Category Archives: Smile Makeovers

The ABCs of Dental Emergencies | Dallas Dentist

jaw pain-tmj

We all should visit the dentist twice a year, but there are often times your teeth don’t want to wait that long. These are what we call dental emergencies. Some require immediate treatment – others can wait for a scheduled appointment. Here’s some guidelines to help you know the difference:

If a tooth is knocked out completely, immediate care is required to save it. It’s possible that the tooth can be re-implanted if you get to the dentist within an hour or so. Rinse the tooth with water, and don’t touch the root.

If you chip or break a tooth, call your dentist – they’ll likely ask you to visit the office in the coming days for inspection. It’s difficult to know the extent of the damage without x-rays and proper checkup, so even if you feel it’s minor, be sure to call your dentist for advice.

If the tooth is pushed inward or outward, GENTLY try to straighten it but do not try to force it into its socket, and call your dentist. If possible, stabilize the tooth with gauze or tissue on your way to the dentist.

If you’re experiencing a severe toothache, brush your teeth, and then rinse with warm salt water. If you’re experiencing swelling, you may have relief with a cold compress, and a pain reliever. It’s likely not an emergency, but you should have the tooth checked as soon as possible.

We can’t always avoid physical injury, but your dentist can help treat injuries as they happen. Try to stay calm, call the dentist – they’ll provide the best possible care.

To learn more about dental emergencies, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Dental Veneers: What You Need to Know | Dallas Dentist

cerec same day crowns dallas txPorcelain veneers are essentially thin, porcelain-composite material shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. Porcelain is great option because it looks more like your natural teeth than any other option. Here is a small account of the numerous benefits to porcelain veneers:

  • Durable material
  • Mimics tooth enamel
  • Does not decay
  • Does not stain or yellow
  • Custom made for you
  • Veneer options

The professional staff here at Dallas Cosmetic Dental ensures the quality of practice and patient satisfaction by being up-to-date on the latest cosmetic dental technology has to offer. They maintain up-to-date training and employ the latest methods, materials and procedures. We offer a range of veneers, from MAC Veneers to Porcelain. MAC Veneers are made by MicroDental Labs, which are the world’s largest and advanced cosmetic dental lab. MAC Veneers are twice as strong as other veneers and can last a lifetime.

In the initial consultation, you will discuss the problem you have with your smile, your goals and the various veneer options available to ensure that porcelain veneers are right for you.

During the second visit, you will begin the preparation process, which involves the removal of a small portion of tooth enamel imperative to securing the veneer. The goal is to have the veneers appear seamlessly and look as natural as possible.

After preparation, a mold will be taken of your teeth and sent to a lab that will, with specific instruction and knowledge of your needs, create the veneer. The time between molding your bite and receiving the completed veneer will take time, so you will be provided with a temporary set.

Once the veneers come back from the lab, the last step in the process is the final fitting. The veneers will be bonded to the teeth using a special hardening composite glue-like material to ensure stability of the veneer against your teeth. Once hardened with a special LED light, you are sent on your way with a gorgeous, natural-looking smile.

To learn more about veneers, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Why Are Straight Teeth Important? | Dallas Dentist

porcelain veneersNature doesn’t always provide straight teeth but there’s ample evidence that having straight teeth delivers extra benefits to your health and well being. Whether you’re born with straight teeth, or straighten them with orthodontics, read on for reasons why this is a smart idea and a great health investment.

Straight teeth provide the correct foundation for chewing.  When your bite doesn’t align properly, it can cause pain along with dental problems. To check your bite in a mirror, expose your teeth, bite normally, and observe whether the uppers and lowers align normally. Each tooth should more or less line up with its twin. Misaligned teeth (crooked or crowded teeth) can cause issues from chronic jaw or tooth pain to excessive wear on tooth enamel.  A poor bite increases stress on teeth and contributes to a shortened “life span” where teeth begin to crack and develop other signs of fatigue.  If you want your teeth to last a lifetime (and who doesn’t?) a healthy bite is the best way to ensure this.

