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  1. What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

    Preventative dentistry is crucial for the maintenance of our teeth. Because many of the cosmetic restorations are highly glazed porcelain, regular follow up is imperative to maintain their high luster.

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  2. What specific procedures are included under the cosmetic dentistry "umbrella"?

    The list, to be complete, must include not only restorative procedures, but periodontal and plastic surgical procedures. The list of restorative procedures is: porcelain veneers, crowns, inlays, onlays, composite restoration, and bonding. The list of periodontal and plastic surgical procedures is: esthetic recontouring, ridge augmentation, gum leveling surgery, implant surgery, and other advanced periodontal procedures.

  3. What part does prevention play in cosmetic dentistry?

    Preventative dentistry is crucial for the maintenance of our teeth. Because many of the cosmetic restorations are highly glazed porcelain, regular follow up is imperative to maintain their high luster.

  4. Is there any advantage to using an accredited dentist in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry?

    An accredited dentist has presented 5 specific but different cosmetic cases to their peers and have been found to demonstrate a higher level of dental excellence in cosmetic dentistry. They have earned their distinction not by passing an exam or attending a course but by presenting close-up photos of individual cases that have been closely scrutinized by their colleagues.

  5. Are cosmetic procedures covered by my insurance?

    Every situation is different and only after the initial visit can our office manager determine what may or may not be covered by insurance. You may be surprised what we can get coverage for.

  6. Is cosmetic dentistry new and recognized as a dental specialty by the ADA?

    Cosmetic dentistry has evolved over the past 15-20 years. It is not recognized as a specialty by ADA but several organizations, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (AAED), have been formed to education and disseminate knowledge within the dental community. The AACD has an accreditation process which distinguishes those individuals with advanced skills.

  7. Are composites (white restorations) a viable alternative to amalgam fillings?

    Composites if placed with exacting technique (rubber dam isolation and modem bonding agents) get as close as we have ever been able to restore the tooth to its original strength in the most conservative fashion. The composites are a very hard "plastic" that bonds (micromechanically fuse) to the tooth to hold the tooth together. Amalgams have multiple disadvantages. Amalgam is a metal which expands and contracts with hot, cold and biting. Therefore, with every metal the teeth are being weakened and over time and depending on the size of the filing the tooth becomes susceptible to fracturing. Amalgam also contains mercury which is a very toxic element. The literature is very unclear as to the amount of mercury that is released from amalgams and the long term effects on the entire body.

  8. What are porcelain veneers?

    The best analogy is fake finger nails. Veneers are very thin, form-fitted pieces of porcelain that are cemented to your teeth. They are very fracture and stain resistant. They are the most conservative alternative in esthetic enhancement procedures. They solve many cosmetic concerns such as chipped, gapped, stained, and mis-aligned teeth. Veneers should be considered first, prior to any crowning procedure.

  9. With porcelain veneers, is bonding worth doing?

    Bonding is the application of a composite (hard plastic) to your teeth to correct any of the conditions that veneers might also be used for. If they are very minor corrections the bonding might be more indicated. But, because it is a plastic, it will chip and stain, etc. It is a viable alternative that should discuss with your dentist.

  10. Does bleaching really work?

    Today, bleaching is very predictable and safe. It can be done in the dentist office or at home. No matter what method you choose, touch-up is needed. Generally, your teeth can be lighted one shade even if you have tetracycline staining. A color chart or photographs should be used to confirm the results. The over the counter systems can work, but because they do not use the custom trays, the gel does not uniformly touch the teeth and are therefore usually slower and very unpredictable.

  11. With cosmetic procedures how white do you want your teeth?

    In adolescence, we generally have a white, bright smile but over the years our teeth pick up stain and become discolored. When undergoing cosmetic procedures the question then is how pearly white do we want to make your teeth. Truly white, white teeth on older individuals is a true sign they have undergone some type of cosmetic dentistry. In our office we strive to give your smile a sense of realism, we call it perfect imperfections. You will attain a beautiful esthetic outcome but there will still be a sense of realism.

  12. Is there such a thing as painless dentistry?

    In our office, this is our goal with every patient and every visit. To minimize the discomfort with injections we shake the cheek and use a warm anesthetic. Pharmacologically, with the use of a combination of local anesthesia, we can attain incredibly profound local anesthesia. For the slightly more apprehensive patient, our office offers N2O (laughing gas) or I.V. sedation- a light form of twilight sleep. For the extremely phobic patient, Dr. LeSage has hospital privileges at UCLA Medical Center and your dentistry can be done in the operating room.

  13. Are the newer toothbrushes a replacement for flossing?

    The newer toothbrushes such as Sonicare, Rotadent, Braun are all probably more effective in removing plaque then a manual toothbrush. They are still not a substitute for flossing which eliminated the plaque from the surfaces between the teeth.

Cosmo
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