San Antonio cosmetic dentist Dr. John A. Moore, Jr. established Cosmetic Dental Associates more than three decades ago. Since then, he’s transformed countless smiles and has also found time to teach, lecture, and publish articles. These article excerpts represent a small percentage of his body of work.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
One of the most pleasant things a parent can see on his child is a smile that means “I Love You.” For many parents, obtaining that smile often means great sacrifices of both time and money. Having a child in orthodontics usually means at least one visit a month to the dentist and monthly payments to acquire that smile. Many of the “beautiful smiles” seen today are the result of diligent care, timely treatment, and creative, knowledgeable planning. Occasionally the treatment requires development over a period of time involving sophisticated techniques or equipment, various specialties of dentistry, and can become costly. Sometimes financial restraints or priorities step in and prevent the reality of a beautiful smile, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. With a commitment to quality care, a long-range plan can be as effective as the “everything has to be fixed” plan. This will permit a stretching out of the expense and at the same time prevent redundant re-treatment and further deterioration of the smile. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Giving your children a beautiful smile to greet the world each day is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Computer Imaging in Dentistry
Have you ever wondered what you could look like after having your teeth cosmetically enhanced? Is it difficult to visualize whether the results would be worth the trouble or expense? Now a hi-tech, computer imaging device can forecast the results of cosmetic dentistry within minutes. This innovative graphics computer draws a picture of the patient with the completed dental work – before any work is actually done – taking much of the guesswork and anxiety out of such a decision. “Imaging is now available to patients for previewing any kind of dental procedure from small gaps to advanced orthodontics and surgery,” stated Dr. John A. Moore, Jr. After an initial exam and consultation, an appointment is set to have the patient’s smile imaged and corrected. A video image of the patient’s smile is taken and by prescription, corrected and enhanced to the desired effect. In as little as 15 minutes, the client receives a before and after photograph of the proposed dental work. A copy is then sent to the dentist, and the results can be discussed at the next dental appointment. The patient can show his copy to family and friends, and finally has a substantial preview on which to base his decision. It’s simple, quick, inexpensive … and yes, in this case, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.
The State of the Art
For those of us not born with a beautiful smile, life as a preteen usually meant a lot of visits to the orthodontist and a lot of new names, such as “braceface,” “tin grin,” and the all-time favorite “metal mouth.” But many of today’s orthodontics patients are over 30 and hold successful positions in large corporations. What is their secret to success and the will to achieve the smile they’ve always wanted? New, state-of-the-art cosmetic braces have enticed adults to return to the dental chair for the smile they’ve always dreamed about. Straight teeth and an award-winning smile can now be accomplished with greater speed than ever before. Additionally, removable appliances are becoming increasingly common. The latest boom, however, is clear white sapphire or porcelain braces. These braces are smaller than their stainless steel counterparts and are so well matched to tooth enamel, they are practically invisible to photography and frequently go unnoticed altogether. The porcelain or sapphire braces will not stain your teeth as did previous white plastic braces and are incredibly strong. These braces now represent the state of the art in orthodontics. Finally, the activity of cosmetically enhancing one’s smile goes cosmetic itself.
A Picture Perfect Smile
You may have heard the saying “A smile is just to give away, it can’t be bought or sold.” Until recently, this may have been true. For many people, a simple childhood illness, sporting event, or accident may have been the cause for disfigured or discolored teeth. In recent years, dentistry has developed many innovative techniques to straighten, whiten, and restore damaged or discolored teeth. The four main procedures are bonding, bleaching, laminates or veneers, and crowns. Bonding is probably the most effective and conservative technique in dentistry. By applying a thin layer of tooth-colored plastic or epoxy to the teeth, a spectacular enhancement is possible in just one visit. There are two types of bleaching. One is applied in the dental office and takes only a few visits, and the other is a “take-home” bleaching system using more gentle solutions over a longer period of time. Laminates or veneers are thin shells of porcelain or plastic which are bonded to the front teeth and require one or two visits. Crowns or caps are used to repair badly damaged teeth and are the longest lasting restoration. Whatever the cause, aesthetic dentistry and orthodontics can help you achieve your own “picture perfect smile.”
Something to Smile About
Is having a beautiful smile really an impossible dream for some people? All too often, there are those who believe a dental malady is impossible to correct to the desired result, or even worse, the cost would be anything but something to smile about. In this day and age of super technology, surgery, orthodontics, and dental reconstruction, it is possible to achieve nearly any effect. Jaws can be repositioned, teeth moved to new locations, and a smile of any shade, clarity, or shape can be reconstructed so lifelike hardly anyone can tell. All too often, goals like these are discouraged by the lack of knowing what’s possible. Somewhere, someone knows how … just ask your dentist. The expense of fine aesthetic dentistry is really quite variable; from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on the individual needs. Dr. John A. Moore, Jr. stated, “Research has shown that the appearance of your teeth can affect your self-esteem and confidence, yet many people still spend up to six times more on their coiffures each year, something far less necessary to good health and well-being. Additionally, most dental offices offering advanced dentistry will offer solutions to your financial needs.” So again, ask your dentist … and smile like never before!
“Take Home” a Smile
The latest news from modern dentistry is a safe, simple “take home” remedy for discolored teeth that has been developed recently and has received a very popular response. This new technique is a unique, chemical bleaching system which, when applied to the teeth on a daily basis, can achieve truly remarkable results in just a few weeks. The chemistry is similar to the bleaching effect of hydrogen peroxide and has been altered to be safer over prolonged use and stay on the teeth better for longer periods of time. It is held in place night and day with the use of a thin clear plastic mouthpiece that is nearly invisible when made correctly. The mouthpiece can be removed for special occasions or may be worn only at night for a slower but just as rewarding effect. The deeper the discoloration, the longer the bleaching will generally take. Conversely, stains closer to the enamel surface, regardless of how dark, generally show improvement quickly. Evaluating the effect you can expect, and the time necessary to achieve it, is dependent upon many factors and can best be judged by an experienced dentist. While bleaching is not for all situations, it certainly can help in many. It is safe, easy, and inexpensive compared to most cosmetic procedures.
The Secret to a Beautiful Smile
Except for when our cavities need filling or our roots need canaling, many of us take healthy teeth for granted. It’s easy to do so because healthy teeth make life spontaneous; seating, smiling, laughing, or even kissing whenever the mood strikes. However, there is an array of dental problems that, if left unchecked, can lead to serious health conditions such as headaches, gum disease, bacterial infections, digestive tract problems, and even deterioration of the jaw. Needless to say, we should not treat the care of our teeth as an afterthought. In addition to keeping us healthy, a good set of teeth helps us look great. Of course, aesthetically pleasing teeth are often good indicators of overall dental health, but a beautiful smile also gives back something intangible that is very unique and special. So what is the secret of a really beautiful smile? There are two main parts: good-looking teeth and confidence. Fortunately, modern cosmetic dentistry can provide both aesthetics and later, the confidence to display a totally beautiful, unaffected smile. Before starting any cosmetic dental work, assess the capability of your dentist by consulting his or her former patients or examining his or her patient portfolio. Finally, the enthusiasm the dentist displays can tell you a lot about what he or she can do for you.