Dental Blog

Posts for category: Cosmetic Dentistry

By Elkhart Dental Center
September 10, 2018
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental Implants DiagramFind out how our Elkhart, IN, family dentist can treat your tooth loss.

Are you an adult who is missing one or more teeth? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here in Elkhart, IN, our dentist Dr. Sangyoung Lee offers many options for you to fill those gaps in your smile and to improve your oral health. Of course, you may have heard about dental implants, or artificial tooth roots, and how they could replace your missing tooth or teeth for the rest of your life. Let’s tell you a little bit about how implants work.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is designed to replace the roots of your missing tooth. You might not realize this but tooth roots are very important not just for the health of the tooth but also for your jawbone. After all, every once of your tooth’s roots are stimulating the jawbone to produce new bone cells all the time. When you lose a tooth you lose that stimulation and the jawbone starts to deteriorate. The only way to prevent bone loss is to replace your missing tooth roots with a dental implant.

Of course, the implant itself doesn’t look anything like real tooth roots (as it’s actually a small post or screw often made from titanium), but it can take the place of tooth roots.

How does an implant work?

In order to replace the tooth roots, the implant will need to be placed into the jawbone right where the missing tooth used to be. In order to do this, our Elkhart restorative dentist will need to perform a minor procedure to open up the gums and make a small hole in the jawbone where the implant will go.

It can take several months for the jawbone and gums to fully heal, but as they do they will grow around and fuse together with the implant. This is due to the fact that the implant is made from a biocompatible metal, so the mouth treats the implant just like a natural part of the body. Once the jawbone and implant become one, you will have a lifelong foundation from which to support a false tooth.

After this fusion between the jawbone and implant are complete, we will need to place a structure called an abutment over the implant. An abutment’s sole purpose is to connect the implant (the part that lies under the gums and isn’t visible) with the dental crown (the part you will see). In order to do this, we will have to make a small incision in the gums to place the abutment on top of the implant. After several more weeks of healing, it’s now time to cement the crown over the abutment to finalize your treatment.

Missing several or all of your teeth? No problem. We can place several implants along the arches of the jaws to support a dental bridge or dentures.

If you are dealing with tooth loss in Elkhart, IN, and want to find out whether dental implants are the right option for replacing your missing teeth then call Elkhart Dental Center today to schedule a consultation.

By Elkhart Dental Center
March 14, 2018
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: teeth whitening  

Professional teeth whitening could give you the radiant smile you’ve been craving.teeth whitening

While using whitening toothpastes and simple commercial whitening kits that you find at your local drugstore can certainly prevent new dental stains from forming, if you are dealing with teeth that are yellow and dull then chances are good that you want results you can truly see. A vibrant smile can make you feel more confident and our Elkhart, IN, family dentist Dr. Sangyoung Lee is here to make that possible.

While not brushing or flossing regularly can certainly put a damper on your smile, the medications you use, the foods and drinks you consume and even the effects of natural aging can lead to stains and yellowing. When this happens you want a whitening product that actually works. Luckily, professional teeth whitening is the safest way to get your smile whiter and to say goodbye to stains. So, why choose professional teeth whitening from our Elkhart, IN, cosmetic dentist rather than whitening your teeth yourself? That’s easy,

A Stronger Treatment

While you can certainly us at-home whitening kits you won’t see the same results that you will with professional teeth whitening. That’s because the whitening gel we use contains the highest concentration of hydrogen peroxide, meaning that we don’t have to leave the product on nearly as long as at-home whitening gels to achieve amazing results.

Quick Results

Is your wedding coming up? Do you have a serious job interview? Or maybe you just want to give your appearance a spruce. Whatever is going on, there are many reasons to choose professional teeth whitening. It can take weeks of continuous use to see results from at-home whitening kits, but with our whitening system, we can get teeth several shades whiter in approximately one hour.

Professional Monitoring

When you whiten from home you don’t always know if you are doing it right. Plus, you can just grab a whitening kit off the shelf without ever needing to come in for a consultation to make sure whitening is right for you. Some people experience tooth sensitivity because of whitening, and while it’s much harder to monitor and control this problem from home, we can certainly ensure that any sensitivity is kept to a minimum.

If you are ready to find out whether your smile could benefit from getting professional teeth whitening in Elkhart, IN, then it’s time you called Elkhart Dental Center to schedule a consultation with us.

By Elkhart Dental Center
June 21, 2017
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Learn about crowns and bridges from your Elkhart dentist.

A Gallup poll found that up to a third of Americans didn’t visit the dentist’s office in the course of a year. Unfortunately, the longer you avoid going to the dentist’s office, the higher the chance of dental problems that may require restorative work. If you’ve been looking for a restorative solution for your smile, crowns or bridges may be your bestDental Crowns option. Learn more about these common dental treatments by exploring a few frequently asked questions.

