Six Month Smiles, an Alternative to Traditional Braces

At Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey, Michigan, David A. Ellsworth, D.D.S., draws on extensive education and experience to help patients improve their oral health. Among Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey’s extensive range of preventive and treatment options is Six Month Smiles, a safe and affordable cosmetic braces option that fits an active adult lifestyle.

An alternative to traditional metal braces, the Six Month Smiles system involves clear brackets and tooth-colored arch wires. Custom-fabricated trays allow the dentist to position the brackets precisely and effectively, using personal models to calculate the exact tooth movement required to achieve desired results.

After the initial placement, patients return every four or five weeks for adjustments and wire tightening. Because Six Month Smiles utilizes low force movement to reposition teeth, it usually causes less soreness and discomfort than traditional braces. While typical treatment lasts six months, some patients may require as few as four months or as many as nine months.

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Cosmetic Contouring for Teeth

Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey in Michigan provides a variety of services for the whole family. In addition to performing teeth cleanings and other preventative work designed to keep teeth and gums healthy, Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey performs cosmetic services, such as contouring.

Cosmetic contouring is a procedure designed to subtly reshape teeth. For minor issues, such as small irregularities in teeth shape, contouring can provide a solution. During the procedure, the dentist will use sanding tools and abrasive strips to make small changes. Afterward, the dentist will finish by polishing and smoothing out the treated areas.

While the changes that result from cosmetic contouring are minor, the procedure requires careful consideration. Patients should consider whether the contouring will provide the type of results they desire. If significant changes in tooth appearance are anticipated, contouring alone might not provide those results. In addition, patients should keep in mind that removing enamel from the teeth can lead to sensitivity after the procedure and can result in increased susceptibility to tooth breakage. To reduce the risks, individuals should get the procedure done by a dentist who is highly experienced and knowledgeable about contouring.

Choosing Between Veneers and Cosmetic Bonding

At Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey, Michigan, Dr. David Ellsworth not only takes pleasure in helping patients achieve optimal dental health but also enjoys crafting beautiful smiles. The cosmetic dentistry offerings at Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey include porcelain veneers and cosmetic bonding, both of which have their pros and cons.

Veneers and bonding can perform many of the same tasks, including covering tooth stains and changing the size and shape of a tooth that is chipped, misshapen, or slightly crooked. The bonding procedure, which takes only one office visit, involves placing a tooth-colored resin material on the tooth and sculpting it to the optimal shape. The soft material is then hardened and polished to look just like natural tooth enamel. Placing veneers is slightly more invasive, as it requires removing a thin layer of enamel first. Once the ultrathin porcelain tooth coverings are made in a dental lab, the patient returns for a second appointment to have them bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth.

Correcting tooth imperfections with bonding is faster and less expensive than placing veneers. Unless a cavity is involved, bonding also rarely requires anesthesia. However, cosmetic bonding does not last as long as veneers or resist stains as well. Because veneers require the reduction of tooth enamel, they are not reversible, but they can be adjusted and replaced as necessary. Dentists often recommend bonding for small issues or as a temporary fix until veneers can be placed at a later date. A thorough consultation with a cosmetic dentist can help patients decide on the right treatment approach for their particular issues.