"your smile, only better"
Q: Do you only perform cosmetic dentistry, or do you perform general dentistry as well?
A: The world of dentistry has changed greatly today so the answer to that question is both simple and complicated. Yes, we perform all phases of dentistry, but we approach every dental issue cosmetically. We take care of all your dental needs but we don't just look at one tooth; we look at the whole mouth as one unit and approach general dentistry and maintaining good dental health through cosmetic eyes. We want your whole mouth to be healthy AND look good. Many of our patients recognize our innovative approach to dentistry and seek our efforts for such basic things as cleanings, porcelain restorations, bridges and implants. We have a periodontist and an endodontist on our staff and we offer these services as well.
Q: What makes Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor so special?
A: We love what we do and take great pride in doing it well. Very well. Our egos are not tied to our label of being celebrity dentists - the three of us actually share one common thread. We all feel that making the patient feel good about themselves and happy with their smile is our goal. If we can achieve that then we are successful. Nothing else is more important to us than to improve your life in some small way. We work as a team, we all contribute our input to every case, every patient here is "our" patient collectively and we all do what we can to add to each case. What makes us special? We care about you and making you happy. And, we like each other, a lot. That's special.
Q: How many office visits does it take to transform my smile with veneers?
A: In just two visits (spaced a week or two apart), we can complete both upper and lower veneers. At the first visit, the tooth enamel is slightly roughened and drilled to prepare it for the veneers. (You leave the office with temporary veneers - already a visual improvement from the original teeth.) At the second visit, the temporaries are removed and the customized porcelain veneers are bonded or glued onto the teeth, completing the transformation of your smile.
Q: What determines the color and shape of the veneers we choose?
A: We're experts and take into account each patient's unique features, including the shape of the face, the whites of the eyes, skin tone, and even personality. While we consider the combination of those traits, we pay close attention to the patients desires and listen to their input to help determine the unique final design of the veneers.
Q: What makes LLK veneers different from all the others?
A: In our office, each patient is treated as a unique individual. We individualize each smile and since we have artistic eyes, we work together to arrive at the best design for your smile. One of the joys of this partnership is that we work as an ego-less team, striving together to make the patient happy. We take into account many factors (like skin tone, bone structure, and the shape of your face) to create custom designed veneers for you. Working with each patient, we create a smile that's natural, beautiful, and the ideal fit for that individual.
Q: How long do porcelain veneers last?
A: Porcelain veneers, or laminates, last between ten and twenty years. Porcelain's natural luster and translucency make it almost indistinguishable from natural tooth enamel, plus its strength makes it difficult to stain or wear down from brushing. The veneer is, essentially, a thin facade of porcelain - like a fingernail - that is bonded to the tooth enamel. The marriage of the veneer to the tooth structure makes it extremely strong, although like natural teeth it is possible to chip or break with undo force.
Q: How do I know if having longer teeth or a wider arch will work for me?
A: Before we transform your smile, we typically do a live demonstration directly on your teeth using composite resin. By sculpting tooth colored bonding right onto the teeth, you can see exactly what a different shape and size will look like. (And, don't worry: it's temporary and is easily removed at the end of the consultation.) Many offices use video imaging to suggest what cosmetic dentistry procedures will look like, but we feel that this live demonstration is a much more realistic and vivid way to see how your smile can be transformed.
Q: What can I do if I show a lot of gums when I smile?
A: We call this a gummy smile - it's easily corrected. Often the gum tissue can be simply removed with a laser. If your smile required more tissue to be removed, our in-office periodontist raises the gum tissue surgically. The next step is placing veneers up to the newly-raised gum level, which creates a new smile without that "gummy" look.
Q: What is an "aging smile"?
A: Unlike a fine wine, our smiles don't
improve with age. Over the years, the upper lip begins to sag as it loses
muscle tone, and, as wrinkles begin to form around your mouth, the sides of the
face start caving in. And there are changes inside your mouth too: the edges
of the upper teeth wear down and become shorter; combined with those other
factors, people show less and less of their teeth when they smile. And the
teeth themselves change too, becoming more porous with age, so stains sink in
deeper, causing dark discoloration and yellowing.
Transforming an aging smile is no problem thanks to porcelain veneers. We can create veneers that are longer than the aged teeth, so more of the teeth are seen when you speak and smile. By building out veneers on the back and side teeth, the muscles in your mouth get more support, making a broader smile possible. And the soft natural white of porcelain brings a youthful color back to your teeth ... or gives them the color you always wished they had.
