Southshore Dental

Posts for: January, 2020

By Southshore Dental
January 29, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Just like adults, teenagers experience chipped, stained or disfigured teeth. And during a life stage where issues with appearance can be acutely painful, these defects call out for a solution.

And, there is one: porcelain veneers. These thin wafers of custom-made porcelain are bonded to the front of teeth to cover dental flaws. They’re one of the least invasive—and most affordable—methods for smile enhancement.

There is one caveat, though: The affected teeth will most likely need alteration. Veneers can look bulky when bonded directly to teeth, so we compensate for this by removing some of the surface enamel. This changes the tooth permanently, to the point that it will always require a veneer or some other form of restoration.

But although this may be a minor issue for an adult, it could pose a problem for a teenager. That’s because the pulp, the innermost layer of a tooth containing nerves and blood vessels, is larger in a younger adolescent tooth than in an older adult tooth. Because of its size, it’s closer to the tooth’s surface. During enamel reduction for veneers on a young tooth, this could lead to inadvertent nerve damage. If that happens, the tooth may need a root canal treatment to preserve it.

If the adolescent tooth needing a “facelift” has already been root canaled or sustained significant structural damage, then altering it for veneers may not be too concerning. Likewise, if the teeth are smaller than normal, the bulkiness of a veneer may actually improve appearance and not require alteration. We’ll need to examine a young patient first before making any recommendations.

There are also alternatives to veneers for improving smile appearance. Enamel staining could be enhanced temporarily with teeth whitening. Small chips can be repaired with bonded dental material, or in skilled hands be used to “build” a veneer one layer at a time with no enamel reduction. Although not as durable as regular veneers, these bonding techniques could buy time until the tooth is more mature for veneers.

Whichever path we take, there are effective ways to transform a teenager’s flawed tooth. And that can make for an even better smile.

If you would like more information on dental restorations for teenagers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Veneers for Teenagers.”


The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.

"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")

Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)

Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).

Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.

Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.

What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”

By Southshore Dental
January 23, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental crown  

A dental crown can help your smile in several ways, whether it be by protecting a weak tooth from developing decay, restoring an unattractive tooth that is severely worn down, or repairing a damaged tooth. Here at Southshore Dental in Trenton, MI, if you need a dental crown, Dr. Mehul C. Patel can help.

What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown also called a "cap," is a cover that fits over damaged teeth to restore them to proper health. They can even replace an entire tooth as a part of dental implants or bridgework. If you are missing a significant amount of tooth structure from your gum line, a dental crown is ideal for restoring your smile.

What Can I Expect From the Procedure?

Before treatment begins at our Trenton office, your dentist will prepare your tooth for its crown. First, he will numb the surrounding area with a topical gel, and then the tooth is shaped to fit inside its new covering. If there is minimal tooth structure left, additional filling materials may be implemented to support the crown. Once the tooth is ready, the dentist will make model impressions of your teeth for the laboratory to use as guides for creating your permanent crown and ensure a proper bite. Before you leave the office, we place a temporary crown until your permanent one is ready. Your permanent crown will be installed during your second appointment.

Need Dental Work? Give Us a Call

If your smile could use enhancement, consider dental crowns for a natural aesthetic. There are several types of material Dr. Mehul C. Patel uses to craft a dental crown, but porcelain is the most popular choice. We can discuss the material best suited for you during your consultation at our office in Trenton, MI. For more information about dental crowns and other services provided, visit our website. For questions or to schedule an appointment with your dentist, please call (734) 675-0585.

Dental implants provide an excellent permanent and restorative solution for missing teeth. At Southshore Dental, our goal is to help improve your overall oral health. If you have missing or decayed teeth, our dentists may recommend dental implant surgery. In this three-part blog post, our team will provide what you need to know about dental implants, before, during, and after surgery. In Part 1 of this series on dental implants, we will share what you need to know before you go in for the procedure, including:

  1. Reviewing Your Options in the Consultation
  2. Selecting the Right Dentist 
  3. Post Surgery Oral Health Tips
  4. Planning Up to the Surgery Day

Review Your Options in the Consultation

Before scheduling surgery, schedule a consultation with your dental provider to discuss your options. During the consultation, the surgical team should perform a complete oral exam to determine if you’re a good candidate for implant surgery. Remember, while implants work well for most people, some will find that they are better served with another option, like dentures or fixed bridges.

