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Cosmetic Dentistry

How to Remove Yellow Stains from Teeth

Most individuals will experience some degree of yellowing or discoloration on the teeth at some point in life. Even if you have taken excellent care of your teeth and do all the right things to maintain the best possible oral health, factors both within your control and outside your control can cause the teeth to develop a progressively yellow appearance. The natural aging process, tobacco use, and consuming common foods and beverages that contain staining agents over many years are factors that are largely responsible for this effect. With that in mind, it’s important to know that dental stains and discoloration can be successfully improved with advanced treatments designed to refresh and renew your smile with beautiful results.

Here are two of the most popular (and effective) ways to address signs of yellow stains on the teeth:

Teeth Whitening
Professional-grade teeth whitening treatments can provide significant improvement for teeth affected by mild to moderate levels of discoloration. An in-office procedure involves the application of powerful (yet safe) whitening agents to address stains that have developed deep within the enamel over a long period of time. A professional teeth whitening treatment at Scottsdale Smile Center is capable of making the teeth several shades lighter, ultimately reducing signs of discoloration and creating a whiter, healthier-looking smile. Our take-home kits can also provide effective teeth whitening, and contain stronger whitening agents when compared to many of the standard over-the-counter products available.

Porcelain Veneers
Some individuals may have particularly severe staining and discoloration of the teeth. In these cases, porcelain veneers can often serve as the ideal treatment option. Porcelain veneers are custom-designed dental restorations that are securely placed over the front and sides of the affected teeth. They are made to look exactly like natural teeth, and will ultimately serve to “hide” the stains behind cosmetic restorations that are color-tinted to produce a more refreshed look. Porcelain veneers can be exceptional options for patients with significantly noticeable yellowing and dark stains that have formed on the teeth, and they can last for decades with the proper care.

Both porcelain veneer treatments and teeth whitening procedures can be effective options on their own, or they can be part of a full smile makeover for comprehensive cosmetic dental rejuvenation. If you feel your smile has been aesthetically compromised by discoloration, please contact our dentists today to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to talk with you about the best options for your needs and goals.

Invisalign Vs. DIY Teeth Straightening

There have been many recent commercials and online advertisements for what’s known as “direct-to-consumer” options for teeth straightening. These do-it-yourself teeth alignment systems are designed for individuals to use at home, and often look similar to orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign®, which is the technique we offer here at Scottsdale Smile Center. We would like to take a moment to evaluate the many significant distinctions between Invisalign® and direct-to-consumer teeth straightening treatments, because these differences are very important when it comes to the treatment process and the potential results.

Invisalign® is an orthodontic treatment that is only available by prescription. The entire process is developed and supervised by one of our experienced dentists, which allows the final outcome to be more accurately predicted. Some DIY teeth straightening options may not require ongoing, in-person treatment monitoring by a dental or orthodontic professional. This lack of real-time oral evaluations can be a disadvantage in terms of obtaining clear, professional examinations of how the orthodontic treatment process is progressing. Unforeseen challenges and inefficiencies can arise during the treatment process, and if they are not addressed quickly, it could have a pronounced effect on the results. In addition, Invisalign® is able to treat other orthodontic concerns—such as mild to moderate overbite, underbite, and crossbite issues—whereas a direct-to-consumer option may not be designed to correct those types of problems.

DIY teeth straightening systems typically offer several benefits that can sound very enticing, and it’s certainly understandable why individuals feel they may be more convenient. However, we believe that Invisalign® is the best option when compared to those treatments, particularly for patients who are experiencing “rotated” teeth and/or conditions such as infections and cavities that require regular evaluation during the orthodontic treatment process. Most orthodontic cases involve crowding or overlapping teeth, which almost always requires a very precise procedure to slightly slenderize the crowded teeth prior to attempting to move them. This procedure is what creates just the right amount of space, so there is room for the crowded teeth to move into proper alignment. DIY orthodontics not only lack the expert supervision of a dentist, but without this slenderizing process, most people end up being very unhappy with the results of DIY orthodontics. While DIY orthodontics may slightly improve alignment in a handful of cases, at the end of treatment, most patients find that their teeth are still crowded.

Ultimately, in-person customization of the treatment plan and consistent monitoring to ensure the treatment is progressing as smoothly and effectively as possible can make a world of difference once the results begin to become noticeable!

