Your smile is the first impression that others have of you, so it makes sense that you would want it to be bright, white and healthy. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, more than 99 percent of all American adults believe that a smile is an important asset for social situations. Perhaps that is why so many patients are electing cosmetic dental procedures to improve their smiles and boost self-confidence.

Did you know…

that cosmetic dentistry is more than just teeth whitening? Your cosmetic dentist is also capable of transforming your smile’s shape, color, alignment, as well as filling in gaps and discreetly restoring decayed or damaged teeth with tooth-colored fillings. In fact, modern advancements in cosmetic dentistry have made it possible for patients to achieve nearly perfect teeth with cosmetic enhancements and restorations that are virtually undetectable to friends, family and peers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for cosmetic dentistry?

You may be a candidate for cosmetic dentistry if your healthy teeth have imperfections that you would prefer to be changed to enhance the appearance of your smile. It is important to recognize that esthetic dental treatments are not meant to alter your overall appearance, but rather to provide a positive change that compliments the health and natural appearance of your teeth. If you think cosmetic dentistry is right for you, contact your cosmetic dentist today to schedule a consultation.

What should I expect from my cosmetic dental visit?

Due to great strides in dentistry, cosmetic, restorative and general dentistry can overlap in a single visit. You can expect your cosmetic dentist to discuss health implications, as well as esthetics at your appointment.

What types of cosmetic treatments are available to me?

There are many types of cosmetic treatments available, from in-office teeth whitening to total smile make-overs. The types of treatments available to you will depend on your overall goals, but may include professional whitening, tooth-colored fillings, bonding, crowns, veneers, or dental implants.

What should I expect after receiving a cosmetic treatment?

You will receive special care instructions following your treatment. For example, if you have your teeth whitened you should avoid highly pigmented beverages and foods for several days to prevent staining. On the other hand, a dental implant make-over may require a significant amount of down time, as well as a temporary, but limited diet.

Provisional restorations are often used during complex restorative dental procedures to serve as temporary prosthetic replacements while patients wait for a permanent restoration. Provisional restorations offer patients to try-out the look and feel of the final prosthetic and make any necessary changes before the final fabrication and fitting. Unlike temporary prosthetics of the past, modern provisional restorations are highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. Today’s temporaries are composed of a quality acrylic resin that mimics the look and feel of permanent metal or ceramic restorations.

Did you know…

Provisional restorations are a primary component of smile reconstructions. In addition to serving cosmetic purposes for patients with missing or damaged teeth, dental temporaries provide the following functions:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need a provisional restoration during the course of my dental treatment?

You may need a provisional restoration if you are preparing to get a new crown, bridge, veneers, dental implants or some other permanent restoration. Temporaries may be put in place to ensure you are pleased with the aesthetics and fit of your new prosthetic. You may also be fit for a provisional restoration while you wait for a dental lab to finalize your permanent ones.

What should I expect when being fit for a dental temporary?

Temporaries are constructed in a dental laboratory using impressions and digital images of your teeth. The lab will produce a ‘wax-up’ that you will approve before the temporaries are fabricated. Your dentist will prepare your teeth for the provisional restorations and temporarily attach them to your teeth, where they will remain until you are ready for your permanent restorations.

Will I need to follow any special guidelines after receiving my temporary restoration?

You may need to wear your temporaries for just a few days or for several months depending on the type of dental reconstruction you are undergoing. Temporaries formed in place of crowns or veneers may only need to be worn for a few days to a few weeks, whereas dental implant and full-mouth reconstruction patients will need to wear provisional restorations for several months while the gums heal and the implants fuse with surrounding bone. Keep in mind that provisional restorations are less durable than permanent ones and are placed using provisional cement. Because it is possible for them to shift or become damaged, you should be careful to follow your dentist’s guidelines for caring for your temporaries – including using good oral hygiene, abiding by dietary restrictions, and using protective mouth gear during sports or high impact activity.

