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At the office of Timothy P. Sulken, D.D.S., we offer a number of cosmetic solutions depending on your situation.

The best course of action is to simply tell Dr. Sulken what you’d like your smile to be like, and you’ll be advised of the best treatment to achieve those goals.

Here’s a little of what we do:

What are tooth veneers?

Often an alternative to crowns, veneers are very thin pieces of specially-shaped porcelain or plastic that are glued over the front of your teeth with little or no anesthesia needed. They are the cure for teeth that are severely discolored, are chipped, are misshapen or crooked, have small holes or pits, or have unwanted or uneven spaces that require correction. Unlike crowns, veneers won’t require Timothy P. Sulken, D.D.S. to remove much of the tooth itself in most cases. Veneers are created from an impression taken in our office. Your custom veneer is then cemented directly onto your tooth. Veneers won’t stain, making veneers a very popular solution for many people seeking that perfect smile. Veneers are strong and very durable

How are tooth veneers attached to your tooth?

Teeth are prepared for veneers by lightly buffing to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Veneers are thin like contact lenses, and will usually only need tooth reduction of 0.5mm to 1.0mm. If a drastic change is being made for the result you want, reduction may be 1.0mm to 2.0mm. A mold is taken of the teeth, from which the veneers are modeled after. Temporary veneers will be placed and worn until your permanent veneers are ready.

Dr. Sulken places the veneers with water or glycerin on the teeth to verify their perfect fit and the shade or color, as the color cannot be changed after the veneers are adhered to your teeth. The tooth is then cleansed with chemicals to achieve a durable bond. Once the cement is between the veneer and your tooth, a light beam is used to harden the glue/cement.

The procedure for Lumineers is different than the above traditional porcelain veneers. Still two visits, but there is little to no preparation of the tooth and no need for temporary veneers.

What is teeth whitening?

Whitening of the teeth is performed for patients who desire a brighter smile. Tooth whitening can be performed to reduce discoloration and staining, or simply to provide the patient with whiter, brighter teeth.

How white can your teeth become?

How white your teeth can become from bleaching and whitening is a common question with a very subjective answer. Some whitening procedures claim they can whiten your teeth by up to nine shades, but that is highly unlikely. Just a change of two or three shades will make a significant difference in just about anyone’s smile.

Not all of your teeth are the same natural color. Usually your eye teeth tend to be darker than the others, your front teeth are typically the whitest, and molars tend to be a shade between the two. The goal for everyone is to achieve their individual optimum whiteness while still looking natural. During your first consultation for tooth whitening, your dentist will go over what you personally can expect for your specific smile. How white teeth will become from a given procedure will vary from person to person. The structure of your teeth and the type of procedure implemented will affect the outcome.

What causes discoloration of the teeth?

Teeth enamel discoloration can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Some of the more common causes of teeth discoloration are medications, coffee, tea or cigarettes. People who drink significant amounts of cola soft drinks can experience similar staining.

Aside from staining, there are other factors that can affect the color of an individual’s teeth. Genetics can play a role. Some people have naturally brighter enamel than others. Disease can also be a factor and certain medications can cause a discoloration of the teeth. If you suspect that there is an underlying medical cause for your teeth discoloration, be sure to inform your cosmetic dentist.

How’s it done?

A custom fitted tray is worn over your teeth. A small amount of the bleaching gel is placed in the tray and worn for approximately 2 hours each day. This is the most common technique because it’s easy to use and costs less. Impressions are taken of your mouth and a thin custom made plastic tray is made which you take home and wear for about one to two hours per day. While some results may be seen in a couple days, it usually takes two to three weeks to see the full whitening of your teeth. This procedure is sometimes used in conjunction with the in-office laser bleaching if you have severe discoloration (dark grey or purple) or internal teeth staining.

Will it be uncomfortable?

The majority of our patients experience no pain or sensitivity after treatment. A very small percentage of patients may experience a minor dull “ache” following use of the trays. Taking an over-the-counter analgesic like Tylenol™ or aspirin almost always resolves the feeling. In moderate cases, a clear dentist dispensed Fluoride rinse my help as well. It is best to avoid very hot or very cold drinks for the first 24 hours if there is any tooth sensitivity.

Is it safe?

Yes. Our procedure will not soften enamel or existing fillings. The primary ingredient in our is hydrogen peroxide, which has been safely used in teeth whitening for over 100 years and is recognized as an effective whitening ingredient by the dental community. The percentage of hydrogen peroxide used in Nite White proprietary gel is only 16%, much lower than other whitening gels that often contain 35%-50% hydrogen peroxide Before moving forward with the procedure, your dentist examines your mouth and gums to ensure they are healthy. If any potential problems are detected, a recommendation is made to correct the problems before proceeding with our whitening process.

