Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Cosmetic surgery is a very popular specialty of medicine that has been growing steadily for decades. Youth is associated with vitality and beauty. For many of us, aging is not an easy thing to do and we seek out help to keep us looking and feeling younger and more vibrant. When seeking out cosmetic surgery, many often overlook the role our teeth play in our appearance. As we age, our teeth become darker, get worn down, and may even change alignment. This can create not only cosmetic issues but functional ones as well. These functional issues can lead to Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, headaches, and muscle pain.

How Can My Dentist Make Me Look Younger?

As our teeth wear down over our lifetimes, it can result in a shorter looking face, longer looking teeth, and stained teeth. The resulting appearance may make some of us look like we are aging prematurely. The breakdown can be caused by tooth erosion (high acid wear), attrition (flattening and fracturing due to grinding, clenching, and other oral habits), and abrasion (overly aggresive brushing), recession (loss of gum tissue making teeth appear longer) . The length and shape of our faces and teeth, as well as the position of the jaw are determined by the teeth, skeletal bones, and a person’s bite. So, when a person’s teeth wear down it will give the appearance of a shorter face. Discomfort and pain are also often associated with wearing down of teeth and gums, as they become more sensitive, prone to increased fractures, and to development of TMJ and headache pain.

Your dentist can give you the ability to change all of this, allowing the patient to look more youthful while correcting dental issues.  The patients oral hygiene must be good and the mouth should be in a healthy state before any work can be completed.  This should include control of periodontal disease, removal of any loose teeth, addressing gum loss issues, ascertaining desired whiteness, and correcting dangerous oral habits, .  Great care must be taken while returning someone to their proper tooth height (vertical dimension) as it can create even more TMJ and headache issues if not done properly.

Some of the procedures involved in making you look younger include:

-Porcelain Crowns. This type of crown will give the cosmetic appearance most patients are longing for but also give the strength and stability to open one’s bite .  One type of strong porcelain which is used where teeth grinding has been a problem is a Bruxzir crown. When utilized properly, a patient will begin to see an immediate improvement in their bite and in the cosmetic appearance in the skin around the face as wrinkles will lessen.

-Porcelain Veneers. A staple of cosmetic dentistry but used in conjunction with porcelain crowns to lengthen and restore the length of front teeth. Porcelain veneers are less invasive and more conservative than porcelain crowns. For teeth that do not require a full coverage crown, porcelain veneers can adequately lengthen and reshape, and change the color of your smile.

-Orthodontics. Limited or full orthodontics may be necessary to remove any bite issues that can cause undue stress or trauma to the teeth before new restorations are placed.

-Dental Bonding. Used to restore any teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, staining or slight wear. Dental bonding is a cosmetically pleasing option that will look very natural when completed.

-Facial Asymmetry – In many of us, the muscles of the face may be asymmetrical leading to an imbalanced look to the face. Botox can restore that symmetry by balancing the facial muscles. Eyebrow lift, or depression of the brow can be enhanced with properly placed botox.

-Gummy Smile – This is shown as a smile that shows too much gum tissue. This usually is the result of the lip rising too high when smiling. Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the retractor muscles of the upper lip so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will seem better-balanced.

-Crown Lengthening. A surgical process to expose more tooth structure so that there is enough room to properly place a crown. This is often necessary in severe grinding cases.

-Gum and Bone Grafting and Recontouring. Lost bone and gum tissue can often times be grafted to help regrow them. They can also be reshaped surgically to be healthier, easier to work with, and more cosmetically appealing.

-Teeth Whitening. Many of our worn teeth are also dark and discolored. The color you desire to reach may require a dental whitening process, or simply a whiter color bonding restoration or a whiter colored porcelain restoration.

Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry will change not only how your teeth function but how you feel about yourself. Many dentists often overlook the relationship between our teeth and our bite. If the bite is not in alignment, your teeth and face will never look and feel their best.

