A smile can be the most eye-catching feature of a face. With dentistry’s many advances, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth. You now have choices that can help you smile with confidence.
Even the most subtle change in your smile can make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel about yourself. Talk to Sunnyvale cosmetic dentist Dr. Antonious about the options most suitable for you, what your expectations are and the dental fees involved.
Cosmetic Dentistry Options:
Tooth whitening ( bleaching):
Tooth whitening ( bleaching) brightens teeth that are discolored or stained. Bleaching may be done completely in Sunnyvale Dental Care cosmetic dental office or Dr. Antonious may dispense a system for you to use at home.
Bonding can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have spaces between them. With bonding, tooth-colored materials are applied, or bonded, to the tooth surface.
Enamel shaping involves modifying teeth to improve their appearance by removing or contouring enamel. The process, which often is combined with bonding, usually is quick and comfortable and the results can be seen immediately.
Veneers are thin custom-made shells designed to cover the front side of teeth. Made of tooth-colored materials, veneers are used to treat spaces between teeth and teeth that are chipped or worn, permanently stained, poorly shaped or slightly crooked.
Braces are not just for kids. Orthodontics may be needed if teeth are crooked, crowded or do not meet properly. If at Sunnyvale Dental Care practice, we think you should see a specialist for treatment, Dr. Antonious will refer you to an orthodontist.
Sunnyvale Dental Care has partnered with the Lending Club, one of the best dental finance companies out there to be able to offer the cosmetic treatments that our patients demand and deserve at an affordable price with convenient installment payments. We always try our best to provide the best cosmetic dentistry has to offer to all our local patients and beyond. Our reviews on Google, FaceBook, and YouTube speak for themselves.
The central location of our practice is right on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale which is one of the many reasons that Sunnyvale residents seek our cosmetic dental services including residents in zip codes 94085, 94086, 94087, 94088 and 94089.
Sunnyvale Dental Care is in-network and preferred participating PPO provider with Ameritas, Assurant, Anthem BlueCross, Cigna, DenteMax, Geha Connection, Guardian, HealthNet, Humana, MetLife, Principal, Aetna, United HealthCare, First Dental Health, Maverest, Dental Benefit Providers, Dentegra, and Avesis. Dr. Antonious is a premier provider with Delta Dental.
Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth. The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.
The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe. Along with the ADA’s position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective. The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling. The ADA has had fewer than 100 reported incidents of an allergy to components of silver fillings, and this is out of countless millions of silver fillings over the decades.
Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at high, unsafe levels. For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them. However, with respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.
There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings. At Sunnyvale Dental Care, we encourage you to discuss these options with Sunnyvale Dental Care dentist Dr. Antonious so you can determine the best option for you.
What about “silver” fillings versus “white” fillings?
Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting “white” or tooth-colored composite fillings. At Sunnyvale Dental Care, we also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they “bond” to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. White fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, “white” fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.
Crowns and Bridges FAQs
What’s the difference between a “crown” and a “cap”?
These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as “dental crowns”. However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as “caps” and the gold or stainless steel ones as “crowns”.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are false tooth. It is also known as single-piece multiple unit fixed partial denture. It may be recommended by Sunnyvale dentist Dr. Antonious if tooth has been extracted due to decay or has been broken in an accident. Then, the gap constructed is bridged using dental bridge.
Dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth in a patient’s mouth. A dental bridge involves two crowns and a false tooth “bridged” between them. The crowns on the adjacent teeth are use to give strength to the new tooth. The teeth used to support the bridge are called abutment.
What are the types of bridges?
There are three types of dental bridges. According to the condition of patient’s teeth, a bridge can be chosen.
- Maryland Bridge: In this type, the false teeth are supported by small metal wings. This is very appropriate if the front teeth are missing.
- Fixed Bridge: In this type of bridging, the false tooth is supported by creating two crowns for the adjacent teeth on both sides of the false tooth. Dental implants can also be used to fix the dental bridges. This type of bridge is the most common type of bridge used at Sunnyvale Dental Care
- Cantilever bridge: In this case the false tooth is supported by creating a crown for only one of the adjacent tooth.
What’s the difference between a “bridge” and a “partial denture”?
Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. It is our finding at Sunnyvale Dental Care that patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.
Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.
Cosmetic Dentistry & Veneers FAQs
Do all patients who want cosmetic makeovers get the same kind of teeth?
Absolutely not! Each person has a look they want for themselves and they have facial structure and skin tones that guide us in making individual selections that vary in size, shape, and color for each person.
Do I have to get my teeth capped to get rid of spaces between my front teeth?