At home or in-office tray systems for whitening teeth with carbamide peroxide under the supervision of a dentist has been shown to safe for teeth and gums. Some patients have experienced increased tooth sensitivity and some temporary discomfort of their gums. These symptoms tend to disappear within 1-3 days after stopping the process. Usually after the sensitivity disappears the whitening process can be started again and usually the sensitivity does not return. In any case, any reaction should be reported immediately to your dentist or hygienist for their special instructions. Over-the-counter quick bleaching kits may cause problems that you may be unaware of such as irritation of the gums and surrounding soft tissue. Over zealous use of over-the-counter home bleaching can wear away tooth enamel, especially due to the fact that these solutions have a very high acid content. We can’t over emphasize that these types of procedures are best controlled at your dentist’s office. Your progress will be monitored carefully which will certainly reduce most secondary effects. Only a dentist can make your teeth their whitest.

Thinking about having it done?

Whitening should be done prior to the placement of composites, bonding, veneers, and crowns in order to achieve a close match of your new tooth color. If you have tooth-colored filling materials on your front teeth, the fillings will stay the same color – dental restorations do not change color when tooth whitener is applied. New cosmetic procedures such as bonding or crowns should be delayed a minimum of two weeks after the whitening procedure, so that the new tooth shade can stabilize itself.

Additional precautions & safety information:

Again, you may experience sensitivity form the use of carbamide peroxide-based tooth whitening systems (which are prevalent in home tray systems) and this should be reported to your dental office as soon as possible. As of this time, these products are not recommended for patients that are pregnant or lactating. Patients with moderate to severe periodontal disease, patients with marked gingival recession, and patients that have defective dental restorations should consult with their dentist prior to using a tooth whitening system. Patients that are allergic to hydrogen peroxide should refrain from this process. Heavy smokers should be aware that results would be limited unless they are willing to refrain from tobacco during the process.

What are dental crowns?

When the entire surface of the tooth is a problem, but the root system is intact, a crown might be the solution.

Many things can wear down, crack or break your teeth like grinding your teeth, an improper bite, age, fillings and tooth decay. A dental crown covers the whole surface of the affected tooth to add strength, stability and durability and they are made to match your mouth, tooth color, and bite.

Who is a candidate for cosmetic crowns?

In some instances, crowns are used to replace a actual missing tooth. These crowns are anchored to the teeth on either side, with a bridge section connecting the two crowns. Instead of bridges, single tooth dental implants may be used that eliminate the need for supporting the crowns.

Learn how are Tooth Crowns Attached to your Tooth

What are dentures/partials?

Dentures and partials are removable dental appliances that replace missing teeth and restore your smile.  If you have lost all, or some, of your teeth from disease, decay, or trauma you could be a candidate for dentures, partials, or another replacement. Dentures and partials make it easier for you to both speak and eat, along with improving the appearance of your smile.

What is the difference between a denture and a partial? Dentures replace all of your teeth, whereas a partial replaces a space that is created by a missing tooth. A partial is similar to a bridge and prevents your other teeth from shifting or changing position.

A denture can either be conventional or immediate. A conventional denture is placed in the mouth some time after the teeth have been removed, usually about one month.  By waiting a month it allows for proper healing to occur in the patient’s mouth. An immediate denture occurs the same day that a patients teeth are removed.  If you opt for an immediate denture you may need to have the denture relined after the jaw has healed.

For orthodontic treatment, our practice offers Invisalign clear aligner trays. These differ from traditional braces in that they don’t use the typical wires and metal brackets, instead, relying on clear aligner trays that are nearly invisible when worn. Additionally, unlike traditional braces, Invisalign trays can be taken out when you eat or brush and floss.

What does Invisalign treat?

Invisalign can offer orthodontic treatment for problems that include:

Crowded teeth

When teeth are too close together to properly fit, resulting in overlapping and twisting of teeth.

Wide spaces between teeth

Gaps between teeth can be the result of a missing tooth, or if the teeth have grown in abnormally, leaving too much space between teeth.

Overbite or Crossbite

Overbite is when the upper jaw overlays the lower jaw too much, resulting in bite issues. Crossbite is when your upper teeth rest inside of your lower teeth, rather than outside as they normally would.

Relapse after traditional orthodontics

You have had traditional braces in the past, but your teeth have shifted out of alignment again.

In all of these cases, Invisalign can be used to bring your teeth into proper alignment, not only resulting in an aesthetically more pleasing smile, but reducing the issues that can be caused by malocclusion—or, improper bite.

What does getting Invisalign involve?

The Invisalign process involves creating a computer model of your teeth. A dental impression along with photos will be used to create this model and figure out how your teeth will be moved incrementally through each set of trays.

Once your trays are ready, you will be provided with one or two sets each time you come to our practice for a visit. Dr. Sulken or Dr. Kinn will want to keep an eye on your progress about every four to six weeks, at which point you will be supplied with the next set of trays.

Each tray will shift the position of the teeth about .25mm to .33mm. A typical treatment will take less than a year, using around fifteen to twenty trays.

The aligners may be removed for meals and in order to brush and floss. However, they need to be worn for 20 hours per day, minimum. This means that successful treatment relies on the patient to follow the dentist’s instructions and wear the aligner trays as required.

Do you want to straighten your teeth? Call our office to find out if Invisalign is right for you!

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