Cosmetic Treatments

 

Smile Evaluations - No Charge


Our Smile and Beauty Evaluation goes a step above any regular oral exam you may have experienced in the past, Dr. Rai truly believes in the transformative qualities that a beautiful smile can create.

Dr. Rai will evaluate your entire physical appearance so you can attain a beautiful new smile that successfully meets your needs. He places listening and communication with his patients as one of his top priorities, and sincerely wants to get to know you and understand your specific goals. Together, you and Dr. Rai will collaborate on a customized treatment plan that can transform your life through your smile.

Smile And Beauty Evaluations Process

There are two steps to our Smile and Beauty Evaluations Process. During the first step, Dr. Rai will physically examine your gums, teeth, and bite. Both of you will talk about the condition of your teeth and address any dental problems that may have developed.

The next step is your beauty (or aesthetic) evaluation. Dr. Rai will carefully analyze your facial symmetry, bone structure, lips, hair and skin color, as well as other elements about your appearance. The Golden Proportion, which involves certain principles that can enhance your level of beauty by measuring the width and ratio of your facial features, may also be used during your evaluation. Since very attractive people are known to have symmetrical faces, taking the Golden Proportion into account can ultimately improve your cosmetic dentistry results. Dr. Rai celebrates the unique beauty in all of his patients. That’s why he works tirelessly to customize treatment and craft a winning smile, just for you, that can enhance your overall appearance.

Once your facial composition is documented, Dr. Rai will make an expert decision about the color shade, size, shape, and length of your new teeth. Dr. Rai understands how all of these factors combined can dramatically affect your beauty. He will talk with you further about your smile goals, and the results you are hoping for so you can receive a beautiful, natural-looking smile.

After your Smile and Beauty Evaluation is finished, Dr. Rai will create a personalized treatment plan, specially developed to improve the health and appearance of your teeth, compliment your features, and enhance your overall image.

 

Teeth Whitening (Advanced Zoom Whitening)


Your smile is the way you greet the world. While you have many options for whitening your teeth, your dental professional is the best resource for whitening treatments. Only dental professionals have access to the most powerful, professional-strength whitening and can ensure your treatment is safe and your results are outstanding. Zoom is the number one patient requested professional teeth whitening brand. It offers a full range of “in the office” or “take home” whitening treatments based on your needs and your lifestyle. Professional teeth whitening with Philips Zoom is safe, pain-free, affordable and used by over 10 million people.

The difference between professional and over-the-counter whitening treatments.

  • Non-professional whitening treatments are over the counter products such as strips and toothpaste. These products vary in their price, difficulty of use and effectiveness. 
  • Philips Zoom professional whitening is a fast, effective and safe way to whiten your teeth. Your dental professional will either apply the treatment for you, or fit you with a customized trays so you can do the treatment at home.
  • Results from professional treatments can be immediate (up to 8 shades whiter in 45 minutes), and because a dental professional is involved, the process is safe, reliable and hassle free.
 

Porcelain Veneers and Lumineers


Visiting an AACD member dentist and asking about veneers is the first step in determining if veneers are the right option for you, or if there are alternate solutions available. Communication with your dentist about what you want corrected is critical for a successful result. Spend time clearly identifying what cosmetic improvements you want to accomplish. You’ll often hear people say that celebrities have veneers and this may seem like the best way to replicate picture-perfect teeth, but each mouth is different and veneers need to be carefully researched.

Your dentist will most likely begin with a smile analysis to determine what steps are necessary to achieve the smile you desire. In addition, your dentist may create a diagnostic mock-up that will allow you to “try on” veneers and other procedures to see if the final result is actually what you’re looking for.

Your dentist may also show you a photo of how your new smile will look. This is called cosmetic imaging.

Deciding that porcelain veneers will create the look you want is only one step in the process. There is much more to learn before proceeding further.

The Hows and Whys of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain laminate veneers consist of a compilation of several thin ceramic layers which replace original tooth enamel, and an adhesive layer. To apply a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed, usually less than a millimeter. This is essential as it creates room for the porcelain veneer to fit within the mouth and most accurately restore natural tooth function while creating an even better appearance than the original tooth.

The bond between original tooth and porcelain veneer is critical as it not only provides the esthetic perfection desired, but also a strong bond which is essential for correct veneer function. Light-sensitive resin is placed between the original tooth and the veneer and then hardened using a special curing light.

