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Can Veneers and Cosmetic Dentistry Fix My Crooked Teeth?

Can Veneers and Cosmetic Dentistry Fix My Crooked Teeth?

Fixing Crooked Teeth and More with Cosmetic Dentistry

As cosmetic dentistry procedures continue to become more popular, we have a lot of patients inquiring about the various procedures as well as the costs and long-term care involved. Of course, there are more specific questions from people asking about the differences between bonding and veneers, for example, and whether or not they would be good candidates for either.

Are you considering a smile makeover but are a little skeptical, given all the information you have come across is straight from the internet? As a leading cosmetic dentist in Greensboro, Dr. Farless has put together a list of the most common cosmetic dentistry questions he gets asked.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Over time, your teeth become stained or discolored, chip or crack, and in some instances, they may even shift or move, which can affect your bite, smile, and self-confidence. Cosmetic dentistry includes various procedures such as teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, gum contouring and more.

Are there any benefits to cosmetic dentistry?

Without a doubt, yes. If you are conscious about your teeth not being as white, as straight or as perfect as you would like, then cosmetic dentistry will give you back your smile along with your confidence. And some procedures will help prolong the life of your teeth and improve the functionality of your bite. Bonding or teeth alignment are two such examples. Adding veneers can also help to preserve teeth.

What are the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available?

While we don’t think there are any particularly popular procedures among our patients, the goal of our patients seeking cosmetic dentistry is generally the same: They want a better, more functional smile. Many of these individuals want to know about veneers because veneers are helpful in situations where teeth have several issues going on at once. After a thorough evaluation, we will discuss the best possible options for you.

What are veneers?

A veneer is a thin ceramic layer or shell that is fitted to your natural teeth to correct various dental problems including discolored or yellow teeth, cracked or damaged teeth, gummy smiles or small gaps between your teeth.

Can veneers fix crooked teeth?

Yes, veneers can fix crooked teeth, as well as a lot of other dental issues. However, they can’t help with the functionality of your teeth. To find out if veneers will work for you, make your appointment for a comprehensive evaluation.

Do veneers look fake?

Unfortunately, in some instances, veneers can look very fake, especially if the cosmetic dentist you go to has little or no experience. While you might want to look like your favorite Hollywood actress, one smile does not fit all. When done incorrectly, any of the cosmetic dentistry procedures will look fake, including teeth whitening and veneers.

Why is my gum health important?

Before starting any cosmetic dentistry procedures, Dr. Farless will check your overall dental health, including your gums. Should there be any signs of inflammation or gum disease, he will suggest a treatment plan; this is because the health of your gums will affect the outcome of the procedure and how long it lasts.

Do cosmetic dentistry procedures require surgery?

For the most part, cosmetic dentistry doesn’t require surgery and can be done in the chair. If you are one of the millions of Americans who has a genuine fear of the dentist, you can ask about different sedation options to ensure your experience is as painless and stress-free as possible.

How much does cosmetic dentistry cost?

The price depends very much on the procedure you have. Teeth whitening is relatively straightforward and is considered to be one of the cheaper solutions. Veneers, on the other hand, require much more work, which means they will cost much more. We offer several financing options, and we accept payment through CareCredit.

Do all dentists do cosmetic dentistry?

Because there is no state legislation in place to monitor this, any dentist is allowed to call himself a cosmetic dentist. This is why it is essential you find a good cosmetic dentist that provides a wide range of services with the experience and patient reviews to back it up. You can also look for accredited cosmetic dentists near you on the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry website.

If you, like millions of others, are considering having a smile makeover, we have hopefully answered some of your initial questions. If not, our Greensboro Dental Team will be more than happy to assist. Schedule your appointment online today.

 

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10 Things to Do in Greensboro, NC, this Summer

10 Things to Do in Greensboro, NC, this Summer

Enjoy the best of both worlds in Greensboro.

It was voted as one of the top 100 places to live by Livability, but we happen to think Greensboro is THE place to live—especially during the summer months! We’ve got all the perks of both big city and small town living.