What Is the Difference Between Crowns and Bridges?
A crown is a whole covering, commonly made of porcelain, metal or ceramic material, that replaces the enamel layer of the tooth. It is bonded on top of a healthy rooted tooth that needs strengthening and protection. A bridge is a device that uses two crowns to fill in a gap in the smile from a missing tooth. The crowns cover the two adjacent teeth, called abutments. The center of the bridge called a pontic, is a false tooth that is designed to fit in with the rest of your smile.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Crowns?
Since a crown is only a superficial covering, the inner parts of the tooth have to be healthy to support it. A dentist must examine the inside of the tooth using X-rays to confirm that the tooth is healthy enough for a crown. Patients who have root canal therapy are also candidates for crowns.

Who Needs Bridges?
Someone who has one or two missing teeth and wants a reasonably secure and semi-permanent solution may benefit from bridges. The bridge is needed to help make it easier to process food, maintain the structure of the jawline and give the patient a smile to be proud of. The abutment teeth have to be healthy enough to support a crown. Generally, a good candidate for a crown will likely also be a good candidate for bridgework.

How Long Will These Dental Solutions Last?
A crown or bridge can last for between five to 15 years or even longer if you take care of your teeth. But no worries, because when the time comes your dentist can redo the crown or bridge and give you another 15 or more years to enjoy your new smile.

Contact your Elkhart Dentist
Call your Elkhart dentist to find out if a crown or bridge can help give you a better smile. These two restorative treatments can help fix a number of common dental problems.

Elkhart teeth whiteningWill your whitening be this pronounced? Get the facts behind bleaching to get a better idea of your results

As the most popular cosmetic dental treatment around, teeth whitening is a much-discussed option. But with popularity comes some misconceptions. While whitening can offer some a dazzling grin, it might not have an effect on some stains. How do you know whether it's right for your smile?

We want your cosmetic dentistry to be fulfilling, and that means making sure you have the right expectations. We'll always talk through the treatment process before you get started, but it never hurts to do some research of your own. Get a whitening primer below so that you're informed before your cosmetic consultation. Once you visit our office, Dr. Lee will take a look at your teeth and tell you more about what's possible with whitening.

Types of Tooth Stains

Not all stains are alike. There are a few different reasons your smile might have a yellowish tinge, and we'll need to get to the root of the problem before recommending whitening.

  • Intrinsic - Some stains are formed during tooth development. This can happen from the administration of certain antibiotics, or from excessive exposure to fluoride. These stains are internal, and won't be affected by whitening because that doesn't delve deeper than the enamel.
  • Extrinsic - The most common type of tooth stain, extrinsic stains are caused by dark compounds becoming lodged in the enamel. Since enamel is porous, there's ample space for stains to take hold. They're usually caused by habits like smoking, drinking red wine, cola, or coffee, or other environmental factors. These stains are the ideal candidate for conventional whitening.
  • Erosion - Your teeth are covered by enamel, which lends them their white shade. If the enamel chips away or erodes significantly, the layer beneath will show throw. This layer is called dentin, and is a deeper yellow. Worn teeth are typically yellow because of the lack of enamel, and no amount of whitening will change this - the teeth need to be rebuilt.

When Whitening is Right

As we mentioned, stained enamel is the right target for whitening. The whitening agent penetrates enamels pores and reacts with oxygen, breaking up stains and whitening the teeth. In-office whitening will yield a brighter smile within just one appointment, while home whitening offers gradual results with repeat treatments. We'll recommend the option that fits your preferences, whitening goals, and budget.

Alternative Whitening Options

If you're hoping to whiten other types of stains, it will be necessary to cover the stains and build up the teeth. This is possible with dental bonding, porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, and more - just set up a consultation to get some guidance.

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Elkhart BotoxIs happiness an injection away?


Botox is already a household name, but we’re still learning more about all the ways it benefits our lives. In addition to its aesthetic advantages, Botox can be administered therapeutically to improve head pain or migraines, or soothe jaw disorders. And its unique assets don’t stop there.


Studies on the connections between emotions and physical display of feelings have been using Botox as a means of learning more about the way our brains work. The findings are surprising - and they’re teaching us more about what Botox really does. At the same time that it’s smoothing out lines on your forehead, Botox may also be making you happier on a daily basis.


How Botox Impacts Our Moods


You might be saying to yourself, of course Botox makes people happier. It gets rid of wrinkles and boosts confidence, so it makes sense that happiness follows. But the studies we’ve referenced have taken steps to remove the aesthetic aspect from results. They experienced heightened contentment simply because they weren’t frowning, rather than as a side effect of their appearance.


Charles Darwin first proposed that our emotions and the display of our emotions might be cyclical, with the way we look changing the way we feel. More recent studies have been able to approach this question in a scientific fashion. In one, half of the participants received Botox in muscles associated with frowning. When filling out surveys about their anxiety levels and mood, the Botoxed participants said they were happier and less nervous in general. The key finding? They also didn’t feel more attractive, so the shift in mood wasn’t related to wrinkle loss.


Why is this important? Because Botox may help you more than you expect. If you’ve ever been interested in taming facial lines, just get in touch to learn more about the process. Soon, your skin could be smoother and your heart could be lighter - it’s as simple as a few injections.

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