1310 Alverser Plaza Midlothian, Virginia 23113
(804) 897-9800

First impressions matter. This fact of life has been taught to us since before the theory could be tested by scientific measures. 

Nonetheless, it remains a true statement. And one of the indicators that guide subconscious perceptions is your smile. 

Having crooked or chipped teeth can effectively ruin someone’s perception of you even before you say a word.  

This is where cosmetic dentistry comes in to save the day. Getting a cosmetic procedure done can help to improve your overall appearance and outward presentation. 

If you have ever felt too insecure to give your biggest smile, considering cosmetic dentistry may be your best bet.  

Here are some other reasons to visit a dentist for a consultation. 

Feel More Confident

Even a small treatment such as teeth whitening can help you feel a lot better about your appearance. Unfortunately, we do indeed live in a world where others often judge us by the way we look. 

Improving your teeth can help you feel more secure in yourself and help you put your best foot forward. Give a boost to your self-esteem by giving your teeth some well-deserved pampering. 

Feeling better about yourself can also help you to become happier. Showing off your pearly whites becomes a positive feedback loop that can help keep your head held high all through your life. 

Improve Comfort and Health

Cosmetic dentistry is not just a field for aesthetic improvements. Not only can crooked or missing teeth look unsightly, but they can also hinder your daily life, making eating or even closing your mouth uncomfortable. 

Once you have these issues fixed, you will find yourself being able to relax better. Having strong and healthy teeth can mean that you have an easier time enjoying all the foods you love.  

At the same time, you will also be improving your general oral health. With such an investment in your teeth already, you will be motivated to take better care of your dental health. 

This means better dental care and a healthier mouth. Beyond that, cosmetic dental procedures can help to fix injuries resulting from accidents. 

If you have imperfect teeth due to events such as being hit by a fast-flying ball, falling, or a vehicular accident, there are simple methods that can help you regain your previous looks. 

A chipped tooth can easily chip away at your confidence, and making it whole again can help you heal psychologically as well.

Simple Procedures

Going to the dentist is an experience that many people find absolutely terrifying. So why would anyone want to risk pain or discomfort for something that is seemingly unnecessary? 

Well, cosmetic dentistry techniques are minimally intrusive and often painless. With the advancement of technology, the methods used by dentists can become virtually pain-free.  

It will also help you feel more comfortable if you do your research beforehand. Beyond finding a capable and qualified dentist, you should look up what your intended procedure entails. 

You should also discuss the methods used at length with your chosen dental professional so that you know what to expect.

Good Value for Money

While there is a range of prices for the various cosmetic procedures you could have done, most are very economical. 

While the cost may not be labeled as cheap, you can rest assured that you will be getting the best value for money. 

After all, your teeth will last you for the rest of your life. This set of teeth, once improved, can help you garner better health and better opportunities. 

Increase Your Social Standing

You will be surprised how much of your life can change when you have altered your teeth. Having a healthy, straight, and complete set of beautiful teeth can help you to present your best face to all those around you. 

You may find yourself getting better work opportunities or even have better luck in finding a partner. 

After all, a big and confident smile sends a message. Now, you can impress the people around you with your abilities and your flawless smile.

There are several cosmetic dentistry treatments that can enhance your smile and boost your confidence. Two of the most popular treatments at our Midlothian, VA practice are porcelain veneers and orthodontics. Both can create more symmetry and balance within a smile. But how can you know which option is right for you?

In this informative article, our team explores the similarities and differences between porcelain veneers and orthodontics. We’ll also briefly explore some of the specific options available at Hawkins Family Dentistry.

porcelain veneers

About Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin, ultra-strong shells of layered ceramic. They adhere to the front surfaces of the teeth, with the purpose of changing size, shape, or color. Veneers are handcrafted and customized to your unique dental anatomy. They can camouflage a wide array of aesthetic imperfections, making the smile more harmonious and proportionate.

What Conditions Do Veneers Treat?

Veneers can conceal a number of issues, including discolored, cracked, or chipped teeth. They can also close down gaps between the teeth and cover slightly crooked teeth to give the appearance of a straighter smile. For this reason, porcelain veneers are often called “instant orthodontics”.

