Our dentists and team have provided answers to some common questions about cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry and dental implants for your convenience. If you have additional questions or want to schedule an appointment in El Cajon, California, with Dr. Laurel Morello or Dr. Paul Morello, please call our office at 619-444-4083. We look forward to meeting you!
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is focused on improving the appearance of your teeth and giving you the smile you have always hoped for. Creating a beautiful smile can be as easy as cosmetic changes with bonding to close spaces, change color and hide defects to improving the length of your teeth through changing the position of the gumlines. Common cosmetic dental treatments include:
- Dental porcelain veneers
- Bonded composite veneers requiring little or no tooth reduction
- Teeth whitening
- Tooth lengthening and gum display reduction through periodontal procedures
What are the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?
The ultimate goal of cosmetic dentistry and the biggest benefit is receiving a new and beautiful and functional smile. Having a smile you love boosts your confidence and positively impacts your day-to-day life. Straightening teeth revitalizes the motivation to brush and floss improving your overall oral health.
Why should I undergo professional teeth whitening?
Professional teeth whitening will always be safer, faster and more effective than any whitening you can buy at the store. Professional teeth whitening can also give you beautiful results in as little as one one-hour appointment while over-the-counter options may take weeks or months for results and may damage your teeth overtime.
Are veneers the only option I have to achieve a better smile?
There are a wide range of treatments designed to improve your smile so you are not limited to veneers. When you meet with our dentists, you will discuss your goals and be provided with a range of treatment options. We will then provide you with a customized treatment plan based on your individual needs and designed to give you your dream smile.
Can cosmetic dentistry fix crooked or uneven teeth?
There are many cosmetic treatments designed to improve the appearance and alignment of crooked teeth. Our dentists may suggest dental bonding or cosmetic gum shaping to fix minor misalignments and flaws in your teeth. Orthodontics and clear aligners can also fix a crooked or uneven smile.
How many appointments will I need to get the smile I want?
Dental bonding and teeth whitening can be completed in one appointment while dental veneers typically take two appointments to compete. But the overall timeline for your treatment depends on your current oral health and smile goals. Our dentists will work with you to determine with treatment or treatments you need to achieve you’re a smile you’ll be proud to wear. We offer the opportunity to see your end result through chairside mock ups with bonding or laboratory designed try on temps prior to any treatment.
Why are my teeth stained and yellowed?
Your teeth can become dull, stained or discolored from many different things, such as:
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Foods and beverages that stain (tea, coffee, soda, wine, etc.)
- Excessive fluoride consumption (fluorosis)
How long will my results last?
If you maintain good oral habits and visit the dentist for regular preventive care, your results should last for many years. Dental veneers are known to last 20 years if well taken care of.
Will my insurance cover cosmetic dentistry?
Coverage for cosmetic procedures depends on your insurance provider, benefits and out-of-pocket expenses. Your treatment could be partially or even completely covered. We will make sure to maximize your insurance benefits if applicable. We also provide financial options to help you pay for treatment. Most importantly we will give you an estimated cost before starting any treatments.
What is restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is a branch of dental care focused repairing and/or replacing damaged teach and supporting structures. The goal of these treatments is to give you back full oral function. Treatments include bonded fillings, dental crowns, dental bridges, dental implants, and partial and full dentures.
What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?
There are many treatments available to replace a missing tooth. You can come into our office for a consultation and our dentists will examine your mouth and discuss with you your oral needs, smile goals and treatment options. We will create a customized treatment plan that may include dental implants, dental bridges or dentures.
Why it is better to undergo restorative work rather than pulling out bad teeth?
Retaining your original teeth anchored in your jaw bone is the best option for your long-term oral health and function. The natural ligaments supporting teeth provide shock absorption and signaling to the brain of many types of sensations and proprioception. Our dentists will never pull out a tooth unless it is too damaged to repair, causing damage to other teeth or harming your overall health. Keeping your natural smile will help you avoid even more extensive and expensive treatments in the future.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a restoration that covers the visible parts of the tooth. Its purpose is to protect the tooth when it has been damaged beyond a filling’s capabilities ie. the tooth is no longer able to support a filling without endangering its integrity. A crown can also restore the shape, appearance and function of a tooth. They are typically used on teeth that are fractured, cracked or have severe decay, a large filling or have undergone root canal therapy. Root canal therapy removes the vital part of the tooth and causes it to become brittle over time and susceptible to fractures that may cause tooth loss. Crowns hold the weakened parts together.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed restoration that replaces missing teeth and restores your oral function, appearance and bite. It is commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth in a row. A bridge is anchored to teeth on either side of the gap with dental crowns. Bridges may also be fixed in place with dental implants on either side of the missing tooth/teeth.
What are dentures?
A denture is a dental prosthetic used to replace missing teeth. You may only need a partial denture to replace a few teeth or a complete denture to replace an entire dental arch. A denture can last over 10 years if properly cared for, though dentures may need to be relined, rebased or repaired occasionally so they keep fitting in your mouth comfortably. Dentures can be implant supported to add additional retention through the use of clips or screws anchoring them to the implants. These can be removeable or permanently fixed on the dental arches.