Cleaning straight teeth is much easier than cleaning crooked teeth, which offer a multitude of hard-to-get-to hiding places for plaque and tiny bits of food.  Not cleaning these hiding spots properly will first lead to excessive cavities. The next stage may be gingivitis, or an inflammation between the teeth and gums.  Today science links chronic inflammation with a variety of health disorders including heart disease and cancer, so dealing with ANY inflammation when it appears is essential. If you don’t deal with it, an ongoing toxic mix of bacteria and inflammation can then progress to periodontitis, a very serious disease which causes tooth loss. In worst case scenarios, periodontitis may even contribute to heart attacks and strokes.

On a practical level, any toothbrush has an easier time brushing a nice straight tooth surface. The more contact your toothbrush makes with the entirety of the tooth face, the cleaner your teeth. Flossing straight teeth is simpler too. Crowded teeth often require hand acrobatics to get the floss between teeth, and even then, with some teeth, it’s impossible.

In our culture, we associate straight teeth with beauty, vitality, health and even status. Being born with perfectly straight teeth is actually rare. It’s typically achieved through orthodontic treatment. So people who have straight teeth are often assumed to be more wealthy and successful than their peers with crooked teeth.  For many parents, the ability to provide orthodontic treatment for their kids has a strong emotional component, because they want their children to have every advantage.  And straight teeth and a great smile do provide a self-confidence boost in social settings.

Curious about whether your teeth could benefit from straightening?  Set up an appointment for a consultation. Today advanced technology like Invisalign means straight teeth can be achieved in a fraction of the time it used to take. And even better, the invisible aligners ensure no one will even realize you’re doing it.

If you think that you may be ready for a more perfect smile, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS to schedule a consult today. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more about veneers.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Can a Great Smile Change Your Life? | Dallas Dentist

When you don’t have the perfect smile, it is tough to be in certain situations. A smile is the first thing someone notices about you. If yours is flawed, it feels like you are perceived differently by others. But it’s difficult not to think, can having a better smile change my life?

In our western culture, it is common to see kids with braces, adults whitening their teeth (the most practiced cosmetic dental procedure), veneer procedures increasing in number etc. Why is that? Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you.

Humans unconsciously judge one another within the first eight seconds of meeting. A poor smile can hold you back from so many opportunities such as:

  • Employment
  • Promotion
  • Self confidence
  • Relationships

Our society places such high regard on one’s physical appearance, that a great smile is almost mandatory. So, now the question becomes, how can I improve my smile to improve my life?

Veneers are a simple and effective way to improve your smile and a number of dental issues. Veneers are basically a custom perfect smile shell that gives you the glamorously straight, white smile you have always wanted. Patients rave that after they make the switch to veneers, they experience a confidence boost and their professional and personal lives are enhanced!

But what exactly entails having to keep veneers up? Does it take a lot of effort to keep them looking fantastic? Firstly, it all comes down to the basics. Brushing and flossing daily is not only good for your veneers, but will also help to prevent future veneers. Use a nonabrasive toothpaste containing fluoride to ensure that that it won’t scratch your veneers, leaving them prone to issues like periodontitis, which can cause your gums to recede. Because your veneers are placed right at the gum line, if your gums do happen to recede, the appearance of your veneers could be compromised.

If staining is one of your main issues, staying clear from beverages like coffee, wine and tea is a great idea to keep your new teeth pearly white. Porcelain is very resistant to staining by nature, but the cement used to affix the veneers is prone to staining over time.

Chipped teeth are generally caused by accidental incidents, but can also be caused by biting your fingernails or munching on things like hard candy or ice. While it seems like a harmless act, using your teeth to do things like this can break or dislodge your teeth, but can also do the same to your veneer. Stay away from using your teeth as a chisel. While they are always handy, being in your mouth, it isn’t good for your teeth. Similarly, if you are known to clench or grind your teeth, like while you sleep, this is also a bad habit that is really doing damage to your teeth. Talk to your dentist. They can create a night guard that will prevent your teeth from wearing down and your veneers from accidentally chipping.

