Category Archives: veneers

Improve Your Smile. Porcelain Veneers Can Make A Beautiful Difference!

In about anything these days, what defines ‘quality’ and enhances longevity begins with the material — from clothing to tires to furniture and on and on, your investment in the very best pays off by giving the results you most desire.

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, the materials used and the skills of the dentist are significant components of getting the most from your investment. Most of us have seen people who have had obvious dental work – NEVER the goal! In cosmetic dentistry, the goal is to create a beautiful smile that looks like you were born with!

Smile enhancement typically focuses on the front 6 – 10 teeth most visible in a full smile. These are the teeth you want to have the most natural look and feel possible in shape, shade, opalescence (the way light is reflected) and luminosity (the opaqueness).

In most cases, we use porcelain veneers to re-create appealing smiles that are balanced to facial features. Porcelain is the closest thing in durability and appearance to natural teeth and provides the best longevity of all dental materials. Additionally, porcelain resists staining better than other materials.

When replacing fillings, porcelain can be also be used for inlays or onlays to give the most natural appearance. When laughing, for example, using porcelain means the ‘tops’ of teeth won’t reveal signs of dental work. It can be precisely shade-matched to blend into existing teeth and, again, with excellent durability.

Yet, we all know even the best materials can disappoint when applied by substandard skills or inexperienced hands. For example, investing in a beautiful cashmere coat can be a waste of exquisite material if cheap thread is used and the workmanship is shoddy.

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist for you begins with a consultation appointment. During this time, you can ask questions, such as:

• What advanced training have you had that qualifies you in cosmetic dentistry?

• How will you check my bite after this treatment to ensure a proper fit?

• How do you select the dental lab who creates the veneers (or other ‘restorations’)?

• How long have you been in dentistry and what do you do to fine-tune your skills as new techniques and materials come available?

Also, visit the dentist’s web site Smile Gallery to see some examples of before-&-after’s. Look for patient quotes on the site to see if their words are reassuring to you personally.

Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat

When visiting the dentist’s office, look to see if he or she has displayed examples of their work, either in framed photography of actual patients or in albums in the reception or consultation rooms. A dentist who is skilled and experienced is confident showcasing her work!

Porcelain veneers will give you a beautiful result, if in the right hands. Your new smile should make you FEEL wonderful and inspired to share it often! An attractive smile should also get complimented by others, even strangers! That’s a terrific feeling and a sure sign that your investment was a wise one!

Discuss your smile during a free consultation. Call 586-739-2155 to arrange a time when we can sit together and determine what may be best for you.

While you’re here, we can also have our Financial Coordinator explain easy payment plans that can help you make affordable, monthly payments while enjoying your fabulous, new smile!


Smile Makeovers Have Positive Effects Inside and Out!

While the visual impact of the smile makeovers we create for our patients is obvious, what cannot be seen, just by looking, is the significant effect a more flattering smile can have when it comes to (what we refer to as) “smiling from the inside out.” It’s the uplifting feeling these patients have when their smile truly reflects their inner joy.

An attractive smile tends to boost one’s self-esteem and level of confidence. Our ‘smile makeover’ patients often tell us they find themselves smiling more often and feel more outgoing. From what we witness, it’s no surprise that research has found that the mere act of smiling gives a boost to one’s mood.

Apparently, the brain reacts to smiling by releasing endorphins, which are our ‘natural high’ chemicals that make us happy. Even ‘faking’ a smile seems to prompt this reaction, according to research.

When it comes to smile improvements, however, having a ‘makeover’ isn’t always needed to make a positive result in both appearance and perception of how one feels about their smile. Sometimes, even small changes can have a tremendous effect. In some cases, we’ve placed just four veneers on upper, front teeth for a marked improvement.DrB Pt Mirror copy

Porcelain veneers are the ‘gold standard,’ providing optimal durability, longevity and natural appeal. Veneers give a opalescense like that of natural teeth, even reflecting light in a similar way. Yet, there are a number of ways to improve the appearance of a smile.

Whitening teeth can create a notable improvement for those who have stains or discoloration from foods, aging, smoking or medications. A whiter, brighter smile tends to camouflage flaws and projects a cleaner, healthier appearance of teeth.

Bonding is another way to repair minor flaws, such as chips, uneven teeth, or gaps between teeth. Although not as durable as porcelain veneers and less resistant to staining, bonding is a less expensive method for improving small issues. And, when it comes to a smile, these small issues can have a dramatic effect on how one feels about their smile.

