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131921402-xsPorcelain veneers have become a popular treatment for correcting a range of dental flaws including chipped, broken, crooked, discolored, and awkwardly sized teeth. At SoCal Smiles Dental in Rancho Santa Margarita, Drs. Scott Karafin and Mi Jung Jin treat porcelain veneer candidates every day. But how do you know if porcelain veneers are right for you?

There are several markers that a cosmetic dentist can look for to determine whether a potential patient is a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Some of these include:

  • Strong and Healthy Teeth: Porcelain veneers are bonded directly to the patient’s natural teeth. Because of this, teeth must be strong and free of cavities and plaque build-up. If decay is left untreated, it could progress beneath the veneer and ultimately lead to veneer failure.
  • Healthy Gums: Just as a prospective patient should have healthy teeth, a dentist will also look for healthy gums free of periodontitis to determine if a patient practices good dental habits and ensure that porcelain veneers will have the best lifespan possible.

84979129Most adults will have at least one cavity in their lives, so it’s no surprise that dealing with tooth decay is one of the most common problems addressed by dentists. When teeth have been damaged by decay, dental fillings are generally used to fill in the lost tooth structure. In the past, a mixture, or amalgam, of metals was used to fill the tooth. Now, we have other restorative dentistry options that we can use to restore teeth, including composite, tooth-colored fillings. To learn more about tooth-colored fillings benefits, contact our Rancho Santa Margarita, CA practice.

December 7, 2016 karafinCosmetic Dentistry

210137485Just about everyone wants to have an attractive smile, but years of surface stains can leave teeth darkened or yellowed. If you already have a healthy smile, why not show it off with bright and clean looking teeth? At our Rancho Santa Margarita dental center, we offer professional whitening treatment through Venus® products, allowing patients to effectively brighten their smiles by multiple shades.

Teeth whitening offers visible and immediate benefits with little risk, making it the most popular cosmetic treatment in dentistry. Still, as with any procedure, we want our patients to know what they can expect after treatment. Before heading into your whitening appointment, be prepared for the few side effects that may be experienced in the following hours or days. 

177515780At SoCal Smiles Dentistry, we take great care when treating patients in and around the greater Rancho Santa Margarita area. While advanced restorative dentistry means reduced pain and great results, many patients still suffer from serious dental anxiety. That’s why we’re pleased to offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation. Let’s look into these matters in a bit more detail right now.

141447985-xsThere are many reasons why a tooth may be weakened or reduced in size. Physical damage, bacterial decay, and necessary dental work can all leave a tooth in a more vulnerable condition, threatening its health. Fortunately, you can protect your teeth with dental crowns, restoring their functionality and preventing further harm.

In addition to the restorative capabilities of dental crowns, the cosmetic quality of porcelain allows patients to maintain or even improve a smile. If porcelain crowns are recommended to you by our Rancho Santa Margarita dentist, you can expect to gain numerous benefits.

Uses for Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns can be used to preserve a tooth that may be otherwise damaged or lost completely due to a number of factors. Common reasons for crowns include:

  • Physical damage: Large chips or cracks can threaten the integrity and health of teeth, and may not be reliably fixed through smaller restorations.
  • Tooth decay: Dental fillings may not be an adequate solution for all cavities. When a significant portion of tooth tissue has been lost to decay, a crown may be necessary for full restoration.
  • Worn or eroded teeth: When enamel has been eroded around a tooth, a crown can replace the outer layer and protect the sensitive, softer dentin tissue.
  • Undersized or misshapen teeth: A tooth may be too small or oddly shaped due to genetic or environmental factors. By covering it with a crown, the tooth can be resized and shaped.
  • Root canal therapy: When a tooth requires root canal treatment, it is left vulnerable due to the amount and type of tissue removed. A crown is often necessary following treatment.
  • Dental implants or bridges: Crowns are used to cap dental implants and as a means of support for dental bridges, making them a vital part of the tooth replacement process.

Porcelain crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes, as they cover the entirety of a tooth’s surface. For instance, if a tooth has severe discoloration that cannot be fully concealed by dental bonding or veneers, a cosmetic dentist can more adequately mask the imperfection with a crown.


Family dentist Scott Karafin in Rancho Santa Margarita can help you and your entire family to enjoy outstanding oral health. He offers comprehensive general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services in a relaxing, friendly environment.

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SoCal Smiles Dentistry
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Rancho Santa Margarita Office
22195 El Paseo, Suite 220
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

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