5 Benefits Of Dental Veneers

If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your smile, you’re not alone. Many people have front teeth that are chipped, cracked, stained, or yellowed. Fortunately, there’s a quick fix: dental veneers. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that adhere to the front of your teeth, giving a uniform appearance.

They’re a popular cosmetic dentistry option for people who would like a whiter, more even smile. If you’re thinking about porcelain veneers, here are 5 benefits that our Grand Rapids, MI veneers dentist wants you to know.

Porcelain Veneer Benefits

Natural Appearance

Porcelain veneers are created based on impressions your dentist takes of your teeth. This means that you can expect the contouring and color of the porcelain shell to mimic your natural tooth enamel. Not only do porcelain veneers look natural, but they also feel natural. The ceramic covering hides stained or cracked teeth like a protective shell so you can eat and talk normally.

After your porcelain veneers arrive from the lab, our cosmetic dentist may make slight adjustments by cutting excess material or matching the color of your tooth enamel. In other words, your dental veneers are customized to fit over your teeth in a way that will look and feel natural.

Fixes Dental Problems

Porcelain veneers can be used to fix a wide variety of dental issues, which include:

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Chipped, broken, or misshapen teeth
  • Stained or discolored teeth

For minor cosmetic dental problems, you may want to discuss with our dentist whether you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can help you boost your confidence by closing gaps between teeth or even covering up discolored teeth.

Resists Stains and Decay

Did you know that porcelain veneers are able to resist staining and decay better than normal teeth? Given proper care, you can expect your dental veneers to last between 10 and 15 years. While porcelain veneers are durable and stain resistant, you still need to care for them as you would natural teeth.

For example, excessive coffee drinking can stain your veneers. Also, using your front teeth to bite down on hard foods such as ice can cause your veneers to chip if you’re not careful. As long as you take good care of your dental veneers, they will last you for years to come.

Easy to Maintain

Take care of your new porcelain veneers the same way you take care of your natural teeth. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Also, make sure you schedule regular dental checkups with your preventative care dentist. This easy maintenance will help you keep the natural white shine in your veneers so you can enjoy a beautiful healthy smile. Since veneers are non-porous, they are able to resist permanent stains and cavities better than your natural tooth enamel. In other words, dental veneer maintenance is minimal.

Not Invasive

Porcelain veneer procedures are less invasive than other types of dental restorations, such as dental crowns. To make room for your porcelain veneers, our cosmetic dentist will need to shave ½ millimeter from the front surface of your teeth. While this may seem like a lot, keep in mind that teeth receiving dental crowns require more filing because the crown has to fit over the entire tooth. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are adhered only to the front surface that is visible to other people. During the dental veneers procedure, you may also need very little to no anesthesia.

Porcelain veneers are a great way to fix an imperfect smile. Our Grand Rapids, MI cosmetic dentist has years of experience helping patients like you get their confidence back through cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your appointment, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

No matter how careful you are with your oral hygiene, teeth don’t stay pearly white forever. Certain foods, drinks, and lifestyle habits can cause teeth to become yellowed or stained over time. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to achieve a whiter smile with teeth whitening!

There are so many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, but none of them are as effective as professional teeth whitening. Here’s why Dr. Ritzema, our Grand Rapids teeth whitening dentist, recommends in-office teeth whitening to brighten your smile.

Benefits of In-Office Teeth Whitening

Results in One Appointment

Unlike teeth whitening at home, Dr. Ritzema will be able to give you a noticeably whiter smile in under an hour. Teeth whitening is a quick procedure that’s easy to slip into a busy schedule. We recommend scheduling a consultation with our dentist to determine if teeth whiteningis right for your smile.

Depending on the extent of tooth discoloration, Dr. Ritzema may recommend porcelain veneers or other cosmetic dentistry options. For example, professional teeth whitening may not be the best choice for discoloration caused by dental fluorosis (mottled teeth caused by excessive fluoride intake). Dental veneers, however, would cover the front of your teeth so you can smile and talk with confidence.

If you have severe tooth discoloration, Dr. Ritzema will break up your appointment into multiple short sessions. After applying whitening gel to your teeth, he will shine a special lamp to accelerate teeth bleaching. The light breaks down the hydrogen peroxide in the gel to lift tooth stains and whiten teeth.

