Frequently Asked Questions


Click on any of the questions below to find more about a specific issue:

How can I correct misaligned or stained teeth?

Several modern cosmetic dentistry procedures are now available which can enhance or change the appearance of the smile. Sometimes, simply bonding or whitening the teeth is all the patient needs. In more involved cases, full smile rehabilitation is possible with porcelain veneers. These can correct color and misalignment problems. Occasionally, a combination of orthodontics, straightening, whitening, bonding, and porcelain veneers will be required to produce the cosmetically superior result.

How can I whiten my teeth?

Teeth can be whitened by several methods. Chairside teeth whitening is done in the dental office and usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes. A shield protects the teeth from the oxidizing agent which is “painted” onto the teeth. A special light may be used at five-minute intervals to help activate the agent. Sometimes the teeth may become sensitive following whitening treatments.

With nightguard whitening, a mouthguard is custom-made. The whitening gel is dispensed to the patient by a dentist. The patient places the gel into the mouthguard which is worn up to two hours daily or at night for about two weeks. People with gum recession and certain dental conditions may not be good candidates for this type of whitening. These products are not recommended for habitual tobacco and alcohol users.

How long does whitening last?

You can help your teeth remain white by brushing twice a day, cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners, seeing your dentist for regular professional cleanings along with occasional touch-up treatments.

The surface of your teeth can be stained by tobacco and certain foods and beverages such as coffee, tea and berries and by deposits of calculus or tartar. If you have had your teeth whitened, avoid stain-causing foods for the first several days after the procedure.

Can whitening gels harm my teeth? Will my teeth become more sensitive to hot or cold?

Studies have shown that whitening gels cause no harm to the teeth when used under direct dental supervision. Teeth may feel sensitive for up to 24 hours after the whitening procedure but this almost always dissipates to zero sensitivity after that.

I’ve heard about laser whitening. Is it safe?

This technique may be safe, but it has not yet been evaluated by the ADA

What criteria would make me a candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Anyone who wants a whiter or straighter smile is a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry. If you have crooked, yellow teeth or are self-conscious of your smile it can be transformed.

How long will my porcelain veneers last?

Porcelain veneers are intended to be long lasting restorations. A reasonable life expectancy would be 10-20 years. They became popular in the 1980s and many patients from that time still have their veneers. In the past fifteen years not only has the technique improved but so has the adhesive bonding process and the porcelain used for veneers. Due to the advancement in this procedure, today's porcelain veneers should last even longer.

I want to whiten my teeth, but I can't afford to spend a lot of money. Is there a way I can achieve this?

Yes.  We recommend Crest White Strips as a safe and cost-effective alternative to in-office teeth whitening.