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.”
January 18, 2017
Conservative Smile Makeover
A conservative smile makeover is sometimes unsatisfactory. While it is not uncommon to treat MANY teeth when doing a complete smile makeover, sometimes we can be creative to be conservative. Combining treatments can give a fantastic outcome, if not ideal. Most people, when making over their smile, want whiter teeth, better shapes, and better alignment. This led to the process commonly called “ABB”, or “Align, Bleach, and Bond.”
Align, Bleach, Veneer
In this case shared here, instead of “bonding” (a term often incorrectly used to describe composite tooth colored material bonded to teeth), there were 3 veneers already in place, the two front upper centrals, and the lower lateral (looks short, making an uneven gumline).
Simply remaking the veneers wouldn’t be enough, the color wasn’t bright enough, so whitening of the other teeth was needed. But the lower tooth situation wouldn’t be solved simply by replacing the veneer, and contouring the gums wouldn’t last due to the alignment. The existing veneer on the lower tooth was driving the patient crazy due to how thick it was to make it “appear” in alignment so the tooth needed to move (or be extracted and a bridge or implant placed, a pretty extreme option).
Braces for a single tooth
When given the option of braces AGAIN (earlier in life, orthodontic treatment had been completed), the patient was reluctant (nice way of saying REF– USED). But the idea of an Inman Aligner, for less cost and less time, was a game changer. Gentle movement with a removable device allowed the tooth to move into place in a matter of weeks.
Single tooth porcelain veneer
Once in alignment, a single veneer was need to finish the case. With some laser contouring of the gums and a final retainer, our patient had a new smile: Whiter, straighter, and more ideal shapes.
And saved THOUSANDS of dollars.
November 13, 2016
For some people, distance is not a barrier to seeking what they feel is the best treatment and dental tourism is the answer. Seattle cosmetic dentist Lance Timmerman DMD helps to make it easy for his out of state or out of country patients to have their treatment with him. From a quick trip to a full on vacation lasting a few weeks, let our 5 star service help!
Since some services are hard to find “the right provider”, many people make the voyage from all over the world to see Dr Timmerman. The more “fastidious” patient can rest easy that the result they seek is usually only TWO visits away! Usually, our international patients make a single EXTENDED trip, but sometimes they choose to do two “brief” trips. To speed up the process and reduce visits to our office, some preliminary work can be done at home. Just because this is a limited and specific procedure, we STILL require full diagnostic work up and records. To streamline the process, x-rays and preliminary impressions can be taken “at home” (in your home country, by your home dentist). This information can be sent to Dr Timmerman in advance to prepare for the case.
The first thing to do is to “arrive”. Most people will fly, so the first step is to choose the closest airport. SeaTac (designated SEA) is a mere 2.5 miles away. Call your travel agent or use a great app like Expedia.
Even MORE convenient is the proximity to a place to sleep. Homewood suites by Hilton is not merely CLOSE, but we actually share a parking lot. Beautiful hotel, walking distance… what more could you ask for? The hotel has its own shuttle service, or we can help arrange for a limo to pick you up.
Our state of the art office is only 12 miles from downtown seattle, and less than an hour for other recreational activities. Here is a list of options:
If your treatment is involved and takes a bit of time, it can be broken up into 1-2 short visits, or a longer visit with some “waiting time” involved. With so much time on your hands, entertainment and distractions may be a welcome diversion. Let us help, with both the treatment AND the things to do.
There are some things that we need:
- Email us x-rays of the teeth. ALL of the teeth. Including a panoramic x-ray
- Impressions of your teeth in PVS (polyvinyl siloxane)
- Bite registration
The above can be done at a local dental office very easily. That office may/should charge a fee for this service.
- Decide on the “style of smile” that you desire (follow the link)
- Documentation that the health of your gums are healthy/stable and no other teeth have pressing issues (nerves of any teeth need root canal therapy? Get it done BEFORE travel here)
- Schedule a skype consultation or email a detailed correspondence of desired goal.
- Decide if you would like US to handle ALL of your travel arrangements, including flights, hotel, and transportation. There will be an additional fee and non refundable.
If you present to us in a manner that is NOT healthy and prevents us to immediately start treatment, we WILL change gears. This normally means that we need to clean your teeth and gums, or whatever treatment is needed to start treatment. This MAY mean that treatment must be rescheduled after healing, or that additional time is needed for the case (instead of 3 hours blocked, we need 5 hours). If treatment changes, the fee may change as well (but may not). Matters like this will be discussed prior to starting treatment so as to avoid any misunderstandings.
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.