To help you pass the time during your appointment, we recommend bringing your phone or another device that lets you listen to music. Once the procedure is over, we’ll give you instructions on how you can maintain your white smile from home.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

Depending on the extent of tooth discoloration, Dr. Ritzema may be able to give you supplies so you can try teeth whitening at home. If this is the case, we will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom whitening tray. Whitening teeth at home means you’ll be able to whiten your teeth when it’s most convenient for you.

Works on Sensitive Teeth

Just because you have sensitive teeth, doesn’t mean you can’t try teeth whitening. The whitening gel and varnish we use is specially formulated as to not irritate teeth and gums. While some of our patients experience “zingers” or brief flashes of pain during treatment, many are willing to experience temporary discomfort if it means having whiter teeth. Also, keep in mind that different people have different levels of pain tolerance. One person’s negative experience doesn’t necessarily predict how you’ll react to teeth whitening.

If you wish to stop treatment at any time, let Dr. Ritzema know. If you have sensitive teeth, we are willing to work at a pace that’s comfortable to you. That way, you can feel in control of your treatment.

Our Grand Rapids, MI teeth whitening dentist wants you to feel confident with your smile. If you’re concerned about yellow teeth, make an appointment with Complete Health Dentistry by calling (616) 458-7267.

Caring For Invisalign

Think you would feel self-conscious of metal braces? Unlike other types of orthodontic treatment, Invisalign®️are nearly invisible aligners you wear over your teeth.

Since Invisalign is removable, you’re able to continue eating your favorite foods and maintain your oral hygiene routine. To learn how to care for your Invisalign teeth aligners, continue reading.

To learn more about how to straighten teeth without braces, call (616) 458-7267 to request a consultation with one of our Invisalign dentists.

Caring for Invisalign Aligners

Brush and Floss after Meals

Brush and floss your teeth after eating to avoid staining your clear aligners. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it’s better than allowing your aligners to get yellow and smelly. Food particles left behind in your aligners will give you bad breath and the incentive to take better care of your smile during orthodontic treatment.

Avoid Staining Drinks

Certain drinks like coffee and red wine will stain clear aligners, not to mention your teeth. If you can’t survive without your morning cup of coffee, we recommend removing your aligners before drinking. Once you’re done drinking coffee, brush your teeth to avoid staining your aligners. While this may seem extreme, it’s important that you keep your aligners clean and free of bacteria.

Many of our patients appreciate that Invisalign is subtle enough to go unnoticed by family members, friends, and co-workers. However, there’s no point in wearing Invisalign if you let them get yellow over time. Our Invisalign dentists can give you more tips for how to adopt a healthy oral hygiene routine during clear aligner treatment.

Store Clear Aligners in Their Case

When your aligners aren’t in your mouth, they should be resting in the case your dentist gave you. When you take out your teeth aligners to eat, make sure that you place the aligners in their special case and not in a napkin.

Too many patients have accidently thrown out their aligners because they were wrapped in napkins or sitting on lunch trays. Don’t let this be you. No one wants to dig through a public trash can because they threw out their Invisalign braces.

Clear aligners are custom-made to fit the contours of your teeth and gums. However, you could risk crushing or bending your aligners out of shape if you store them in your pocket, purse, or anywhere else besides their case.

Wear Your Aligners

One of the safest places for your aligners is in your mouth. In order for Invisalign to work, you need to wear your clear aligners 20 to 22 hours per day. You should only remove your clear aligners when you need to eat or brush your teeth. Otherwise, your teeth won’t move according to schedule.

When you get a new set of aligners from your dentist, you’ll feel pressure on your teeth for the first few days. This pressure is a sign that the aligners are moving your teeth into optimal alignment. For the pain, we recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Motrin.

Dr. Nick Ritzema DDS and Dr. Alexandra Maring DDS offer Invisalign as a teeth straightening alternative to metal braces. To schedule your consultation with one of our Invisalign dentists in Grand Rapids MI, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.

Top 5 Ways To Whiten Teeth

If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about tooth discoloration, it’s time to talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening.

Whether you want a white smile for a special event or just to boost your confidence, we can help whiten your smile by several shades. Our teeth whitening dentists can help you determine the best way to whiten teeth.

Continue reading to learn more about professional teeth whitening before your next appointment with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

1.) Limit Staining Foods and Drinks

You may need to look no further than your coffee mug to discover how your teeth became dull or yellow over time. Certain foods and drinks can stain the surface of your enamel, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. To help you maintain a naturally white smile, we may recommend you limit certain foods and drinks. This is especially important after you achieve a white smile after an in-office treatment.

