Teeth can fall out for any number of reasons including damage, decay, gum disease, or trauma. With the exception of your third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, every tooth in your mouth is necessary for proper function. Therefore, when a tooth is lost, your dentist will recommend that you replace the missing tooth as soon as possible. 

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, many people are hesitant because of the cost. However, what some people may not realize is that there are a variety of options for replacing missing teeth. These options can offer different treatment methods and can fit different budgets. 

Ultimately, the cost of replacing a missing tooth will depend upon the restoration method, as well as the dental materials used. Let’s take a look at some common restoration treatments for missing teeth to give you a better idea about cost. 

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Dental Bridge

A dental bridge uses a dental crown mounted on the teeth surrounding the gap to support a fake tooth, or pontic. Sometimes, more than one pontic may be used if multiple adjacent teeth are missing. The cost of a dental bridge will increase if more than one pontic is required. Additionally, the cost of a dental bridge is also dependent upon the materials used to fabricate the crowns and pontics. Certain dental materials cost more than others, however they also have other pros and cons that must be considered. 

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Dentures

Dentures are generally used to replace multiple missing teeth. Partial dentures are used in cases where there are still intact teeth, while full dentures are used when there are no remaining teeth. Partial dentures are usually more affordable than full dentures, however there must be enough teeth to support them. The dental materials used to fabricate dentures will also play a role here as well. With dentures, the fake teeth will need to be fabricated, as well as the framework. Although it can vary, generally speaking metal framework tends to be more affordable than an acrylic framework that looks like real gum tissue. Once again, you will need to consider the pros and cons of each dental material available to you. For more information, see our article on “What are Dentures Made Of?” 

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Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are implanted into the jaw bone and used to support a dental prosthesis. To replace a single missing tooth, an implant-supported crown is used. To replace multiple missing teeth either an implant-supported bridge or implant-supported denture is used, depending on how many teeth are missing. With dental implants, there is the cost of the implant as well as the prosthetic that is attached to it. 

In addition to the type of method used to replace missing teeth, another thing you need to consider is how long the treatment is expected to last, as well as the cost of potential maintenance. Some methods may have a lower upfront cost, but you’ll end up paying more in maintenance, while others have a higher upfront cost, but only require little to no maintenance. These are things you should discuss with your dentist prior to making a decision. 

As you can see, the cost of replacing missing teeth is somewhat ambiguous and varies depending on a number of factors. You will need to consider your treatment method, the dental materials used, and its lifespan to determine the actual cost. Although there are several sites that offer estimates, they are just that: estimates. To find out for sure how much it costs to replace missing teeth, schedule a consultation with your local dental office. Most dental offices will offer free or discounted consultations that allow you to learn more about your options. 

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Dentures are a type of dental prosthetic that is used to restore an entire arch of teeth or both arches to restore an entire mouth of missing teeth. They are designed as artificial teeth and gums that sit on top of the natural gum tissue. Dentures can be worn throughout the day to help with functions like eating and speaking, however they are removed at night. 

When a dentist recommends dentures, patients often wonder what dentures are made of and how they are made. After all, many want to be sure that their dentures will be visually appealing and made out of safe dental materials. Luckily, your dentist has your best interests in mind and will use special dental materials that are safe, effective, and aesthetic.

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What are Dentures Made Of?

Dentures contain two main parts that require different dental materials. Namely, these are the false teeth and the framework. Denture teeth are fabricated using either resin or porcelain. Resin can be colored to resemble natural teeth and is a more affordable dental material. Porcelain is considered to be highly aesthetic in terms of its color and texture, but it can also be a more expensive dental material to make dentures from. Additionally, porcelain is usually only recommended for full dentures, meaning most partial dentures teeth are made from resin. This is because porcelain is highly abrasive to tooth enamel and can cause damage or premature wear in the opposing teeth. 

The composition of denture framework can vary depending on the type of denture. Full dentures will be fabricated to look like natural gums and will be made with an acrylic or nylon base, and acrylic gum attachments. In some cases, full dentures may also use metal gum attachments, but these are usually not noticeable when the denture is in place. Partial dentures use the same acrylic or nylon base, however they may also contain metal clasps that wrap around surrounding teeth and hold the denture in place. 

How are Dentures Made?