It’s important to note that, while veneers can make a smile appear straighter, they don’t actually shift the teeth at all. Therefore, severely misaligned teeth or large gaps cannot be effectively treated with veneers.

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are incredibly lifelike. Due to the high-quality of the ceramic, veneers actually reflect light similarly to natural enamel.

On average, veneers last between five and 15 years. With proper care, they can last over two decades. However, they will likely need to be replaced at some point.

About Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment includes any appliance intended to move the teeth into their proper positions. You likely picture traditional metal braces when you think of orthodontics. But there are also other options as well, including clear aligner therapy. Orthodontic treatment not only improves the appearance of your smile, but it also enhances oral health and function.

What Conditions Do Braces Treat?

Orthodontics address a wide range of malocclusion issues, including:

Unlike veneers, orthodontics can address severe malocclusion issues. Furthermore, patients who undergo orthodontic treatment can enjoy improved oral health and function as well as a beautiful smile. With appropriate care and maintenance, the results of orthodontic treatment can last a lifetime.

Orthodontic Options at Our Practice

We offer a couple of orthodontic options at Hawkins Family Dentistry. Invisalign® is a popular option among our teen and adult patients. This system straightens the teeth using a sequence of clear aligner trays, rather than metal brackets, bands, and wires. Because the trays are removeable, patients can still enjoy their favorite foods while undergoing treatment. Invisalign treatment can usually be completed in about 18 to 24 months.

Six Month Smiles® is another popular treatment. Unlike traditional braces and Invisalign, this system focuses only on the front teeth – the teeth in the smile zone. Because of this streamlined approach, this treatment can be completed in as little as six months.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Porcelain veneers and orthodontics are both fantastic cosmetic dentistry options. The one that’s right for you depends on the complexity of your case and your own personal oral health goals.

To learn more, schedule a consultation at our Midlothian, VA practice. Contact Hawkins Family Dentistry online or call us at (804) 897-9800.

Dental implants replace an entire tooth—including the root—with a permanent replacement. Dr. Hawkins or Dr. Neidert can tell you it is the #1 most popular tooth replacement method in all of dentistry, but there are many reasons dental implant surgery may be recommended.

Dental implants may work for you if you have one or more teeth missing, your jawbone has reached full adult growth, and you’re willing to commit several months to the implant process. Other times when dental implants might be a good dental solution include:

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Six Month SmilesIf you’ve been considering straightening your smile but don’t want to go through the lengthy process of traditional braces, Six Month Smiles® may be a great solution. If a big life event such as a wedding, prom, or reunion is coming up and you need a quick fix to boost your confidence, consulting your Midlothian dentists about Six Month Smiles could be your best option. Not only will it impress your guests with your beautiful new smile, but it will also be a decision that will change the way you look at yourself. Choosing Six Month Smiles just might change your life.

What is Six Month Smiles?

Six Month Smiles is a modified and shortened version of conventional braces treatment. Using today’s latest technology, dentists can fix your smile in around six months compared to the 1-2 year treatment time estimate of traditional orthodontics. By focusing only on the front teeth that show when you smile, Six Month Smiles can achieve dramatically beautiful results in a fraction of the time! Six Month Smiles is largely a cosmetic solution, so if you require significant tooth movement or corrections to your bite, a longer treatment that focuses on your entire mouth will be more fitting. (more…)

VelScopeThe prevalence of oral cancer in America is increasing, with an estimated 49,750 people being diagnosed in 2017 alone. Of those newly diagnosed individuals, it is projected that only 57% will live 5 years beyond receiving the news. Oral cancer will cause almost 10,000 deaths annually, equating to nearly 1 person per hour.

These statistics are a lot to digest and can cause quite a bit of fear. This fear might be elevated when we look at the reason oral cancer death rates are high—not because it’s more difficult to remove, but because it’s usually discovered in late stage. This makes sense knowing that only 14-18% of dentists in the United States screen for oral cancer. That’s right, 14-18%.