2.) Brush and Floss Every Day

Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives on your teeth. Over time, plaque buildup can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Hardened plaque (tartar) can also give your teeth a yellow or brown-colored tinge. One of the best ways to protect your white smile is to brush twice a day and floss once daily.

Most dentists agree that you’ll need to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes at a time. If we still find plenty of plaque and tartar on your teeth, we may recommend a fluoride treatment during your next appointment.

3.) Schedule Your Teeth Cleaning

Over time, plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth and hardens into tartar. Since tartar can only be removed by a dental professional, it’s important that you schedule your routine teeth cleaning and oral examination every 6 months. If you had a lot of tartar buildup, your teeth may look slightly whiter after a dental cleaning at our office. Your dental hygienist will use a tool called a scaler to gently scrape plaque and tartar from teeth.

4.) Ask About Professional Teeth Whitening

Interested in teeth whitening at home? Your dentist may recommend custom teeth whitening trays to help you achieve a whiter smile. First, we’ll need to take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab.

When you come back for your second appointment, your teeth whitening tray will be ready. Your teeth whitening dentist may slightly adjust the fit of your tray so it fits comfortably. We also offer professional teeth whitening done in our office.

5.) Get Dental Crowns or Veneers

Each smile is different. If you only need to improve the shade of one tooth, your dentist may recommend dental crowns or porcelain veneers. A dental crown covers the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line and can be placed in one appointment with CEREC. However, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers to save as much natural tooth structure as possible. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells we bond to the fronts of your teeth that show when you smile or talk.

Our dentists will help you explore your options to determine the best way to whiten teeth. To schedule your appointment with one of our Grand Rapids dentists, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.

Can I Get Invisalign Braces?

It’s never too late to straighten teeth and get the smile you’ve always wanted. We understand that some of our patients are apprehensive about orthodontic treatment, especially in adulthood. However, our Invisalign dentists are able to correct teeth alignment and minor bite issues with clear aligners.

Clear aligners allow you to subtly move teeth without bulky brackets and wires. Continue reading to learn if you’re a candidate for Invisalign braces. Contact our office today if you would like to learn more about Invisalign, our talented dental staff is here to help!

Are you highly motivated and self-disciplined?

You’re never too old to straighten your smile with Invisalign. In fact, we typically recommend Invisalign for patients who can be counted on to wear their aligners between appointments. Teenagers and adults are usually highly motivated to straighten teeth and more likely to comply with instructions from their dentist orthodontists.

For Invisalign to work, you must wear your clear aligners at least 20 to 22 hours a day. This means that you should only take out your clear aligners during meals and teeth brushing. During the first day or so of wearing a new set of aligners, you’ll feel the pressure on your teeth. However, many of our patients feel that the temporary discomfort is worth having straighter teeth.

Are you done growing?

Invisalign isn’t recommended for children or young teens because their jaws are still growing. For younger patients, our dentists may refer them to an orthodontist instead of opting for Invisalign treatment. As frustrating as metal braces may seem for a child or teenager, it’s worthwhile to go with the teeth straightening option that will work best for each individual patient.

Do you struggle with your oral care?

While you absolutely must adhere to a good oral hygiene on Invisalign, it’s much easier to clean and care for your teeth with removable aligner trays than it is with metal braces. Metal braces require extra attention to detail when you brush and floss, as plaque can stain your teeth around the metal brackets. It’s sometimes hard for people to keep up with the oral care routine that braces require.

With Invisalign, on the other hand, you can remove your aligner trays before cleaning your teeth, allowing you to brush and floss normally. As long as you use good oral hygiene techniques, it’s very easy to keep your teeth and aligner trays clean during the Invisalign process.

Would you feel self conscious with metal braces?

Like the name suggests, Invisalign are nearly invisible aligners that move your teeth little by little into a straighter smile. Many of our patients appreciate that Invisalign is subtle enough to go unnoticed by friends, family, and co-workers. While Invisalign can be seen up close, most people won’t be able to tell that you’re wearing aligners.

Do crooked teeth affect your oral health?

Patients with crooked teeth are at higher risk for cavities and gum disease. It can be difficult brushing and flossing teeth that overlap, which is why your dentist may recommend Invisalign braces. Plaque loves to hide in between teeth and along the gum line. Over time, this plaque destroys tooth enamel and gum tissue.

