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Cosmetic Dentistry

Sparkling Water: Friend or Foe?

It seems flavored sparkling water varieties are becoming more and more popular. We like them because many are touted as having zero calories, zero sugar, and many with no artificial flavoring—yet, they taste great! The best part: the bubbles! We love the fizz, even more when served ice cold.

While flavored sparkling water may sound like a drink made in heaven, there is one major potential drawback: Any kind of sparkling water, flavored or not, can wreak havoc on your smile!

Why? Well the answer is simple. We all know soda is acidic. This acidity comes from carbonic acid, which is an unavoidable byproduct of the carbon dioxide used to give soda its carbonation. This process is no different for sparkling water.

But do not despair, here are some tips on how you can enjoy your bubbly H2O and still keep your teeth.

  1. Drink it, don’t sip it. For 30 minutes since taking your last drink, your mouth remains acidic and precious enamel is breaking down. So, if you take small sips from even a single can, your oral environment could remain acidic all day.
  2. Chase it with regular water after you are done.
  3. Avoid the common habit of “swishing” your carbonated drinks. Some people like the way the bubbles feel, but trust me, your teeth do not like it one bit.
  4. Do not brush your teeth within 30 minutes of drinking a carbonated beverage. Recall from above: acidic environment. I once used a brush and acid to remove a rust stain in my driveway. Let’s not brush our teeth with acid.
  5. Consider watering-down your sparkling water with 1 part regular water, 2 parts sparkling water. You may be surprised to see, it still bubbles and has great flavor, but with reduced acidity.
  6. As always, we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste and regular visits to your dentist.

Dr. Brandon Ryff

How Long Will My Teeth Whitening Results Last?

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Following an Opalescence® Boost teeth whitening treatment offered here at Scottsdale Smile Center, results typically last anywhere from six months to one year, depending on one’s personal habits and commitment to proper oral hygiene. People who drink lots of tea, coffee, red wine, and other high-staining beverages may start to see yellowing and/or other tooth discolorations quicker than those who don’t drink these types of liquids on a regular basis. The same can be said for individuals whose diet consists of high-staining foods like blackberries and blueberries, as well as for those who smoke and/or use tobacco quite frequently. As a result, it is vital to not only pay close attention to what you eat and drink, but also to make sure you are brushing and flossing as recommended by your dentist to combat the appearance of staining and help prolong the results of your whitening treatment.

An additional piece of advice for increasing the longevity of your whitening results is to perform ongoing maintenance and periodic touch-up care. To assist with this, our dentists – Dr. Don Chiappetti and Dr. Jonathan Coombs – offer an at-home teeth whitening treatment that allows you to brighten your smile at your own convenience. This effective technique consists of a specialized whitening gel and fitted trays that can be worn at night until you achieve your desired shade of white.

Ultimately, the effects of teeth whitening will be unique to every individual, but the best tips for maintaining your preferred shade for as long as possible include being mindful of what food and drinks you consume, staying committed to proper oral care, and talking to your dentist about any at-home touch-up treatments that can be employed later down the road.

Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

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With the wide variety of teeth whitening products available today, deciding whether to go with an over-the-counter technique or visit the dentist for professional treatment can be a tough choice to make. Though both options have shown to reduce stains and brighten teeth for many people, a few dissimilarities exist between over-the-counter and professional-grade teeth whitening that may shed some light on which approach could help you best achieve the vibrant smile you desire.

According to our dentists – Dr. Jonathan Coombs and Dr. Don Chiappetti – teeth whitening treatments performed in-office by a qualified dental professional often have the following advantages over store-bought methods:

  • A more powerful bleaching formula for quicker, often brighter results
  • Treatment can be customized based on the individual’s unique needs and desires
  • A more controlled application process that can help minimize gum irritation
  • Expert care of a skilled dentist and his/her staff, which can help improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment

In the end, this is not to say over-the-counter whitening products cannot help someone brighten the shade of their teeth – many women and men have attained excellent results with these methods. However, to help make certain an optimal color and overall whitening outcome is achieved in the safest, most effective manner possible, the best option is typically to receive professional treatment from an experienced dental care provider.

Teeth Whitening vs. Porcelain Veneers

shutterstock_136158827Brightening the shade of your teeth can be one of the fastest and easiest ways to enhance the overall appearance of your smile. Both teeth whitening and porcelain veneers procedures can effectively lighten the shade of your teeth and eliminate stains for a more vibrant, radiant smile.

At Scottsdale Smile Center, our bleaching and teeth whitening treatments involve the use of fitted trays and a professional grade whitening gel that you can wear as you sleep. Most patients see significant results in just two to four weeks. As an added benefit, teeth whitening can be one of the most cost-effective ways to boost the radiance of your smile.

Dental veneers can brighten your teeth by concealing any stains or discoloration with a thin layer of durable porcelain. In addition to the whitening benefits, porcelain veneers have the ability to improve the appearance of many other tooth imperfections, such as cracks, chips, gaps, damage, and even slight misalignments.