The field of orthodontics spans beyond corrective treatments. It also includes preventive care, which is used to prevent the development of a bad bite or crooked and overcrowded teeth. In fact, some children who undergo preventive treatments can avoid the need for far more invasive treatments later in life. By the time preventive orthodontic treatments are complete, children have an adequate amount of jaw space for permanent teeth to erupt.

Did you know?

It is important that your child undergoes an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Preventive care is only effective when used early – usually while the majority of primary teeth are still intact. Some of the most common preventive orthodontic treatments in include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child need preventive orthodontic treatment?

Your child may need preventive care if he or she has malocclusion, inadequate jaw space, has teeth erupting in the wrong spaces, or has missing primary teeth lost due to decay or trauma. If you suspect that your child could need preventive orthodontic, schedule a consultation immediately.

What should I expect during preventive orthodontic treatment?

Preventive treatment varies from child to child. Some types of preventive appliances are fixed in your child’s mouth, and require multiple visits to ensure a perfect fit. If your child’s appliance is removable, you will be given instructions on how and when your child should wear the device. You can also expect to make occasional orthodontic visits for the duration of your child’s preventive treatment to measure progress and make adjustments as needed.

Will I need to follow any special instructions while my child is undergoing preventive treatment?

Yes. In addition to ensuring your child’s appliance is being worn correctly, you’ll need to also prevent your child from consuming foods that could damage the appliance while being worn. If your child’s appliance is removable, you’ll need to clean it regularly and store it according to your orthodontist’s instructions.

Dr. Karl is a licensed Invisalign dentist because she believes in the powerful, life-changing results of Invisalign clear aligners. Invisalign can be given as a treatment by both orthodontists, general dentists, and cosmetic dentists alike due to its numerous benefits. It’s the ability to straighten teeth, gives people healthier, straighter smiles, and removes the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay by a significant portion. Their design makes them highly applicable in almost every life circumstance due to its clear, plastic construction, making it practically invisible when with other people. These aligners provide resistance over time, and through multiple treatment plans, Invisalign can change the lives of so many people and give them a smile they’ve always wanted.

Did you know…

Invisalign’s discreet system makes it less restrictive than traditional braces. It can be removed at any time, meaning adults with Invisalign don’t have to make dietary adjustments and can be taken off whenever needed. The Invisalign system is made entirely out of plastic and is free of wires and brackets. The aligners can be adjusted to fit any schedule, and also removes the need for wire tightening. These aligners are switched out and replaced every few weeks, and it removes the risks of stains, brings more comfort to the wearer, and can be taken out for brushing and flossing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I qualify for Invisalign clear aligners?

Because Dr. Karl is a general dentist, she can offer Invisalign to patients under specific conditions, mainly for those who have minor misalignments with their teeth. Invisalign clear aligners work specifically for those with slight gaps, crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. First, she would have to check your oral history to assess your teeth before giving treatment. To learn more, contact Dr. Karl today to schedule a consultation.

How does Invisalign treatment work?

Once the first set of Invisalign braces are designed and sent from the manufacturer, you as the patient will need to wear them for 22 hours a day, with a 2-hour break each day. Because everyone’s teeth are unique, the treatment plans will differ as well. Most patients with minor teeth issues will be able to achieve their desired smile within one to two years. Some patients will also need attachments or ridges to ensure they’re placed correctly.

How often will I need checkups during treatment?

To ensure that the teeth are shifting in the correct direction, Dr. Karl will need to schedule multiple appointments to track the progress. A beneficial part of wearing Invisalign braces is the lack of need to adjust wires and brackets during appointments. Luckily, once the treatment is complete, Invisalign braces aren’t needed anymore, and patients can go on with their lives as usual. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Karl today at St. Clair Dental to learn more about Invisalign and other dentistry aspects.

Dr. Karl is an expert veneer and laminate dentist who provides dental veneers for restoring damaged teeth. She aims to transform her patient’s smile, and at St Clair Dental, we often treat patients with various dental concerns. Dental veneers, also known as laminates, cosmetically enhance the appearance of teeth by acting as thin shells. These shells reshape broken and irregular teeth by bonding to the surface. These veneers provide patients with a solution for discolored teeth, especially ones with intrinsic stains that don’t respond to tooth whitening treatments. Veneers create a natural, tooth-like appearance, resist stains, and is well-tolerated by the gums.

