Dental Care Laredo: Teeth Whitening & Porcelain Veneers

Dental FAQ

Bad breath is also known as halitosis or fetor oris. Odor can come from the mouth, teeth, or because of an underlying health problem. Bad breath odor can be a temporary problem or a chronic condition. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene, health conditions such as sinus infection, diabetes, liver or kidney disorders, or periodontal disease.

Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out.

If breath odor is due to a plaque buildup, a dental cleaning may solve the problem. If periodontal disease is the cause, it can also be treated successfully but may require more extensive treatment. Such treatment might include a deep cleaning of the tooth-root surfaces below the gums, medications prescribed to take by mouth or placed directly under the gums, and sometimes corrective surgery.

Talk to the doctor if you have concerns about bad breath.

CareCredit is different from a regular credit card.

Use it to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance, and special financing options are available that you may not be able to get with other cards.

With shorter term financing options of 6, 12, 18, or 24 months no interest is charged on purchases of $200 or more when you make the minimum monthly payments and pay the full amount due by the end of the promotional period.

CareCredit also extends longer-term healthcare financing for 24, 36, 48, or 60-month periods with Reduced APR and Fixed Monthly Payments Required Until Paid in Full.

Ask us to help you find out which promotion is right for you. We can help you find out immediately if you qualify.

Dental FAQ 2

Post Op Care

Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthetic

  • If the procedure was in the lower jaw the tongue, teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
  • If the procedure was in the upper jaw the teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
  • Please try not to chew, scratch, suck or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations, or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.
  • Take care for approximately two hours following the appointment. If you have difficulty controlling the anesthetized area, it is often wise to keep on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off to prevent injury.
  • Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

  • Please keep the traumatized area as-clean-as possible. A soft washcloth often works well during healing to aid the process.
  • Watch for the darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp).
  • If the swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see you as-soon-as-possible. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma. If an infection is noticed – call the office so you can be seen as-soon-as-possible.
  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until you feel comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold.
  • If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.
  • Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of the Mouth After Extractions

  • Do not scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they feel numb or asleep so that you do not injure your lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.
  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  • Do not spit excessively.
  • Do not drink a carbonated beverage (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.

Bleeding – Some bleeding is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold it in place for fifteen minutes. Repeat if necessary.

  • Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until you feel comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.

Pain – For discomfort use Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed on the bottle. If a medicine was prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle.

Oral Discomfort After a Cleaning

A thorough cleaning unavoidably produces some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a “rough cleaning” but, to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. We recommend the following for 2-3 days after cleaning was performed:

  • Warm salt water rinses 2-3 times per day. (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)
  • For discomfort use Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed on the bottle.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.



Bleaching, also called tooth whitening, is a procedure that brightens teeth that are discolored, stained, or have been darkened due to injury.  In-office bleaching is safe and effective, and patients are very pleased with the results. Prior to getting your teeth bleached, the doctor will discuss your desires and the results that can be achieved.

The total process takes about an hour. For in-office bleaching, a chemical solution is applied to the teeth and a special light is placed on the teeth for a brief period of time to activate the bleaching solution.  The process is usually done 2-3 times to achieve the desired color change. It is not uncommon for the teeth to be slightly sensitive following bleaching treatment.

Schedule a consultation to find out how white your teeth can be.

Bruxism (Grinding)

Grinding often referred to as bruxism is a habit of grinding or clenching the teeth. Clenching means you tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together. Grinding is when you slide your teeth back and forth over each other. Bruxism can happen at any age to children or adults. People who suffer from bruxism may have symptoms that include headache, a sore jaw, frequent toothaches, facial pain, loose teeth, or earache.

The causes of bruxism are not known. Stress, sleep disorders, and abnormal bite are some causes that might play a role. The doctor can diagnose bruxism by looking at unusual wear patterns on your teeth and by assessing your symptoms.

Bruxism treatment depends on each individual’s symptoms. Treatment could include stress reduction, a protective nightguard to lessen the effects of grinding or clenching while you sleep, medications for pain and muscle spasms, fillings, or other dental treatment to repair damaged teeth.

If you feel you may suffer from bruxism, pay attention to your symptoms (and what causes them to get worse) and discuss them with your doctor.

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.


A crown is a dental restoration that covers or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal size shape and function. Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. Crowns can restore a tooth with insufficient tooth structure for a filling, protect a weak tooth from fracturing, restore a fractured tooth, cover a poorly shaped or discolored tooth, be used to attach a bridge to replace missing teeth, or cover a dental implant.

Crowns can be made from several different materials- metal alloys, composite resin, ceramics, porcelain, or a combination of these. The dentist will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, and the function of the tooth. In most cases, a natural-looking crown that matches your tooth’s shape and shade of your existing teeth will be fabricated to restore your tooth.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers, sometimes called porcelain veneers, are very thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers. They also better mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.

Veneers may be used to fix:

  • Teeth that are discolored because of:
    • root canal treatment
    • stains from tetracycline or other drugs
    • excessive fluoride
    • large resin fillings
    • other causes
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
  • Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can undergo the veneering process at the same time.

You will discuss with the doctor the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are right for you and discuss the benefits and limitations of the treatment. They may also take X-rays and/or make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will reshape the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. You and your dentist will decide whether they numb the area before trimming off the enamel. Next, your dentist will make a model, or impression, of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which makes your veneer. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for the veneers to come back from the laboratory. Temporary dental veneers can be used in the meantime.