourself…..how did we do?
If you are looking to transform or fix your smile, and convenience is important to you, then give us a call at 704-364-7069 or
Oh yeah…….almost forgot to mention, too….since Linda signed up with our Quality Dental Plan, she saved 20% on her work today!
News segment with Terrie Reeves & Dr. Payet on “Train for Life”, on TVNews 14 in Charlotte – coming soon!
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of recording a short interview with the Founder and President (and one of my patients) of the Wellness Coalition of America, Ms. Terrie Reeves, for her weekly segment on TVNews 14 (every Sunday) called “Train for Life.” Each week, Terrie interviews people in different areas of life, all of which are somehow related to our total health and well-being. My first interview was how dentists can be an important part of your health-care team, because many diseases can be diagnosed through various conditions that come up in the mouth – diabetes, leukemia, gum disease – especially this one, because it has been shown to be linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and more. You can see the video segment that was aired in late spring 2009 at this link: Dental Health and Total Body Health Links (please note that the video must be viewed on Internet Explorer or Safari, but does not play on Firefox – sorry!).
Well, today we’ll be recording 2 new segments to be aired this fall. The first will be on the NTI-tss, an FDA-approved and non-medication treatment for Chronic Migraine and Chronic Tension Headaches, and the second spot (won’t air until November) will cover the most effective and comfortable treatment for periodontal (gum) disease available: the LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) protocol, which can only be performed by a dentist licensed in the use of the Periolase MVP-7 free-running pulsed Nd:YAG dental laser.
I’ll be sure to post links to each of these as they become available! I must admit, it’s kind of fun to become a local expert on dentistry for the media. 🙂
Ok, then you’re in luck! Here is a video that will give you pretty good information about periodontal (gum) disease in general, as well as about conventional non-surgical and surgical treatment options, and then about LANAP (Laser-Assisted New Attachment Protocol).
Something very important to know: the Periolase MVP-7 dental laser, made by Millenium Dental Technologies, and for which the required training is provided by the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD), is the ONLY dental laser available that can be used with LANAP. DON’T BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THAT ANY OLD LASER CAN DO THIS! There are only 4 doctors in Charlotte, NC (as of today September 17th, 2009) who can offer this treatment to you, including me; make sure it’s the real deal. Dr. Robert Gregg and Dr. Delwin McCarthy, who founded Millenium Dental and developed the Periolase and LANAP, are passionate about protecting patients from harm by dentists who don’t have the right background or understanding of lasers, which is why they patented the protocol with the FDA. Only doctors who complete the initial 3 days of training receive a license and laser.