Can my child receive restorative treatment?
If your child has gotten a cavity, suffered an oral injury or impacted their oral health another way, they can receive restorative treatment. Our dentists will examine their smile and determine the best treatment needed to restore their oral health.
How much does restorative dentistry cost? Will it be covered by insurance?
Treatment cost varies and depends on the patient, the severity of their oral damage and what treatments they will need. Our dentists will provide you with an estimated cost before providing treatment. Dental insurance may cover a portion your treatment and our team will work with you to maximize your benefits.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a restoration that replaces both the root and crown of a missing tooth. Our dentists will surgically place the implant post into your jawbone, replacing your tooth root. The post will then be capped with a restoration, such as a crown, bridge or denture, to protect the implant and finish your treatment. Individual implants, unlike bridges, can be flossed like regular teeth.
What is an implant-supported denture?
An implant-supported denture is a denture that is anchored in your mouth with four, six or eight dental implants. The number of implants needed to secure the denture will depend on your mouth and individual needs. An implant-supported denture may either “snap on” to the implants or be permanently attached.
What are the benefits of an implant?
Implants have many benefits including restored ability to chew and speak normally and better long-term oral health and function. Implants also provide stability and stimulation for your jawbone, keeping your teeth healthy and preventing your jaw from resorbing and deteriorating.
What happens before I get my dental implant?
Before beginning any treatment, you will come in for an initial consultation. During this visit, our dentists will give your mouth a thorough exam and discuss your medical and dental history with you. We will also need to check that you have sufficient bone structure to support an implant. If your jawbone has deteriorated too much, you may need a bone grafting procedure to make sure the implant will be successful with enough bone to support it.
How long will my implant last?
If you practice good oral habits and visit the dental office regularly, your dental implants will last a lifetime. This refers to the implant post as the restoration that caps the implant may wear down or break and need to be replaced but the implant post should be remained anchored in your mouth for life.
Am I a candidate for a dental implant?
If you are missing a tooth, you are a candidate for a dental implant. But you may have to undergo treatment before receiving implants if you have any oral conditions, such as gum disease or tooth decay. You may also need a bone graft prior if you have lost any jawbone structure.
How do I care for my implant?
Caring for your implant is the same as caring for your natural teeth: brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. You should also visit the dentist for regular preventive care and any other needed treatment.
How long will it take for me to get an implant?
Every patient is different so the number of appointments needed to complete treatment will vary depending on how implants you are receiving, your oral health and medical history and the current condition of your supporting bone tissue. Some dental implant treatments are completed in only a few appointments over three to four months while some others may take an entire year. Our dentists will give you an estimated timeline of your treatment at your consultation.
What is the success rate for dental implants?
The success of your implants ultimately depends on your oral hygiene routine and the current state of your oral health. If you have good oral habits and stay healthy, your implants are more likely to succeed. Generally, implants have a success rate of 90% to 95%.
How much will my implants cost?
The cost of an implant varies and depends on the patient, their oral health, whether they need treatment before receiving implants, the number of implants they are getting and which restoration will cap the implant. We recommend checking with your insurance provider as they may cover some of the cost of your procedure.
How can I stop snoring?
Snoring can be the result of a complex series of problems and therefore a consultation and sleep screening is necessary to determine the best method to control snoring. Strengthening airway and tongue exercises may be all that is necessary to stop snoring or it may require an intraoral device to reposition the lower jaw forward and out of the airway while sleeping. These are only 2 of numerous possibilities to reduce snoring. The consultation is critical to formulate a plan for your unique situation.
What if I can’t tolerate something in my mouth at night?
The intolerance is most often from a lack of adequate neurotransmission to the tissues and muscles of the oral cavity for a variety of reasons. Simple non invasive steps are taken to identify the best modalities to “wake up” these nerves that are feeding the tissues. Once revitalized it’s amazing how quickly one becomes tolerant to the introduction of an appliance.
Can I wear a device in my mouth instead of a CPAP machine?
Pending a consultation with your sleep physician and access to your sleep study results many patients are able to make a safe transition off the CPAP to a nighttime device that opens the airway sufficiently to allow good oxygenation to the brain.
Do all sleep problems involve an insufficient airway space?
No. There are central nervous system disorders, medications, stress, menopause, rumination that can interrupt sleep. Consultation will reveal the possible causes of sleep breathing disorders and set the scene for how to approach these issues.
Is it normal for my baby, toddler or child to snore at night.
No. Children should be breathing through their noses only. Snoring, in the absence of congestion, heralds in other factors that may involve the child’s facial and oral development having been altered. Proper tongue position and function affect how the jaw grows and how the upper jaw grows affects the size of the nasal cavity and sinuses. There are appliances for children as young as 2-3 years old that encourage the oral cavity to open, reshape and grow properly often through tongue position and function. Once the lips are closed it’s a sure sign of normal breathing and good oxygenation at night.