So, if you would like to literally change your life and get the smile of your dreams, then contact your dentist today to see if veneers are right for you!

If you think that you may be ready for a more perfect smile, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS to schedule a consult today. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more about veneers.

 

Are Porcelain Veneers Right for You?

Head shot of smiling man with beautiful white teeth used to illustrate the benefits of porcelain veneers.If your teeth are less than perfect aesthetically, porcelain veneers may be the ideal dental solution for you. Porcelain veneers are used to correct aesthetic issues such as gaps between teeth; broken, chipped or cracked teeth; unsightly stained or yellowed teeth; and misshapen or crooked teeth.

What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic material that are approximately .3mm to 0.5mm thick but are very strong once bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth. Porcelain is an extremely durable material that possesses properties similar to natural tooth enamel. For instance, porcelain is similar to enamel in color, translucence and texture. However, unlike natural teeth, porcelain does not decay, stain or yellow over the years like natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are wonderful cosmetic dentistry option because they are custom made and colored to create the perfect smile for you.

What kind of Veneers do you use?
As a cosmetic dentist that is also a family dentist, trained in periodontal and orthodontic treatment, I believe in offering the best and most complete dental care available anywhere, period. This means I maintain up-to-date training and use the latest methods and procedures and the best materials. We use MAC Veneers made by MicroDental Laboratories, the world’s largest and most advanced cosmetic dental laboratory, which holds over 30 patents and has been setting quality standards for several decades. Importantly, MAC veneers are twice as strong as other veneers, and can last a lifetime.

The Porcelain Veneer Procedure
Porcelain veneers require several visits in just a few short weeks. Your first visit will be a consultation with me to go over your smile issues, discuss the results you would like to see, to talk about the porcelain veneer procedure and determine whether porcelain veneers are right for you.

In the second appointment, your teeth will be prepared for the porcelain veneers. This involves removing a very small amount of enamel from the front sides of the teeth in order to receive the porcelain veneers. This is done to make sure the porcelain veneers fit seamlessly on your teeth and that they look completely natural. After your teeth have been prepared, a mold of your teeth is taken and sent to our dental lab with specific instructions on creating your veneers. You will also be fitted with temporary porcelain veneers for you to wear while your custom-made veneers are being created.

On your final appointment, your permanent porcelain veneers will be placed and permanently bonded to the front sides of your teeth.

Caring for your Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers require the same care that natural teeth do; daily brushing and flossing. You should come in for a check-up and professional cleaning every six months, just as you normally would. With good care, your porcelain veneers will look good for many years to come.

 

“Teeth in a Day” or the “All-on-4” Implant System

Photo of senior woman who has excellent teeth smiling to illustrate the benefits of the "all on 4" or "teeth in a day" dental procedure offered by Dallas dentist Gary Alhadef.According to the Center for Disease Control, one-fourth of U.S. adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth, primarily due to gum disease and tooth decay. For adults 20 to 64, just under 4 percent* of the population suffers from this devastating condition. Luckily, for patients who are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth there are several treatment options available. Most people are familiar with traditional, removable dentures and their disadvantages, related to both aesthetics and function, the most important being that denture wearers experience progressive loss of chewing ability; this is because there is progressive bone and gum loss that occurs when teeth are removed from your jaw. Dental implants help prevent this progressive bone and gum loss and therefore, health and appearance-wise, offer the most optimal benefits.

A dental implant typically consists of a titanium screw (resembling a tooth root) that supports restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth. “Teeth in a Day” or “All-on-4” is a system for implanting teeth that is a treatment option for patients who are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth, and who have adequate bone conditions to support an arch of teeth with only four implants (rather than the usual six to ten). In most cases there is no bone grafting, no sinus grafting or lift, no incision or sutures and no healing time required. The operation is carried out under local anesthesia and is pain-free. Simply put, this technique is the least invasive protocol available for patients with severely compromised teeth and it produces the best long-term results.