You may be surprised that many esthetic treatments can often be completed in just one visit. And, as with all procedures in our office, comfort is a high priority. For those who desire, we make oral or IV sedation available. Both are safe relaxation methods that erase most, if not all, memory of your procedure time. Recovery is quick and you are monitored throughout treatment with advanced equipment and trained staff.

Imagine yourself with a smile that gets compliments often. Would it make you want to smile more often? Would you feel more attractive? Would it boost your confidence in social or business settings?

Yes? Then, begin with a free Consultation to learn about the latest techniques and materials in esthetic dentistry. During this time, we’ll discuss the best options to create the smile you desire. I’ll go over the specifics of treatment and estimated costs. If desired, you can also meet with our Financial Coordinator to learn about easy payment options, most are interest-free with no down payment required.

Imagine that smile you want and then take a first step to fulfilling your dream! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a time convenient for you.

Not All Crowns Are Created Equal (And Why Prices Vary)

Many of us are familiar with the phrase “a rose is a rose.” While the scent of a rose would be pleasant regardless of its name, this reminds us that comparisons aren’t always “apples to apples.” Roses can vary a great deal, just as crowns, bridges and other dental restorations.

As a dentist, I regularly see new patients who have aging crowns or bridges. Some of these restorations are breaking down rather soon, typically due to inferior quality or being placed improperly. For those who assume all crowns are the same, like roses, this is far from the case.

To begin, most crowns are made by a dental lab selected by the dentist and to specifications of that dentist. In order to trim expenses, the cheaper labs typically create results of lesser quality. Typically, the appearance won’t have the natural appearance that blends seamlessly with other teeth. And, the feel won’t provide the smooth finish that feels like a tooth surface. It will look and feel like a ‘fake tooth.’

Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat - Crowns That Look Natural, Of Exceptional Quality
Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat – Crowns That Look Natural, Of Exceptional Quality

In addition to a compromise in the look and feel of a crown, longevity is another area where cost cuts mean sacrifices in quality. The life of a crown is dependent on its materials (along with proper shaping and placement). Obviously, a crown made of lower grade materials won’t hold up as well over time.

Proper placement also has a tremendous effect on the life of a crown. When a tooth is prepared for a crown, the shape, shade and size of the crown is provided to the dental lab. There is no margin for error. The slightest misstep in height or shape can create conflict for the teeth above or below.

For example, a crown that is just a fraction of a millimeter too tall or short will hit incorrectly on the tooth that meets it in a bite. As a neuro-muscular dentist, I know how significant this can be on a patient’s overall oral structures. This minute disparity can result in bite misalignment that leads to headaches, migraines, sore jaw joints, ear ringing, dizziness, facial pain or pain in neck and shoulder muscles.

The same principles apply to a bridge. Bridges that look good, fit correctly, and last an exceptionally long time are worth “doing right the first time.” When a bridge is selected based on the lowest price, like anything, the repercussions of cutting corners will show up eventually.

Rather than think of a crown in terms of its cost, consider what it will provide to you for a fair price. Will it look as natural as your surrounding teeth? Will it feel like a tooth? Will it last for a long time because it was made of quality materials? Will it be placed so you avoid problems from bite misalignment in the future?

When it comes to what is spent on a smile, we all want to feel we have made a good investment. We believe our patients deserve the highest quality in crowns, bridges or veneers for a reasonable cost. Too, we want you to feel pleased with your investment long after it is made.

Let’s sit down together to discuss how you can achieve a healthy, confident smile and enjoy exceptional results in an affordable treatment plan. Call 586-739-2155 to schedule a cost-free, no-obligation consultation. We can also discuss easy payment options, some with no down payment and interest-free.

Beautiful Smiles Have Advantages That Go Beyond Appearance

While definitions of beauty vary, symmetry is a common component of how most assess a face as beautiful. A common standard used is a balanced eye alignment with both sides of the mouth, nose and cheeks mirroring one another. However, many beauty ‘experts’ agree that, regardless of meeting these standards, beauty exudes from those who possess an aura of confidence.

Being confident, however, requires one to feel confident. That sounds so simple, yet it’s not. When we stop and examine what creates confidence in a person, many say it’s feeling self-assured about the impression one makes. And, right or wrong, we know that a large part of this impression is created by what others see on the outside.

