The goals of our dental practice go far beyond that of traditional dental services (such as crowns, veneers and bonding) to provide an enhanced level of expertise that emphasizes conservation of tooth structure with the best possible aesthetics.
A porcelain veneer is one of the most predictable and aesthetic restorations dentistry has to offer. A thin, translucent veneer is made to chemically bond to the front surface of the tooth after a minimal reduction of enamel. The chemical bond is so strong that it rivals the bonds within enamel itself, so veneers rarely “fall off” or “come loose”.
Because the veneer is all porcelain, it is able to transmit light similar to a natural tooth, except it can be any shape or shade you want (but we recommend avoiding ‘70s colors such as almond or pea green!).
Veneers are ideal for making teeth whiter/brighter, closing spaces between front teeth or restoring back length to front teeth that have been shortened due to grinding. Porcelain veneers are the ideal restoration for those seeking a beautiful, long-lasting smile.
All Porcelain Crowns
We are able to create beautiful crowns that mimic your natural teeth in terms of shade, translucence and vitality. And since we use high-level digital photography to capture the shade of your teeth, you can experience a beautiful, natural crown every time.
A cosmetic procedure called a Porcelain Onlay removes only the damaged portion of a tooth (such as an old filling, fracture lines or decay) and uses the remaining healthy tooth structure as a bonding surface. We essentially place a new “top” on a tooth while leaving the healthy sides intact. The resulting tooth is much less apt to decay and much healthier for the gums than traditional crowns.
Our approach to dental care – complete dentistry – is focused on preventing problems before they occur, while keeping teeth healthy, comfortable and attractive throughout each season of your life. The foundation to complete dental health starts with your first appointment, which includes a thorough examination of your gums, bone, muscles, TMJ joints, bite – and, of course, your teeth! We use advanced digital photography, study models and digital x-rays to assess your oral health and evaluate your teeth with respect to aesthetics, function, structure and biology. Learn more about our complete approach.
Cosmetic Bonding utilizes the same bonding technology as porcelain veneers. The difference is that while porcelain veneers are made of porcelain and are constructed in a dental lab, cosmetic bonding uses bonding material directly on the tooth. In other words, the bonded restoration is made by layering various shades on the tooth and is accomplished in one appointment. Beautiful, totally invisible restorations/veneers can be made in an hour or two. Cosmetic bonding, especially for a full tooth veneer, is not as strong as a porcelain veneer, but when placed in areas of low stress, are very beautiful, long-lasting restorations.
Implants / Bridges
If you are missing a tooth, or several teeth, the classic treatment is a cemented bridge. The teeth on either side of the space are prepared for crowns and a bridge is made to fit onto those neighboring teeth while replacing the missing tooth – all in one piece that is cemented. Bridges can be very aesthetic choices to fill in missing teeth and help correct bite issues.
Implants provide an exciting alternative to the dental fixed bridge. Instead of using the neighboring teeth, the implant is placed directly in the space of the missing tooth, acting as a substitute tooth root. A crown is then made to attach to the implant. No other teeth are affected which translates into a more conservative choice as well as lower maintenance in the long run.
TMJ Evaluation / TMD Treatment / Bite Therapy
TMJ issues have always received a lot of attention in the press over the years. In the stressful, busy, over-scheduled lives we lead, it’s not unusual to experience teeth clenching/grinding, and to suffer from the muscle/joint damage resulting from it. So, let’s define some of the terminology, understand the causes and explore the solutions to this problem.
The lower jaw is attached to the skull only by a series of muscles and connects to the skull via the condyle (the upper end of the jaw) to the temporal area of the skull in a joint called the Tempero Mandibular Joint (TMJ). You can think of this joint as a ball and socket. A healthy joint allows the condyle (the ball) to fully seat in the socket with the cushioning cartilage in place.
When you bite down, your mouth is most comfortable when the TMJ is healthy and allowed to fully seat in the socket with the muscles that move the jaw being spasm-free and all teeth meeting evenly. For the health of your mouth, these three areas must work together in harmony. The joint, muscles and teeth represent a system that works together. Any weak link in this system can result in pain, difficulty chewing, headaches, broken teeth, loose teeth, altered bite, clicking/popping sounds, short, worn-down teeth and/or facial disfigurement.
Symptoms and damage in the joints and muscles come under the term TMD (TemperoMandibular Joint Disorder) and can be evaluated by a complete exam that includes a thorough history, muscle palpation, full-mouth x-ray, study models that duplicate the movement of the jaw/teeth and/or an ultra-sound exam of the joint.
Once a proper diagnosis is made, we devise a plan to address the weak link (i.e., the joint, muscles or teeth) before any definitive work is done. After all, it is truly frustrating for the patient, as well as the dentist, when beautiful porcelain veneers break because the underlying weak link has not been addressed. In this way, we can ensure whatever dentistry is done will be comfortable, look amazing and last a long time.
We love to brighten/whiten teeth! Many patients ask us about over-the-counter products (such as Crest White Strips) and we always advise trying them. In many cases they can give a nice “lift” to the brightness of the teeth. However, in just as many cases, that “lift” is not enough and professional whitening is indicated. We have had great success for many years with the bleaching trays you take home and wear at night for a week or two. We customize the treatment regimen and gel-strength to your individual situation – such as how much of a color shift you wish to achieve, the sensitivity of your teeth and the amount of root exposure due to gum recession). We want the brightening process to improve the look of your teeth without affecting the health of your teeth.
As an aside, we do not offer in-office bleaching treatments because studies have shown that the light used to bleach the teeth actually has no effect on the bleaching process. A much stronger concentration of bleaching gel is used with these treatments, which greatly increases the risk of sensitivity in the teeth. Additionally, even in those treatment regimens, home bleaching is still utilized to complete the whitening process. We feel much more comfortable with our patients avoiding sensitivity risks, not to mention the added cost.
What sets Dr. Minch apart from most dentists is his relentless pursuit of excellence in both his clinical practice, as well as his pursuit of continuing education both as a student and a mentor to other dentists. I first came to know Dr. Minch as a co participant in a workshop down in Brazil given by a master clinician. He is part of an elite group of dentists at the Spear Institute who volunteer their time as visiting faculty to mentor other dentists from all over the world. I recently took part in a special workshop Dr. Minch put together at great effort that brought in a dentist of international reknown. The reward for Dr. Minch was simply that he could make a difference. I feel fortunate to have Dr. Minch as a colleague and a friend.Dr. Alexander Tsui