What Are the Most Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures?

Cosmetic Dental Procedures7 Most Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Having a pretty smile can give you a lot of advantages in life. Those who have lovely smiles are often perceived as confident people who are most likely to succeed in any endeavor.

A beautiful and healthy smile doesn’t happen naturally for a lot of people, though. Very few of us are are actually born with perfect teeth. The great thing about a beautiful smile is that even if the heavens didn’t bless you with a smile like Julia Roberts’, there are cosmetic dental procedures that can help you achieve it.

So what are the most common cosmetic dental procedures for those looking to improve their smile? A Laurel, MD dentist rounded up seven of them in a list below:

Dental veneers

These are the best solution for people who have weirdly shaped and chipped teeth, discoloration, and slight unevenness in the alignment of their teeth. Dental veneers can create that beautiful, sparkling Hollywood smile. Another advantage they come with is that they actually last a long time, meaning you get good value for your investment in your smile.

Composite White Fillings

These are the perfect way to conceal a hole or cavity in a tooth. The fillings are the color of your teeth so it’s hard to even tell that they’re there to prevent the cavity from getting worse and to hide tooth damage.

Teeth Whitening 

This is perhaps the most popular out of all the common dental procedures for a pretty smile. It eliminates tooth stains and restores that perfect pearly white color of teeth through a rather quick procedure.

Porcelain Crowns

These are used as a cover for damaged teeth starting at the gum line. It can protect damaged teeth and improve their shape, alignment and overall appearance.

Invisalign Braces 

These are also known as invisible braces. Instead of those obvious metal brackets and wires on your teeth, you get trays of clear aligners for the straightening effect. If you prefer to correct your crooked teeth alignment without anybody knowing, these are the most ideal braces to use.

Dental Implants

These can replace the teeth you have lost. It involves surgery, however, because implanted new teeth will look, feel and function like your own natural teeth.

Cosmetic Gum Surgery

This is often requested by people who feel like their gums are as big or as highly visible as their teeth. This quick procedure creates the right size of gums for a beautiful smile. It may seem painful, but it doesn’t hurt much (if at all), and healing doesn’t take a long time, according to the trusted dentist in Laurel MD.

Options for Adult Braces

Adult Braces4 Options for Adult Braces

There is currently a spotlight on adult braces, especially after entertainment news featured top Hollywood celebrities proudly showing off their brackets to the public.

Country music diva Faith Hill, for example, made a red carpet appearance wearing adult braces. While she had worn braces when she was younger, her teeth experienced some shifting as she got older, altering the nice appearance of her teeth. She wore braces to regain the original alignment of her teeth. Tom Cruise, one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, had no qualms flashing his smile, metal and all, at an event. Gwen Stefani also fixed her adult teeth with braces for a time due to bite issues.

If Hollywood stars are not ashamed of their metal mouth, why should anybody be?

Truly, there should not be any shame to wearing braces. Braces are not just for junior high and high school-age children. Aside from the cosmetic enhancement they can help you achieve, they can also address some serious oral health issues. Therefore, if your dentist says you need braces at 40, do not question it or feel embarrassed about it because it will certainly be for your own good.

Now, you do not necessarily have to wear traditional braces if you cannot get over how weird it would be to go “twinning” with your own teenager who is also wearing braces. There are actually four options for adult braces available and all of them are discussed below so you can determine which one will suit you best.

Traditional metal braces
Among all the options, these are the most affordable; the problem, however, is that they are the most noticeable as well. However, these are the most ideal for people who have severe bite issues and really crooked teeth since these metal braces get the straightening job done fast.

Ceramic braces
These are designed like traditional metal braces, except that the brackets are either clear or tooth-colored. They are great options for adults that really want their orthodontic treatment to be inconspicuous. Take note, however, that these are more expensive; plus, they tend to be less durable than metal braces, and they stain as well if not properly maintained.

Lingual braces (or braces behind the teeth)
With these braces, nobody will know that you’re straightening your teeth as the wires and brackets are applied behind the teeth. These do the job just fine but they are much more difficult to get used to, they are more time-consuming to maintain, and they create speech difficulty.

These are clear plastic aligners that look like mouth guards but they fit teeth perfectly that they are virtually invisible. They are removable, making them very convenient to use. Invisalign usually comes in a set of 18 to 30 customized aligners, and users have to put in a new aligner every couple of weeks to adjust teeth alignment. These are effective for the right candidates; they can even push in snaggle teeth. However, it can take longer to see improvements.