A wedding day is a memory that will last a lifetime. Our wedding photos will be shown to our family, friends, children, and even grandchildren. Shouldn’t your wedding smile be up to the task to ensure long lasting beautiful memories? A well trained cosmetic dentist can make major and even minor changes that can alter one’s smile to make it more pleasing to themselves as well as others. Below you will fond some common procedures to make you smile shine brightly on your big day.

Cosmetic Dentistry For Your Big Day!

-Dental Bonding. This procedure uses tooth colored dental materials that are adhesively bonded to a tooth. This might be one of the simplest and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures to bring your smile back to life. Dental bonding gives your cosmetic dentist the ability to change shape, size, color, length, and close any gaps that might be present in your smile. Dental bonding can be completed in a short period of time (as little as an hour). The main disadvantages of dental bonding are possible chipping, wearing over time, and staining. The final end product is not as strong as a porcelain restoration and may need to be updated as time goes on. While dental bonding is also used to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay it can also be used as a cosmetic veneer. Dental bonding is a very easy way to make your smile youthful and natural in appearance again for that perfect wedding smile.

-Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns. Often referred to as “instant orthodontics”, porcelain veneers give the dentist the ability to change the alignment of teeth, if the alignment issues are not too extreme. Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can be a great way to replace lost tooth structure and alter imperfect teeth creating a more youthful, natural appearance. Porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers usually require more than one visit, but the results will give you a beautiful, youthful smile that lasts for years to come. Porcelain Veneers are custom made, ultra thin, tooth colored shells that are bonded to your teeth, and will not change color over time. This allows the cosmetic dentist to not only alter color of your teeth, but shape and length as well. Porcelain crowns can be used on teeth that either already have crowns or need more extensive work (having prior large restorations or existing tooth decay). Both porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can as used by your dentist to give the patient a flawless, more youthful and natural looking smile.

-Teeth Whitening. This is quite possibly the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure today. It is safe and effective and comes in a few forms. These forms include in office whitening, at home whitening (with dentist provided trays), as well as use of teeth whitening strips, and topical gels. All of these methods are quite effective for most people. It has been proven by research time and again, that people find a whiter smile to be more youthful and attractive.  People tend to feel better about themselves when they are happy with their appearance. Teeth whitening can give patients a dramatic change to their smile with minimal cost and time invested.

-Teeth Re-Contouring. This might be one of the simplest cosmetic dentistry procedures of all. It is usually done without the need for anesthesia and can be as simple as filing down a tooth that appears longer or is slightly out of alignment with the others. Most patients are quite surprised at how such a small adjustment can alter their smile for the better.

-Gum contouring and Gum grafting. Evening out gum levels can help teeth to look more evenly sized and can make short teeth appear longer. Gum grafts can fix areas where gum recession has occurred to make everything appear even and natural again.

-Dental Implants. Dental implants allow cosmetic dentists another option in tooth replacement to recreate a youthful, attractive smile. Whether it is a single tooth or a full mouth restoration, dental implants can fill that need. Missing teeth or open spaces has long been considered a sign of old age. Having a full set of white teeth screams youth especially when they are bright, white, and sparkling. When a person is missing a tooth they have several options. There are partial and complete dentures (including the all on 4 dental implants system), traditional bridges, and dental implants. A dental implant can look and feel just like a natural tooth. It is also easier to keep clean than a traditional bridge. Dental implants are placed directly into bone creating a solid foundation for a natural tooth replacement.

-Bite Reclamation. Over time as we age, we tend to lose some height on our teeth. This loss of height of height is also referred to as loss of vertical dimension. Some other factors that cause this loss include acid reflux or teeth grinding (bruxism). Reclaiming a person’s bite utilizing dental implants and porcelain crowns will increase vertical height which will also remove some of the wrinkles around the mouth. These wrinkles develop as our we age and our mouth’s sag from this loss of dimension. Cosmetic dentistry can fix some of this.

-Botox and Dermal Fillers. Historically an area for cosmetic surgeons but dentists around the world have now added these procedures to give what is called a dental face lift. In combination with dental work, removing some of those wrinkles on the face and around the mouth specifically will better frame that beautiful, white, youthful smile. A dentist may use dermal fillers or botox injections to get you ready for your big day!

