Welcome to Our Practice
Ben Peterson, DDS & Kevin Baker, DDS
4232 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311
Can whitening harm my teeth?
If you follow the instructions on the packaging or given to you by your dentist, whitening is safe. Teeth often become sensitive during whitening but it wears off after 2-3 days once whitening is finished.
What are veneers?
Veneers are a covering of the front surface of your teeth. To place veneers, a small amount of enamel is usually removed but it is considered to be minimally invasive. Veneers can be made of porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers generally look better for a much longer period of time but are more costly. Resin composite veneers tend to dull over time and stain can more easily form around them but they are less expensive.
Will clear aligners straighten my teeth?
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, can straighten teeth in cases of mild to moderate crowding. Each individual person has unique needs and this can be determined after a dental exam and x-ray called a panoramic. Clear aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and gradually move them as you change trays every 2 weeks. You must wear the trays 20-22 hours per day, taking them out when eating or drinking colored liquids. Often, in cases of crowding, little spaces need to be created between the teeth in order to move them into that space and align them. These spaces are made by removal of small amounts of enamel (very small, like 0.2mm). It is not harmful to teeth and does not hurt to have this done. We also often need to bond temporary bumps on certain teeth with tooth colored filling material. This helps to guide teeth to the right place and are removed later. Once done, retainers are needed at night for as long as you want your teeth to stay in the newly aligned position. Clear aligners can usually align your teeth in 9-18 months but it depends on the amount of tooth movement.