In most cases capping to correct spaces isn’t necessary. Today with beautiful, natural looking porcelain veneers (also called porcelain facings) we can easily make dramatic cosmetic changes to remove spaces, fix cracked teeth, do minor tooth straightening, and change the color of your teeth. In many instances, little or no tooth structure needs to be removed to create the smile of your dreams.
How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?
If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile.
Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health. This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.
There are many cosmetic dental procedures available at Sunnyvale Dental Care to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over. Ask Sunnyvale dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.
Teeth Whitening: Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking. Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present.
Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings: Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used at Sunnyvale Dental Care instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth. This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.
Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile. They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.
Porcelain Crowns (caps): A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.
Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth. Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.
Orthodontics: Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients. Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces.
Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!
What is Veneer?
Veneers is a thin layer of restorative material bonded over the tooth in order to improve the aesthetic look of the tooth or protect damaged tooth. Porcelain veneers are used to make cosmetic changes to discolored, chipped, or misaligned teeth. Basically, two kinds of materials are used in veneer treatments namely composite and porcelain.
Popularly, porcelain veneers are used. They are indirectly fabricated, customized, and properly designed to give you the same shape, size, and color as natural shining tooth.
The composite veneers can be placed directly in the mouth or indirectly made in a dental lab which is later fixed on the tooth. The veneers treatment process will help you gain confidence by having shining teeth and a beautiful smile. You can discuss with Sunnyvale Dentist Dr. Antonious what type of veneer, porcelain or composite, will be more appropriate cosmetic treatment for you.
What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?
Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.
What can veneers be used for?
Veneers may be used to restore or correct the following dental conditions:
- Severely discolored or stained teeth
- Unwanted or uneven spaces
- Worn or chipped teeth
- Slight tooth crowding
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth that are too small or large
- Getting veneers usually requires two visits. Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile.
With little or no anesthesia, teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the front surface of the teeth to allow for the small thickness of veneers. The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements and occasionally a specialized light may be used to harden and set the bond.
Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.
How much tooth structure is removed to place the veneers?
A thin layer, about 0.5 millimeter, is removed. The layer of tooth structure needs to be removed in order to make room for the porcelain. This allows us to make the teeth the proper contour without them being too bulky or unnatural appearing.
How many veneers are used?
New advances in bonding technology allow us to create an extremely strong bond between your teeth and the veneers. The teeth are first prepared with the bonding material and special resin cement is used as the “glue”. The resin cement is available in several different colors to give the best possible result.
How is the veneer bonded to the tooth?
This depends entirely on the desired result. If there is only one tooth that is discolored or malformed, then a single veneer can be used. To get a more balanced and even looking result it is recommended that several veneers (4 to 8) be done at the same time. This allows us to get the most beautiful result possible.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth can often be whitened by the several new techniques of “bleaching” available today. The most common methods used are the “in-office” method where a strong bleaching agent is placed over the isolated teeth and a special light is used to assist the bleaching material lighten the teeth. This method is generally more controlled and probably better for people who have tetracycline stains or streaks on their teeth. The “home” techniques involve making trays which fit into the mouth and these are then filled with bleaching materials. When worn for a few hours a day, noticeable results are seen generally within a few days to a couple weeks. Results vary from individual to individual and it is probably best to check with Sunnyvale dentist Dr. Antonious to help decide which method works best for you. Some of the factors involved include the intensity of the stains, whether or not you have fillings or crowns on your front teeth as well as what may have caused the stains.
What causes staining of teeth?
The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances (coffee, tea, colas, tobacco, blueberries etc.), and old fillings in the teeth. During tooth formation, consumption of the antibiotic tetracycline or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.
Who may benefit from tooth whitening?
Almost everyone with healthy teeth will benefit. There is virtually no downside to whitening and lots of upside. As long as you do not have any fillings or crowns on front teeth, you will benefit from tooth whitening by having a whiter younger smile.
Is the process safe?
Whitening is gentle and safe when supervised by Sunnyvale Dental Care staff. In fact, dentist-supervised whitening has been done for nearly a century, but has increased in popularity in recent years as yellowed teeth are becoming less and less acceptable, both socially and professionally. Procedures have been simplified and shown to be safe. Reports that claim that the bleaching gel will destroy your enamel are not true. The bleaching process causes no long term harmful effects to your teeth or gums.
Are there any side effects?
Some people may experience a transient sensitivity to cold while bleaching. This disappears soon after the treatment is finished. However you can decrease the frequency of wearing the trays to cut down or eliminate the symptoms. Sunnyvale dentist Dr. Antonious may also choose to prescribe a fluoride gel that you wear in the trays for extreme sensitivity. It is important to note that all symptoms are temporary while you are bleaching. There are no long term harmful effects to bleaching.
How long does it take?