Did you know…

Veneers are considered by dentists and patients to be a conservative makeover for smiles. Veneers are the go-to procedure for its ability to create brighter, whiter smiles without sacrificing costs. They’re typically popular with celebrities, they create symmetry within the mouth, and its affordability makes it easy for anyone to get dental veneers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I qualified for dental veneers or laminates?

Veneers can help you in many ways because they can be applied to many dental situations. Some may want that Hollywood smile, and others may want to repair their chipped teeth. Veneers can be used to replace treatments for crowns and caps, help replace gaps between teeth, and cover broken, chipped, and irregularly shaped teeth. To find out more, contact Dr. Karl to schedule a consultation.

What should I know about dental veneers?

Veneers have to be bonded to the tooth to be considered a permanent restoration, meaning that Dr. Karl will have to remove some of the enamel of the tooth, about half a millimeter from the surface, to bond the veneer to the tooth. This procedure will normally be done under local anesthesia, and once parts of the enamel are removed, you’ll need to bite into a mold to form the veneer impression. That impression will be sent to a dental lab for fabrication, and then once the veneers are ready, Dr. Karl will fit them onto your teeth and shape them as needed.

What post-treatment instructions will I need to care for my veneers?

Because of the nature of veneers, there are no special requirements needed for aftercare. You can brush and floss as normal without any worry. You may experience some oversensitivity due to the enamel removal procedure beforehand, but this is normal. We hope that you experience joy with your new smile from St. Clair Dental when you visit us.

At St. Clair Dental, we improve patient’s smiles through some of the most beautiful arts of general and cosmetic dentistry, meaning we have multiple tools at our disposal to give you a smile you’ve always wanted. Dr. Karl recommends teeth whitening treatments for its affordability, higher chance to improve confidence, and its ability to remove harder to brush extrinsic stains that are caused by normal foods such as coffee, tea, and soda. Teeth whitening procedures are considered to be some of the most aesthetically pleasing cosmetic treatments among patients. According to the American Dental Association, they can remove and brighten a patient’s smile from 5 to 10 shades within a single session.

Did you know…

Compared to over-the-counter treatments, professional treatments use more potent whitening agents that deliver faster, more effective results. Because teeth naturally darken as we age, stains can accumulate over the years, especially in combination with certain foods, beverages, medications, and other habits. Whitening sessions can erase the darker, yellowed stains from a smile by using stronger versions of peroxide-based bleaching agents. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recommends professional whitening treatments in combination with at-home treatments and basic oral care for the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I qualified for teeth whitening treatments?

Any discoloration you experience with your teeth can be considered one of the primary reasons for candidacy, especially if you otherwise have healthy teeth and gums. If you are pregnant, sensitive to whitening agents, had previous restorations in the past, or under the age of 16, you will not be a candidate for teeth whitening. Contact Dr. Karl to learn more about our teeth whitening procedures.

What should I know about teeth whitening treatments?

Any teeth whitening treatment performed by Dr. Karl will take the maximum amount of care to remove all debris and polish your teeth to natural health. After cleaning and polishing your teeth, Dr. Karl will protect your gums with a rubber dam before applying any whitening agent to the surface of your teeth. Once activated and left for several minutes, the product will be washed off, and the treatment will be complete. The shade of your tooth after treatment will vary according to the degree of discoloration present and the natural shade of your tooth. Still, overall you’ll experience shades lighter within the first visit.

What post-instructions will I need after my teeth whitening treatment?

You may feel some tooth sensitivity after the treatment and may be instructed to avoid colored beverages for at least a full day to prevent staining. Depending on your desires for whiter teeth, Dr. Karl may also send you with an at-home whitening treatment for further use. Contact St. Clair Dental today if you wish to schedule an appointment with Dr. Karl.

