Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

Alternatives to Porcelain Veneers

If your dentist decides that porcelain veneers are not the right treatment for you, there are several other options that can achieve a radiant, natural-looking smile. Some patients are hesitant to permanently alter the structure of their teeth, so they opt for dental bonding as a conservative alternative. Others simply want to brighten the color of their smile and can achieve a dramatic aesthetic enhancement with teeth whitening. For patients with more extensive damage to a single tooth, dental crowns may provide a more effective option, while orthodontics can address even severe misalignment for a straighter smile. During a consultation, your dentist can discuss available options with you to determine whether alternatives to veneers can better address your needs.

Dental Bonding

Bonding may be recommended for patients with insufficient dental enamel or for those who do not want to permanently alter the structure of their teeth. During the bonding procedure, your dentist will apply a composite resin to the front of one or more teeth. The resin can be custom-shaded, sculpted, and polished so it is virtually indistinguishable from your natural enamel.

With dental bonding, your dentist can achieve many of the same results that are possible with veneers. While composite resin can stain over time and does not offer the same natural reflective qualities as dental porcelain, bonding can conceal cracks, discoloration, misalignment, and gaps between teeth. It is also considerably less expensive than veneers.

Filling Chips with Bonding

Illustration of chipped tooth
In cases of small chips, bonding may be a more appropriate solution than veneers.

Teeth Whitening

Patients who only want to enhance the color of their smiles may opt for teeth whitening instead of veneers. Dentist-supervised bleaching is a quick and extremely affordable alternative to veneers. It is also suitable for a wide range of patients. By chemically breaking apart stained molecules deposited in the enamel, both in-office and take-home whitening treatments can lighten teeth by up to eight shades.

If your dentist decides that porcelain veneers are not the right treatment for you, there are several other options that can achieve a radiant, natural-looking smile.

The downside of whitening is that it can only address extrinsic stains, such as those caused by coffee, red wine, sodas, or tobacco use. Whitening treatments will not affect tetracycline stains or discoloration caused by trauma or silver dental fillings. Addressing this type of discoloration requires a procedure which actually conceals the tooth, such as bonding or veneers.

Dental Crowns

In some ways, dental crowns are very similar to veneers. Customized to complement a patient's natural smile, these porcelain caps completely cover the tooth down to the gumline. For a crown to fit properly, your dentist will likely need to remove a significant amount of dental structure. Crowns are an excellent option for patients who have considerable damage affecting the strength or structural integrity of a single tooth. However, for patients who are seeking mainly cosmetic enhancements, veneers are an effective and less invasive option.

Orthodontics

While porcelain veneers can conceal minor misalignment, orthodontic treatment is still the best option for patients with severely crooked teeth or malocclusion. Advancements in orthodontics have resulted in a wide range of treatment options beyond traditional metal braces. White or clear brackets, as well tooth-colored arch wires, are available. In addition, clear aligner trays, such as Invisalign® and ClearCorrect®, offer discreet, comfortable treatment. For certain patients, there are also accelerated systems which can straighten teeth in just a few months.

Explore Your Options

While veneers are an effective and safe treatment, alterations to the structure of your teeth are permanent. Some patients may also find the treatment cost outside their budget. Fortunately, there are a variety of alternatives to porcelain veneers available to you. 

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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