Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ

I don’t like my teeth or smile. What are my options?

There are a number of ways you can improve your smile including teeth whitening, bonding, and gum contouring, but the most dramatic impact to your smile is achieved by placing porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can fix crooked, worn, and discolored teeth, as well as spaces between teeth and teeth with previous dental work. See real-life before and after photos of Dr. Carlson’s work.

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain (with a thickness similar to a contact lens) that fit over the front and biting edges of the teeth. They provide the same durability as your natural teeth and are even more resistant to stains than your natural enamel.

How long will it take to get my new smile?

Your new smile can be completed in a matter of weeks! With our 6-step cosmetic dentistry process, we strive to make our patients totally happy with their new smile.
Our Smile Makeover process includes:

  • Step 1: Initial Consultation
  • Step 2: Dental Exam, Photos, & Impressions (This step can also be combined with Step 1)
  • Step 3: Evaluation of Dental Models
  • Step 4: Placement of Temporary Veneers
  • Step 5: Evaluation/Modification of Temporary Veneers
  • Step 6: Placement of Permanent Veneers

After the placement of your temporary veneers, you will have a chance to make any changes that you would like, including shape, shading, etc. – we call this your “Trial Smile.” Some patients take just a few days evaluating their Trial Smile, while others take a couple weeks. From the point that we receive your approval on your smile, it takes Dr. Carlson approximately three weeks to complete your permanent veneers.

I have dental insurance. Does it cover cosmetic dentistry?

If your teeth are in need of treatment due to fracture or decay, insurance is more likely to pay for part of the fee. Dental insurance typically does not cover porcelain veneers for aesthetic purposes. Every plan is different, so please contact your insurance provider to find out what your plan covers.

How much does it cost to get a new smile?

Like most services, the cost is dependent on a variety of factors, including the difficulty of the treatment and time necessary to complete the treatment. Porcelain veneers are an investment in your overall appearance and confidence, and it’s important to ensure that you are choosing an expert cosmetic dentist to create your new smile (read our blog post about choosing the right cosmetic dentist). The best way to find out the exact cost of your new smile is to set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Carlson and Beni, our cosmetic treatment coordinator.

What happens at the Initial Consultation?

The initial consultation provides a chance for you to see our office, get to know Dr. Carlson and our team, and ask as many questions as you would like about the process and financial investment. We typically take some photographs of your smile so that we can view them on the computer monitor together and determine what you would like to achieve in your new smile. We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation by calling (210) 807-6668 or by contacting us online.

Why should I choose Dr. Craig Carlson to perform my cosmetic dentistry?

Dr. Carlson has over 30 years of experience performing cosmetic dentistry and changing patients’ lives. Dr. Carlson performs all of the cosmetic dentistry makeovers himself, utilizing our on-site lab to create your smile from start to finish. Many dentists send their lab work out to a third-party lab, but we prefer to have control over each and every aspect of the artistry required to create beautiful smiles.
View real-life before and after smile makeovers performed by Dr. Carlson.

How long will my new smile last?

Porcelain veneers provide the same strength as your natural teeth, and will last indefinitely when cared for correctly. It’s highly important that you keep up with your regular dental cleanings and maintain your oral health. Porcelain veneers are a lifetime investment, but are more than worth it!
Here are some helpful tips in maintaining your healthy smile with porcelain veneers:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice per day
  • Floss regularly
  • Wear your approved nightguard while sleeping to prevent clenching and grinding of the teeth
  • Avoid naturally staining drinks, such as coffee, red wine, mustard, etc. (We recommend sipping your beverages through a straw if possible.)
  • Maintain your regular dental cleaning schedule with our skilled dental hygienists (every 6 months, sometimes more often, is recommended!)