In my twenty years in dental practice, I’ve seen hundreds of patients who decided, after much contemplation, to have a smile makeover. And rightly so, since many surveys have shown that the first thing people often notice when meeting someone is their smile.DrB Pt Mirror copy

Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a number of durable, natural looking and long-lasting methods to create a smile that enhances one’s appearance and self-confidence. In some instances, for example, placing porcelain veneers on just the front six upper teeth can dramatically improve a smile’s appearance with a look and feel that is as natural as real teeth.

You may remember “Extreme Makeover,” a series on television that aired from 2002 to 2007. Each episode followed an individual who had been chosen for a total makeover. Typically, the individual was taken through weight loss and toning, plastic surgery, hair and makeup, and smile enhancement. What quickly became key criteria for the candidates selected was their need for cosmetic dentistry.  Why?

After the show began, it became very apparent to the producers that the most significant changes in appearance emerged from the smile enhancements. While losing weight, a nose job or breast lift were all beneficial, it was the smile that often had the most dramatic effect when it came to improving appearance.

When smile makeovers are completed in our office, I’ve had many patients break out in tears at the new smile they see in the mirror. And, even though the expenses associated with some smile enhancements can be a financial stretch, I’ve never had a patient who didn’t say their new smile was “worth every cent” with most adding, “I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to do this.”

Yet, it’s not what occurs in the moments after their new smile is completed as what emerges over time. I’ve seen a number of my smile makeover patients lose weight, pursue work promotions, get a new hairstyle, become more social, smile more often and seem more positive about life in general. It’s as if the new smiles released self-esteem that had been hiding behind smiles that kept their true self-confidence tucked beneath the surface.

Time and again, research has shown the dramatic effect a smile has on one’s overall demeanor. Apparently, the act of smiling causes the brain to release endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals in the brain. Findings also show that even faking a smile causes the brain to react as a mood booster.

The simple act of smiling is good for you, inside and out! A smile that enhances our appearance tends to be shared more often. This sets off a domino effect. Since our mood is boosted from our brain’s chemical reactions, it makes us feel more positive. Feeling more positive makes us feel more confident. And so on.

Whether you need to replace missing teeth, old crowns or bridgework, need to realign crooked or crowded teeth or repair broken, chipped or worn teeth, today’s cosmetic dentistry offers excellent options. And, many are surprised at the affordability of achieving the smile they desire.

Begin with a no cost, no obligation consultation. We’ll talk about what may work best for your goals, comfort options, payment plans and anticipated treatment time.

When you consider the small amount of space that a smile has on our bodies, it amazing at how significantly it can transform our appearance and mindset one way or another. Yet, what nature may have denied, modern dentistry can give back!

Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a time convenient for you.

Beautiful Smiles Have Natural Appearance

I remember a dear female relative whom I’ll refer to as Bess. Bess was rather meticulous about her appearance. Her attire was always color-coordinated and she wore matching jewelry with every outfit. She was one of those ladies who always had “every hair in place.” Yet, the thing that always stood out the most – to everyone – was her drawn-on eyebrows.

Although from a good distance away, I imagine that her eyebrows looked, for the most part, like eyebrows. Yet, the closer you got, the more obvious it became that Bess’ eyebrows were ‘fakes.’ Unfortunately, this seemed to be the feature that stood out the most and in a not-so-flattering way.

When any of our facial features fails to look natural, it also fails to complement our overall facial appearance. And, it tends to be the feature that gets noticed most. Since your smile is one of your most prominent facial features, it makes sense that something unnatural in appearance would stand out a great deal.

When a dentist applies modern techniques, materials and technology to smile enhancements, the word “natural” should describe the look, feel and function. This is accomplished through advanced training that help to correctly size, shade and shape your restorations (such as porcelain veneers, crowns, and crown-&-bridge combinations) so that they truly complement your facial features. For example, by slightly elongating teeth, we can make a wide face appear more slender.

Over the years, though, I’ve seen a number of ‘cosmetics gone wrong’ cases, such as in the repair of a gap between front teeth. I’ve seen where dentists widened the two teeth to meet, only to create a ‘bunny look’ for the patient. Yes, this probably gave the patient a lower treatment fee but simply replaced the the gap with an unbalanced smile that stood out in a different way, not an improved way.

Using the proper materials are important as well. I typically recommend porcelain restorations. Like natural teeth, these reflect light naturally and have a luminosity like that of real teeth. Too, the gum tissue that arches each tooth should also be at the same level as neighboring teeth. This gives an even smile line of teeth framed by balanced curves.

