Cosmetic Dentistry Archives - Rolling Oaks Dental

Cosmetic dentistry is becoming widely popular with the new innovated technology available today, and we at Rolling Oaks Dental are eager to help you achieve your ultimate smile! With new technology and more affordable techniques, we are seeing more and more adults taking advantage of these popular options.

There was a time when cosmetic dentistry was regarded as an exclusive service only celebrities or wealthy professionals could afford. Many dentists did not even offer the services because their client base could not afford them. Dr. Dougherty and his staff are delighted to assure you, we offer a wide array of easy, affordable services to help you achieve that fantastic smile you’ve always dreamed of! We also offer many financing options including Care Credit.

New patients, please call us at 210-981-3425

Or fill out the form below and we will contact you!

Cosmetic DentistryEveryone wants to look good; it helps you to feel good, too!  The impact that even a small change can make on your smile can be amazing. Whether it is teeth whitening, bonding, white-colored fillings, or all-ceramic crowns and veneers, our cosmetic dentists have many options available to make your smile the best that it can be.

Cosmetic dentistry is any dental work that changes or repairs the appearance of your teeth, gums or bite. As the term cosmetic suggests, this type of dentistry focuses on aesthetic changes to your teeth. It’s perfect for adults and teens that are concerned with the color, position, or shape of their teeth. Cosmetic dentistry not only changes the look of your teeth but can also enhance your overall appearance, for a more youthful smile and facial structure. Older patients are often amazed at what some cosmetic procedures can do to eliminate facial wrinkles and fill in your lip line.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry:

  • Better Oral Health: Not only does a fresh and beautiful smile look great, but the practices to maintain your smile promote better oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene directly affects your overall health, and can actually extend your life! 
  • Increased self-esteem: How often have you felt embarrassed because of your smile? Crooked, stained, cracked, or missing teeth can make you avoid social situations, or cover your mouth when laughing or speaking. Wouldn’t it be great to feel good about smiling and laughing again?! 
  • Renewed Professional Confidence: In professional life, your appearance matters a lot. First impressions are lasting impressions, so you want to put your best smile on when seeking a job, or embarking on a new career choice. It is also true that cosmetic dentistry helps students boost their confidence when they interview for big and prestigious companies.

Restoring your smile is important, not just for aesthetic reasons and to improve confidence, but also to: 

  • Restore your ability to chew properly
  • Restore speech and pronunciation
  • Maintain or enhance the shape of your face
  • Readjust your bite if needed to properly distribute force when you chew
  • Prevent teeth from moving out of their correct position 

There are many cosmetic dentistry options for you to choose from depending on what you would like to have done. Rolling Oaks Dental can address any of the following issues and more: 

  • Stained or discolored teeth — The enamel that covers the teeth can get stained. The underlying tooth structure (the dentin) also can get yellow over time. Professional, in-office teeth whitening is an option to remove stains and whiten your teeth. Bleaching can also be done at home using molds made by the dentist to fit your mouth.
  • Chips or rough spots — These can be filled with a tooth-colored material called composite resin. This material can be chosen to match the color of your teeth. Once it’s smoothed and polished, it will look virtually the same as the surrounding area.
  • Cavities or cracks — Traditional amalgam fillings may be okay in the back of the mouth. However, most people don’t want to reveal a “metal mouth” when they smile. Also, silver amalgam contains mercury, which can be toxic to the nervous system. An alternative is to use tooth-colored fillings. These fillings are made of a resin material similar to that used to repair chips or cracks. Some white fillings (direct composites) are pressed into the cavity and cured (hardened) with a special high-intensity blue light. Others are made in a laboratory and then cemented in place. These include special composites and porcelain fillings called inlays and Onlays. They cover a larger surface area of the tooth.
  • Uneven teeth — It’s not uncommon for a tooth to be slightly longer or have a different shape than its neighbors. With a procedure called recontouring, we can reshape the tooth so that it’s a better match.
  • Gaps between the teeth — Small gaps can be closed by applying composite material between the teeth. This makes each tooth a little wider than before. For large gaps or other surface flaws, our dentists may recommend veneers. Veneers are permanently bonded to the fronts of the teeth. This gives them an entirely new appearance. Veneers are made from ultra-thin shells of porcelain that are matched to your exact tooth color.
  • Broken or crooked teeth — If a tooth has been badly broken or is structurally weak, you may need a crown. Today, crowns on front teeth are made of tooth-colored porcelain and appear very natural. The crown may be all-porcelain, or, more typically, porcelain with metal inside that fits over the tooth. Both types of crowns offer excellent results. Your choice depends on your bite and what you prefer.
  • Tooth Bonding – The resin comes in a wide variety of shades to match your tooth color. First, your dentist applies and shapes the plastic filling material. Then it is exposed to a special high-intensity blue light. It hardens almost instantly. The resin can be sanded, smoothed, and polished until it closely matches the natural shade and shape of your tooth.

Other Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Include: 

Dental Bridges: A dental bridge is essentially a device that holds a replacement tooth called a dental crown in place over the gap where your natural tooth once rested. The bridge grasps onto teeth that neighbor the gap, becoming a natural anchor while suspending the dental crown, in place.