Now that we know what dentures are made of, let’s take a look at the way dentures are made. The first step to having dentures made is to have your dentist take a dental impression. A dental impression uses a metal tray filled with impression putty that is designed to change from a smoothie consistency to a rubber consistency in as little as a minute. This allows your dentist to obtain a mold of your mouth that they can send to a dental lab to have your dentures fabricated. 

Denture fabrication

To make your denture, a special device called an articulator will be used to replicate the jaw. The mold of your upper and lower arch will be attached to the articulator to create a functional model of your mouth so the dentures can be fabricated for function and appearance. In the early stages, fake teeth will be attached to a wax framework to make a test model. This model will be checked for fit and adjustments will be made if needed. 

Once the wax model has been fitted, it will be used to make the permanent restoration. This is accomplished by pouring hot plaster into the wax framework. This melts the wax and allows the plaster to take its shape. A solution to prevent sticking is applied to the plaster before the acrylic or nylon is poured into the plaster. After everything has hardened, the final step is to remove the plaster, revealing a completed dentures. The final product will then be polished and sent to your local dental office. 

As you can see, dentures are made from certain dental materials that are effective and aesthetic. The fake teeth used for dentures are made from resin or porcelain, while the framework is made with acrylic or nylon. Additionally, the fabrication process for a denture shows how every little detail of your smile is taken into account when making your dentures. 

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

It’s a new year and a new year means a new you, so why not a new smile? If one of your resolutions was to be happier, then smiling regularly is a key part of achieving that goal. However, smiling all the time is much easier when you feel good about the smile you are showing the world. One way to quickly brighten up the appearance of your smile is to have your teeth professionally whitened. 

Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure performed in a dental office. Unlike over the counter whitening treatments, in-office treatments use a higher concentration of whitener and are applied by a dental professional. This means there are fewer risks and better results than over the counter treatments. 

When considering whitening treatments, a common question you may want to ask your dentist is, “how long does teeth whitening last?” It has been found that whitening treatments can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, with the average being around 1 year. In most cases, there are different factors that can affect how long your whitening results last. These can include initial color, type of stain, the rate of exposure to highly pigmented materials, and oral habits. 

Stains can be derived from a variety of sources, but the most common come from pigments in the food and beverages we consume. Some examples of stain culprits are: 

Spoons aligned in a row with various colored condiments

These highly pigmented materials contain chromogens, which are colored molecules. Since your teeth are porous, they absorb these colored molecules and become discolored over time. The more you eat or drink things with colored molecules, the faster your teeth will become discolored. This is one reason why teeth whitening results can vary based on the individual. Therefore, people who regularly consume pigmented foods and beverages are more likely to have their results fade around the six month mark, while those who do not may be able to extend their results for longer. 

However, stains can also be caused by other factors that cannot be easily managed, such as age, genetics, and certain medications. You cannot control your age or your genetics, and taking certain medications is most likely necessary to maintain your overall health. Nevertheless, these factors can also play an integral role in how long your whitening results last. Because of this, they should be discussed with your cosmetic dentist prior to having your teeth whitened. 

Luckily, there are also things that can extend your whitening results. Maintaining great oral hygiene is one main way to keep your teeth whiter for longer. Twice daily brushing and flossing once a day removes the excess plaque and tartar, as well as superficial stains before they can be absorbed into the tooth. Brushing after consuming highly pigmented substances can also help keep discolorations under control. In some cases, your cosmetic dentist may also provide you with take home whitening trays or special whitening toothpaste to maintain your results. 

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Being nervous or even afraid of visiting the dental office is an unfortunate phenomenon that way too many people experience. Dental anxiety can take many forms from simply being nervous while at the dentist, to avoiding the dentist’s office entirely. Luckily, there are some ways to help yourself feel more comfortable at the dentist. While you may not notice results overnight, these strategies can gradually help your dental experience to become less stressful and anxiety-inducing. Here are some ways to feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office: 

Dentist speaking with patient

Talk with Your Dentist

Many dentists are familiar with patients who have dental anxiety and are more than willing to help you manage that anxiety. However, they don’t know that you are feeling anxious about something if you don’t tell them. Discussing your dental anxieties and fears with your dentist before they start anything can be empowering and make you feel a sense of control. With severe cases of dental anxiety, you may want to schedule an appointment just to discuss these concerns and then return at a later date for the actual dental appointment. 

Make Sure You Have the Right Dentist

Part of feeling comfortable in the dentist’s chair is to feel comfortable with the dentist. In most cases, bad dental experiences are not a result of dentistry itself, but the dentist. Having the wrong dentist can cause you to associate the dentist’s office with negative or unpleasant experiences, which further increases your dental anxiety. Taking time to choose the right dentist is a very important step to managing dental anxiety. 