You can wear braces without feeling too self-conscious about them. If you have additional questions about braces, contact your Burtsonville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. 

Teeth Gaps | Closing the Gaps in Your Teeth

teeth gapsTeeth Gaps | Closing the Gaps in Your Teeth

Gap-toothed grins: Love them or hate them?

For some people, a gap between the two front teeth can look adorable. Others are bothered by how it looks. Thus, closing that gap often becomes a matter of personal preference and aesthetic taste. But in some cases, gaps between teeth can bring about dental health problems. Finding the right solution to close those, with the help of a trusted dentist, should be a priority.

A gap between two teeth may pose some risks to your overall dental health. Having spaces between the teeth can make it easy for food particles to be lodged between the gaps. It can make the teeth and gums difficult to thoroughly clean even with vigorous and regular brushing and flossing. The gaps can retain sugars and bacteria that can build up and become cavities, tartar or a cause of infection. In this case, closing the spaces in teeth is a dental health need.  This can happen regardless of the affected teeth’s location (not just the front teeth) and if gaps occur between more than two teeth.


Causes of Diastema

The medical name for the gap between two teeth is diastema. Some of the cases of this condition include:

Natural development: Many children have teeth gaps which close up on their own as their dental structure matures. If this is the cause, treatment is often unnecessary; parents just have to wait for the baby teeth to fall out and mature teeth to grow.

Teeth size is too small for jaw size.

Missing teeth.

Habits such as excessive or prolonged thumb-sucking.

Protruding, too wide or too large labial frenum (the tissue inside the center of your upper lip).  


Treatment Options

Your dentist in Silver Spring, MD will develop a treatment plan for you according to the cause of the gap. Some of the possible treatment options are:

  • Periodontal treatment if necessary, before conducting actual treatment
  • Crown and bridgework, porcelain veneers or dental bonding to correct the appearance
  • Dental implants if the gap is caused by missing tooth
  • Dental braces, retainer therapy or Invisalign to correct teeth misalignment
  • Dental surgery to reposition or resize for the labial frenum

As always, maintaining diligent dental hygiene practices will allow you to maintain the beauty, health and strength of your smile that you have regained after diastema treatment. Talk to your Silver Spring dentist today and know more about how to manage your teeth gaps and ensure superior teeth and gum health at all times.


What Are Lingual Braces?

Lingual BracesWhat Are Lingual Braces?

Contrary to the belief held by people that metal braces are your only option when you want to get your teeth straightened, there are actually other options you can choose from, including lingual braces.

Lingual Braces

Unlike conventional metal braces which utilize brackets and wires which are placed on the front surface of the teeth, lingual braces are placed behind the teeth. This eliminates one of the common hassles associated with wearing traditional braces: the awkwardness of being seen with wires and brackets in your mouth. The wires and brackets are essentially hidden and it can be practically impossible to know if a person is wearing this type of braces.

Lingual braces operate under the same principles as conventional braces: gentle and continuous pressure is applied to the teeth. This pressure slowly shifts the teeth toward the desired position. For lingual braces, treatment can last between 18 to 36 months, depending on the severity of the patient’s problem.

Lingual Braces Manufacturer

Although there are several options you can choose from when it comes to the manufacturer of lingual braces, essentially, all of these function the same way. The key difference lies in how one manufacturer designs their braces and how these are attached to the teeth. Your choice of brand of lingual braces to use will depend on your preference as well as the recommendation of your dentist.

Before these braces are installed, your dentist needs to take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be sent to a laboratory which will fabricate your customized brackets. This process typically takes about six weeks to complete. Once the brackets have been fabricated, your dentist will cement these on the back surface of your teeth.

What to Consider When Wearing An Orthodontic Appliance 

Wearing any type of orthodontic appliance requires diligent adherence to good oral hygiene practices in order to prevent the onset of both gingivitis and tooth decay. If you are planning to wear lingual braces, it is essential that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, using a soft round bristle toothbrush. Special attention should be given to the teeth and gumline. It is also highly recommended that you floss your teeth daily in order to remove plaque and food debris trapped between the teeth. You may also use an oral irrigation device to remove food debris that have been trapped between the brackets and your teeth.

Be aware that like conventional braces, lingual braces can also irritate your mouth, specifically the tongue. In order to prevent this, you may apply wax on the brackets installed on the lower teeth. Some patients also report that wearing lingual braces has made their speech and enunciation difficult. This problem can be easily overcome with practice.