Porcelain veneers are a very successful option in many situations where the original tooth has developed poor color, shape, and contours. It is also a good choice for fractured teeth, gaps between teeth, and in some situations where the tooth position is compromised and there are minor bite-related problems. For some people, superficial stains do not respond well to tooth whitening or bleaching. In these situations, a porcelain veneer may be the best option.

Minimal Prep or “No-Prep” Veneers

Some patients are looking for an alternative to traditional dental veneers or bonding, but be aware that this treatment option is not appropriate for everyone.

Just as with porcelain veneers, “no-prep” or minimal preparation veneers— so called because they typically don’t require the dentist to remove as much tooth material—are bonded to the front surface of your teeth. Often, the placement of no-prep veneers can be done more quickly and with less discomfort than traditional veneers.

Your AACD member dentist will let you know if you are a good candidate for minimal preparation or “no-prep” veneers and if this option makes a sensible treatment plan.

The Benefits of Veneers

Since veneers are individually sculpted for each patient, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Unlike natural teeth, custom-made veneers resist coffee and tea stains, and cigarette smoke because they are made of high-tech materials. With veneers—as opposed to crowns—your natural teeth remain largely intact with only a minimal amount being altered to fit the veneer.

For teeth that resist whitening, veneers can make even the darkest teeth appear bright white.

Dentists may also recommend veneers to quickly fix minor twists, overlaps, and small gaps.

Potential Veneer Downsides

Because a portion of the original tooth enamel is reduced, a veneer is not considered a reversible treatment. Although adjustments and even new veneers can be made, you can never reliably return to the original condition of the tooth.

Creating porcelain veneers requires some laboratory time, so expect at least a week before they’re ready to be applied.

After the porcelain veneers are attached you will probably have some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures due to the removal of that thin layer of enamel. This typically disappears within a few days. In a healthy mouth properly treated with porcelain veneers—and where destructive forces are minimized or eliminated—a patient should be able to use porcelain veneers like his or her own teeth. Although they’re very strong, veneers are also brittle. You should avoid the same excessive stresses you would avoid with non-veneered teeth: don’t bite your fingernails, chew ice, or open beer bottles with your veneers!

Maintenance of a Porcelain Veneer

Maintaining porcelain veneers is actually quite simple: Treat them as you would your original teeth, with routine brushing and flossing. Using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste will typically be suggested by your dental professional.

One week after your veneers are placed, you will be required to return to the office for a follow-up visit and evaluation so the dentist can see how your mouth is reacting to the veneers. Even if you feel the veneers are a success, this appointment is vital to your future oral health.

If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, your dentist may fit you with a nighttime bite guard so you do not damage your veneers.

It is important you should You should also return to your dentist for regular professional maintenance because porcelain veneers should be polished with a specially formulated, non-abrasive paste, and because your dentist needs to inspect your dentistry for any sign of potential failure.

 

Replace Metal Fillings with Tooth Colored Fillings


One of the biggest controversy in dentistry today deals with the choice of using an amalgam (silver) or a white filling for cavities.

Over the past few years the popularity of white filling materials have increased tremendously. The white filling material is a composite material is composed of an oligomer with an inorganic filler such as silicon dioxide. It is tooth colored so it blends in with your tooth and it can also be used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

With recent advances in technology of composite resins, the sensitivity to cold has been drastically reduced. Originally the white filling materials were not strong enough for use on the back teeth but with the newer technology they can withstand the forces of chewing and can now be used on all of the teeth in the mouth. The newer composites also come in more shades and therefore they can be better blended in with the existing tooth.

The dental amalgam filling material has been used for 150 years and has a good track record. Recently there has been a controversy dealing with the safety of the filling material. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable filling. While extremely toxic, when the mercury is combined with other materials in dental amalgam its chemical nature changes, so it can’t be released into your mouth in significant amounts.

Both types of filling materials are suitable to use, the white filling material is more difficult to place and more time consuming, therefore usually costs more than the amalgam filling.

With today’s trends to want more cosmetic pleasing materials, the use of the white filling material will definitely be on the increase.

While the FDA maintains that amalgam fillings are within current safety limits, there is still a major controversy about the safety of the toxic metals used to make up the amalgam.

 

Caps Crowns & Bridges


Anterior Teeth-Cosmetic Bondings

Bonding is a popular treatment option because it provides a successful attachment between the filling material and the tooth’s original enamel and dentin. It looks like the original tooth and functions like it as well. Direct composite bonding is used to recreate a smile in an additive manner, where little or no tooth reduction is needed. Direct bonding, in the hands of a skilled operator, is less costly than porcelain veneers and crowns and can be long-lasting with proper maintenance.