Man listening to headphones

 Use Relaxation Techniques or Music

Certain relaxation techniques like deep breathing, acupressure, and meditation can work well to help you decrease your anxiety levels. However, the key to using relaxation techniques effectively is to practice them several times before you are in an anxious state. This is because relaxation techniques work best when your body has been trained to respond to them. Another way you can relax in the dentist’s chair is to listen to music, an audiobook, or a podcast.  Instead of focusing on your anxiety, you can focus on what you are listening to. This also works well to drown out any anxiety-inducing noises. 

Avoid Caffeine

If you know you have a dentist appointment later in the day, skip that morning cup of coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant, which will serve as fuel for your anxiety and will make it worse. You should also avoid sugary foods as well. Instead, focus on eating high protein foods because they naturally produce a calming effect on the body. 

Consider Dental Sedation

If the above strategies do not seem to be working for you, or if you have extreme dental anxiety, then dental sedation may be an ideal option for you. There are varying levels of dental sedation that can be used to relax you, put you in a light sleep, and render you completely unconscious. One common dental sedation method used for dental anxiety is nitrous oxide because it is an inhaled gas that calms you down without lasting effects after the procedure. 

While dental anxiety can make it a challenge to visit the dentist’s office, strategies such as talking with your dentist, making sure you have the right dentist, distraction through relaxation techniques or music, avoiding caffeine, and dental sedation can help you feel more comfortable at the dental office. Some of these strategies may require practice or planning ahead, but they can be worth it if they alleviate your stress.  

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

When it comes to creating the perfect smile, cosmetic dentists are miracle workers. Even if your teeth are chipped, cracked, decayed, stained, crooked or missing altogether, cosmetic dentists can completely change your look with a smile makeover. 

The way they do this is through using cosmetic dental procedures to restore the function of your teeth, while also improving their visual appearance. Depending on your cosmetic concerns and treatment goals, there are several different cosmetic dental treatments to choose from. Although, certain cosmetic procedures tend to be more commonly performed than others. Here are five popular treatments recommended by your cosmetic dentist: 

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Dental Crowns & Bridges

If your teeth are severely damaged, decayed, or missing then your cosmetic dentist may recommend the use of a dental crown or bridge. Dental crowns are caps that fit over the top of your tooth in order to restore the look and function while also protecting the remaining tooth structure. Dental bridges are composed of multiple crowns, as well as a fake tooth and are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. 

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Veneers

If you are looking for a way to address multiple cosmetic issues in a single dental treatment and have all of your natural teeth, then your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental veneers. Veneers are thin shells made from porcelain or composite that are bonded to the front side of visible teeth. By having veneers placed, you can easily correct damaged, crooked, unevenly spaced, irregularly shaped, and discolored teeth. 

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Dental Implants

If you have a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental implants. Dental implants are placed in the jawbone and act as artificial tooth roots. For a single missing tooth, a dental crown will be placed over the implant, while multiple missing teeth may require the placement of an implant-supported bridge or implant-supported denture. Dental bridges are usually supported by about two dental implants, while implant-supported dentures may require a minimum of four. 

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Dental Bonding

If you have minor tooth damage, such as a chipped or cracked tooth, or a small gap between two teeth, then your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental bonding. Dental bonding uses composite resin to repair or rebuild the natural tooth structure. Composite resin is also commonly used for composite fillings, as well as dental veneers. 

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Teeth Whitening

If you are satisfied with everything but the color of your teeth, then your cosmetic dentist may recommend whitening treatment. During professional teeth whitening treatment, your teeth are cleaned and then whitening trays are placed over your teeth. The trays will usually need to remain in place for 30-60 minutes, depending on the whitener and the treatment goals. The whitener will be absorbed by the enamel and dentin layers, where it will remove years of stains. 

Overall, your cosmetic dentist may recommend crowns & bridges, veneers, dental implants, dental bonding, or teeth whitening to makeover your smile. In some cases, a mix of these treatments may also be used to obtain the desired results. Ultimately, only a consultation with your local cosmetic dentist can help you to determine which cosmetic dental treatment or treatments will work best for your smile. 