Are you interested in more information about braces? Contact the friendly dentists at Nicholas Dental Care in Burtonsville. Take the first step to a more confident smile.


Invisalign vs. Braces

braces vs invisalign

Invisalign vs. Braces: Finding the Best Option

When your teeth (or your child’s teeth) require straightening, you know right away that you’re going to have to invest time and money to get the positive results you seek. Today’s dentists have two different solutions that they can recommend, depending on your specific dental condition: traditional metal braces and Invisalign aligners.

With braces, metal brackets are glued to teeth and held together by wires and rubber bands. Invisalign, on the other hand, makes use of clear, smooth and BPA-free plastic aligners to correct teeth.

Each option has its own pros and cons, and you’ll have to consider all of them carefully so you can decide on the best one to use for your particular situation.

To help you determine which option is the clear winner in the Invisalign vs. braces debate, provided below are key things you need to know about each one so you can arrive at an informed decision:



  • They usually come in silver, but you can pay extra to have them in color or match your enamel color.
  • They are not removable and must be worn 24/7 for about two years, so patients can expect results at the end of the treatment period, even for complex dental issues.
  • They must be cleaned thoroughly while you brush your teeth, but otherwise no other special cleaning methods are required.
  • You must pay follow-up visits every month and once done with the treatment, you may require a positioner or retainer (maybe used only at night).


  • Most patients report experiencing pain, discomfort and even sores because of the brackets or wires, or the way the teeth move with braces.
  • Some tooth discoloration and even breakage is possible.
  • You won’t be able to eat foods that are hard or sticky.



  • The clear plastic aligners are designed to be invisible so you won’t have to be self-conscious about your appearance.
  • You will need to wear the aligners for 22-24 hours per day, and treatment periods typically fall between 6 and 18 months (depending on the dental issue).
  • The aligners have to be brushed and rinsed in lukewarm water after every single meal to prevent staining.
  • Visits to the dentist are required every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • The aligners can be removed before eating, while engaging in physical activities, and while speaking in public, for greater comfort.


  • Some patients may lack the discipline to keep the aligners on for the prescribed amount of time, extending the treatment period.
  • They are not ideal for more complex dental issues.

Call Nicholas Dental Care today to determine the ideal dental solution to go with for your individual dental condition. 

Invisalign Facts | Nicholas Dental Care

Invisalign Facts

Your dentist may have recommended conventional braces for your current dental problem. However, you are having reservations based on what you have read and heard about these.

Now, your dentist has broached the idea of Invisalign as an alternative to traditional braces. What makes Invisalign different from its conventional counterpart? What can you expect from the treatment? What are its advantages?

Here’s what you need to know about in Invisalign in Burtonsville, MD.


How does it work?

Instead of using metal brackets and wires, Invisalign utilizes aligners which are made out of thermoplastic material. These aligners are virtually invisible.

In straightening teeth using Invisalign, you will be given different sets of aligners throughout the treatment process. Each set of aligners will slightly adjust the position of your teeth based on the treatment plan designed by your dentist. These aligners will gradually shift your teeth to the desired position. On average, you will need to change your aligners every two weeks.

Invisalign can shift your teeth toward the desired position by using controlled force and the proper timing for the application of that force. For each treatment stage, only a certain set of teeth are moved.


Overview of Treatment Process

The length of the treatment process will depend on a few variables, including the severity of your dental problem. However, on average, most adults finish the treatment process in just one year.

In order to get started with your Invisalign treatment, your dentist will first subject you to a smile assessment in order to determine whether you are an ideal candidate for the treatment or not.

Although one of the advantages of Invisalign is that you can remove the aligners any time you want to, you are required to wear the aligners for up to 22 hours per day. The aligners should only be removed when eating, brushing or flossing.

Another advantage of Invisalign is you get to pay fewer visits to the dentist. For an Invisalign treatment, you will only need to see your dentist every four to six weeks.


The Invisalign Advantage

Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign is practically invisible. You do not have to worry about how awkward it looks.

The aligners can also be removed, allowing you to eat anything you want to. This also makes brushing and flossing easier. The absence of metal brackets and wires ensures that you do not have to worry about irritating your cheeks and gums.

Finally, you know exactly what the end results are. Before your treatment starts, your dentist can give you a virtual tour of the progress you can expect from the treatment.