To learn more about Invisalign® and other advanced treatments that can renew the appearance of your smile, please don’t hesitate to contact Scottsdale Smile Center today. We look forward to answering any questions you may have. We can also schedule an initial consultation with one of our dentists so that you can have a thorough oral evaluation and talk with him about the best options for your needs and goals.

Discreet Orthodontic Treatment for Adults

The thought of having to wear prominent metal appliances on the teeth for an extended period of time often makes the prospect of orthodontic treatment unappealing to adults who wish to correct teeth misalignment. Fortunately, there have been many innovations over the years that make it possible for both adult and adolescent patients to resolve common orthodontic concerns without compromising smile aesthetics during the treatment process.

Our dentists at Scottsdale Smile Center offer two popular options that can correct the appearance of misalignment, crowding, excessive spacing, and other issues in the most discreet way possible:

Invisalign®
Invisalign® is capable of straightening the teeth and even correcting mild to moderate bite irregularities without reliance on metal brackets and wires affixed to the teeth. Made of a translucent plastic material, Invisalign® is a flexible and removable orthodontic appliance designed to gradually correct misalignment by moving the teeth into a new position. The Invisalign® aligners are so thin and clear that it’s difficult to notice them when they are on the teeth, even at a close distance.

Porcelain Veneers
In some cases of teeth misalignment and crowding, ongoing orthodontic treatment may not be necessary. Cosmetic dental restorations such as porcelain veneers can be placed in areas exhibiting signs of spaces or a “crooked” appearance. These custom-designed restorations are attached to the front part of the teeth in the area targeted for treatment, and are color-matched to surrounding teeth to produce natural-looking results. In effect, porcelain veneers are able to “mask” certain types of orthodontic concerns and give the teeth a straighter, healthier look. These treatments typically require just two office visits and create results that can last years into the future.

In some cases, patients may choose to undergo a very short-term, limited Invisalign® treatment prior to receiving veneers. In many cases, going this route makes sense because it can reduce the number of veneers that may otherwise be necessary to achieve the same result. While not every patient is a candidate for this approach, many individuals appreciate a more conservative approach to treatment. Also, by reducing the number of veneers, sometimes Invisalign® treatment can reduce the overall, total treatment cost.

Are you considering orthodontic treatment? If so, please contact us today with any questions you may have, or to schedule a consultation. Our dentist can talk with you about your concerns and recommend the treatment option that is most ideal for your needs.

How to Fix a Chipped Tooth

Teeth that have been broken or “chipped” can have a significant aesthetic effect on your smile. In fact, even a small chip can be quite noticeable. Although the teeth are naturally strong and durable, they are certainly not impervious to harm. A traumatic injury or using the teeth to pry open a package/bottle are the most common ways to chip a tooth. Fortunately, individuals who experience this condition have several options that can effectively address a chipped tooth and restore its appearance. 

Some of the most popular treatments for chipped teeth include:

Porcelain Veneers 
Porcelain veneers are typically the most ideal options for teeth affected by chips and other aesthetic dental imperfections. A veneer is delicately and precisely designed to mimic the appearance of the natural tooth. This restoration covers the front surface of the affected tooth and “hides” the chip by recreating the tooth’s original shape and contour. Porcelain veneers are often the best treatment for chipped teeth because of their ability to produce natural-looking outcomes and results that can last for decades. 

Cosmetic Dental Bonding 
Another effective way to fix a chipped tooth is a treatment known as cosmetic dental bonding. This option utilizes special dental materials and techniques to rebuild the affected tooth and eliminate signs of the chip. Our dentist will carefully apply a tooth-colored resin to the tooth and shape it to restore its original appearance. Compared to porcelain veneers, cosmetic bonding does not produce results that last quite as long; however, the treatment can yield outcomes that last for several years with the proper care. 

Dental Crown 
If a chip is particularly severe, a dental crown may be recommended. Crowns are typically necessary when the damage is so significant that the health of the tooth is at risk. This restorative option is custom-designed to produce the most natural look, fit, and feel possible. Unlike porcelain veneers, dental crowns cover the entire tooth rather than just the front portion, which can ultimately prevent the tooth from additional deterioration. Our practice offers advanced CEREC® dental crowns, which can be designed, produced, and placed in a single appointment. 

To learn more about our cosmetic and restorative dentistry options, please contact Scottsdale Smile Center.

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.