Actual Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat
Actual Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat

Just as important is the placement and alignment of the teeth. As a neuro-muscular dentist, I see patients who have endured years of headaches, migraines, dizziness, ear ringing, sore jaw joints and night-time clenching and/or grinding. Many have worn, chipped, or fractured teeth.

My advanced training and diagnostic technology allows me to hone in on what is contributing to an imbalance in bite alignment. Amazingly, just one or two improperly placed or designed crowns can lead to years of suffering.

There is always a cheaper way to do something. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, however, a ‘good deal’ typically means short-cuts and compromises that DO show. In our office, we are dedicated to creating smiles that give the most natural and flattering look combined with proper function and exceptional longevity. Our goal is to have people compliment you on your smile because it is beautiful and looks like you were lucky enough to be born with it!

For a private, no cost consultation appointment, call 1-866-9-Smiles. During this time, I’ll make recommendations that can help you enjoy a smile that will bring out your personality in an attractive way. We can also have our financial coordinator meet with you to explain payment options, if you like.


Affordable Ways To A More Beautiful Smile!

Most people have a specific event coming up in their lives that prompts them to ‘go for it’ when it comes to smile enhancements. For some, it’s a class reunion or a loved one’s wedding. Some patients share that they are back in the dating scene while others are preparing for a special birthday.

Yes, smiles surround many memorable times in our lives. There are many reasons to have our smile look its best, which tends to provide a boost both inside and out. Not only does a smile have a significant affect on your overall facial appearance, feeling good about smiling causes people to smile more often.

An added bonus is that smiling triggers the release of a brain chemical known as Endorphins. This chemical effects mood, in a good way! It’s your ‘natural high,’ and all it takes is a smile! Research has even shown that smiling when you don’t feel like it has the same effect.DrB Pt Mirror copy

Unfortunately, people who have teeth that are discolored or flaws such as chips, breaks, decay or crooked teeth cause people to hold back on smiling fully. Many will conceal their smile with a hand or smile with lips only.

Sharing a full, exuberant smile projects a happy, confident individual. And, apparently, simply makes us feel good inside and out! While some smile enhancement procedures are more costly than others, your smile’s appearance can be greatly improved with very affordable options as well .

  • Whitening: Whitening teeth tends to conceal flaws and give the appearance of a healthy, well maintained smile. While drug store whitening kits are easy to use, the degree of whitening they give is fairly minor – and short-lived. Because these temporary lighteners are needed more frequently, the investment you make can end up being quite a sum. In our office, we offer the Zoom 2 Whiting System. This gives an in-office degree of whitening that takes about an hour. It provides a much more effective whitening that will last a long time.
  • Bonding: While the ideal option for reshaping teeth is porcelain (crowns or veneers), bonding is a durable, appealing way to correct flaws without the expense. Bonding material is applied to teeth to repair chips, breaks or gaps. In some cases, it can lengthen teeth or even out crooked angles. Shade matching will provide you with a natural look that blends well with surrounding teeth.
  • Porcelain Veneers: For teeth that show most in a smile, porcelain veneers are the ‘gold standard’ of smile enhancement options. They are durable, require minimal disruption to your natural tooth and have excellent longevity. Best of all, however, each veneer is custom-created to give you the look you want with a highly-natural look and feel. Only you (and me!) will know you weren’t born with your beautiful smile!
  • Cleaning & Polishing: When a mouth hasn’t received sufficient at-home care or regular dental cleanings, it shows. Regardless of the shape or shade of your teeth, a smile that looks clean and healthy is an asset to facial appearance. A clean mouth also promotes fresh breath. When oral bacteria are at minimal levels, being close to others is easy when you know your breath reflects your high oral hygiene standards.

To learn the benefits of aesthetic dentistry, visit: for a summary of today’s options. I am also available to discuss your smile and potential fees. Call to request a no-cost, no-obligation consultation appointment. We’ll be happy to explain payment options that are interest-free with no down payment required.

So, enjoy your class reunion or your daughter’s wedding with a smile you are elated to share! By projecting confidence and joy, you’ll show your best – from the inside out! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule.