Wedding Smile Conclusion

A wedding smile will last a lifetime both in pictures and actual appearance. If you are interested in modifying your smile see your dentist as soon as possible so treatment can be planned prior to your big day. Some treatment can be completed in a short time but other more extensive treatment can take weeks if not months to complete.

Botulinum toxin (BoNT-A), or “Botox“, has been used for quite some time as a cosmetic aid in physicians and dentists offices. It can be utilized to make us look and feel younger. Did you know that botox has many other medical uses? It turns out that botox can be used to aid in therapy for many dental, facial pain disorders. It has been reported that approximately 16% of dentists in North America now use BoNT-A in their offices for cosmetic and therapeutic applications.

Botox acts by inhibiting the release of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine depolarizes the motor end plate of the muscle and will cause a muscle contraction. By inhibiting the release of acetylcholine, Botox effectively will either reduce the intensity of the contraction of the muscle or will eliminate the contraction altogether, depending on the amount of Botox used. Essentially, BoNT-A neurotoxin causes a temporary muscle paralysis. Each treatment can usually last between 3-6 months as the muscle initiates new acetylcholine receptors and the growth of branches from the neurons to form new synaptic contacts. Gradually the muscle returns to its full function and with no side effects at all.

Botox And Dental Medicine

Botox can be used for the following disorders:

-Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) and Facial Pain Management – TMD is a very difficult disorder to treat since its symptoms are varied and complex. The goal of treatment in TMD has been to provide non -invasive, reversible treatment options. Surgery is an option, although rarely used, due to limited success. Botox gives the dentist the ability to relieve TMD and facial pain symptoms for a short period of time (from weeks – months for each treatment). In TMD and facial pain disorder, there are muscular trigger points that radiate outward through the nerve bundles. The  injection of Botox into these trigger point areas, “freezes ” the ability of the muscle  by paralyzing it for a while, can help relieve the intensity of the TMJ muscle contractions. The relief can last up to three months. For trigger point injections, it makes much more sense to use Botox because the effects will last for three months and you are actually helping relieve the intensity of the contraction of the muscle, which is usually in spasm.This temporary muscle paralysis makes Botox a great tool in the treatment and management of TMD and facial pain disorders. The use of Botox products in TMD and facial pain management therapy can give us a totally new insight as to helping these patients who have had trouble getting relief previously.

-Teeth Clenching (Bruxism) – This treatment becomes somewhat tricky as the dose is very important here. Too much botox into the area of the mastication muscles can paralyze these muscles and disrupt a person’s ability to chew and speak. Too small a dose and it has little to no effect. The proper dose will reduce the intensity of the muscles contraction, allowing the patient to still be able to chew and speak properly. When done correctly, the patient will see relief from facial pain and limit the damage done by the teeth clenching, as the force is no longer there to do damage to oral tissues. Using the right amount of Botox will decrease the intensity of contractions of the muscles of mastication as well as give you full ability for chewing, eating properly, and speaking. The relief afforded to patients by Botox can help eliminate facial pain, greatly reduce their TMD symptoms and can significantly help the other associated treatments of periodontal disease by removing bruxism from the equation of treatment.

-Orthodontics – Our muscles play a huge role in where our teeth line up. Following orthodontic therapy some patients teeth will relapse and this may be due to placement of that individual’s musculature. Many patients have an over active mentalis muscle that often causes relapse of the teeth and may cause spasm of the muscles. Botox gives us the ability to reduce these spasms and contractions allowing for limited relapse following orthodontic treatment.

-Treatment of Migraine, and other Headaches – Generally, migraines have been a source of the unknown for many patients. Migraines have multiple symptoms beyond just headaches. These can include nausea, dizziness, and even light sensitivity. The use of Botox can relieve these symptoms. The placement of a few well placed injections around the temples, forehead, and neck/shoulder area can ease these symptoms by preventing the pain signals to reach the nerve bundles on the head and neck. This can also relieve severe headaches in the forehead region, if you suffer from them frequently. This can get quite expensive but for those suffering it can be well worth the cost to feel pain free again.