Instead of waiting three or four months for your dentures to merge with the bone and your mouth, the All-on-4 solution usually allows teeth to be installed the day you have your surgery. Over time, the implant will fuse with the natural bone, giving your replacement teeth maximum stability. . The All-on-4 system not only gives you a beautiful smile, it lets you eat and function the same as if you had natural teeth. You can eat sticky and hard foods (normally challenging to denture wearers). And since your new teeth are securely anchored to dental implants, they don’t rub against your gums and can be cleaned just like natural teeth.

With All-on-4, before long, you’ll forget you have new teeth, and your dental care will be the same as it was when you had your original, healthy teeth with regular brushing and flossing and bi-annual dental visits for cleaning.

 
*The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

 

 

How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist in Dallas

picture of teeth before and after cosmetic dental treatment
via Wikimedia Commons

Choosing the right aesthetic dentist to improve your smile cosmetically is a lot like choosing the right dentist in general.  Cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry is an additional specialty that dentists acquire with advanced training. They are already skilled at providing medical dental care, the foundation for a great smile. Their additional cosmetic skills allow aesthetic dentists to offer patients who don’t like their smile complete care. The goal of cosmetic services is to correct problems with the smile and improve patients’ well-being and confidence.

To choose a cosmetic dentist, follow these tips:

  1. Choose an established practice with many before-and-after cosmetic procedure photographs that you can view.  Look at pictures that show the procedure you’re interested in, and evaluate the results.
  2. Choose an office where you feel comfortable with the staff and the amount of time they spend with you. For example, during your consultation, did your prospective dentist outline a variety of options for you?
  3. Choose a dentist who uses the latest technologies in both his general practice and his aesthetic practice. Does the dentist use intraoral imaging, lasers, or other state of the art techniques like CEREC restorations?
  4. Look at reviews, testimonials and word of mouth online.  Read the articles on the website – are they helpful or just about getting you to make an appointment?
  5. Choose a dentist who belongs to professional organizations in aesthetic dentistry. One of the top groups is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry which has stringent standards for training and membership. Dr. Alhadef is a member of the AACD.

Learn more about our practice’s Smile Makeovers and how just a few visits can give you that Hollywood smile!  You can also read about cosmetic dentistry via Wikipedia to learn about top cosmetic dental procedures.

How to Know if You Need Cosmetic Dentistry

Common cosmetic dental problems

You might be a candidate for cosmetic or aesthetic dental work if you find yourself focusing on other people’s great white smiles. You think how great it would be if your teeth looked that way. Maybe you tend to cover your mouth with your hand when you smile. Or fix your mouth in a certain position so that you conceal flaws. These are signs that you’re not confident in your smile. You should be! It’s one of the first things people see when they meet you and first impressions count for a lot.

You’re a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry if you find yourself bothered by any of these issues:

  • Missing teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Decayed or discolored teeth
  • Ragged edge teeth or pointy teeth
  • Uneven sized teeth
  • Excess gum when smiling
  • Speech problems due to missing teeth

The most common procedures used to treat these cosmetic dental issues are Invisalign clear braces, crowns, veneers and teeth whitening.

The Invisalign system straightens teeth just like metal braces, but uses pop-in, clear trays that gently guide teeth into the right position.

Crowns are used to repair existing teeth by attaching a porcelain overlay. This tooth-shaped restoration is strong, stops further decay and can make a big difference in your life by allowing you to chew easily. Crowns look great and are undetectable from normal teeth.

Veneers are often used to conceal damage and give a regular appearance to not so perfect teeth. These thin porcelain sheaths slip over the tooth in front and can be made in any color or shape.

Whitening is so important for a great smile. Dr. Alhadef offers Zoom whitening in the office, which will brighten your smile in a single visit. Or you can use at home trays which are custom designed and feature much faster results than commercially available whitening systems. You keep your trays and can touch up whenever you want.

The most important thing to consider is how your smile and your feelings about it might be interfering with your life. If your smile makes you self-conscious, if you dread pictures, or have changed your natural smile to one that conceals problems, then you should consider the wonder of aesthetic dentistry. Millions of people have found that fixing their smile gives them new confidence and vibrancy.