During your consultation, your dentist will be able to show you what your smile could look like after Invisalign treatment. That way, you can make an informed decision for your oral health. Clear aligners affect more than just the appearance of your smile. Invisalign braces also straighten teeth so you can practice better oral hygiene.

Do you have bite issues?

You may not be a candidate for Invisalign clear aligners if you need to correct a severe overbite or underbite. While Invisalign is great for straightening teeth and correcting minor bite issues, they can’t move the jaw into a better position. To prevent issues with your oral health further down the road, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist.

Our dentists use clear aligners and other cosmetic dentistry options to help you achieve your best smile. To schedule your appointment with one of our Grand Rapids Invisalign dentists, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.

The Veneers Process

The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of your teeth and gums so you can smile with confidence. If you have ever felt self-conscious about your smile, you owe it to yourself to ask your cosmetic dentist about dental veneers. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells your dentist bonds to the fronts of your teeth. With proper care, veneers can last years before needing replacement.

Consultation with Your Cosmetic Dentist

The first step of any smile makeover is to schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist to explore your options. For example, your dentist may recommend veneers for chipped tooth repair. Likewise, your dentist may recommend a dental crown for a tooth made fragile after a large filling. Your dentist will be able to help you choose the best dental procedure for your oral health needs.

If you are interested in teeth covers, keep in mind that veneers only cover teeth that show when you smile or talk. Before your consultation, we recommend checking if your dental insurance policy covers veneers.

Veneers are able to fix:

  • Discolored teeth
  • Chipped tooth
  • Small gaps between front teeth
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth

Prepping Teeth for Veneers

While the veneers process usually takes two visits to our office, our cosmetic dentist uses CEREC technology to get it done in one appointment. CEREC veneers are made out of ceramic to match the color of your natural tooth enamel.

First, your dentist will need to prepare the receiving teeth for veneers. To prevent your teeth from looking bulky with the veneers, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the fronts of your teeth. If you feel any pain or discomfort, speak up so your dentist can give you local anesthesia.

Taking Digital Dental Impressions

Next, your dentist will take digital dental impressions of your teeth using a 3D scanner. Not only are digital dental impressions more accurate, but they won’t test your gag reflex like a tray of pink goop would.

Our dentist uses software to design your new dental veneers right in front of your eyes. The milling unit in our office is then able to create your veneers from a ceramic block within minutes. Instead of having to wait a week or two for your veneers to be made in an off-site lab, you’ll be able to get your new smile in one appointment.

Bonding Veneers to Teeth

Once your ceramic veneers are ready, your dentist will make sure they’re the right color and shape. Your dentist may make slight adjustments to your tooth restorations so they look and feel natural. Next, your dentist will clean, polish, and etch the fronts of your receiving teeth so they’ll bond strongly with the veneers. Afterwards, dental cement will be used to attach veneers to teeth. After removing any excess cement, your dentist will check your bite to ensure it is properly aligned.

Dr. Ritzema DDS and his team are dedicated to helping you achieve your best smile with veneer teeth and other cosmetic dentistry services. To schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids cosmetic dentist, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.

Invisalign Braces FAQ’s

Wish you could straighten teeth without braces? Our Invisalign dentist at Complete Health Dentistry can help you achieve your best smile with clear aligners. Like the name suggests, Invisalign are nearly invisible aligners that move your teeth little by little into optimal alignment.

Continue reading to learn what questions our patients typically ask us before starting Invisalign treatment. If you have a question that isn’t listed below, be sure to call your local Invisalign provider. Contact us today with any additional questions or concerns you may have!

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a system of clear aligner trays that work to shift your teeth over time. They are shaped like the arches of your teeth and fit over the top of them, which might affect your speech as your adjust to wearing them for most of the day.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign exerts enough pressure on teeth to move them into their final positions. In other words, Invisalign helps you achieve better teeth alignment. At each appointment, your dentist will check your progress and give you your next set of teeth aligners in the series when you’re ready. Each set of aligners is worn for about 2 weeks, depending on the complexity of your case and how diligent you are wearing your aligners.

How long will I have to wear aligners?

How long you’ll need Invisalign braces will depend on the complexity of your case. During your initial consultation, your cosmetic dentist will be able to explain how long you may need Invisalign. In general, adult patients are done with Invisalign treatment within 12 months.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

One of the main benefits of Invisalign is that they are subtle enough to go unnoticed by your friends, family, and co-workers. If you are an adult seeking orthodontic treatment, Invisalign is an attractive option because you don’t have to wear metal braces on your teeth.

