Smile Makeover – Get That Beautiful Smile You’ve Always Wanted!

Where a minor correction is not sufficient to obtain great results, dental veneers can be a consideration. Veneers are basically porcelain shells that are meant to correct imperfections in color, shade, shape or arrangement of the front teeth. There are numerous techniques and materials by which veneers are made. What is appropriate for you depends on your smile.

Dr. Chao will study your smile by various means. Impressions, photographs and X-rays are often needed. From this information Dr. Chao will often do a mock-up with temporary, life-like material directly on your teeth, as if he was doing bonding on your teeth. In a short time you will see in three-dimension on your own teeth what veneers can do for you. You can judge for yourself what veneers can do for you and more importantly, how you want the veneers to look.

Using Coronoplasty to Re-shape Teeth With Bonding & Immediate Reconstruction – Alhambra, CA

Posted November 14th, 2011 by Dr. Chao and filed in Uncategorized

Another relatively inexpensive smile makeover procedure that is very popular with our patients is a unique method that Dr. Chao has developed to treat crowded or “crooked” front teeth. Where the patient does not have the time or the ability to pay for orthodontic treatment, Dr. Chao may offer “enamel-plasty.” After carefully studying impressions of the teeth and in-depth pre-planning, Dr. Chao painlessly re-sculptures the enamel (outer hard layer) of the teeth such as shortening sharp edges, thinning out corners that stick out and leveling out parts of teeth that are too far out. In a short appointment our patients see a dramatic difference that is very pleasing. It is also very good for the function of the teeth, because the “high spots” are removed. Patients can smile better, and yet feel much better with a better bite.


non-surgical gum treatement of loose teethBased on well-accepted, evidence-based advances in the field of dentistry, an innovative, non-surgical approach to treatment of gum disease, devised by the author of this column, can save even hopelessly loose front teeth.  This non-surgical method of saving severely diseased or hopeless teeth is called the SAVE system.  SAVEis an acronym for Stabilization, Anti-bacterial, Viricidal and Effort.  Viricidal refers to anything that kills viruses. 

The above example illustrates how a patient suffering from severe gum disease was treated with the SAVE system.  His extremely loose front tooth was repositioned into its original location and stabilized by bonding (gluing) it to the adjacent teeth. Gaps between the teeth were filled in and tooth-colored composites were added to give me a total smile makeover.  This was all done in only two hours. When the patient saw the result in the mirror, he said, “Wow! This is crazy!”  Then he added, “Words cannot describe how I feel…I’m so happy.”  In subsequent appointments he underwent full-mouth disinfection.  This consisted of diagnostic bacteriological testing, targeted systemic antibiotic therapy,  scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), irrigating infected gums pockets with powerful antiseptics,   laser  disinfection treatment,  intensive home care instruction and frequent, regular re-treatment of recurring infection both at the office and at home.   Furthermore, discrepancy in the patient’s bite was corrected by polishing off minor high spots.  All procedures are based on well-accepted evidenced-based published data and/or FDA certification.  The infection in his mouth has resolved, the gums have healed, all his teeth are now firm and he can now eat comfortably.  He has regained his original personality and appears much healthier than when he first came in.  His wife loves his new smile.  So does he.

The first step in the SAVE system, is stabilization and, coincidentally, smile makeover.   In most cases, only a small number of teeth are extremely loose, while others are firm or somewhat firm. When loose teeth are splinted together with other firmer teeth they become, as a group, much stronger.  It is similar to tying boards together to make a fence.  You might conceivably knock one board standing by itself, but not the entire fence when the boards are tied together. 

Once the teeth have been stabilized procedures that remove, treat infection can begin.  This is the antibacterial and viricidal aspect of the SAVEsystem. Antibacterial therapy consists of scaling and root planing, also known as “deep cleaning,” and the prescribing of appropriate anti-bacterial and viricidal medications.  First, a highly trained and experienced dental hygienist numbs up a few teeth at a time and delicately, yet thoroughly, removes “plaque” and other tenacious bacterial deposits attached to the roots of the teeth underneath the gum line.  The white and brown surrounding the root of the loose tooth in the photograph one the left is “plaque” and pus.   It is always amazing to the patient how quickly the gums heal around the root once the infection is removed. 

As the hygienist performs deep cleaning, she “lavages” or irrigates the spaces underneath the gum line with antiseptic solutions, such as iodine, chlorohexaine, sodium hypochorde and hydrogen peroxide.  Lavaging with such powerful antiseptics further reduces bacterial and viral burden under the gums.   

Additionally lasers that targets pigmented-bacteria and infected tissue are employed by the hygienist to further disinfect and remove bacterial debris. 

While deep cleaning, lavage and lasers can thoroughly disinfect spaces underneath the gum line, bacteria and viruses that have already invaded the gums and bone around the teeth still remain.    Since many toxic bacteria in the oral cavity are resistant to wide-spectrum antibiotics, it is important to perform a culture test to find out what specific bacteria are causing the infection and what antibiotic would be effective in against them.  Since it is known that viruses play an active part in gum infections, the patient is sometimes prescribed an anti-viral medication along with the appropriate antibiotic called for by the culture test results.

At this point the oral cavity is infection-free.  Patient is now ready to enter into second stage treatment, which is actively directed by maintaining the mouth infection-free.  Every three weeks for as long as six months, or sometimes one year, patient returns for treatment of areas where infection has recurred.  Patient also uses various methods and devices to clear infection on a daily basis.  This is the “Effort” aspect of the SAVE system, and arguably the most important part of the system.  When proper follow-up steps are adhered to, the SAVE system consistently yields excellent results for patients with moderate or severe gum disease, without surgery. 

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