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Learning Center

Cosmetic Dentistry – Questions and Answers

Dr. Lu of Alexandria Dental Care is pleased to answer the many dental related questions of her patients from Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland. This section provides questions and answers for many frequently asked questions regarding cosmetic dentistry.

What are some of the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?
A great smile should improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on the social and professional aspects of your life. Cosmetic dentistry is not just about pretty smiles though. New techniques and materials are available for back teeth as well as the ones you see when you smile. Now your mouth can look great, get healthy and function better at the same time.

How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening is not a permanent procedure. Results can last for one to or more years, depending upon your personal habits. In most cases, the whitening procedure is very effective and the patient is pleased with the results.

What causes discoloration of the teeth?
Teeth enamel discoloration can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Some of the more common causes of teeth discoloration are medications, coffee, tea or cigarettes. People who drink significant amounts of cola soft drinks can experience similar staining.

Aside from staining, there are other factors that can affect the color of an individual's teeth. Genetics can play a role. Some people have naturally brighter enamel than others. Disease can also be a factor and certain medications can cause a discoloration of the teeth.

What can be done for missing teeth?
Bridges are designed to replace missing teeth. Not only do they fill the unsightly spaces left by lost teeth, but they also help support the teeth adjacent to, and directly opposite, the missing teeth.

There's a big gap between my two front teeth. Can that be changed?
Yes. Bonded veneers can close gaps and help create the smile you desire. Bonded resins generally require one office visit, while porcelain veneering takes two. Bonded veneers, along with good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle, are effective ways to enhance a smile. Dr Lu has an experienced cosmetic dentist can explain the various techniques and help determine which is the best suited to your specific needs.

What are dental veneers?
Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of front teeth and are an ideal way of treating discolored or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks

Can I have white fillings?
For over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called ‘amalgam’. This is still one of the strongest and longest-lasting materials available for fillings. However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks.

White fillings are now becoming a popular alternative to amalgam fillings. The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling.

 

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We look forward to having the opportunity to serve your dental needs. For appointment requests or additional enquiries please call 703.955.3960 or send us an email.