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

With modern dental technology, orthodontic treatment is easier than ever. In the past, the main option for orthodontic treatment was metal brackets joined together with an arch wire. While this method was, and still is, highly effective, many people did not care for the look and feel of metal braces. For those reasons, an alternative solution was developed in the late 90s. 

This solution, known as Invisalign, replaced metal brackets and wires with clear aligners. These clear aligners were customized for each patient in order to gradually reposition their teeth. Although the aligners themselves are removable, they must be worn for about 20-22 hours a day to be effective and should only be removed when eating, brushing, or flossing. 

Many people seek Invisalign treatment as a way of straightening their teeth to improve the look of their smiles. However, what some may not realize is that Invisalign also has the potential to correct bite issues known as malocclusion. In addition to properly aligning the teeth, Invisalign can also potentially correct these four types of malocclusion: 

Computerized image of an overbite

1. Overbite

If the top front teeth extend too far over your bottom front teeth, then it is known as an overbite. Overbites are also sometimes referred to as deep bites. Although most people have a slight overbite, anything over 25% is considered to be abnormal and should be corrected to prevent future dental issues. If not treated, overbites can cause premature tooth wear and jaw pain. 

2. Crossbite

If you notice your upper teeth sitting behind your lower teeth when you close your mouth, then it is known as a crossbite. Crossbites are when both the top and bottom jaws are not aligning properly. Unfortunately, they can cause a range of dental issues such as premature tooth wear, gum recession, bone loss, and damage to the teeth such as chips or cracks. While Invisalign can work on some types of crossbite, it cannot always be used as an effective treatment in some cases. 

Computerized image of an underbite

3. Underbite

If the front bottom teeth extend too far beyond the top front teeth, then it is known as an underbite. Underbites are generally caused by a mandible that extends too far forward. People with underbites have their teeth wear down faster, and may also have difficulty properly chewing or speaking due to the position of their lower jaw. While Invisalign treatment can correct underbites, there are some severe cases that may also require surgery. 

5. Open Bite

If you close your mouth and your bottom teeth are not in contact with  any of your bottom teeth, then this is known as an open bite. Open bites interrupt natural chewing function and can make it extremely difficult to bite into food. They can generally be corrected using Invisalign treatment to close the bite. 

As you can see, Invsialign orthodontic treatment has the potential to correct four different types of malocclusion, including: overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. This allows for the proper alignment of both your teeth and your bite, which will prevent future dental issues while also improving the look of your smile. To learn more and determine if Invisalign is the right treatment for you, schedule a consultation with your local Invisalign dentist. 

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Did you know that your dentist can provide three different types of dental care? In order to become a general dentist, candidates must undergo rigorous training that is comparable to medical school. They must complete four years of undergrad and another four years of dental school before they can earn the title general dentist. General dentists may have two suffixes, either DMD or DDS, however they are both equal. 

Once they have obtained their dental degree, they must pass a national dental exam as well as a state licensing exam. Only after both exams are passed can they legally and safely practice as general dentists. After all this, it is pretty safe to say that your general dentist must really know their stuff. During their dental education, dentists receive training in three specific areas. This allows comprehensive dentists to offer their patients three different types of dentistry, including: 

Woman having a dental xray
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Preventative Dentistry

Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of general dentistry is preventative services. General dentists are committed to preserving their patient’s oral health through regular dental exams and cleanings. Dental exams are intended to identify and treat possible dental issues early on, while dental cleanings aim to remove excess plaque to reduce the risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease. General dentists may also order dental x-rays to assess bone health, check for cavities, and to diagnose impacted wisdom teeth. Additional preventative dental treatments provided by a general dentist include dental sealants and fluoride treatments. 

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Restorative Dentistry

Unfortunately, even with the best preventative dental care things can still go wrong. This is where restorative dentistry comes in. Simply stated, restorative dental services are those that restore the natural appearance and function of the teeth. In most cases, restorative dentistry is directed at removing decayed tissue, filling cavities, and repairing damage to the teeth such as chips and cracks. Certain restorative dental treatments are also able to replace a single or multiple missing teeth. Some common examples of restorative dental treatments provided by a comprehensive dentist include composite fillings, dental crowns and bridges, dental implants, and root canals. 

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Cosmetic Dentistry

Like restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry restores decayed, damaged, or missing teeth. However, the main difference between restorative and cosmetic dentistry is that cosmetic dentistry restores the function while also enhancing the visual aesthetics. Although restorative dentistry restores appearance, it lacks the same attention to detail as cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dental services don’t only restore the natural appearance, they can also correct discolorations, alignment, spacing, and the size and shape of the teeth. Some examples of cosmetic dental services provided by a comprehensive dentists are teeth whitening and veneers. 