Gate City gets its nickname from its once prominent placement between the north-south and east-west railroad routes that crossed through it. Today, however, there’s no need to travel far to have fun. There are plenty of reasons to stay close to home and enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer. Here are 10 things to do in Greensboro this summer.

1. Art Museums

Get inspired by visiting some of the art museums Greensboro has to offer.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum offers free admission to visitors to view their exhibitions and collections. They also offer weekly events such as Mindful Mondays.

Greenhill is a nonprofit exhibition space that supports artists throughout their careers. This summer they have a food art installation on display appropriately called Sweet. They even offer summer camps for kids, and every third Thursday an arts and wellness class.

Elsewhere is a museum and artist residency here in Greensboro that calls itself “part residency, school, playground, meeting ground, theater, project space, and laboratory for creative ideas.” Open Friday to Sunday, the museum offers behind-the-scenes tours of its creative spaces.

2. Science/Learning Museums

Learn something new by adding a trip to Greensboro’s science and learning museums to your calendar.

The Greensboro Science Center + Aquarium is an aquarium, museum, and zoo all in one. There is so much to see your family will be begging you to come back again. Visit SKYWILD, the treetop adventure park, to experience life from an animal’s perspective. Meet penguins, otters, sharks, and other sea critters at the aquarium. The museum has exhibits on dinosaurs, the human body, and weather.

Little ones will love a trip to the Greensboro Children’s Museum. The Outdoor Play Plaza consists of two 30-foot-tall climbers connected by a 25-foot suspended net tunnel. Water Wonders has interactive learning stations for children to play with and learn how to control water. The Our Town exhibit allows kids to play pretend work on Main Street through a variety of realistic hands-on installations. Tot Spot is for children under two to explore and play.

3. History Museums

Step back in time for a day by visiting historic museums around Greensboro.

At the Greensboro History Museum you can view the Dolley Madison exhibit, Zenke’s miniature rooms, and an exhibit exploring WWI through the lives of nine different people.

Explore Guilford Courthouse National Military Park by walking the battlefield and visiting the farm. You can take a self-guided tour or join in on a guided one available every Sunday until Labor Day.  

The Blandwood Mansion operates as a museum featuring 19th-century art, architecture, furnishings, and landscapes. You can take a guided tour of the mansion and its beautiful gardens.

4. Gardens and Greenery

Spend the day taking in the fresh air and soaking up the sun at one of Greensboro’s many parks.

Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden is a 7.5-acre garden with annual plantings and bronze sculptures to admire. It also has an interactive sensory garden to explore.

The Greensboro Arboretum is another park with free admission and a lot to offer. A 17-acre site, it boasts 14 plant collections and specialty display gardens.

Or take the pedal boats for a spin around Country Park. There are two stocked fishing lakes, a playground, picnic shelters, and trails. Dog lovers can bring their pooch to run around the Bark Park.

5. Antique Market Place

Operating for over 20 years, the Antique Market Place inhabits a 45,000 square foot shop. Filled with over 120 vendors, wares range from collectibles, antiques, furniture, and so much more.

They are one of 79 members part of the North Carolina Antique Trail—you might just set off on a whole new adventure collecting treasure from years past.  

6. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Hops Burger Bar boasts 4.5 stars from 1,000 Yelp reviews, which is certainly impressive. All of their burgers are made from certified Angus beef and locally grown ingredients. You can pair your burger up with a craft beer. Stop in to try their regularly changing featured burger.

Dame’s Chicken and Waffles also has 4.5 stars on Yelp from 563 reviews. Many reviewers admitted skepticism about the praise Dame’s has received but were converts as soon as their plates were delivered. Unique waffle offerings like sweet potato, blueberry, and gingerbread can be paired up with their “shmears”, flavored butters like vanilla-almond, orange-honeycomb, and maple-pecan.

7. Something Sweet to Eat

Make time to indulge in something sweet.