With in- Sunnyvale Dental Care office bleaching the results are instantaneous but for maximum whitening, two sessions are required. With tray bleaching most people will notice a change in the color of their teeth the first night they bleach. Tray bleaching takes about 7-10 days to complete. For the fastest and longest lasting results, we recommend a combination of in-office and home whitening.
How long do the results last?
Teeth will stay bleached permanently. However depending on your habits, you may need a touch up treatment once every 6 months. If you smoke, drink tea, coffee, or red wine, your teeth will stain faster therefore requiring more frequent touch ups. You can help your teeth remain white by brushing twice a day, cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners, seeing your dentist for regular professional cleanings along with occasional touch-up treatments.
What are the different methods available for whitening teeth?
The two main methods for bleaching are In-office bleaching and a tray system. With in office bleaching, a special light is used to heat the bleaching gel to start the whitening process. The light can be either a laser or a plasma arc curing light. The basic idea is to heat the bleach to make the whitening reaction go faster. With tray bleaching, custom fitting trays are made for your teeth in which a bleaching gel is worn for a period of 7 to 10 days. Although slower, the results achieved are usually superior than in office treatment. We usually do a combination of in-office and tray bleaching for the best results.
How did my teeth get so yellow?
Over the years, like almost everyone, you’ve experienced a natural buildup of organic pigments on your teeth. Colorized proteins from coffee, tea and other foods have simply darkened the natural whiteness of your teeth. The use of tobacco, antibiotics, and certain minerals usually speeds the darkening process. But, yellowing can be easily reversed.
What’s the difference between dentist-supervised and over-the counter treatments?
There are many differences, starting with the fact that your teeth and your own dental situation are absolutely unique. This is why the safety of your treatment requires a dentist’s evaluation and supervision. You’ll also find that custom trays designed by the dentist will fit better and will consequently expel far less bleaching gel than the unsupervised, over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all treatment alternatives.
What about those over the counter products?
The “boil-and-bite” trays used by the over-the-counter products overlap soft tissue producing more irritation. They also feel bulky in your mouth. This results in discomfort and possible TMJ problems.
- A dentist-designed tray is less bulky.
- It conforms more closely to the natural contours of the teeth, is far more comfortable, and assures a superior result.
- You’ll find a significant difference in both the comfort and safety of dentist-designed trays vs. unsupervised over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all, “boil & bite” trays.
Who can use tooth whitening?
Nearly anyone ages nine to 90. If you want to obtain a more confident smile by improving the whiteness of your teeth, talk to us.
How does whitening work?
Sunnyvale dentist Dr. Antonious will first check your teeth and gums to be sure that you begin the treatment in good dental health. Then he will take an impression of your teeth in order to provide you with a custom fit plastic tray designed to hold the bleaching gel next to your teeth. Following the bleaching program your dentist suggests, you’ll notice the results quickly, as the gentle oxygenating action of the gel begins to whiten your teeth.
Is there any discomfort?
There is little, if any. Some patients might feel an increased sensitivity to cold, heat, or pressure during the whitening process, but this sensitivity ends a day or two after the treatment is completed. Any note of persistent discomfort should be reported to your dentist.
How long will it last?
Non-smokers who don’t drink coffee or tea often see little or no change over five years. But your own long-term results will depend on your habits and the specific foods you eat. Based on those variables, some patients may require a “touch-up” treatment at regular intervals.
Fillings Post-Operative Instructions
Refrain from eating at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.
Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment. For the first few days avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off due to the procedure.
If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to increase your comfort.
- The New Filling:
After the placement of your new restoration, it may take a few days to get used to it. If your bite feels unbalanced, please be sure to call our office for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
- Home Care:
Although the treatment that was performed is quite durable, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and filling. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restoration.
Crowns Post-Operative Instructions
- Temporaries are not strong. They may break or come off occasionally. If so, slip it back on the tooth with some Fixodent™ (Denture Adhesive) and call us for an appointment. Please do not leave the temporary out of your mouth because the teeth will move and the final restoration will not fit. Please floss as directed.
- The size, shape, and color of the temporary does not resemble the final restoration.
- Temporary restorations may leak saliva or food onto the tooth. Sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure or sweets is not uncommon. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
- After the final cementation of your restoration, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge. Hot and cold sensitivity is possible for a few weeks and occasionally lasts for several months. As with the temporary, if the bite doesn’t feel balanced please call us.
- Do not chew hard or sticky foods on the restoration for 24 hours from the time they were cemented. The cement must set up during this time to have optimum strength.
- Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are required to help you retain your final restoration. The only area that a crowned tooth can decay is at the edge of the crown at the gum line. Often, small problems that develop around the restorations can be found at an early stage and corrected easily, but waiting for a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration.
