Replacement Teeth 101

bridge-at-labWhen it comes to replacement teeth, the good news is that you have choices. At Fitzgerald Dental Center, I create custom bridges, dentures, and partials to replace missing teeth. I also offer dental implants, the replacement tooth technique that’s quickly becoming the preferred option for my Plano and North Dallas patients. But do you have the information you need to make informed decisions about your smile? I’m Dr. Lee Fitzgerald. Let me explain the basics of the replacement teeth alternatives I provide.

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News in Cosmetic Dentistry

As published in the September Addition of the Dallas Beauty Book

Cosmetic_DentistryWE KNOW WHY A SMILE IS IMPORTANT. It is your most memorable feature. When the smile is attractive, it adds to your overall beauty and allure. For some, a smile means confidence. For others, it means finding love or landing a dream job. Having an attractive smile is no longer a luxury meant for the wealthy. It is a must that is affordable to most anyone. Today, you can have a beautiful smile quickly, conveniently, and affordably.

The details of an attractive smile go beyond the color of the teeth. The gum shape must be pleasing to the eye as well, and the size, shape, and position of the teeth are critical. Most cosmetic dentists are trained to evaluate each of these areas in order to guide you toward having a better smile. The practice of cosmetic dentistry has evolved where we can give our patients improved smiles with the latest in proven technology.

Whitening is the No. 1 cosmetic dental service today. New to the market is Kor deep bleaching. Unlike some of the other bleaching treatments on the market today, Kor offers a more permanent whitening effect with very little, if any, sensitivity. The most exciting aspect about Kor is the ability to whiten even the most challenging dental bleaching cases. Kor can even brighten teeth with tetracycline or dark staining. This product who thought veneers were their only option for a whiter smile.

Dental veneers remain one of the best ways to make a permanent change to your smile when whitening is not enough. Today’s dental veneers are stronger and can be made thinner with improved cosmetics. They are used to change tooth color, alignment, and size. The ceramics of the 21st century are natural in appearance, with the translucency and whiteness of natural teeth.

Porcelain crowns are now metal free. In almost every area of the mouth, we can use crowns that contain no metal. This avoids the dark lines and poor matching you see with old-style porcelain crowns. Another advantage is a more natural look with crowns that are virtually imperceptible. The crowns blend with your other teeth as if they’ve always been there. EMAX and Zirconium are new options in porcelain crowns that offer these advantages. Dental implants have improved significantly and remain a great option in helping create an ideal smile. If you are missing a tooth, the best solution is a dental implant. The most ideal way to make dental implants look and feel like natural teeth is with the use of zirconium connectors which can be custom designed and made using computer-guided CAD CAM technology.

What The Dentist Knows
(and you should, too)

+ Most cosmetic dentists will tell you their smile results are only as predicable as the dental laboratory they use. The closer the cosmetic dentist works with a lab, the more ideal your smile will be. A qualified and experienced technician and dentist will work together to help you attain the smile you want.

+ Most cosmetic dentists have photographs of their work in their office or on their website. Evaluate their work, as pictures are truly worth a thousand words. This will help you and the dentist communicate about your smile.

+ Will you need to see a specialist for dental implants, gum treatment, or braces? Ask your dentist about each referral and why the specialist is recommended. Also, find out what to expect when you see the specialist.

+ Not all porcelains for veneers and crowns are created equal. Some are stronger and more natural looking than others. Ask your dentist about the type of porcelain veneers they offer. Typically, the stronger porcelains last longer, but are more expensive. The weaker porcelains are less expensive and don’t last as long.

+ Many people use the term “dental implant” as a generic term, much like a crown. An implant is a permanent change to your body. There are hundreds of implant types and brands, and only a few are widely used. Talk to your dentist or go online to educate yourself before having implants placed, and choose from reputable brands.

The Right Bite for a Great Smile

dental occlusionWhen a dentist talks about your “bite,” he’s referring to your occlusion – how your top and bottom teeth fit together. Optimal occlusion occurs when opposing teeth come together in their ideal arrangement. When tooth positioning is thrown off by a misaligned bite, called malocclusion, a whole host of issues can result, including jaw pain, headaches, erosion of tooth enamel, and even cracked or loose teeth.

I’m Dr. Lee Fitzgerald. At my Plano practice, I help people achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. Optimal bite alignment is a crucial component of the equation. A great smile is one where each element – teeth, gums, joints, and muscles – functions harmoniously with the others. In the 25 years since I opened Fitzgerald Dental Center, I’ve never wavered in my dedication to give patients smiles that look great and feel great. [Read more...]

After Cosmetic Dentistry: Caring for Your Smile

Cosmetic dentistry is an investment in your personal and professional success. As such, you’ll want to protect your investment after you’ve completed any cosmetic enhancement. I’ve been pracproper oral hygiene after cosmetic dentistryticing cosmetic dentistry in the Dallas area since 1985, and I’ve seen firsthand the ill effects of improper smile maintenance. By following a few simple but important tips, you can ensure that you can ensure that your smile serves you well throughout the years. Careful smile maintenance will extend the life of your cosmetic dentistry considerably. Follow these instructions, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us!

After Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is not permanent, but it can last long-term if you take certain measures. I recommend the following tips for maintaining your bright, white smile long after you leave the dentist’s chair: [Read more...]

How to Straighten Your Smile Without Wearing Braces

girl smilingCrooked teeth are one of the complaints I receive most often. Slightly rotated or widely spaced teeth can make a smile appear juvenile or unprofessional, and your self-confidence can suffer because of it. Many times, patients with crooked teeth have worn braces in the past, but their teeth have shifted, and now they’re dissatisfied with the results. I understand their hesitation to wear braces again – braces of any kind require a significant time commitment, not to mention the embarrassment of looking like a teenager. As a cosmetic dentist in the Dallas/Plano area, I offer many solutions to straighten your teeth without the hassle of metal braces. Most of these treatments can be performed in just one or two visits, and the results are extremely esthetic and long-lasting.

Cosmetic treatments to straighten teeth without braces include:

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What an In-Office Dental Lab Means for You

lab-crowns-smallQuality cosmetic dentistry isn’t an accident – it’s the result of advanced education, artistic skill, and unwavering dedication. Not only does the dentist have to posses these characteristics, but the team and the dental laboratory, as well. Many dentists have no control over the quality of work their laboratory provides – they simply send off the specifications and hope for the best. At my office, I’ve made a commitment to be personally involved with every cosmetic case from start to finish. That’s why in 1990, I added an in-house dental laboratory to our Plano dental office.

In addition to making my job easier, an in-house laboratory offers several benefits for our patients. These benefits include: [Read more...]

D Magazine Names Dr. Fitzgerald Best In Dallas

dmagazineThe March 2010 issue of D Magazine named Dr. Fitzgerald as the Best of D in the category of cosmetic and implant dentistry.  Dr. Fitzgerald was named as the best cosmetic dentist in Dallas through the Best of D in 2003, 2005, 2007 as well.

D Magazine
Best In Dallas
March 2010

Lee Fitzgerald, D.D.S., FAGD, FICOI, FICD
Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry

Facts show a healthy smile adds years to your life and life to your years. Dr. Fitzgerald is well known for his expertise for creating beautiful and healthy smiles. He is one of the few dentists in the country with a cosmetic in-office dental laboratory that customize your smile based upon your desires. Dr. Fitzgerald is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and among the Best Dentists in Dallas three years running in D Magazine.

Research Regarding Medical Links Between Prostatitis and Gum Disease

Recently, Science Daily produced an article discussing the links between Prostatitis and Periodontitis. When science begins to reveal links between different diseases, it can often lead to impressive advances in research, thus it’s certainly worth noting.

Periodontitis is, “Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Periodontitis can cause tooth loss or worse, an increased risk of heart attack or stroke and other serious health problems.”

Prostatitis is, “a disease of the prostate gland, can cause pain in the groin, painful urination, difficulty urinating and related symptoms. The prostate gland produces components of semen, the fluid that helps support and transport sperm. The gland, about the size and shape of a walnut, sits directly below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that transports both semen and urine to the penis.”

According to Science Daily,

“Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center report initial results from a small sample that inflammation from gum disease and prostate problems just might be linked.”

The research came about due to the fact that heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes have been linked to periodontitis.

Because periodontitis has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers felt a link might exist to prostate disease as they both produce high inflammation levels.

“Looking at the results, the researchers from the dental school and the department of urology and the Institute of Pathology at the hospital found those with the most severe form of the prostatitis also showed signs for periodontitis.”

Whisk into Wedding Season with a Whiter Smile

teeth whitening planoWith summer just around the corner, many Plano residents are gearing up for a spectacular wedding season. Statistics show that June is the most popular month for weddings, followed closely by August and May. Whether you’re a member of the wedding party or simply planning on attending, weddings are a perfect excuse to whip your teeth into tip-top shape. With a bright, white smile, you can focus on socializing and forget about embarrassing yellow teeth. As a cosmetic dentist in Plano, I offer the latest teeth whitening techniques, including Zoom! Whitening for fast, effective results. [Read more...]

Discover the Secret to a Flawless Smile

porcelain veneers Do you ever wonder how celebrities achieve those bright, beautiful smiles? Do you think they were simply blessed by nature? News flash! Porcelain veneers are the number one cosmetic dental solution to erase stains, repair chips and breaks, and create a more uniform appearance. This revolutionary cosmetic treatment can be completed in just two or three office visits. As a cosmetic dentist in Plano, I’ve seen firsthand the transformational power of porcelain veneers. These restorations can radically improve your appearance and give you a flawless smile faster than you thought possible. [Read more...]