Enamel and Dentin

Teeth are a perfect combination of both strength and resilience and this is created through the fusion of enamel and dentin.

Enamel is the outer shell of the tooth or the portion that is visible within the mouth. It is composed of densely packed calcium crystals which are very hard and resistant to wear. Enamel is composed of no living material and is effectively mimicked by dental porcelain.

Dentin is the inner core of the tooth and is much more porous. Constructed of collagen tubes with calcium crystals, dentin is living tissue and transmits nerve sensation. Composite resins have properties similar to dentin and are a combination of a plastic resin and silica filler. This combination of materials allows for excellent tooth color replication and reliable adhesion.

Bonding to Repair Broken or Chipped Teeth

Tooth bonding is used in several different ways, but is probably most useful for repairing chipped teeth.Bonding materials (high-density, modern plastics called composite resin) and porcelain—are more natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match the surrounding teeth making it difficult to discern there ever was a broken tooth. Transitional bonding is used for anything from a mock-up to a full-mouth rehabilitation. It’s called transitional because it allows the patient to transition into more permanent dentistry as he or she can afford, or as the treatment sequence demands, and it allows the dentist time to work out any bite-related and esthetic issues. Transitional bonding is an important tool in the skillset of an accomplished cosmetic dentist.

Caps Crowns & Bridges 

Dental porcelain can be sculpted to closely replicate the look of natural tooth enamel, while providing desirable strength and resilience. Porcelain crowns are an excellent choice when recreating the form and function of a damaged tooth, because a crown basically replaces the entire external portion of the tooth down to the gum level. Crowns are not limited to simply replacing the original tooth, but can be designed to create an even better esthetic appearance.

Cosmetic Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations that can be used to help an otherwise healthy tooth with a large filling. Inlays are placed within the grooves between the cusps (points) of a tooth, whereas onlays are placed within the grooves and over the cusp tips. Your AACD member dentist can help determine which restoration is better for you. Inlays and onlays can be used to replace old filings, and are more esthetically pleasing because they can be made to match a tooth’s natural color. Aside from improving a tooth’s appearance, inlays and onlays can strengthen the structure of a tooth because of their durability and longevity.

Crown Consultation

Crowns can be selected for necessity or cosmetic reasons. No matter what the case, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your AACD dental professional. The dentist will examine your teeth and in some cases will immediately see that a crown is the best option. In other situations where the problems aren’t so obvious, you may need to express your concerns and discuss your future smile goals so both you and your dentist have all the facts.

The Hows and Whys of Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns replace the exterior portion of a tooth to re–establish its original function and to create a natural appearance. Crowns are the treatment of choice in situations where tooth decay has destroyed most of the original tooth, when a traumatic event has caused damage, or in cases of severe enamel erosion. They are also an option for people who grind and clench their teeth so much that the original structure of their teeth has been compromised.

The great benefit to porcelain crowns is they can not only replicate the original tooth in function, but can be designed to look like the original–or even better. When patients select a porcelain veneer for cosmetic reasons, they’re usually covering up the front portion of the tooth that has some esthetic flaw. A porcelain crown is thicker than a veneer and, in some situations, this thickness is needed. A porcelain crown can be used for cosmetic reasons, but it’s best to seek the advice of an AACD member dentist

Crowns and veneers are situated and secured in the mouth in a similar fashion, using a light-sensitive resin placed between the original tooth and crown, and then hardening that resin with a special curing light. Partial crowns, often referred to as onlays, are a type of restoration or filling that covers one or more cusps. An inlay is similar to a filling but the work resides completely within the cusps on a tooth’s chewing surface. These restorations are much more conservative than crowns, and can be imperceptible from your natural tooth.

Potential Crown Downsides

Porcelain crowns do require some laboratory time to be created and times vary according to the laboratory and its distance from your dentist, so expect to be fitted with a temporary, or provisional, crown for a while.

Some patients may experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures after porcelain crowns are attached. It’s best to consult with your dentist for more information about your individual case.

While porcelain crowns are very durable, they do not have the flexibility of natural teeth, so avoiding certain foods may be necessary. Chronic tooth-grinders and jaw-clenchers will need to be fitted with a nighttime mouth guard to protect the porcelain from unnecessary and excessive pressure and use.

Maintenance of a Porcelain Crown

Maintaining porcelain crowns is actually quite simple. Much like your original teeth, they require routine brushing with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and regular flossing.