-Controlling Excess Saliva Production (also called sialorrhea) – The more common term for this is drooling. While there are other treatments for this, botox gives the ability to stop the excessive salivary production by injecting into the parotid and submaxillary glands. Again, this treatment is very dose specific. Too high a dose can disrupt a person’s chewing ability and also lead to dry mouth (xerostomia).

-Facial Asymmetry – In many of us, the muscles of the face may be asymmetrical leading to an imbalanced look to the face. Botox can restore that symmetry by balancing the facial muscles. Eyebrow lift, or depression of the brow can be enhanced with properly placed botox.

-Gummy Smile – This is shown as a smile that shows too much gum tissue. This usually is the result of the lip rising too high when smiling. Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the retractor muscles of the upper lip so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will seem better-balanced.

-Trigeminal Neuralgia- This extremely painful condition can be brought about by something as simple as air blowing on your face. Freezing a few select muscles on the affected side of the face can bring relief from extreme pain, and piece of mind. Not having to worry about accidentally setting off the facial pain can give you your life back.

Botox and Dentistry Conclusion

As with any botox application, training is critical. The dentist placing the injections should be well versed in not only a person’s anatomy but also in the use of the right dosing of the botox. Too little and there will be no relief from symptoms while too much botox can lead to disabling effects. Botox gives patients and dentists new possible treatments that can lead to better lives for all of us.

As we are in the middle of the Holiday season there are lots of tempting treats to pick on. Most are okay in moderation but some are likely to create problems for your dental health. Issues that could be created include tooth decay and even fractured teeth. Below are a listing of some to be careful of:

1. Popcorn. An old favorite usually enjoyed at the movies but around holiday time regular old popcorn becomes coated in caramel. Normally popcorn presents challenges for teeth due to biting on popcorn kernels and popcorn husks getting stuck between teeth. Those pesky popcorn kernels have been known to cause broken teeth and fracture fillings. Add the caramel and it is a recipe for disaster as the caramel masks the kernels and sticks in and around your teeth. This can break a tooth, or create an environment ripe for development of tooth decay. So think twice and beware if  indulging in this holiday favorite.

2. Dried Fruit. Seems like this would be a healthy snack but the sugars in the dried fruit are concentrated and their dry texture makes them stick longer to teeth. This allows acid producing bacteria in your mouth to have a chance to work on your tooth enamel. Be smart, and floss after or chose fresh fruit instead.

3. White Flour Crackers. We love these crackers with cheese spreads as a pre holiday meal snack. Did you know the bleached white flour turns almost immediately into sugar, which is food for the bacteria in your mouth to create an acid filled environment for tooth decay. Choose whole grain versions of these favorite crackers for better dental health as well as general health.

4. Candy Canes. A traditional favorite that can also cause fractures to teeth if you choose to bite into them. Sucking on hard candy makes the sugar acids linger longer in your mouth. Break off a small piece, and drink water after.

5. Christmas cookies and fudge.These are hard to pass up, especially at a party! Remember that very high sugar content, white flour and the stickiness are the contributors to tooth decay. Try eating some carrots or celery directly after you partake in these sweet treats.

6. Peanut brittle. Some peanut brittle is harder or stickier than others. You can pull out a crown or filling or break a tooth. Try moistening a small piece in your mouth to soften it before chewing. You will certainly need to floss after this snack!

Dental Hygiene Tips for Holidays

-Drink Water. Plenty of it to swish and rinse your mouth.This will reduce the acid producing sugars and food debris from holiday snacking.

-Crunch on raw veggies. They will help clear the stickiness and stimulate salivary flow.

-Brush and Floss After Snacking. Brushing and flossing after snacking will neutralize the acid build up and not allow the tooth enamel to be broken down.

Enjoy the Holidays, just use your judgement to make good choices. You can still eat the special foods you love, just do it wisely. Remember, smiles are contagious, spread some holiday cheer with your beautiful smile!