Q: I had braces when I was younger and my teeth are crooked again. I don't want to wear braces again - what can I do?
A: For patients with this issue, we discuss a few different straightening options during the consultation visit. Invisalign - clear retainers that slowly move the teeth into the correct position - is one possibility. (The length of treatment with Invisalign depends on how crooked your teeth have become.) Another route is to use porcelain veneers, which have the big advantage of making the teeth look aligned in just a week or two, without actually moving them. In some cases you can use invisalign for a defined period of time to move the teeth into a "better" position and then placing veneers over the teeth to complete the transformation.
Q: I am 71 years old. I'm still pretty active - do you think it's worth making the financial investment in improving my smile?
A: We live in a brand new world today, where people are still active and going to the gym well into their 80's. But looking youthful is more of a priority for people than ever, and unfortunately the smile is a big giveaway of your actual age. As we get older, the teeth get yellowed and more and more crooked. By having more youthful looking teeth, you can carve about a decade off your calendar age ... and they don't have to be excessively white, just the appropriate color for someone that's 60 instead of 71.
Q: How can I improve my smile without looking fake?
A: Every cosmetic dentist has their own style, just like fashion designers. At LL&K we create gorgeous smiles that look like you were born with them. Making your smile look naturally beautiful is a priority for us, so we take into account everything from skin tone to what type of makeup you wear when we decide how white your veneers will be. Our customized veneers are translucent, so - just like natural teeth - there's a sense of light coming through. This is the opposite of the excessively opaque veneers, which is the design style of other dentists and ceramists. The shape of our veneers is also unique. Sometimes we make one or two teeth slightly askew or overlapped to add a sense of imperfection. Or, we often create extremely subtle irregularities in a few of the veneer edges to create, as we call it, a natural looking "perfectly imperfect smile."
Q: Why should I veneer my teeth when I could just bleach them?
A: Veneers don't stain ... and essentially won't stain for over a decade. Bleached teeth discolor within a few months, particularly if you drink dark liquids like coffee, tea, and red wine. Plus veneers can help improve the appearance of a long list of other teeth issues, like gaps, chips, a gummy smile, uneven shapes, and the arch of the mouth that gets smaller with age. Also, bleaching doesn't work equally well on all patients and many patients become disenchanted by having to bleach over and over again to maintain a whiter color.
Q: Why should I invest so much money in my smile?
A: We hear from many, many patients that improving their smile was one of the best things they've ever done for themselves. The key, really, is self-confidence, which, of course, makes a huge difference in your life, both personally and professionally. Let's face it: your mouth is the focal point of your face, and white teeth give an impression of health, youth, polish and cleanliness. It's also been proven that smiling causes the brain to release endorphins, which makes you feel good. Our goal is to make our patients feel great and happy to flash a beautiful smile all day, everyday.
Q: You mention celebrity dentists. Do you treat regular people?
A: People ask that question all the time. We didn't create the "celebrity dentist" thing. Truthfully, the celebrities we treat only represent 1% of our practice. We care about the other 99% because those are the people we want to make look like celebrities, or at least have a smile that looks like a celebrity. We put every bit as much care into creating a smile for a social worker, a lawyer, a secretary, anyone. We pride ourselves on that. We pride ourselves on caring about everybody.
Q: What are the different ways I can get my teeth whiter?
A: Essentially, there are three techniques to improve your smile: In-office power bleaching, bonding, and porcelain veneers (which are also called porcelain laminates.)
Q: How do I know which technique is best for me?
A: We begin the process with a consultation visit, during which you can discuss with the doctor what you'd like to change about your teeth. Maybe it's the shape, length or contour of your teeth; maybe they're crooked; perhaps there are spaces between your teeth, or your smile needs broadening; or perhaps you just want to change their color. Every procedure has advantages and disadvantages, so it's very important to have this discussion and get a solid grasp of what your ultimate goals are and how to best achieve them.
Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of bleaching?
A: The advantage of bleaching is that it's relatively inexpensive and brightens the teeth easily and quickly when it works. But it's far from perfect: it doesn't work equally well on everyone, so the results aren't 100% predictable, and the color tends to fade anywhere between 1 and 18 months after getting the procedure done. People who were born with white teeth that have darkened over the years (from tea, coffee, smoking, red white, etc) have the best results with bleaching, while people with very dark teeth, especially from tetracycline staining, experience the least improvement from this method.