A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to evaluate the crowns shortly after they’re placed, so the dentist can review the work and see how your mouth is reacting to the crowns. Even if you think the crowns are successful, this follow-up appointment is an important part of your future oral health.

Porcelain Bridge

A porcelain fixed bridge is very useful when replacing a tooth or a couple of teeth that are no longer viable. The porcelain can be sculpted to replicate the look of natural tooth enamel and using this durable material gives your bridge a strong base to rely upon.

Porcelain is so flexible in its design capabilities that it can be used not only to replace lost teeth, but also to improve the original appearance of those teeth and create a flawless replacement.

Porcelain Bridge Consultation

There are different ways to replace missing or damaged teeth, so a dental health professional should be contacted if this is a problem you are facing. Your teeth will carefully be examined and the right course of treatment will be pursued.

If you think a porcelain bridge is an avenue you want to explore, be certain you raise this with your AACD member dentist. He or she will explain the benefits of using porcelain and the few pitfalls you may run across. Make sure you express your concerns and if the main reason you’re seeking porcelain is cosmetic, don’t be ashamed to admit it; you will quickly discover that porcelain is excellent for esthetic reasons, but also has some highly desirable functional benefits as well.

The Hows and Whys of a Porcelain Fixed Bridge

A porcelain fixed bridge replaces missing teeth by using the surrounding teeth as a foundation. This creates a literal “bridge” between the remaining teeth and the missing teeth.

Dental porcelain is a great product because it can be shaped to replicate original teeth and fit comfortably within the established bite pattern. Porcelain is also very durable, will withstand most natural tooth functions, and can vividly mimic tooth enamel with its glass-like whiteness and translucence, which allows light to penetrate and scatter as it does with natural organic teeth.

Maintenance of a Porcelain Fixed Bridge

Maintaining a porcelain bridge is actually quite simple. Treat your bridge in the same manner as you would original teeth, with routine brushing with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and regular flossing.

A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to evaluate your bridge shortly after it’s placed, so the dentist can review his or her handiwork and see how your mouth is reacting to the treatment. Even if you think everything feels perfect, this appointment is vital to your future oral health.

 

Dentures


Partial Dentures

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For many years, partial dentures have been used to replace groups of teeth or a few teeth scattered across the lower or upper jaw. There are a variety of removable partial dentures available to patients and each one comes with its own set of benefits and disadvantages. All partial dentures attach to remaining teeth and have a gum–colored portion meant to blend into the existing gum, with prosthetic teeth to replace the missing teeth.

Full Dentures

Full dentures are similar to partial dentures in that they are prosthetic teeth and gums used to replace missing teeth. The main difference between full and partial dentures is that full dentures are a total replacement system for either upper or lower teeth and, in some cases, both.

Overdentures

Overdentures are a newer alternative to dentures, combining traditional denture technology with modern advancements in dental implants. By establishing two implanted attachments to the lower jaw, an overdenture is able to sit securely in place to instantly increase retention, stability, and comfort. This is especially important in lower-jaw full-denture situations where traditional dentures tend to have less adhesion due to a limited foundation and the tongue muscle dislodging the prosthetic teeth.

Another benefit of overdentures compared to traditional dentures is the limited amount of bone loss where the implants are placed, making the procedure more successful in the long run and helping to preserve facial structural integrity.

Overall, when considering full dentures for the lower jaw, an overdenture should be discussed with Dr. Rai as he can provide the most effective, satisfying, and longest-lasting alternative. Traditional full and partial denture options should be explored, weighing their benefits and pitfalls carefully to find the right dentures for your tooth loss.

I've been seeing Hayley, the dental hygienist for over a year and she has always been fantastic - gentle and sensitive to my teeth cleaning needs! Last week I was in excruciating pain over a wisdom tooth and they were able to get me in for an evaluation later in the day. Dr. Rai was also exceptionally gentle with my aching tooth, and they were able to schedule me for an extraction just three days later. Pretty happy now, if you ask me! Update- I've now had my wisdom teeth removed, and I have to say it was a rather pleasant experience. I was incredibly nervous and Dr. Rai and his dental assistants really took care of me - from making sure my feet weren't cold to explaining what he was doing along the way. The three hours passed really quickly! The evening after my extractions, Dr. Rai personally called me to check in, see how I was feeling and ask if I had any questions for him. I really feel I've been well taken care of.
Christina Alexandra E. - Santa Barbara, CA

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