However, Dr. Alex Hawkins and Dr. Gena Neidert of Hawkins Family Dentistry want to provide you with peace of mind by educating you on what to look for and screening you for oral cancer regularly. Read on to learn more and feel free to give us a call with questions and concerns. (more…)

Do You Smooch Your PoochWe’ve all heard the expression that a dog is a (hu)man’s best friend, and dog lovers wouldn’t disagree. There’s also a common misconception that “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth”. As it turns out, that’s not true at all, and there are many reasons you should never let your dog kiss you on the lips or even the face.

Where Could a Dog’s Nose Have Been?

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Crown MaterialsThe first known dental crowns were made as far back as 200 A.D. when Etruscans used gold to create crowns and bridges. Can you imagine what the process must have been like without the technology we have now? If you’d rather not, we can’t blame you!

Thanks to digital x-rays and impressions, dentists today can create crowns that fit so naturally in the mouth, you’ll forget you weren’t born with them. The updated materials help even more with their blendability, especially ceramic and porcelain.

But I Love Gold!

Gold is still an option for crowns today, and it’s not a bad option in terms of durability—they’re extremely fracture-resistant and seal well to prevent recurrent tooth decay. However, gold is usually the most expensive material for the creation of crowns, and most people want their dental restorations to be a secret only they know—especially if the tooth in need of crowning is an incisor or canine.

For those anterior (front) teeth, porcelain and ceramic are excellent crown options; they’re the most economical solution and can be color-matched to blend in with your smile perfectly. (more…)

OverbiteDo you know the status of your occlusion? That’s the technical term used to describe the way your maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth align. If you happen to have a bite that doesn’t connect quite right—or at all—it’s referred to as a malocclusion.

You might ask yourself, “Well, I can eat and speak without any difficulty, so does the way my teeth touch really matter?” Midlothian dentists Dr. Alex Hawkins and Dr. Gena Neidert are here to explain why your occlusion is important and focus on the impacts of an overbite. Stay tuned to our blog for discussions on other types of bites, too!

Goldilocks & The Three Bites

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Pediatric SealantsA trip to the dentist should be a pleasant experience. That’s what we want for our kids: happy associations with that twice-annual visit to your Midlothian dentists at Hawkins Family Dentistry. Nothing ruins the good feeling at a dental visit faster than the dreaded words, “I found a cavity.” A cavity in a baby tooth is bad news, but not the end of the world. A cavity in a newly erupted permanent tooth is more cause for concern.

So what is a cavity? How do they form? And, what can we do to keep them from ever getting started?

What is a Cavity?

Simply, a cavity, also known as dental caries, is a hole in the tooth enamel. A tooth has an outer layer of hard enamel surrounding an inner layer of dentin, which covers the tooth pulp, which contains blood vessels and a nerve. A cavity forms when the enamel is weakened then fails and no longer covers the dentin.

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Braces DietAccording to the American Association of Orthodontics, over four million people in the United States are undergoing orthodontic treatment at any given time, and about 25% of those people are adults. These statistics include different types of orthodontic treatments, such as clear aligner systems that have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Clear aligners can be removed to eat, drink, and clean teeth, so diets are not as limited for patients that use them, but Hawkins Family Dentistry advises wearers of more traditional braces (constructed with brackets and wires) to modify their diets for the duration of treatment to avoid damaging their hardware and their teeth!

Beverages to Avoid with Braces

The list of beverages to avoid with braces is shorter than the list of restricted foods, so let’s get beverages out of the way first! There are two key categories for restricted beverages: fizzy and acidic. Avoid sodas and other carbonated beverages, natural fruit juices, and sports drinks—all can be very acidic and high in sugar, which encourages enamel erosion and tooth decay—this is true for all teeth, but especially ones with braces!

Fizzy drinks can also stain the brackets of your braces. If you do indulge in this type of drink now and then, sip with a straw to lessen these effects. If you like ice in your drinks, that’s fine, but do not chew it. Chewing ice is one of the easiest (and most common) ways to damage braces! (more…)

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Hawkins Family Dentistry

1310 Alverser Plaza

Midlothian, Virginia 23113

(804) 897-9800

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Working Hours

  • Monday 8:00 - 5:00
  • Tuesday 8:00 - 5:00
  • Wednesday 8:00 - 5:00
  • Thursday 7:00 - 2:00
  • Friday 8:00 - 1:00

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