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Ask Dr. Coulter // When you have questions, Dr. Coulter has answers.


Cosmetic Dentistry | Porcelain Veneers

Many people would like porcelain veneers on their teeth, but don’t know what veneers are, or how effective they can be to cover stained, chipped of even broken teeth. So what are Cosmetic Porcelain Veneers? Dental Veneers are thin porcelain “shells” that are bonded to teeth to totally rejuvenate a smile. Porcelain Veneers are a safe, conservative and extremely effective technique to correct gaps, chips, stains and other imperfections. Dental Porcelain, which reflects light just like real teeth, is the ideal material for veneers.


Let’s answer a few commonly asked questions about dental veneers:


Is getting Porcelain Veneers a lengthy process?

No, usually in just two 1 1/2 hour long sessions you can have your smile straight, stain fee and with no more gaps!

Will my Dental Veneers weaken my teeth that are under them?

Again, no, the opposite actually. Veneers strengthen your teeth that are under them.

Are they difficult to care for? I don’t have a ton of extra time in the morning and I don’t want to add another lengthy daily task.

Many people are surprised to learn that they are just as easy to care for as your actual teeth, just requiring daily brushing and flossing!

If this sounds like the answer you have been looking for, or if you simply have more questions, Contact Coulter Family Dentistry today and set up a consultation!


Dental Exams | X-Rays

Coulter Family Dentistry offers you one the lowest radiation exposure dose possible in the greater South Bend – Mishawaka area. At a routine dental visit, four bite-wing x-rays are performed which only produce 0.005 mSv, which is less than spending a day outside!


Do you ever wonder why dental professionals leave the room when they take x-rays? Dental teams may take hundreds of x-rays per week, so most dentistry staff members limit the risk of exposure by moving away from the x-ray beam.


This being the case, the risk to patients from routine x-rays performed at Coulter Family Dentistry is very small, as our patients are routinely covered by a lead apron to ensure the absolute lowest dosage possible.

The Dental Professionals at Coulter Family Dentistry encourages patients to get routine x-rays as this helps diagnose any problem that is unseen in the mouth and helps both dentist and patient make informed decisions about treatment.

Should you elect to decline dental x-rays, you could prevent your dentistry team from finding many diseases of the oral cavity.  These can include tooth decay, infection, bone loss or gum diseases that cause a health problem that can become severe and very difficult to treat if not timely diagnosed. If you have concerns about your radiation exposure from dental x-rays, feel free to ask either Dr. Coulter or your Coulter Family Dentistry team members for guidance.


Preventative Dentistry | Brushing & Flossing

Flossing prevents tooth decay, tooth loss due to bone loss, heart disease, bad breath, premature labor, pain, bleeding and swelling of the gingiva.  So cleaning between your teeth is an important step of your dental hygiene routine. Brushing alone does not rid the teeth and gums of bacteria. You can clean these areas between your teeth by flossing- either with dental floss, floss picks, or a water pik.

Flossing removes the sticky plaque from in-between surfaces of the tooth and root surfaces below the gingiva. This action prevents certain bacteria in the plaque from mixing with the sugars which produces harmful acids that cause decay. It also prevents other bacteria from living under the gumline. Bacteria changes when denied oxygen. This bacteria becomes an aerobic and release toxins into the tissue. These toxins cause inflammation, pain, and bleeding.

Lack of flossing can ultimately cause perio infection. Periodontitis is a destructive inflammatory disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth caused by specific bacteria present in the mouth. The bacteria can enter the bloodstream and affect your organ systems  cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive, and respiratory health. Perio Disease can also affect a pregnant mother, by causing a low birth weight and premature labor.

When you visit the Coulter Family Dentistry dental offices, we check for periodontal disease by Perio-Charting. If you have questions about flossing or what we do at Coulter Family Dentistry, ask your dental hygienist during your next visit!  We’re pleased to serve patients throughout South Bend, Mishawaka, Granger and Elkhart.

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Cosmetic Dentistry | Tooth Whitening

This is the time of year many patients start asking about cosmetic dentistry, and especially, dental tooth whitening. Whether you had too much coffee over the cold winter months or would like to improve the over-all appearance of your smile, Coulter Family Dentistry offers great cosmetic dentistry options out there to brighten and whiten your teeth.

You’ve no doubt heard commercial advertisements for whitening strips and teeth whitening kinds of toothpaste. These at-home solutions do offer affordable results but do not have the immediate results received from in-office whitening. Whitening toothpaste are an option, but the tooth whitening effect is very small due to the small exposure to the teeth when brushing. Whitening toothpaste also have abrasive qualities, making them more harmful to your teeth and gums than other whitening products. This would be the least recommended form of whitening if you are looking for dramatic differences in color.

Whitening strips are preferred to kinds of toothpaste because they stay on your teeth for an extended period of time, allowing the tooth whitening ingredients to do their job. The average user sees results after approximately seven days of using the treatment. This is ideal for wanting teeth whiter for a special event- if you want a result more dramatic or permanent, other options need to be considered.

We offer in-office whitening options. Although these are more costly, results are dramatic. The first option is to make custom at-home whitening trays. Bleach, sold in-office, is applied to the trays and worn anywhere from 1 hour to overnight. These trays can be used for many years, as long as you keep it away from your dog!

Lastly, we offer Zoom whitening. We use a specialized light to aid the whitening process. Patients generally see up to 6 shades lighter on their teeth when they leave our office! This is BEFORE they do at-home follow-up whitening with the custom trays, included in the cost of a Zoom whitening procedure. A common complaint of this procedure is tooth sensitivity during, and the day after, the appointment. We recommend our patients use a sensitivity toothpaste for two weeks prior to their Zoom whitening appointment.

Please let us know if you have questions regarding at-home or in-office whitening! We are pleased to accept new dental patients would be happy to schedule you an appointment if you prefer a quick, custom whitening experience!

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