When you visit a comprehensive dentist, you can expect to receive preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental care all at the same dental practice. While preventative services are the most commonly performed, it is reassuring to know that if you opt for restorative or cosmetic services, you will be able to see the same dentist. Due to their rigorous training and experience, general dentists make your life easier by providing a one-stop-shop for all you and your families dental needs. 

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Did you know that the same dental material used for tooth-colored fillings can be used for cosmetic dental treatments? Dental composite resin is often used for composite fillings, but can also be used for a procedure called dental bonding. Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that bonds composite resin to the tooth in order to repair damage, improve color, change its size or shape, and to fill gaps between teeth. Since dental bonding is not as well known as other cosmetic dental treatments, here are five facts about dental bonding: 

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Similar to Veneers

In some cases, dental bonding can be used to fabricate composite veneers. Just like traditional veneers, composite veneers can improve the size, shape, color, alignment, and spacing of your teeth. They can also be used to restore a single tooth or multiple teeth. Unlike porcelain veneers, however, composite veneers do not require the removal of enamel for their placement, making the treatment reversible. This also means that they do not last as long as porcelain veneers. 

Dentist using curing light for composite in patient's mouth
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Comfortable Treatment

In most cases, dental bonding can be applied without needing to alter the natural tooth structure in anyway. Since composite resin is bonded to the exterior of your tooth, there is often no need for dental anesthetics during dental bonding treatment. During dental bonding treatment, the composite resin is applied and hardened with a curing light layer by layer. The final layer will then be shaped and polished to match the natural tooth structure. 

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Affordable Treatment

Out of all the various options available for cosmetic dental treatments, dental bonding is one of the most affordable cosmetic dental treatments. One reason for its affordability is that it is considered a direct restoration. Direct restorations can be entirely performed without the need for a dental laboratory. This means that the normal fees charged by a dental lab are waived, so the overall treatment cost is lower. However, the total cost of dental bonding will depend on the individual procedure. 

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No Major Risks

Dental bonding is not associated with any major risks because there is no enamel modification or invasive treatments. It can also be easily reversed, so any problems can be solved by its removal. For this reason, many people opt for dental bonding until they are ready to commit to more permanent forms of cosmetic treatment. 

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Durable

Although dental bonding may not last as long as other cosmetic dental methods, it is still exceptionally durable. If properly cared for, dental bonding can last about 5-7 years. To preserve the results of dental bonding, it is recommended to avoid chewing extremely hard foods, as well as teeth grinding or clenching. Twice daily brushings, daily flossing, and regular dental appointments are also essential to maintaining this type of restoration. 

Overall dental bonding can offer similar results to veneers with a treatment that is comfortable, affordable, durable, and has no significant risks. Dental bonding is an ideal treatment for those who are interested in seeing how cosmetic dentistry can help their smile, without needing to commit to costly or lengthy cosmetic procedures. If this sounds like you, then dental bonding may be the perfect cosmetic dental treatment for you. For more information, see “Dental Bonding”.

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Are there things about your smile you wish you could change? Have old injuries or dental habits caused your teeth to have a lackluster appearance? Is it time for you to reinvent yourself through a new smile? If so, then it may be time for you to get a smile makeover. 

Smile makeovers are becoming increasingly possible in cosmetic dentistry. Just as the name suggests, a smile makeover will completely change the appearance of your smile for the better. Depending on your aesthetic goals, smile makeovers can address issues such as: 

Additionally, smile makeovers can vary from patient to patient. In some cases, all cosmetic concerns can be corrected with a single cosmetic treatment, while others may require multiple treatments to obtain the best results. If you are considering a smile makeover, here are five different smile makeover options: 

Woman smiling with a shade guide for whitening
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Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental treatment because it is easy, quick, and effective. Whitening procedures can be completed in one dental visit and results are almost immediately visible. During  whitening procedures, a whitening agent is applied to the teeth and left for 30-60 minutes. Although it is rinsed off, the whitening agent will continue to work for the next 24 hours. The main downside of teeth whitening for a smile makeover is the fact that it only treats discolored teeth. Because of this, it may work best as a secondary treatment. 

