It was a painful first date that pushed Tom Johnson over the edge. It was two in the morning, and he liked the woman he was with. After both had enjoyed a few drinks, she looked across the table and asked, “Were you given tetracycline as a kid?”
Tom said no, but he knew what she meant. Twenty years ago, Tom had a broken tooth fixed with cosmetic bonding. The dentist spent time on the adjacent teeth to match the color, and it all looked good in 1998. The years were not kind, and his four front teeth darkened and took on a stain much like the gray which tetracycline-in-childhood causes.
With his love life in the balance, Tom figured he needed to locate some cosmetic dentists in NYC. A quick search shows there are over 4,000 cosmetic dentists in NYC alone. Being socially aware, Tom decided to check out a variety of dentists and options for getting his teeth in date-worthy shape.
Also called holistic dentistry or biological dentistry, alternative dentistry is the equivalent of alternative medicine. This approach emphasizes approaching dental health in the framework of the patient?s overall physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Many alternative dentists are criticized by the mainstream community. The Holistic Dental Network defines the practice as an approach to dentistry that ?promotes health and wellness?.
Holistic dental practitioners oppose using amalgam in dental fillings and support nonsurgical treatment of gum disease.
Holistic dentistry doesn?t cover all treatment possibilities. For example, when a person wants cosmetic dentistry or treatments such as veneers, they often have to visit conventional dentists.
Laminate vs Veneer
Veneers, also called dental porcelain laminates, are all the rage right now. They are paper-thin slices of ceramic which are glued to the front teeth and can be done overnight. Permanent and custom shaped, they require the removal of about 5 mm of the original tooth to make room for the fresh veneer.
Laminates are thinner, about the depth of a contact lens. In short, laminating is a variety of veneer which requires little preparation and almost no grinding away of the tooth surface.
As well as being made of thin porcelain, both products:
- incorporate just the visible sections of teeth;
- improve minor tooth imperfections;
- align and extend teeth;
- cover stained or discolored fillings; and
- are blemish-proof, consistent in appearance and extremely flexible.
Of the many smile enhancing procedures, dental veneers are among the safest. With almost zero recovery time, patients can even drive themselves home unless they were sedated. It takes a few hours for sedation to wear off, and most patients do not have any problems which require time to heal.
As with any medical procedure there is risk involved, but it is minimal. Anyone concerned about safety should have a heart-to-heart talk with the dentist before scheduling an appointment.
On average, veneers last around ten years. As orthodontic porcelain becomes stronger and durability increases, the lifespan might increase as well. Veneers, like natural teeth, are subject to damage which can shorten their lifespan.
Once porcelain veneers are in place, the owner should commit to a good oral hygiene program, regular visits to the dentist and living a healthy lifestyle. Routine flossing and brushing is still the most important thing a patient can do to ensure the longevity of their veneers.
Typically, the cost of traditional veneers will run between $500 and $1,900 per tooth. Laminates may range from $800 to $2,000 per tooth. Size and geography also play a part, and it is up to the cosmetic dentist to determine cost, which will be based on a person’s specific needs.
Usually, insurance does not cover elective cosmetic dentistry, so a call to the insurance company is in order. Many cosmetic dentists have contracted with GE Care Cred to make financing possible. Most cosmetic dentists have flexible and affordable payment plans, and some offer ?no down payment? care.