Cheesecake by Alex has classic cheesecake flavors, like the New York style brownie turtle, in addition to unique combinations like mint chocolate chip and pineapple. Of course, you’ll also find coffee, tea, and frozen drinks on the menu to pair with your treat. Not a fan of cheesecake? They also have decadent layer cakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, and turnovers.

Cherry Pit Cafe & Pie Shop is a one-stop shop for a meal out. Whether you are looking for brunch, lunch, or dinner they have specialized menus for each time of the day. But be sure to leave room for dessert because there is plenty of pie on the menu too. Choose from classic fruit flavors like cherry, apple, and berry, or cream pies like peanut butter, chocolate, or blueberry. Other classics on the menu are key lime pie and Boston creme pie.

8. Make Time to Play

Cool down at the Greensboro Ice House. Join public skating, or sign up for private lessons. On Tuesdays they offer adult hockey skills and drills practice. They also run figure skating and hockey skating classes for all ages. Kids can spend the day learning and practicing during their summer camps.

Celebration Station is a great day out for families. Play a friendly game of miniature golf and get competitive on the bumper boats. Budding athletes can practice their skills at the batting cages. There is also an arcade and go-karts, which are always crowd favorites. Be sure to check out their website to take advantage of their (often themed) specials.

9. Become a Regular at the Boxcar Bar + Arcade

Boxcar Bar + Arcade has something for everyone with events almost every night of the week.

The musically inclined can enjoy open mic nights on Wednesdays, while those who are feeling more playful can swing by Tuesdays for board game nights. Competitive types can join in on the Skeeball tournaments each Thursday or the air hockey tournaments on Tuesdays. Looking to relax? On Sundays they have Namaste for Mimosas yoga classes to stretch out your stress from the week.

10. Explore Downtown Greensboro at Night

Visit all Downtown Greensboro has to offer after dark.

Spend a night out on the town and enjoy live music performances. There are plenty of summer camps available to keep the kids busy over their vacation. Or stop by The Tap for Trivia Tuesdays with friends.

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5 Ways to Know You Have a Good Cosmetic Dentist

5 Ways to Know You Have a Good Cosmetic Dentist

Choosing the Best Cosmetic Dentist

Here is something you probably didn’t know: Because the American Dental Association hasn’t yet formally recognized cosmetic dentistry in the field, pretty much any dentist, regardless of their experience, can call themselves a cosmetic dentist.

Considering how important the relevant experience and training is for the different kinds of procedures, how do you know your excellent general dentist is also an excellent cosmetic dentist?

According to Dr. Farless, one of Greensboro’s leading cosmetic dentists, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on a cosmetic dentist.

So here are 5 ways to know you have a good cosmetic dentist:

1. A good cosmetic dentist has the education, training, and experience needed.

Just like with any profession, education and training are essential when it comes to finding a cosmetic dentist. You know you have found a good one when they have the appropriate accreditations and memberships as well as a solid education in general dentistry.

Dr. Farless has earned a Doctorate of Dental Surgery and belongs to several associations and societies, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Fellowship in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

2. A good cosmetic dentist offers a wide range of procedures.

While it might be a good thing to specialize in only one or two areas in other industries, you want a cosmetic dentist who offers a wide range of services. Not only will this save you time and effort because you won’t necessarily have to receive a referral to another dentist; it will also ensure you are getting comprehensive care. A dentist who has a wide range of experience and knowledge is better able to spot any issues, cosmetic or otherwise, and know how to proceed to rectify the problem.

As far as cosmetic dentists go, you will be hard pressed to find one that offers as much as Dr. Farless and his team in Greensboro. From something as straightforward as teeth whitening to more complex cosmetic dentistry procedures like bonding, bridges, and gum contouring, Dr. Farless has the knowledge, skills, and technology to give you a complete smile makeover.

3. A good cosmetic dentist offers affordable payment plans.

Cosmetic dentistry doesn’t come cheap, especially if your cosmetic dentist has spent time and money on studying, does ongoing training, and invests in state-of-the-art technology. With this in mind, anyone who offers really cheap procedures should be avoided.

