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Ottawa Dentist Focuses on Communication to Provide Beautiful Crown and Veneer Restorations

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on December 15, 2009 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ON — There are dozens of variables to consider when having crown or veneer treatment in the smile zone. The shape of the restoration, tooth shade or the texture of the porcelain are all crucial elements in creating new teeth that feel natural to the patient and don’t look like fake teeth.

“When dealing with esthetic dental treatments like crowns and veneers, it’s impossible to treat a patient to his or her satisfaction without the patient’s input,” says Ottawa dentist Dr. Pamela Li. “It’s imperative to provide the patient with options and understand their goals before starting treatment. Otherwise, patients won’t feel comfortable with their own teeth.”

Dentists use a plethora of tools to work with patients in finding the perfect smile for each individual patient. These tools include digital photos, smile catalogues, wax models, and temporary restorations.

Digital Photos
Thanks to high resolution digital photography, dentists can provide patients with a close up and detailed view of their smile. Most patients have never examined their teeth that closely before and don’t realize how little changes can make a big difference.

According to the Consumer’s Guide to Dentistry, digital photos also provide lab technicians and other dental professionals involved in treatment with accurate examples of what the restoratives should look like. This increases patient satisfaction and treatment success.

“Before being treated for an esthetic restoration, patients always have digital photos taken,” said,  Ottawa dental implants provider, Dr. Li. “The teeth are examined in relation to the lips. The lips frame the teeth and together they form the smile. They have to be harmonious with each other.”

Smile Catalogue
Smile catalogues are books full of different styles of smiles and teeth shapes. Using smile catalogues, dentists introduce patients to the many variations of teeth, which help give patients some ideas for what they want their restorations to look like.

“Whether it is veneers or crowns, there are innumerable nuances to teeth,” says Dr. Li, an Ottawa, ON porcelain veneers provider. “The smile catalogues are a great way to let patients window shop and become familiar with the options.”

Dr. Li, Ottawa cosmetic dentist, notes that while reviewing smile catalogues and digital photography, dentists will highlight the differences in tooth shade, translucency, and texture to educate their patients. We all know about the difference between yellow and white teeth, but the amount of transparency a tooth has and its rough or smooth surface also greatly dictate the look and feel of the tooth and smile. The positioning of the teeth is also important to create a natural smile and not a “denture look.”

“Some people want to mimic their old smile to the closest possibility, while other people want a complete smile makeover,” comments Dr. Li. “Some people dislike their existing teeth, while others would feel awkward unless they have the similar characteristics in their restorations that they had in their natural teeth.”

Models With Teeth Wax Up
Using plaster models, dentists will provide before-and-after teeth models so patients can see the new look and tooth arrangement. Lab technicians manufacture wax teeth according to the chosen smile catalogue and customize it to suit the patients preferences. Providing these diagnostic models is often the first step taken after choosing a restorative to see if patients like the final results.

According to the Consumer’s Guide to Dentistry, these models are used by technicians to accurately fabricate crown and veneer restorations.  It is important to have proper communication between the patient, dentist and lab technician.

Temporary Restorations
Before ordering crowns or veneers, dentists provide temporary restorations that reflect the exact shape of the permanent restorations the patient selected. This is a way to “try on” the new teeth, allowing patients one last chance to tweak their choices or to take the final plunge and approve the fabrication of the final porcelain veneers or crowns.

“Temporary restorations are a very important part of the process,” says Dr. Li. “Investing in crowns or veneers isn’t cheap, so dentists will do everything in their power to make sure patients are getting exactly what they want for their money. It’s also the most encouraging stage, as patients often get really excited about finally having beautiful teeth.”

In addition to crowns and veneers, Dr. Pamela Li is an Ottawa invisalign provider and general dentist. For more information on Dr. Pamela Li, visit: http://www.drpamelali.com.

Learn More
To learn more about choosing the right crowns or veneers, visit the Web site of Ottawa, ON dentist Dr. Pamela Li at: http://www.drpamelali.com/, visit her practice at 227-267 O’Connor Street, Ottawa, Ont., K2P 1V3; or call: (613) 232-0550 to schedule a consultation.

About Dr. Pamela Li
Dr. Pamela Li graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1988 with a BSc in chemistry. She then completed her dental training in 1992 at the University of Toronto. Afterwards she completed a general practice residency at St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital in Utica, N.Y.

Dr. Li worked at Moose Factory General Hospital on the Moose Factory Indian Reservation in Northern Ontario. She travelled up to Kasheshewan reservation monthly to service the needs of the remote aboriginal communities.

In 1994, Dr. Li returned to Ottawa, her hometown, to go into private practice. She has been practicing downtown since 1997 and has recently moved to her present location in August 2008.
She has taken extensive continuing education courses. She has attended the prestigious Las Vegas Institute (LVI) and has completed comprehensive post-doctoral courses in neuromuscular dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. She is certified in oral conscious sedation with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS). She is also one of the few dentists in Ottawa certified in the Pure Power Mouthguard (PPM), the revolutionary new sportsguard.

Dr. Li is certified in Invisalign, the clear retainer alternative to braces. She is a member of the AADSM (American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine). She is also a member of the Argyle Associates and Gumdocs implant study clubs.

Dr. Li volunteered for a 2 week medical/dental mission in the Dominican Republic. She along with 3 other dentists extracted over 1000 teeth in the remote mountainous region of the Dominican Republic. She also volunteered for one month in a hospital in St. Lucia. She performed general and emergency dentistry.

When she’s away from the office, Dr. Li enjoys the company of family and friends, traveling, skiing and skating.

Dr. Li has been married to Clinton for 11 years. They have two beautiful daughters, Sophia and Meagan, which keep them busy with piano, dance, swimming and skating lessons.
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