At Southshore Dental, our free initial consultation will evaluate your mouth to determine if you’re a good candidate for implants. If the dentist comes to the conclusion that you're a good candidate for dental implant surgery, we will answer all your questions and talk about the procedure. Our team will review your financing options, and share the other options you have if dental implants aren't suitable for you.

Choose an Experienced Dentist

If you haven't already, take the time to choose your dentist carefully before scheduling implant surgery. Make sure your dentist uses the right technology, such as technology that helps find and avoid nerves during the procedure, and has vast experience with dental implants. Ask about the long-term success of the dentist’s past implant procedures. Minimally, your dentist should be a member of the ICOI, which indicates they are staying up to date with dental implant practices.

Focus on Good Oral Health

Following your surgery, make sure you’re taking good care of your teeth and gums - brush and floss twice daily, and use an antibacterial mouthwash. If you notice any problems, consult with your dentist to take care of them before the surgery.

You may also need a few days to rest. Most patients are able to return sooner after their surgery, however, we recommend taking a couple of days off of work and strenuous activities while the implant site heals.

The Day Before Your Dental Implant Surgery

Leading up to your procedure, your dentist may ask you to not eat anything up to 12 hours before your surgery. We also suggest that you fill your prescriptions before going into surgery to make the day of your surgery easier. Dentists may prescribe pain-relieving medications, however, most patients won't need it.

Our dentists also recommend that you stock up your kitchen with soft, easy to chew foods, such as yogurt, applesauce, pudding, and soups are all great options in the first few days after your surgery. After a few weeks, you can start to eat foods that can be easily cut with a fork.

That’s what you need to know to prepare for oral implant surgery. In the next installment of this three-part series, we'll outline what to expect during your actual procedure.


At Southshore Dental, we care about your oral health and want what is best for you. The best way to determine if dental implants are the right option for your smile is to talk to a dentist. Reach out to Southshore Dental for a free consultation at (734) 675-0585 to discuss dental implants with a downriver dental team that cares about helping you make the best possible decision.


Cosmetic dentists routinely perform smile transformations once thought impossible. Using the latest materials and techniques, today's practitioners can "make over" the most problematic smiles.

But to achieve these results, it's necessary for both dentist and patient to step back and absorb the "bigger picture." If you're considering a smile makeover, your first step on this transformative journey will be this big picture moment called a smile analysis.

A smile analysis is a comprehensive examination in which your dentist looks at every aspect of your current smile. And not just your teeth and gums—he or she will also carefully evaluate the health of the supporting bone of the jaw. Healthy bone is necessary in particular for dental implants, which require adequate bone for optimum placement. Extensive bone loss could rule out implants, or at least postpone their installation until the bone can be rejuvenated through bone grafting.

The analysis doesn't stop with mouth structures, either: an attractive smile must achieve an aesthetic balance with the shape and complexion of the face, especially the color and position of the eyes and the form and posture of the lips. Your dentist will measure and assess all of these facial features and factor them into your individual smile makeover plan. This increases the likelihood your planned restorations will blend seamlessly with your overall appearance.

Your smile analysis will also include what's going on beneath the surface of your current smile. Many appearance problems are actually the consequences of disease, trauma or inherited conditions. These underlying issues will often need to be addressed first: as with renovating a house, it does little good to paint and hang wall paper if the foundation is faulty. Any treatment for disease or trauma may postpone cosmetic work, but it's absolutely necessary to achieve lasting success for your smile makeover.

Although time-consuming, a smile analysis sets the stage for a successful smile transformation. Your new beautiful smile will be well worth this detailed examination.

If you would like more information on undergoing a smile makeover, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”

Contact Us

Southshore Dental

(734) 675-0585
2861 West RoadTrenton, MI. 48183