However, you also shouldn’t bankrupt yourself in the process of improving your smile. A good cosmetic dentist will offer various payment methods as well as financial plans to suit your budget. Dr. Farless’ team will be able to answer any insurance questions you might have and can also discuss affordable payment options.

4. A good cosmetic dentist is aware of your physical and emotional needs.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from a genuine fear of dentists, you should look for one who takes your physical and emotional needs into consideration. A good cosmetic dentist will talk you through the different procedures, advise which would be the best for you, and ensure you are comfortable every step of the way.

As one of the best dental practices in the Greensboro area, Dr. Farless offers several sedation options. This is especially effective when it comes to treating anxious patients. From the moment you walk through the front door to the time you leave with your new smile, our family will welcome you and yours.

5. A good cosmetic dentist will perform a thorough examination.

While your goal might be a smile makeover, a good cosmetic dentist will perform a thorough examination of your overall dental health, including taking a close look at your gums, at your first appointment.

Dr. Farless requires a complete assessment which includes X-rays and digital photos to get an idea of any existing problems such as cavities, cracked or chipped teeth, bite misalignments, and more. He also checks to see if there are issues with previous dental work such as fillings, crowns or bridges. State-of-the-art technology allows him to identify early signs of decay or damage that digital images or X-rays might miss.

Cosmetic dentistry is a great way to restore your smile and get your confidence back, but we recommend you do some homework to find a good cosmetic dentist. Putting your smile in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the knowledge or experience will not only cost you extra money in the long run, but it could also do more damage than good.

If you are thinking about improving your smile with the help of a cosmetic dentist, book an appointment with Dr. Farless today. Considered to be one of Greensboro’s best, he will help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

 

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10 Weird and Wacky Facts About Saliva

10 Weird and Wacky Facts About Saliva

Spit!

Did you know you have six salivary glands? You have two sublingual, two submaxillary, and two parotid glands. And they all work together to produce almost two liters of saliva each day—that’s about half a gallon!!

These six saliva-producing glands are vital organs that work hard to keep you healthy, safe, and comfortable. Here are 10 weird and wacky facts about saliva you probably didn’t know but will make you appreciate the work they do a whole lot more.

1. Your spit is a tooth strengthener.

Saliva actually helps to strengthen your teeth by providing critical minerals such as calcium, fluoride, and phosphate to the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is the hardest surface of your body and a really important one. It’s the first line of defense in keeping your teeth from rotting out of your head.

Enamel owes its hardness to the minerals it is made up of. And the mineral fluoride, that popular toothpaste ingredient we all know so well, can become apart of this mineral layer to further strengthen it. Fluoride helps to protect your enamel from the demineralization process.

Demineralization occurs when plaque on your teeth produce acids that break down your enamel layer by leeching it of the very minerals it is made up of.  

In addition to providing these important strengthening minerals, your spit contains sodium bicarbonate which can neutralize these acids and further protect your teeth.

This is why the American Dental Association endorses gum. The act of chewing increases the flow of saliva and therefore increases the benefits reaped by it!  

2. It protects gums from disease.

Saliva, in addition to protecting your teeth, also protects your gums from developing periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease.

Gum disease occurs when the gums become irritated and inflamed from plaque building up on the tooth’s surface. As the gums become more and more irritated from this buildup, they begin to recede—pulling away from the irritant.

The longer this persists the further they pull back—eventually creating a pocket of space between the gum and tooth. This open pocket is an easy place for food particles and bacteria to collect, causing further irritation and recession of the gums as well as infection.

Saliva keeps the mouth lubricated so that everything can do its job. By neutralizing acids and washing away food particles and bacteria saliva proactively protects your mouth from gum disease—ridding itself of irritants long before they can wreak havoc. Your spit is kind of like your mouth’s superhero.

3. Break it down now! Your food, that is.

When many think of digestion, they think of the stomach doing all the work. However, saliva is actually the first step to digestion!

Not only does it help to moisten food so that it is easy to chew, break down, and swallow, but it also contains a digestive enzyme called amylase. This enzyme sets to work right away by breaking down any of the starches you eat into sugar molecules. Your body can then whisk these sugar molecules off to the next step in the digestion process.