Initially, dentists in the mid-1800s had begun to use metal fillings such as platinum, lead, and other metals to fill missing areas of the tooth, also known as amalgam fillings. It wasn’t until the early 1960s that composite fillings became a possibility and completely changed dentistry forever. Composite fillings were able to be polished and blended better into the natural tooth than metal, and also had less risk of corrosion and microleakage that occurred from metal fillings. Composite fillings are safe, long-lasting, and reliable, and allow for more conservative methods of restorative treatments.

Did you know…

Composite fillings help preserve the natural tooth structure because it chemically bonds to the surface of the tooth. Its strong adhesive properties, which are made of both composite resin and silica, have more transparency and wear-resistance, and thanks to today’s technology, can be used to fill all teeth. While the process for composite fillings tends to take longer than amalgams, it preserves the natural parts of the tooth through discreet restoration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I qualify for composite tooth-colored fillings?

Any cavities, broken teeth, or deteriorating fillings you may have can qualify you for a tooth-colored filling. They’re typically used for small to moderate-sized restorations, and depending on how much is needing to be restored, it can even be repaired within one visit. If interested, contact Dr. Karl at St. Clair Dental to schedule a consultation.

What should I know about composite filling treatments?

At Dr. Karl’s office, your gums and teeth will be examined and cleaned and then anesthetized near the site of the filling area. After the area becomes completely numb, she will remove any decaying or damaged parts of the teeth to make room for the new filling. The filling will be mixed to closely match the natural color of your tooth, and once prepped, the resin will be placed over the area, and depending on the type of composite, cured with a curing light for at least a minute. Afterward, the composite will be shaped and polished, leaving you with a completely repaired tooth.

How do I take care of my composite fillings?

After the composite filling procedure, you will be able to return to your normal activities. Your teeth may experience some sensitivity due to the treatment, but it should subside within a few days. If any pain continues, then contact St. Clair Dental to report to Dr. Karl.

Crowns and bridges make a perfect combination for restorations – they provide support for surrounding healthy teeth, help replace damaged teeth, and restore the structure of the gums and jawbone. Crowns and bridges can help restore underlying oral conditions, such as periodontal disease and severe tooth decay, and help patients regain the beauty and function of their smile.

Did you know…
These custom-fitted prosthetic devices have their purpose; the crown, or cap, is affixed over a tooth structure or implant frame to replace single or multiple missing teeth, and the bridge helps fill in numerous gaps by using an anchor and is then supported by the surrounding teeth or crowns. Originally, crowns were used by the Etruscan civilizations to restore teeth, using materials such as ivory, gold, and bones. These methods of restoration were continued to be used up until the 20th century when porcelain crowns were invented.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I qualified for crowns or bridges?

Crowns and bridges are customized explicitly for a person’s bite – if you have decaying and damaged teeth, then either of these procedures could help you. These procedures all depend on the condition of your teeth. If you only have decaying teeth, then crowns could help restore the tooth entirely, while bridges can help replace the former positions of the surrounding teeth as well as replace your damaged teeth. If you’re still wondering if you qualify, then contact Dr. Karl today to schedule a consultation.

What should I understand about crown and bridge placements?

Before beginning any procedures involving crowns or bridges, Dr. Karl will need to take alginate or digital impression of your teeth to fabricate the new prosthetic devices. While those impressions will be sent to the dental lab, Dr. Karl will prep the teeth by removing portions of the enamel before placing a temporary crown with removable glue. Patients will need to wait two weeks before receiving their permanent restorations, and during this time, any issues with the temporary crowns can be addressed. Afterward, the permanent restorations will be placed onto the tooth structures, and patients will receive their new smiles as a result!

What post-treatment instructions do I need to follow?

During this time, your mouth will need to heal and adjust to the new crown or bridge placement so that you could experience some hot and cold sensitivity. You may also experience some soreness around the gums, as it will take a few days to heal. After a few days, you’ll be able to speak, eat, and sleep without any feelings of discomfort. If you have any more concerns about crowns and bridges, then schedule an appointment with St. Clair Dental today to meet with Dr. Karl for a consultation.