Dental Implants:  Dental implants are an option to replace missing teeth. An implant is a small titanium cylinder that is placed in the jawbone. Oral surgery is required to place the cylinder in the jaw. The implant will then fuse with the jawbone and form an “artificial root” which will provide structural support as a natural tooth would. Once the implant has fused with the bone, a dental crown is placed over the implant so that it looks exactly like a natural tooth. A dental implant is the only method of dental restoration that not only preserves the natural bone but also stimulates bone growth.

All on 4 Implants: When you are placing a full arch of teeth, you do not need a dental implant for each of the missing teeth. All you need is four strategically placed implants on the top of your mouth, and four on the bottom, to restore your full smile. That’s what is so optimum about the All On 4 technology.

Dentures: A prosthetic device used to replace missing teeth. They are removable for cleaning and usually not worn during sleeping hours. We offer two different types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are designed to replace your top and bottom teeth. The top denture is held against the top of your mouth by suction and an adhesive, while the bottom one is horseshoe-shaped and sits over your gums. A partial denture or implant may be used if you are just missing a few teeth.

Digital Smile Design

Digital Smile Design (DSD) is a wonderful new treatment planning protocol, that will allow us to show you what your smile could look like BEFORE you start your restoration process. Imagine, taking the guesswork out of what your preferred smile will look like in just moments!

Insurance & Financing

Our dental clinic accepts cash, checks, debit cards and most major credit cards. We also offer in-house financing and payment plans through CareCredit® for patients who qualify. We understand that low monthly payments can make it easier to fit quality dental care into your budget.

our dental clinic accepts most credit cards

Rolling Oaks Dental is an in-network provider for many dental insurance plans and will be happy to help you maximize your benefits.

Please bring your card and insurance information with you to each visit so that we can make sure our records stay current. As a courtesy to you, we will file and track all claims and provide postage for special claims. Please remember that your insurance policy is a contract between your employer, your insurance company, and you and that you are responsible for the payment of all professional fees regardless of the extent of insurance coverage.

We look forward to your visit!

New patients, please call us at 210-981-3425

Or fill out the form below and we will contact you!


Many patients want cosmetic dentistry, but there are many barriers to making it happen.  Here are just a few.

  1. Skill of the Doctor –Is this doctor good enough to trust with how I look? This is a completely fair question. Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty in the field of dentistry.  There’s really no great way to find out if a dentist is prepared enough and skilled enough to handle a cosmetic case to a patient’s particular satisfaction.  If a dentist puts “cosmetic dentistry” on their sign or website, it doesn’t tell you much.  Trust and not knowing what your dentist is capable of are major barriers to a patient seeking cosmetic treatment.
  2. Cost –From a money perspective and a time perspective, cosmetic dentistry is often quite a commitment, especially when it is done well. Especially when a patient’s cosmetic concerns are complex, the journey is often longer than most patients anticipate.  Oftentimes, a “quick fix” with many compromises doesn’t satisfy the patient or the doctor.
  3. Fear –Certainly there are patients that are afraid of anesthesia or even just sitting in the dental chair, but fear of the unknown is a big barrier in cosmetic dentistry. What will this look like in the end?  Will it be worth it?

Historically in dentistry, dentists like myself that have proposed cosmetic dental treatment plans to patients have relied on a few techniques.

  1. Showing Photos –When I’m discussing cosmetic dental options with patients, I often show patients photos of a case that I have done that is similar to what they are looking for. I’ve accumulated a large photo collection of cosmetic cases that I have done myself, and I feel like it builds trust and confidence when I show patients my work that is something similar to what they are looking for.  Let’s face it, though: that’s ok, but it certainly isn’t great.
  2. Wax Up – Making models of a patient’s teeth and then adding wax to the models is called a “wax up”. This is one of the first things dentists learn how to do, so naturally dentists find it to be a great go to method to show patients what their teeth will look like if they pursue cosmetic dentistry.  Dentists love it!  Patients might like it, but still, it’s just ok.  There’s a huge disconnect with these techniques.  Dentists can envision the final result, because we live in this world, but patients can’t.  A wax up might look good sitting on the counter top, but what will those pretty teeth look like in my face?!

Digital Smile Design is the technology that can break down all of these barriers.  One of the many benefits of this technology is that it allows patients to see what cosmetic dentistry will look like in their mouth and with their face before they commit to anything.  There’s no imagination necessary, the final result can be simulated before anything is started!

Here’s how it works.  Models and photos are taken of a patient that is interested in cosmetic dentistry.  These records are sent to a special laboratory that creates your new smile in a computer program.  From that computer design, a computer mills an “overlay”, which is basically a prototype of how your smile could look.  This overlay is tried in and photos are taken.  The patient can view these photos and from there decide if they are ready to commit to cosmetic dentistry.

With the end result in mind, patients feel more confident in their decision and doctors have the perfect road map.  The patient, the lab technician, the dentist, and any dental specialists involved in the case can all speak the same language and refer to the final result during the entire course of treatment.

There are so many benefits to incorporating Digital Smile Design into the cosmetic dentistry planning, it truly breaks down so many barriers.  When the patient and doctor agree on the plan and how to get there, time and money can be saved.  The financial commitment for large cosmetic cases can still be high, but patients feel better about making an investment in their dental health and appearance when they truly know what they are getting.  Knowing what the end result will look like sure alleviates a lot of fear, too!

If you’re in San Antonio and have more questions about Digital Smile Design, stop by and we can chat more about it!