Important Information on Crowns
- Gold and Porcelain Crowns are the same for practically all cases except that porcelain can chip. Approximately 1 out of every 100 porcelain crowns chip and need replacement. This will never happen with gold crowns. This should be taken into consideration when choosing between a porcelain and gold crown.
Veneers Post-Operative Instructions
- Plastic temporary restorations will serve you for a short period of time while your permanent veneer is being made. They are attached only slightly to the underlying tooth so they can be removed easily.
- If a veneer comes off, call us and we will replace it immediately. If you are in a situation that will not allow you to come in, place the temporary back in place with some Fixodent™ (denture adhesive). You must still see us as soon as possible.
- The size, shape, and color of the temporary does not resemble the final veneer.
- Temporary veneers may leak saliva or food onto the tooth. Sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure or sweets is not uncommon. You may also see stains under the temporaries. These will be removed prior to final cementation.
- Avoid heavy brushing of the temporaries and do not floss between them because you may pull them off.
- Your final porcelain veneers will be as close to the natural beauty and function of teeth as possible. They look and feel normal in every way. We place our veneers with the finest materials and techniques available today. However, you should be aware of the following information about your restorations:
- As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the veneered teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because the porcelain material can break under extreme forces.
- Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are essential to the long-term stability and appearance of your veneers. Often, problems that may develop with the veneers can be found at an early stage and repaired easily, while waiting for a longer time may require redoing entire restorations.
- The gums may recede from the veneers, displaying discolored tooth structure underneath. This situation usually takes place after many years and requires veneer replacement.
ZOOM! Post Whitening Care Instructions
Congratulations! You have just experienced a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. The next 48 hours are vital in maximizing your whitening results for a long lasting, bright and healthy smile.
Everyone has a protective layer on their teeth called the acquired pellicle. This layer has a surface that stains can be removed by regular dental cleanings or a whitening process. It takes 12 – 24 hours for the barrier to fully develop again. For maximizing the whitening we advice our patients that for the next 48 hours, you DO NOT consume dark or yellow staining substances such as:
- Tobacco (tobacco products)
- Red/White Wines
- Color Lipsticks
- Soft Drinks
- Potato Chips
- Red sauces
- Soy Sauce
- Colored toothpastes/gels
- Colored mouthwashes or Flouride treatments
If your daily homecare involves the use of Perio Prescription or any Chlorahexidine, please wait 48 hours before continuing the usage of these products.
Additional ways to maintain your bright healthy smile longer is to avoid staining related habits, use an electric toothbrush, floss, and have regular professional dental cleanings (at least twice a year) as recommended by your hygienist and dentist.
Food and Drink Recommendations during the 48 Hours Post Procedure Period
Main Entrée Suggestions: Turkey, white tuna (no vinegar), white fish, canned chicken breast, chicken breast without the skin, grilled cheese with white cheddar or mozzarella cheese, pasta with white sauce such as alfredo.
Beverage Suggestions: Milk, water, clear soda, tonic water.
Alcohol Suggestions: Gin, Vodkas, no mixed drinks with orange juice, cranberry juice.
Fruits & Vegetable Suggestions: Apples, bananas, pears (no peels) and cauliflower.
Snack Suggestions: Cottage cheese, plain or vanilla yogurt, snack wells vanilla cookies, vanilla pudding, white cheese, white cheddar or mozzarella cheese
Condiment Suggestions: Mayonnaise, sour cream and white gravy, alfredo sauce.
Carbohydrate Suggestions: White bread (no crust), flour tortillas (white), crackers.
Breakfast Suggestions: Pancakes with white syrup, egg whites, oatmeal, cream of wheat.
Patient Instructions for home whitening following the ZOOM Procedure
- You will be given a take home tray and bleach solution to use after the in-office Zoom treatment. This treatment is a home bleaching system which you administer on your own. The effectiveness and safety of this treatment is dependent upon you following our directions closely.
- Begin bleaching 24 hours after Zoom procedure. Be sure to brush and floss before putting the bleaching trays on. You can wear the bleach trays for 30-45 minutes depending on your sensitivity.
- Rinse the trays out and let dry over night, brush your teeth.
- Keep trays away from heat or animals.
- Repeat for 3 consecutive days. If sensitivity occurs use the bleach trays following above directions for 3 nights but use it every other night instead.
- If you experience post procedural sensitivity occurs you may chew sugarless gum to reduce the peroxide levels, take an Advil or Tylenol, or what you would normally take for headaches, and brush with Sensodyne toothpaste
Learn more when you visit Sunnyvale Dental Care. Call Sunnyvale Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Nasser Antonious at 408-720-0900 to schedule a consultation today!