Ask the Doc
Ask the Doc . . .
Recently named one of the Top Dentists for 2009 by the Consumer Research Council of America,
Dr. Gary Ellenbogen is a graduate of Brown University and Georgetown Dental School. Located
in the Tysons Corner area of Vienna, Dr. Ellenbogen has practiced cosmetic dentistry in the
Washington, DC community for over thirty years. Below Dr. Ellenbogen answers some commonly
asked questions about cosmetic dentistry.
1. Why is it important to have a nice smile?
Most people will agree that having a nice smile provides more benefits
than just being aesthetically pleasing. A recent national study found
that 75% of adults believe that an attractive smile is critical when finding
their “dream job” and that 84% of men and women believe that a great
smile is important when meeting their significant other. Studies have also
shown that having a nice smile makes people more outgoing and much
more likely to have greater self esteem. Having a nice smile provides
health benefits as well, as psychologists and other health care providers
all agree that smiling relieves stress, boosts the immune system, lowers
blood pressure, releases endorphins (natural pain killers) and raises the
serotonin in the brain. The lack of serotonin is one of the contributing
factors to the cause of depression.
2. Are veneers my only option if I want a smile makeover?
Depending on the condition of a patient’s teeth, there are several options
for producing that perfect smile. For crooked teeth, Invisalign is a great
option as it’s barely detectable and virtually painless. If a whiter smile is
Before and after photos
all you need, a professional bleaching session or an at-home bleaching kit
of a veneer patient.
will do the trick. For home-bleaching, Opalescence 10% has the best longterm effect. For a full-mouth makeover, porcelain veneers are the popular
choice. However plastic veneers are a good option if price is important, as they are half the
price of the porcelain. But they do have a greater tendency to chip or become discolored.
3. Why do I grind my teeth at night and how can I fix this?
Teeth grinding is predominantly stress related and, as Washington, DC is one of the most
stressful cities in the country, you can imagine the number of teeth-grinders that reside here.
The best way to control teeth grinding is to wear a night guard that prevents posterior teeth
from touching and decreases the intensity of grinding. The best guard available is the NTITSS plus night guard which is fabricated at your dentist’s office. However there are over-thecounter night guards available at most drug stores. Unfortunately, these night guards are
not as successful in preventing the grinding and clinching of teeth as the ones made by your
dentist. Another perk of wearing a night guard, is that if worn often enough, they may be
able to break the habit of teeth grinding entirely.
4. How has cosmetic dentistry benefited your patients?
From patient Angela Lichtenstein: "Twelve
years ago I visited Dr. Ellenbogen to see if
he could correct faulty veneers another
dentist had given me and I’ve been smiling
ever since! His comforting manner and
meticulous care of my teeth left me with
quality veneers that look the same as the
day I received them. My new smile has
boosted my confidence and my only regret
is that I didn’t get them sooner!"
Viva Tysons! • March - April 2010
Gary Ellenbogen Dentistry
8100 Boone Boulevard
Vienna, VA 22182