Invisalign also makes it easier to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. People with braces often neglect their oral hygiene because it’s difficult to clean around wires and brackets. For example, to floss your teeth around braces, you would have to thread the floss under the wire for each tooth in your smile. With Invisalign, you simply remove your clear aligners and resume your normal oral hygiene routines. Since Invisalign is removable, you are also able to continue eating your favorite foods.

How long do I have to wear aligners each day?

You will need to wear Invisalign 20 to 22 hours every day to get the results you want. The only times the clear aligners should be out of your mouth are when you’re eating food or brushing your teeth.

Does Invisalign hurt?

Since Invisalign exerts pressure on teeth to move, you will feel temporary dental discomfort during the first day or two of wearing new aligners. However, many of our patients feel that the temporary pain is worth having a straighter smile. The pressure you feel on your teeth is a sign that the aligners are working.

Can I use Invisalign if I’ve already had braces?

If you had braces when you were younger but didn’t wear a retainer regularly, it’s possible that your teeth may have shifted over time. However, many adults are unwilling to undergo the process of metal braces, especially if they’ve already done it once. Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth once more without having to undergo metal braces again as an adult.

Can I still eat my favorite foods with Invisalign?

You can enjoy an unlimited diet during Invisalign treatmentInvisalign aligners are removable, which means you will simply take them out before eating your favorite foods. Many of our patients appreciate being able to eat foods that would be too sticky or hard-to-chew for braces. Keep in mind that you will need to brush and floss your teeth after eating to avoid staining your clear aligners.

Dr. Nick Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients achieve their best smiles through Invisalign treatments and other cosmetic dentistry services. To schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids Invisalign dentist, call our office at (616) 458-7267.

5 Benefits Of Invisalign

Want to straighten teeth without traditional braces? Ask our Invisalign® dentists in Grand Rapids, MI about clear aligners. Like the name suggests, Invisalign are nearly invisible aligners that straighten your teeth little by little. Invisalign is also able to correct crowding, misaligned bite, gaps between teeth, and more.

Keep reading to learn why you should ask our cosmetic dentists at Complete Health Dentistry about Invisalign. If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding Invisalign, please contact our dental office today!

Invisalign Benefits

1. Brush and Floss Normally

It’s too easy to neglect oral hygiene when brackets and wires get in the way of brushing teeth. Thankfully, teeth aligners are removable, which means you can take them out to brush your teeth. Invisalign makes it easy to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine because you don’t have to clean around wires and brackets. Check out our blog post on how to care for Invisalign teeth aligners.

2. Eat Your Favorite Foods

You can keep eating your favorite foods during Invisalign treatment. If you were to choose traditional orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth, you would have to avoid certain foods like gum, caramel, and popcorn. Otherwise, you would run the risk of damaging your wires and brackets. Unlike braces, you are able to remove your Invisalign aligners for meals. However, keep in mind that you will need to brush and floss your teeth after eating so you don’t stain your clear aligners.

3. Wear Comfortable Aligners

You’ll need to wear your clear aligners 20 to 22 hours per day to achieve the teeth straightening results you want. Invisalign works by exerting enough pressure on your teeth to move them into better alignment. While you’ll experience dental discomfort for the first day or two of wearing new aligners, the pain will go away. Many of our patients prefer Invisalign to teeth braces because there are no sharp edges from brackets to irritate the inside of your cheek.

4. Feel Confident with Invisalign

Many adults don’t pursue orthodontic treatment because they don’t want the embarrassment of wearing metal braces on their teeth. If you think you would feel self-conscious with adult braces, we recommend asking one of our cosmetic dentists about Invisalign. Clear aligners from Invisalign are subtle enough that many of your family, friends, and co-workers won’t even realize that you’re wearing them.

5. Schedule Fewer Dentist Appointments

Are you a candidate for Invisalign braces? We understand that many of our patients have busy schedules, which is why we may recommend Invisalign. During the course of your treatment, you will need to schedule appointments so our dentists can monitor your progress and give you the next set of aligners in your series. While you will need to see one of our dentists periodically, it typically isn’t as often as how often you would need to go for braces.

Dr. Nick Ritzema and Dr. Alexandra Maring are Invisalign dentists in Grand Rapids, MIInvisalign not only gives you a straighter, more beautiful smile, but it also helps you maintain good oral health for the rest of your life. If you are interested in learning if you are a candidate for Invisalign bracesschedule an appointment with Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.