4. Saliva: A foodie’s best friend.

In order for us to taste the foods we eat, they must first be broken down by our saliva. In fact, if it weren’t for saliva, we wouldn’t be able to taste at all!

First, it’s important to know that taste is different than flavor. Taste is the four major sensations: salt, sour, bitter and sweet while flavor is the combination of these sensations with the aroma of your food.

Your saliva breaks down food and delivers it to the different taste bud receptors along your tongue so that you can experience the delightful sensations, and flavor, of the food you are eating.

5. The original web-slinging superhero

The phrase “to lick one’s wounds” is usually used in reference to a hurt ego. But the actual act of licking one’s wounds is usually thought to be the animalistic behavior for those creatures without the medical marvels of soap, bacitracin, and sterile band-aids.

However, animals intuitively know something you might not—despite teeming with bacteria, the mouth can heal faster than anywhere else in the body thanks to an especially hardy team of white blood cells that reside there. And these white blood cells, when applied to any wound whether of the mouth or limb, can help it to heal much faster.

Chemicals like lysozyme, lactoferrin, peroxidase, and immunoglobulin A. are found in saliva and known to fight bacteria. The white blood cells in spit also have a unique ability to create strong web-like nets that wrap around bacteria and kill them—in fact, they do this better than white blood cells found anywhere else in the body.  

6. Spit is 99% water.

So far we’ve learned that spit contains minerals that strengthen teeth, sodium bicarbonate to neutralize cavity-causing acids, the sugar-digesting enzyme amylase, the immune system’s frontman mucus, and super-hero-like web-slinging white blood cells.

And yet despite being packed with all these components, they are just 1% of your saliva. Yep, 99% percent of your saliva is simply water. Which goes to show just how power-packed this stuff is.

7. Baby drool—a learning process.

Babies are renowned for the level of saliva they seem to produce. But did you know that they don’t start producing saliva until they are about three months of age?

They also aren’t creating any more saliva than the rest of us. The reason for their seemingly never-ending supply of saliva is simply that, unlike us, they aren’t swallowing it all. Children do not gain full control of their mouth muscles, which are necessary for properly swallowing, until they are around two years of age.

8. Drool rules your spit’s schedule.

Your circadian rhythm is the biological clock your body runs by. It includes such processes as your sleep cycle as well as digestion and body temperature.

The autonomic nervous system controls saliva and operates as a part of the circadian rhythm. For this reason, you don’t produce the same amount of saliva continuously throughout the day. Thanks to our circadian rhythm, we make the most saliva in the late afternoon and the least at night while asleep.

9. A historical household staple: Spittoons.

A spittoon is like a trash can or ashtray specifically designed for saliva. A receptacle with a wide funnel-like brim for saliva to drip down into the jug below they were often used by those in the habit of chewing tobacco.

Throughout the late 19th century, spittoons could be found in pubs, saloons, hotels, stores, banks and other such public spaces. In fact in 1880, the Boston Fire Department alone had 260 spittoons!

Today, the United States Senate still has spittoons throughout the Senate chambers and United States Supreme Court. Though they are now used as wastebaskets to collect trash instead of spittle.

10. Expectorating for Sport

There are several contests held throughout the world to make a sport out of the act of spitting. There are even multiple, and impressive, Guinness Book of World Record holders from these contests.  

For example, in Michigan, there is the Annual International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship, where in 2004 Brian “Young Gun” Krause set a record of the longest spit of a cherry stone by 93 feet and 6.5 inches.

Think that’s wacky? At Purdue University in Indiana as a part of their annual Bug Bowl, they hold a cricket spitting contest. Don’t worry the cricket is frozen…not alive. And the record stands at 32 feet and 1.25 inches since 1998!

Other popular spitting contests include table tennis balls, champagne corks, winkles (a spiralized seashell), and olive-pits.