During the consultation process, one of our experienced cosmetic dentists – Dr. Don Chiappetti and Dr. Jonathan Coombs – can help you determine which procedure may best meet your individual goals. To learn more about teeth whitening or porcelain veneers, or to schedule a consultation at our office, please contact us today.

How Long do Porcelain Veneers Last?

shutterstock_121062757When properly cared for, high-quality porcelain veneers can last decades. While many dental veneers are made from a durable porcelain material, there are a number of additional factors that can influence the lifespan of your veneers, including:

  • Type of veneer
  • Quality of the laboratory in which the veneer is made
  • Skill of the ceramist
  • Bonding method
  • Skill and experience of your cosmetic dentist

Patients who are prone to clenching or grinding their teeth may consider wearing a night guard to help protect the veneers while they sleep. In addition, routine brushing and flossing as well as twice-yearly professional teeth cleanings from your dentist can help extend the lifespan of your veneers. Should a single dental veneer become damaged, it can usually be easily replaced without having to replace any others that remain in good shape.

At Scottsdale Smile Center, Dr. Jonathan Coombs and Dr. Don Chiappetti are highly skilled in custom-designing and placing porcelain veneers to achieve natural-looking, long-lasting results. If you have any further questions about porcelain veneers, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, please do not hesitate to contact our office today.

When Should I Consider Porcelain Veneers?

shutterstock_37981099 %282%29Porcelain veneers can conceal a wide range of common cosmetic concerns pertaining to one’s smile. If you have stains, tooth discoloration, chips, cracks, gaps, or broken teeth, Dr. Jonathan Coombs and Dr. Don Chiappetti can cover these perceived imperfections with thin layers of durable porcelain for results that both look and feel natural. In some cases, porcelain veneers can also be used to improve the appearance of mild tooth misalignment.

Prospective patients with severely damaged and/or misaligned teeth may not be ideal candidates for porcelain veneers. Additionally, those who have minor staining and discoloration may be better suited for something like teeth whitening. During the consultation process, your cosmetic dentist will be able to determine if porcelain veneers are right for you. If not, our practice offers a variety of other aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry options that may be able to more appropriately address your needs, including Invisalign® for teeth straightening, dental implants and crowns for tooth replacement, fillings for tooth repair, and much more.

For more information about porcelain veneers, or to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled and experienced dentists, please contact us today.

How Do CEREC® Crowns And Lab-Made Crowns Differ?

CERECMachineDental crowns can be a very effective method of restoring form and function to teeth that have been compromised by cracks, large cavities, or root canal therapy. Traditionally, patients would visit the dentist’s office to have an impression taken of the affected tooth. Then they would wait a number of weeks for the crown to be manufactured at an outside laboratory before returning to the dentist’s office to have their crown secured into place. With state-of-the-art CEREC® technology, however, this dental restoration process has been simplified, and now your custom-made crown can often be designed, created, and secured right in our office during a single visit.

In addition to the convenience of these same-day restorations, CEREC® crowns often involve fewer injections and less drilling than is typically necessary for lab-made crowns. During the sole office visit for CEREC® crowns, a digital camera will first be used to capture an image of the damaged tooth. This data is then imputed into the CEREC® machine to design and mill your crown from high-quality ceramic material, maximizing the precision of the final fit. Finally, the CEREC® crown is colored to match your surrounding teeth, ultimately providing you with a beautiful, durable new tooth in one visit.

For more information about CEREC® crowns, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jonathan Coombs or Dr. Don Chiappetti, please contact Scottsdale Smile Center today.

How Long Do CEREC® Crowns Last?

dental crownDental crowns can often be an excellent solution for individuals wishing to restore form and function to their teeth while also improving the appearance of their smile. At Scottsdale Smile Center, our experienced dentists – Dr. Jonathan Coombs and Dr. Don Chiappetti – often utilize advanced CEREC® technology to custom-create dental crowns to match the size, shape, and color of our patients’ natural teeth. With the one-of-a-kind CEREC® system, Drs. Chiappetti and Coombs can design, fabricate, and secure your customized crown in just one office visit – a process that is far more efficient than having crowns constructed in an outside dental lab.

Made from a durable block of ceramic, CEREC® crowns are considered to be extremely long-lasting with proper care and maintenance. To help increase their longevity, dental crowns should be brushed and flossed as you would your natural teeth, as well as cleaned professionally – along with the rest of your teeth – by scheduling routine dental checkups. Additionally, habits such as teeth grinding or biting down on hard objects (i.e. ice, candy, etc.) should be properly treated and/or avoided as these may damage CEREC® crowns and significantly shorten their lifespan. Ultimately, with proper dental care and regular visits the dentist, CEREC® crowns have proven to last several decades in many instances.

If you would like to learn more about CEREC® crowns, or to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dentists, please contact Scottsdale Smile Center today.