Educated patients can make wise decisions about patient care, so we always welcome inquiries. Dr. Cowan and our team have created this easy-to-use list of common questions and answers. If your question is not addressed here, just give us a call!

What’s the difference between a cosmetic dentist and a general dentist who performs cosmetic procedures?

The American Dental Association does not recognize "cosmetic dentistry" as a specialty, and there is no degree for the study of cosmetic dentistry. However, dentists can take continuing education in many cosmetic dental procedures, from veneers and teeth whitening to gum lifts and bonding. A "cosmetic dentist" is simply a dentist who has a special interest and has given extra study to cosmetic dental procedures.

How can you choose a good cosmetic dentist?

Look at his or her before-and-after gallery to review results. Then, ask about some of the procedures you're interested in and listen to the dentist's response. Does he or she have the answers you want from your cosmetic dentist? Never subject yourself to working with a dentist you do not feel comfortable with.

How are dental implants placed, and how long will they last?

Dental implants are implanted into the jaw by an oral surgeon. The surgeons we work with use an iCAT for precision placement. Made of biocompatible titanium, the implant post will be accepted by bone tissue, and a solid foundation will result. We will permanently attach an esthetic crown to the implant post to complete the procedure. Dental implants can last a lifetime if cared for by daily brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings.

What is involved in a smile makeover?

A smile makeover can involve one or more transformative cosmetic, restorative, or prosthetic dental procedures, like porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, esthetic restorations, and lifelike prosthetics. The difference between a smile makeover and full mouth reconstruction is not black and white, but primarily, a smile makeover is performed to enhance a person's image, whereas full mouth reconstruction is performed to improve function.

I avoid dental appointments because they cause me intense anxiety. Is there any way I can overcome this problem?

Dr. Cowan is a member of the Dental Organization for Oral Conscious Sedation (DOCS). He is certified to administer anxiolytic drugs that calm patients' nerves so that they can undergo dental work without stress. Approximately 50% of Americans avoid the dentist. Oral conscious sedation is allowing more patients to overcome dental phobia and receive the dental care they need. Call our Athens office to ask questions about oral conscious sedation.

Does teeth whitening really work?

Each patient's teeth and teeth stains are different. Teeth whitening lightens teeth, and in some cases, the results are dramatic. No one can predetermine your results, but most patients are pleased after the teeth whitening system.