 

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5 Things Veneers Can Correct

5 Things Veneers Can Correct

Revitalizing Your Smile

Smiles are often compared to sunshine, brightening a room or even someone’s day. Unfortunately, plenty of people are embarrassed by their smiles and unsure how to gain confidence in their grin. Well-known solutions like braces and whitening treatments don’t always fit a patient’s lifestyle and can’t fix every imperfection.

Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that a beautiful, confident smile is out of reach. Veneers are a great treatment option that can provide you with a bright, natural smile in just a few visits. Placing a veneer is simple for the experienced dentist such as Dr. Farless. It involves shaving a very small amount of enamel from your teeth, taking a mold to send to the lab, and securing the veneer onto the desired teeth. If you decide on this treatment option with Dr. Farless, you’ll be able to customize the color, shape, and size of your veneers. The entire process takes just a few visits to the dentist—a pretty small time investment for a revitalized smile! This versatile treatment can solve many dental imperfections. Below are five of the more common issues that veneers are used to treat.

1. Crooked or Crowded Teeth

Veneers are a great alternative to braces for some patients, but they won’t fix the headaches that are sometimes caused by crowded teeth. If this isn’t a problem for you, veneers may be an option to consider seriously. While braces can only even out your existing teeth, veneers allow you to change the color, shape and size of your teeth in addition to making them appear straight and evenly spaced. They transform your smile in just a few visits to the dentist, saving you years of wearing braces and retainers.

2. Widely Spaced or Irregularly Shaped Teeth

If you have a gap-toothed grin or an uneven smile you can’t stand, possible treatments include veneers, crowns, tooth reshaping, and dental contouring. The best treatment for you will depend on the health of your teeth, how many teeth you want to change, and how much of a change you’re looking to see. If your enamel is thin or the pulp of your tooth is close to the surface, you’re likely not a good candidate for tooth reshaping. Crowns require most of the tooth to be removed, but veneers only shave off a thin layer of enamel. They provide a dramatic change and are easy to apply to multiple teeth.

3. Cracked or Chipped Teeth

A severely broken tooth might require a crown and perhaps even a root canal, while very small chips can often be repaired with a filling. Larger chips or cracks that aren’t causing any pain and don’t risk future decay can be remedied with a veneer. Since choosing a veneer is such a custom process, you can ensure that the color, shape, and size match your other teeth well. Once the veneer is in place, it will look completely natural.   

4. Stained or Discolored Teeth

Everyone struggles with yellowing teeth due to age or the consumption of certain foods and drinks, though this can be combated with whitening toothpastes or treatments. Some people, however, suffer from stains or discolorations on their teeth that do not respond well to whitening treatments. Medications, high fluoride levels in the water, and trauma during the development of teeth are just a few things that can cause these stains. If you have stains that make you feel self-conscious of your smile, a veneer might be a great solution for you. The material is less susceptible to staining than your natural teeth, so while you still need to brush and maintain your veneers, you don’t have to give up coffee to keep them looking beautiful, either.

5. Worn or Damaged Enamel

Enamel erosion has a number of causes, some of which are out of your control. Genetics can simply make you predisposed to the issue, while medications, acid reflux disease, and other gastrointestinal diseases can all contribute to your enamel being worn down over time. Your lifestyle can also play a huge role, however. Drinking a lot of soda, making a habit of using your teeth to tear open packages, and consuming a lot of sugars and starches will also contribute.

Enamel erosion can cause your teeth to be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures and sugary foods, which can develop into jolts of pain as the erosion worsens. You may also notice yellowing and indentations or chipping in the surface of your teeth. Enamel protects your teeth from cavities, so having a thin or damaged layer means you’re more susceptible to cavities. In this circumstance, a veneer can be used to protect your teeth, cover the yellow color that results from thin enamel, and relieve any pain you might be experiencing. It’s placed on the worn enamel and works as a barrier to protect against cavities and tooth decay.

Overall, veneers are an extremely versatile treatment option that offers patients a huge level of customization. Much like any treatment, however, you should research the available options and discuss your unique situation with Dr. Farless to determine whether or not they are right for you. Schedule your appointment today.

 

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