August 17, 2018
Smile Makeover Requirements
by Lance Timmerman DMD
“I want a new smile, what will it take?!” Seattle cosmetic dentist Lance Timmerman in Tukwila gets this a lot. The challenge: an answer. If I asked you to paint my house, could you give a fee? Probably, but at first you may only give me a range and after you learn about the condition of my house you can give a better estimate.”
April 18, 2017
The times, they are a changing…. Dr Lance Timmerman wants to help his patients offset the costs to dental care, and is an IN network Aetna dentistwith Aetna Dental. This means that if you have Aetna dental, there is no reason to seek care anyplace else. World class dental care with network pricing.
Let’s face it. Times have changed. Costs of living are a challenge, so seeking an Aetna dentist can save money. Are ALL dentists the same? Are network dentists better? Not necessarily, so do your homework. Please search our website to learn if we are a good fit for you. We offer general services (cleanings, fillings, etc), but we also offer specialized care, like snoring/sleep apnea, dental implants, or smile makeovers.
It can be frustrating to get the care that you want, but learn that there are rules to follow, and some services aren’t covered. What is worse, sometimes you find this out AFTER the treatment is complete. OUR office seeks transparency. We state UP FRONT the plan, the alternatives, and the costs associated with your care. If payment arrangements or financing is needed, we can help.
Most limitations are due to limited services offered from that specific office, not necessarily the plan, so choose an office with a variety of services.
The benefit of an IN network dentist and the convenience of Tukwila, right behind the family fun center and next door to Starfire (where the Seattle Sounders train) make this a convenient and money saving option. We share the building with the University of Phoenix, so don’t drive past thinking your GPS is broken!
April 5, 2016
Choosing a cosmetic dentist can be tough. Times have become tough. With Photoshop, the internet, and items just about ANYONE could purchase, how can you find the right cosmetic dentist for you? It seems every dentist puts on his stationary “Family and Cosmetic Dentist”. To a degree, this implies that ANY dentist can give you that “red carpet smile”. To be honest, this just isn’t true. They aren’t lying, but the use of the term or the intended meaning is not established.
Quite often, if you asked many dentists what they mean by Cosmetic Dentist, they will say they do white fillings in addition to the mercury ones. Many of these dentists, when asked to give a perfect “Hollywood smile” will decline, or simply put off the patient (or worse yet, they will “try” and do their best, but in the end nobody is happy). They won’t make a referral of any sort, they simply find ways to discourage the patient from moving forward. Some will go so far as to say “what you are asking for just can’t be done…”
This can become very confusing for the consumer. If all dentists are NOT created equal, then how do you go about choosing a cosmetic dentist?
Unfortunately, this means the consumer needs to interview prospective dentists. Most offices will offer a free consultation to answer your questions. You should know that a consultation is NOT an examination. A consult is generally a “chat session” where things are discussed in general terms, perhaps visual aids or models are used to show a process, but it isn’t patient specific. If you are wanting to know what would work in your individual case, a clinical examination would be required, and all necessary diagnostic records would be taken. You should also expect a fee of some sort for this (but it won’t be much and often dental benefits pay most or all of the fee).
Find out from the prospective dentist how many cases they have done (you don’t want to be the first, right?). Find out how unique your specific case is (if you are an odd challenge, can they handle it?). Ask for photos of their own work (dentists can purchase books of beautiful cases that were done by someone else). Ask how they got trained in cosmetics (it is NOT a subject taught in dental school).
But in the end, you need to choose a dentist you can trust. With all the training in the world, fancy photography and cases under their belt, you need to decide if the person with the scary job is someone you trust. That is not an easy or quick decision.
March 14, 2016
It appears that there is confusion on what Snap on Smile IS and what it is used for. It should be stated that it is NOT an alternative to porcelain veneers or composite bonding, but it CAN be part of the process. So how does it work?
A prototype is an early mock up or design of something that will be done “correctly” later. A “rough draft” of sorts. In THIS case, it would be a way to preview how a smile could look without doing anything irreversible. However, if material is simply sitting on TOP of the other teeth, it is not a TRUE representation of the final product. It normally feels bulky or the edges can feel rough to the lips or tongue. Final restorations (porcelain veneers or other longer lasting options) do not feel this way and should not be judged on how a snap on smile feels.
This treatment is simply a tooth coloured device that fits over (maybe even snaps) existing teeth, made from a resin that can LOOK like teeth or a new smile, but is NOT durable enough to function (chew) for very long. This is NOT a long term option (unless only used from time to time, not daily).
One popular use is for social events. Since the material is NOT durable, it is only brought out for social events that do not include eating. This allows all the candid photos for Facebook that a person may desire and may afford some self esteem for certain situations. Over time, the material will break down, so investing over and over again may be necessary.
Some use Snap on Smile for a temporary restoration. Dental implant treatment is a common use, as it takes time for dental implants to heal or fuse to the bone (osseointegration). During this time, Snap on Smile can be used to fill in the spaces where teeth are missing, and when the final restoration is placed the Snap on Smile is then discarded.
Perhaps implying deception is a bit harsh. A quick google search will show that many people did not get what they thought they were getting, so clearly a lack of communication is common. The bottom line is that people need to know what they are getting. In the right situations, Snap on Smileis a great option. The investment, when done with a skilled dentist and a skilled lab, will not be small, but often the fee can be applied (all of it or part of it) towards definitive treatment.
February 29, 2016
A well done diagnostic waxup is what separates the excellent dentists from the average ones when it comes to delivering a new smile. While ANY dentist can give “A” new smile, without proper steps the final result is a gamble, or an expensive game of chance. Also, without proper planning, the dentist may irreversibly remove more tooth structure than needed which results in a weaker tooth or teeth.
Step number one is taking impressions. Traditionally this is done with trays and “goopy” material that sets after a few minutes. This leads to stone models of the teeth that can be evaluated and a smile design can be created. NOW, Dr Timmerman uses a digital scanner to electronically record the teeth and can virtually plan or 3D print models for the evaluation. This means NO gagging and saves DAYS of lab time, so treatment can begin QUICKLY.
The BEST part of a diagnostic waxup is the transfer. Impressions of the WAXUP can be taken, and your smile design PROTOTYPE (your temporary smile) can be worn after your teeth are shaped for the veneers (if needed). Now you can SEE the new shape of your smile BEFORE it is done! Sometimes the waxup looks great on a model but not what you expected in your mouth. Whatever changes you desire can be worked out with Dr Timmerman and then communicated to the lab.
An alternative to the lab fabricated diagnostic waxup is to have Dr Timmerman design your smile right in your mouth. This MAY be all you need to see, but has SOME draw backs. Impressions of the intra oral mock up may dislodge it, so the prototype may be a challenge to create and may not look as nice as using a lab. So, YES, you can save a couple days (and we really are saying 2 days and not a week or two since the digital scanner is used) but having the lab participate from the start may be a more comfortable experience.