If you think you’re a candidate for cosmetic dentistry, give us a call. We’ll set up a personalized consultation that will show you all the techniques which can be used in your particular case to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Invisalign Benefits For Teens and Adults over Braces

Clear braces fit over teeth
Image via Invisalign.com

No matter your age, most people find the idea of metal braces unappealing.  Teens especially, so sensitive to fitting in, tend to worry about the social costs of “metal mouth.”  Most adults considering braces think about how braces will look to their employers, co-workers, clients, and romantic partners.

Even though traditional braces promise beautiful straight teeth, the typical term (36 months) seems like a lifetime. But there’s another, better option. An orthodontic device called Invisalign works faster than regular metal braces, is nearly invisible to the eye and you can eat and drink whatever you want. Best of all, the cost is comparable to traditional orthodontics.  Really.

The Invisalign system uses a system of comfortable plastic aligners that are custom molded for your teeth.  These plastic trays fit over your teeth and are clear, so no one knows you’re wearing them. Every two weeks or so, you change to the next set of trays in a series designed exactly for you by your dentist. domain dns . Each tray steadily moves your teeth into an ideal position. There are no wires, no tightening, and no pain.

A 2008 study in Aesthetic Dentistry Today found that the average treatment time for traditional braces was 35.9 months and as long as 96 months. Invisalign was found to produce its results within 12-18 months.  Not only was it faster, but Invisalign patients got to enjoy candy, pizza, bagels, breads and many other foods that are banned with traditional metal braces. Hot and cold drinks can also cause problems with metal and have to be avoided. Because you can take Invisalign out at any time, nothing is off the list.

Here’s a look at the benefits of Invisalign over traditional braces.

 

Invisalign                                             Braces

Can be taken out any time                Are hard wired to your teeth and required painful tightening

Works in 12-18 months                     Typical treatment is 36+ months

Invisible to others                               Obvious metal mouth

Eatanything                                          Must eat from list of approved food/drinks

Average cost $5000                            Average cost $5000

No gum side effects                             Can irritate gums and teeth roots

Very comfortable to wear                   Can be painful

Must wear 20-22 hours a day            Worn 24 hours a day

 

Want to find out more about Invisalign? Or have you had Invisalign with us and love it? Let us know.

 

 

Considering a Chin Implant? Consult with a Cosmetic Dentist First

Photo of patient smiling after corrective cosmetic dental surgery to repair a severe bite problem or severe malocclusion.
After

I was listening to the news the other day and heard a report that according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chin implants are the fastest-growing plastic surgery trend among men and women nationwide, with a reported whopping 71% increase between 2010 and 2011.  Presumably because more people are seeing themselves webcams and don’t like what they see.

As a cosmetic dentist that provides orthodontic treatment, this caught my attention because it seems like an extreme –and in some cases a possibly misguided – fix that might be better addressed by first exploring whether or not repositioning one’s bite could achieve the same esthetic effect and improve a person’s dental health at the same time.

Why is it important to correct a bad bite? Severe malocclusion (bad bite) can cause many functional problems including inability to chew food properly (which compromises digestion); speech problems; facial dysfunction characterized by headaches, joint pain, and periodontal trauma.  It can even in some cases be part of treatment to help alleviate sleep apnea.  Treating moderate or severe malocclusion can make teeth easier to clean (and thereby decrease the risk of tooth decay and periodontal diseases). Treatment can also reduce or eliminate strain on the teeth, jaws, and muscles, which lessens the risk of breaking a tooth and may help reduce symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). In addition, having a beautiful smile can help one’s self-confidence.

Very few people have perfect teeth alignment.  According to a study done by the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, only 35% of the US population have well-aligned front teeth and about 20% of the population have significant deviations from “the ideal bite relationship.”  I can’t help but wonder how many of those seeking chin implants should really be consulting with a good cosmetic dentist first to see if there is a better solution to their esthetic concerns than plastic surgery that might also help improve their dental health as well.

Photo of patient's teeth with severe malocclusion or a bad bite prior to dental correction
Before
Patient's bite after being corrected for severe malocclusion (bad bite).
After