Frequently Asked Questions
Our cosmetic dentistry practice provides exceptional dental care to Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and San Jose dental patients. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions or you would like to arrange a consultation with our esteemed dentist, Dr. J. Brent Gorrell, contact our Mountain View office and make an appointment. We look forward to helping you get the smile you’ve dreamed about; the smile you deserve.
Why are porcelain veneers sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics”?
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made ceramic shells that when bonded to the front teeth can provide a brighter, straighter, more radiant smile. They can be used to treat badly stained, crooked, chipped, or broken teeth. Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” because they can also be used to correct minor misalignments.
Are there any alternatives to metal amalgam fillings?
Composite, or tooth-colored, fillings are a revolutionary development in cosmetic dentistry. These fillings, made from a durable porcelain resin, are making their unsightly metal predecessors a distant memory. Composite fillings are designed to match your natural tooth shade and are virtually undetectable. Also, inlays and onlays may be an option.
Is there a tooth-replacement alternative option to dental implants?
Although dental implants often provide the optimum balance between function and anesthetics, there are several less-invasive cosmetic dentistry options which can be used to replace missing teeth. Dental bridges are custom-made devices, fused between two crowns that replace missing teeth. Dentures can be used if you are missing all your teeth. Contact our Mountain View, California cosmetic dentistry office – serving Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and the Greater San Jose area – to find which tooth-replacement option is best for you.
How long will the procedure take?
The LaserSmile™ teeth whitening procedure will dramatically brighten your smile in less than a half hour. In just one office visit you will notice a whiter, brighter, and healthier-looking smile. If you are interested in teeth whitening, contact our cosmetic dentistry office – providing exceptional care to Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto residents.
How long do teeth whitening results last?
LaserSmile™ teeth whitening results can last for years assuming good hygiene and reasonable exposure to staining foods and beverages. However, actual results may vary due to individual differences in tooth structure and personal habits.
Is the laser safe?
The LaserSmile™ laser is only exposed to a few teeth at a time and even then only briefly (about 15 seconds). During the entire teeth whitening process (about 24 minutes) it is likely that each tooth will only receive about two to four minutes of exposure to the laser's output. This allows Dr. J. Brent Gorrell to safely administer the teeth whitening procedure without over-exposing your teeth to heat.
Although dentures and bridges can restore aesthetics and function, dental implants are the best solution. Implants prevent gum resorption and tooth migration.
What advantages do Invisalign® aligners offer compared to metal braces?
Invisalign® requires no pulling, twisting, or tightening; no shots, drills, or metal. Patients using Invisalign® aligners gradually, and covertly, straighten misaligned teeth. Invisalign® aligners are clear and nearly undetectable. They are removable so you can eat all the foods you love. Brushing and flossing is easy, simply take out your aligner. Metal braces often irritate patients’ mouths; Invisalign® aligners provide a comfortable fit. Contact our cosmetic dentistry office – serving Los Altos, Mountain View, and Northwest Santa Clara County – for more information about Invisalign® orthodontics.
How often would I have to change my Invisalign® aligners?
Your Invisalign® program is individualized and uniquely tailored to your particular case. Generally, Invisalign® patients meet with Dr. J. Brent Gorrell every four to six weeks to check their progress. At this time Dr. Gorrell will determine if you are ready for the next step in your series of aligners. The typical Invisalign® treatment time is one year – start to finish.
Would Invisalign® orthodontics limit my ability to eat the foods I love?
No. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign® aligners are removable, allowing patients the ability to enjoy the foods they love without worry. Often, food gets caught in metal braces, but you don't have to worry with Invisalign® orthodontics. Enjoy apples, corn, nuts, anything. Plus, brushing and flossing is a breeze with Invisalign®. Simply remove, floss and brush, and replace.
When is a root canal necessary?
Endodontic treatment, or root canal therapy, can save infected natural teeth and prevent the loss of your tooth. If a tooth’s pulp (the central canal of the tooth, containing its nutrients, blood vessels, and nerves) becomes infected, endodontic treatment may be required. If the tooth’s nerves become infected, Dr. Gorrell will create an opening in the tooth’s pulp chamber, remove the diseased pulp, and seal the opening using a dental crown.
How many office visits would be necessary for dental crowns?
Heavily decayed or fractured teeth can be restored with dental crowns. Typically, the dental crown procedure is a two-office visit procedure requiring the crowns be manufactured in a lab. However, our cosmetic dentistry office – serving Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto – is equipped with CEREC® 3D. The CEREC® crowns are fashioned on site, and can be placed in just ONE office visit! For more information, arrange a consultation at our Mountain View facility.
How long does the dental implant procedure take?
The placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, a titanium post is inserted into the jawbone, recreating the tooth root. Three to six months later, when the implant has healed, the implant is fixed with an abutment and a porcelain crown. Only the crown is visible, leaving a dental implant that looks, feels, and functions as a natural tooth.
What advantages do dental implants offer compared to dentures or bridges?
The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they prevent resorption (a process that causes the jawbone to recede or weaken with the absence of teeth). Tooth loss can create several problems. Your nutrition may suffer, as foods you once enjoyed become too hard to chew. Your remaining teeth may suffer, as they do the work of the missing teeth and end up strained. Remaining teeth can become damaged or can migrate slightly. Although dentures and bridges can restore aesthetics and function, dental implants are the best solution. Implants prevent gum resorption and tooth migration. Examine more advantages of dental implants.
Are dental implants right for me?
Generally, dental implant patients should be in good overall health, have healthy gums, and a strong enough jawbone to support the implant. Dental implant patients must also remain committed to oral hygiene. To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, contact our Mountain View cosmetic dentistry office – serving Los Altos, Palo Alto, and the Greater San Jose area – for a comprehensive examination.
“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.