Dentist - Grand Rapids
422 N Park St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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By North Park Family Dental
May 30, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
SpiceUpYourTeeth

As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.

What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.

For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.

Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.

Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.

So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

By North Park Family Dental
October 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Damaged TeethGood oral hygiene practices and regular dental exams and cleanings are the best way to protect your teeth and gums and maintain a beautiful smile. But sometimes even your best efforts can't prevent accidents or the wear and tear that can stain or damage your teeth. Dental crowns are a reliable and durable restoration option for cracks, fractures, large cavities, and permanent stains and discolorations. They also replace missing teeth with a bridge. Dr. Robert Dame, a dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, offers cosmetic and restorative dentistry options for patients of all ages at North Park Family Dental.

Invest in a New Smile with Dental Crowns in Grand Rapids, MI

Crowns are a custom designed caps that cover a damaged or unattractive tooth. One of the most common uses for a dental crown is in cases of severe tooth decay, where a cavity becomes too large to be filled with a traditional filling. The crown restores tooth surface lost to decay or trauma from a fall, accident or sports injury. In addition to improving function, crowns also provide a major cosmetic upgrade for your smile. Crowns typically require two appointments to complete, but a temporary crown is available while you wait for the permanent crown.

Crowns and bridgework fix gaps in your smile if you are missing teeth. A bridge consists of three or more crowns - the crowns which are replacing the missing teeth, and an abutment crown on either side which are placed over the teeth to secure the bridge in place.

Crowns are also a good option for cosmetic improvements to misshapen teeth, or for severe staining and discolorations.

Find a Dentist in Grand Rapids, MI

For more information about dental crowns and other restorative and cosmetic dentistry services, contact North Park Family Dental today by calling 616-361-7265 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dame.

By North Park Family Dental
July 14, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
BaseballsFranciscoLindorShinesasMrSmile

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

By North Park Family Dental
June 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Time for a smile change? Get your best possible smile with one of today's most sought-after cosmetic dentistry treatments--porcelain veneersveneers. Dr. Robert Dame offers veneers at North Park Family Dental in Grand Rapids, MI. Both he and his patients love how veneers disguise annoying smile flaws and make teeth stronger, too.

Details on porcelain veneers

Also called dental laminates, porcelain veneers improve the size, color, shape, and alignment of teeth marred by small defects such as :

  • Narrow gaps
  • Crowding
  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Stains too deep for professional teeth whitening (from tobacco, some pharmaceuticals, oral injury)
  • Uneven length
  • Odd shape (a peg-shaped lateral incisor is a common one)

Your Grand Rapids dentist cements veneers on the front side of selected teeth. He uses a color-matched cement and hardens it with dental light. Each veneer is custom-designed and custom-fabricated from fine dental ceramic or porcelain. This material is resilient and looks natural, having the shine and shade of real tooth enamel.

The veneer treatment

Dr. Dame carefully evaluates his prospective veneer patients with a complete oral examination and digital X-rays. He looks for dental and gingival (gum) health and sufficient tooth structure to support a laminate. If a tooth is too small or weak, your dentist may recommend a porcelain crown instead.

Additionally, you and Dr. Dame will discuss the look you wish to achieve. Oral impressions and specific instructions tell the dental technician how to craft each veneer. Next, Dr. Dame will resurface each tooth to receive a veneer by removing 1/2 millimeter of enamel. This quick process sometimes requires local anesthetic. Then, the doctor will cover the prepared teeth with temporary veneers so you have a functional, complete smile while you wait for your permanent laminates.

The final step involves removal of the temporary veneers and bonding the new ones onto your teeth. Dr. Dame uses just the right shade of cement and makes sure the laminates fit properly at the gum line and bite well with the opposite arch of teeth.

Caring for your new smile

Dr. Dame advises twice daily brushing and once a day flossing to keep your veneers bright and plaque-free. Also, you should avoid hard foods, because porcelain tends to be brittle and can chip or crack if you:

  • Chew ice
  • Bite open plastic packages
  • Eat a lot of sticky foods such as caramels

In other words, just eat a healthy, sensible diet, and you and your veneers will be just fine. In fact, with routine check-ups and cleanings at North Park Dental, your enhanced smile should shine for many years.

Find out more

Why not look into porcelain veneers? Dr. Robert Dame and his team use veneers to help scores of people enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles and feel renewed confidence. Call today for a consultation, won't you? Phone (616) 361-7265.

TestDriveYourFutureLookafterDentalWorkwithaTrialSmile

Most of us wouldn't think of buying a new car without a “test drive.” It's a serious investment, so you want to make sure you're comfortable with your new ride.

Like an auto purchase, the plan you and your dentist agree on to cosmetically enhance your teeth and gums — a “smile makeover” — is a significant investment. Wouldn't it be nice to “test drive” your future smile before you undergo any procedures?

Actually, you can — two ways, in fact. For one, your dentist could use computer imaging software that alters a photo of your face to show how your smile will appear after dental work. These computer enhancements are a great planning tool for making decisions on the look you want to achieve.

But even the best computer images only provide a static, two-dimensional representation of your new smile. It can't capture all the angles and movement dynamics of any proposed changes. That's where the other way, a trial smile, is a true test drive — you can see your future smile in action.

With a trial smile, your dentist temporarily places tooth-colored material called composite resin on your teeth to simulate the proposed changes. The resin can be shaped and sculpted to create a life-like replica that you'll be able to view in all three spatial dimensions. What's more it will give you a chance not only to see what your new smile will look like, but to actually experience how it feels in your mouth.

Creating a trial smile is an added expense and it's only available during your consultation visit — the dentist will need to remove the resin before you leave. But you'll still be able to get a good impression of what your final smile will be like. You'll also be able to take photos you can show to family and friends to get their impressions of your proposed new look.

A trial smile allows you to know beforehand what your dental work investment will provide you, and even fine-tune your makeover plan before work begins. With this particular kind of “test drive” you'll have greater assurance that you'll be happy and satisfied with the end results.

If you would like more information on trial smiles, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Testing Your Smile Makeover.”