With Price, Quality Of Crowns Can Vary

A friend’s son enjoyed a trip to Mexico over the Christmas holiday with several fraternity brothers. While there, he purchased a Rolex watch for an amazingly low price. Not surprisingly, after several months, the watch began to run slow and finally stopped. It’s the classic tale of “You get what you pay for.”crumpdollar

As a dentist, I know this is also true when it comes to crowns, bridges and other dental restorations. When a new patient is examined, it’s easy to spot crowns or bridges placed prior that are, in every sense of the word, cheap. Not only are they of inferior quality, a great many fail to support proper bite alignment.

Not all crowns are alike. Like vehicles, homes, appliances, clothes and jewelry, inferior materials and poor workmanship will eventually show up. And, when these problems arise, the repairs can never be described as ‘cheap.’ And, in a number of cases, the patient is unaware the problem occurred as a result of dental corner-cutting.

Most patients are not aware that a crown can be created by various dental labs who use different materials. In order for the labs to be able to charge cheaper prices, they are producing a lesser quality. This can show up in the appearance that doesn’t look quite as natural. The crown may not blend as well with other teeth. It may even stand out, looking like a “fake” tooth. The feel may also lack the smooth surface that is like that of natural teeth.

As a neuro-muscular dentist, I am specially trained to evaluate and create proper bite alignment for our patients in whatever procedure they have. Too often, I’ve seen cheap crowns that were placed incorrectly. Hence, the entire alignment of a bite was compromised. What does this mean?

When upper and lower teeth do not meet properly, neighboring teeth are at higher risk for chips, breaks, fractures and cracks. This can be costly. A tooth that breaks must be crowned. If it breaks below the gum line, it must be removed.

Misalignment can also lead to clenching and grinding during sleep. This can cause worn teeth that are vulnerable to breaks and decay.

Another symptom of bite misalignment (and not often associated with teeth) is migraines and headaches. Facial muscles and jaw joints can become strained when a bite is not in proper alignment. In addition to migraines and frequent headaches, this can lead to sore jaw joints, difficulty opening the mouth, ear ringing and dizziness.

The longevity of your investment is another compromise when cheap crowns are placed. A crown that is well-made from exceptional materials will provide you with excellent value and many years of smiling satisfaction. A cheap crown may provide a life of about half that amount of time.

These same principles apply to a bridge. A bridge that looks and feels natural, fits properly, and lasts an exceptionally long time is worth doing right the first time. Choosing a bridge because it was the lowest price will be a disappointing investment sooner or later. Usually sooner.

While we all want to spend wisely, seeking bargain basement rates for a cheap crown can end up being a costly move. Rather than think of a crown in terms of its cost, think of it for what it will provide you. Our crowns are designed to look as natural as your surrounding teeth. The crowns we place will feel like your natural teeth. It will last for a long time because it was made with excellent workmanship and superior materials. And, it be properly positioned so you can avoid problems from occurring in the future.

When we place a crown, bridge or veneer, we want you pleased with your investment long after it is made. Let’s discuss how we can help you achieve an exceptional smile that is within your budget, and anything but ‘cheap.’ Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Advantage Of Inlay Or Onlay

When a large cavity exists in a tooth, a filling used to be the standard remedy. Years ago, this was done with a silver ‘amalgam’ material. Over the years, much controversy has loomed over the safety of the mercury content in amalgam. As a result, many people have had amalgam fillings removed due to the concerns.

In many offices, non-amalgam fillings began to take the place of the mercury laden material. Although the contents no longer contained mercury, the look failed to provide a natural feel and tooth-like appearance. This is where inlays and onlays emerged to provide ideal options.Inlay Onlay

Inlays and onlays are perfect for people who don’t require a full crown but have a large area for a filling. These are custom-made, porcelain pieces that fit precisely into the tooth to replace the portion that is has been removed due to decay or a break.

Not only do inlays and onlays give a beautiful look and feel, they will not expand as is the potential for fillings. When fillings expand over time, fractures and cracks can occur.

Shade matching is exceptional. The inlay or onlay will blend with your natural tooth beautifully. And, it will feel and function natural as well.

This is a two-step procedure, much like as with a crown or veneer. It begins by preparing the tooth. You are fully numbed during the procedure. A temporary is placed for you to wear while a dental lab creates the final porcelain result. In a couple of weeks, you’ll return for the placement of your inlay or onlay. During this appointment, your temporary will be removed and your tooth will be completed!

Another bonus to inlays and onlays is their longevity. Like crowns, they provide exceptional durability, strength and lasting power.

When a tooth needs repair that requires something more substantial than a simple filling, let’s discuss an inlay or onlay.