Dentures are removable tooth prosthetics designed to look and function like natural teeth. For thousands of years, some form of denture has been used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth, although today’s dentures are much more advanced and easier to care for. Most dentures are composed of replacement teeth attached to plastic bases that take on the appearance of the gums. They are used to compensate for one or more missing teeth, and are available as partials and complete sets of teeth. Many dental patients elect dentures for tooth replacement if they are not candidates for dental implants or are otherwise looking for a tooth replacement option that is more affordable and budget-friendly.

Did you know…

Your dentures are custom designed to fit your smile, but did you know that improperly caring for them can cause them to become distorted? Most removable dentures must maintain moisture to retain their shape. Be sure to wash them after eating, gently clean them once daily, and allow them to soak overnight in a denture soaking solution. This will keep your dentures clean and free of stains, which ultimately helps your smile look its best.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am a candidate for removable dentures?

If you are missing one or more teeth and thinking of getting dentures, you will first need a professional consultation with a dentist experienced in denture placement. During this time, you can explore your tooth prosthetic options, ask questions, and make a decision as to whether dentures are right for you.

What should I expect when being fitted for dentures?

Your gums must first be prepared before you can begin wearing dentures. If you need one or more teeth removed, the process could take several months while you wait for your gums to heal from the extractions. An impression will then be taken of your gums and the supporting bones beneath the gum, which will be used to fabricate a complete or partial denture in a dental lab.

Will I need to follow any special after-care instructions?

Once your dentures are ready, you can begin wearing them on a daily basis. Expect the first few weeks to be an adjustment period, during which time you will adapt to the feel of your new dentures, as well as learn how to manipulate your tongue and cheek muscles to keep them in place. You may also experience slight irritation or soreness from the initial denture wear although this should subside after a few days or weeks.

Dental Implants

Missing teeth can not only have a dramatic affect on one’s confidence, but also their health. The space caused by missing teeth can become infected with debris and bacteria, causing the other teeth to shift and create eating and speaking difficulties. Dental implants can help improve health and regain confidence, and Dr. Karl can provide dental implant treatments that restore missing teeth and bring smiles back to health.

Dental implants are root devices that support permanent tooth prosthetics. These roots anchor to the bone beneath the gums, and the anchor is fused to the jaw for a sturdy attachment that’s realistic to natural teeth. Once the root is installed, crowns are mounted on top of the implant root, and offer the same functions as natural teeth. Dental implants can prevent bone atrophy in the jaw, and can be used to replace one or more teeth.

Did you know…

That more than 30 million people miss all of their teeth in either one or both of their jaws? The American Academy of Implant Dentistry states that approximately 3 million people have dental implants. Thanks to the increase in dental practices providing implant procedures, at least 500,000 people get implants each year. The prospective of the dental prosthetic market is a constant, increasing avenue for growth, and is predicted to reach $9.71 billion by 2026.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been experiencing issues with my jawbone, and I have missing teeth. Could I qualify for dental implants?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your jawbone and teeth, you can qualify for implants if you have sufficient bone support and gums to support the new tooth structure. Today’s dental industry is constantly reviving and testing new methods of restorations, and with these advancements, even those with severe bone problems and tooth issues can find relief through implants.

What is the process for implant restorations?

If you have missing teeth, Dr. Karl will examine your mouth and then will create an impression of your teeth using alginate material or digital impression scanners. Next, Dr. Karl will submit the impressions to the dental lab for fabrication, and during that time, she will clean and disinfect the spaces and then install a metal post into the gum line and screw that post into the jawbone. Throughout this procedure, you will either be sedated or anesthetized and take between one to two hours to complete. Once the bone and gums heal, the crown will be screwed tightly onto the post to avoid movement and looseness.

How do I take care of my implants after treatment?

Some swelling and bruises will occur following the post’s installation, and you will need over-the-counter medications to remove any inflammation or pain you experience during healing. You may need to eat soft foods during the next two weeks that you heal. If you have any concerns about our implant treatment procedures, contact St. Clair Dental today to schedule a consultation.