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Porcelain Veneers

Following teeth whitening, porcelain veneers are another highly popular cosmetic dental treatment. Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that are adhered to the front surface of visible teeth in order to correct their color, size, shape, spacing, and alignment. Their versatility is one of the reasons for their popularity. However, dental veneers require that a tiny layer of tooth enamel is removed for their placement. This makes them an irreversible treatment. On average, porcelain veneers can last 10-15 years after their initial placement. 

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Composite Bonding

Composite bonding uses dental composite resin to correct minor structural and spacing issues. In some cases, veneers can be made from composite. These generally do not require enamel removal for placement, but they only last half as long. Composite bonding is also commonly used to repair chips or cracks, as well as to fill small gaps between teeth. Composite bonding is valued for its affordability, however it lacks the longevity of other cosmetic treatments. 

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Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are used to replace missing teeth. With dental implants, a titanium implant screw is placed in the jawbone with a connector piece protruding out of the gums. Eventually, a dental crown will be adhered to the connector piece to fill in the gap left by a missing tooth. In some cases, an implant-supported bridge can also be used to fill in gaps left by multiple missing teeth. Dental implants are valued for their aesthetic appeal,  extreme strength, and longevity.  

Before and after full mouth reconstruction
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Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures are used to restore an entire arch of teeth that are severely decayed, damaged, or missing. They can be used for the upper or lower arches, as well as for both if needed. They are composed of an acrylic or resin denture that is fixed in the mouth by 4-6 dental implants per arch. Implant-supported dentures are considered to be the best option for full mouth reconstruction cases because they offer the benefits of dentures along with the benefits of dental implants. For more information, see “Why Implant-Supported Dentures May Be Right For You”.

As you can see, there are a variety of smile makeover options available. Depending on your individual case and aesthetic goals, teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, composite bonding, dental implants, or implant-supported dentures may be the best cosmetic dental treatment for you. Ultimately, however, only a cosmetic dentist can evaluate your case and help you determine the best smile makeover treatment for your needs. 

Dr. Anthony Mancino

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Last week we looked at the first five reasons why dental implants are the best restorative treatment. Here are five more: 

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Fuse With the Jawbone

After dental implants are placed in the jaw, they undergo a process called osseointegration. This is the process of the implant fusing to the surrounding bone, which takes about 3-6 months to complete. To function properly, osseointegration must occur during the healing process. No other restoration method is capable of fusing to the jawbone, and this is one of the main things that sets dental implants apart. 

Preserve Bone Mass

Dental implants are the only restorative method that can mimic natural tooth roots. Unfortunately, when teeth are lost, the jawbone no longer receives stimulation from the forces of chewing and biting. When this happens, the body will naturally start breaking down the calcium in the bone to use it elsewhere in the body. Since dental implants mimic tooth roots, they provide the jawbone with the stimulation necessary to preserve bone mass. This also means that your facial structure will not change over time like with dentures. 

Extremely Durable and Long-Lasting

Another benefit of having dental implants implanted into the jawbone is their strength and longevity. When the surrounding bone fuses around them, it effectively secures the dental implants in place. This means that the implant should not loosen as the result of normal chewing, biting, and speaking functions. Additionally, this also means that dental implants will last much longer than other types of dental restorations. On average, dental implants can last 10-15 years, but some have even lasted 20 years. 

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Versatile Treatment

Dental implants can also offer a variety of dental treatments for patients with different treatment goals. For example, a single missing tooth can be restored using an implant supported dental crown. In cases where multiple adjacent teeth are missing, an implant supported bridge can be used. Finally, in cases where an entire mouth reconstruction is needed, an implant supported denture can be used on the top and bottom arches. 

Natural Appearance and Function

One of the final reasons are that dental implants can restore the greatest amount of natural function when compared to other restoration methods. This is because their strength makes them more resistant and prevents them from coming loose when dealing with the stress of chewing or biting. Additionally, dental implants have a highly natural appearance and many people won’t be able to tell that you have an implant instead of a natural tooth. 

As you can see, dental implants are truly a remarkable modern dental advancement for restoring decayed, damaged, or missing teeth. Reasons #1-5 evaluated their coordinating dental prosthesis, types, size, structure, and how they are placed. Reasons #6-10 focused on their ability to fuse with the jawbone and how this results in the preservation of bone mass, their strength and longevity, treatment versatility, and their natural appearance and function. Surely, these ten reasons show why dental implants are the best restorative treatment for the 120 million Americans missing teeth.

Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

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