Posts for: June, 2018

By Richard H. Lestz DDS, PC
June 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: bonding  

Are you embarrassed by your front teeth? Maybe it’s just moderate defects—a chipped tooth here, an irregularly shaped tooth there—but it’s enough to make you less confident to smile.

There are a number of ways to transform your teeth’s appearance like porcelain veneers or crowns. But a relatively inexpensive method that’s less involved is to bond dental material called composite resin to your teeth to correct defects. Made of synthetic resins, these restorative materials can mimic your own natural tooth color. We can also artistically shape them to create a more natural look for an irregular tooth.

If you’re looking to change the way your front teeth look, here are 3 reasons to consider composite resins to restore them.

They can be applied in one office visit. Although effective, veneers, crowns and similar restorations are typically outsourced to dental labs for custom fabrication. While the results can be stunning, the process itself can take weeks. By contrast, we can colorize, bond and shape composite resins to your teeth in just one visit: you could gain your “new smile” in just one day.

They don’t require extensive tooth alteration. Many restorations often require tooth structure removal to adequately accommodate them, which can permanently alter the tooth. Thanks to the bonding techniques used with composite resins, we can preserve much more of the existing tooth while still achieving a high degree of artistry and lifelikeness.

Composite resins are stronger than ever. Over the years we’ve learned a lot about how teeth interact with each other to produce the forces occurring during chewing and biting. This knowledge has contributed greatly to the ongoing development of dental materials. As a result, today’s composite resins are better able to handle normal biting forces and last longer than those first developed a few decades ago.

Composite resins may not be suitable for major cosmetic dental problems, but you might still be surprised by their range. To learn if composite resins could benefit your situation—even a large defect—see us for a complete examination.

If you would like more information on composite resin restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”

By Richard H. Lestz DDS, PC
June 14, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Dental Implants   crowns  

In the realm of restorative dentistry, dental implants are king. A dental implant can replace a tooth with a permanent, life-like restoration with a solid reputation for durability.

Implants are also known for one other quality — variety. Not all implants are alike, and they have varied applications for use. Available in various shapes and sizes, they can be used for a single tooth or as part of a multiple tooth bridge or overdenture. And while their basic architecture is the same, you also have two options for how the permanent crown (the visible tooth portion) attaches to the implant: screwed or cemented.

A screw attachment can securely fasten a crown to an implant without the need for cement; it also allows for easy removal for repair or replacement should the crown become damaged or worn. On the other hand, it could pose a cosmetic problem — even though the access hole for the screw may be covered with a tooth-colored filling, it could still be distinguishable from the rest of the crown. There’s also a slight risk of the crown chipping around the access hole.

A crown cemented to the implant won’t have this cosmetic issue with an access hole, and will look just like a natural tooth. But unlike a screwed crown, removing a cemented crown can be more difficult. The cement may also cause gum inflammation and potential bone loss in sensitive patients.

The condition of your mouth, the type of implant you’re receiving and other circumstances will all factor into determining which method is best for you. If we’re “immediately loading” the crown (meaning we’re affixing a temporary crown to the implant immediately after placement in the jaw), then the screw method may be more advantageous. Aesthetically speaking, though, a cemented crown may be a better option in terms of final smile appearance.

But whichever method is used, you’ll still benefit from what implants do best — help you regain the function lost from a missing tooth and change your smile for the better.

If you would like more information on your options with dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”

By Richard H. Lestz DDS, PC
June 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Discover your options and open yourself up to the possibility of a brand new smile.Cosmetic Dentistry

Our Forest Hills, NY, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Richard Lestz, wants you to be proud of your smile. After all, smiling has a host of wonderful benefits. Of course, if little cracks, discolorations, gaps in your smile, or other cosmetic problems are keeping you from the smile you want then it’s time to talk to us. Here’s what cosmetic dentistry could do to change your smile for the better:

  • Remove stains and discolorations
  • Cover gaps between teeth
  • Lengthen or alter the shape or size of a tooth
  • Improve gum evenness and symmetry
  • Achieve a straighter smile
  • Improve the strength and resiliency of your teeth
  • Prevent damage in the future
  • Improve your appearance and boost confidence

As you can see, cosmetic dentistry offers a lot of fantastic benefits. It’s amazing how a smile riddled with stains, chips, or misalignments can negatively impact the way you feel. It can also affect our professional and personal lives. Luckily, our Forest Hills dentist is ready to sit down with you and create the perfect treatment plan that will give you the results you have been looking for.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

Here are some of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments we offer:

Teeth Whitening

Dealing with dull, yellow teeth thanks to years of smoking or coffee drinking? Don’t worry; we can help. Professional in-office teeth whitening can quickly and easily brighten teeth up to five shades or more in about one hour.

Composite Bonding

Minor chips, cracks, discolorations, and even gaps between teeth can be covered with the same tooth-colored material that we use to fill a tooth. This composite resin is matched to the shade of your tooth and then placed, shaped, and then hardened in place with a dental laser. The process takes anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the tooth that’s being treated.

Dental Veneers

If you are dealing with more moderate cosmetic flaws that bonding or teeth whitening can’t handle, then we may recommend getting veneers. After all, these thin porcelain shells are able to completely transform a smile when they are bonded to the front of your teeth. They can even give you a straighter smile without needing braces.

Dental Implants

Lost a permanent tooth? Why not choose the next best thing to a real tooth. An implant is a metal post that acts just like natural tooth roots and is surgically placed into the jawbone to become a permanent foundation from which to support a false tooth. Implants can last the rest of your life with the proper care and maintenance.

Do you have questions about getting cosmetic dentistry in Forest Hills, NY? Are you ready to take the next step and schedule a consultation with us? If so, don’t hesitate to call our office and let us know that you want to discuss the best way to get your dream smile.


The March 27th game started off pretty well for NBA star Kevin Love. His team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were coming off a 5-game winning streak as they faced the Miami Heat that night. Less than two minutes into the contest, Love charged in for a shot on Heat center Jordan Mickey—but instead of a basket, he got an elbow in the face that sent him to the floor (and out of the game) with an injury to his mouth.

In pictures from the aftermath, Love’s front tooth seemed clearly out of position. According to the Cavs’ official statement, “Love suffered a front tooth subluxation.” But what exactly does that mean, and how serious is his injury?

The dental term “subluxation” refers to one specific type of luxation injury—a situation where a tooth has become loosened or displaced from its proper location. A subluxation is an injury to tooth-supporting structures such as the periodontal ligament: a stretchy network of fibrous tissue that keeps the tooth in its socket. The affected tooth becomes abnormally loose, but as long as the nerves inside the tooth and the underlying bone have not been damaged, it generally has a favorable prognosis.

Treatment of a subluxation injury may involve correcting the tooth’s position immediately and/or stabilizing the tooth—often by temporarily splinting (joining) it to adjacent teeth—and maintaining a soft diet for a few weeks. This gives the injured tissues a chance to heal and helps the ligament regain proper attachment to the tooth. The condition of tooth’s pulp (soft inner tissue) must also be closely monitored; if it becomes infected, root canal treatment may be needed to preserve the tooth.

So while Kevin Love’s dental dilemma might have looked scary in the pictures, with proper care he has a good chance of keeping the tooth. Significantly, Love acknowledged on Twitter that the damage “…could have been so much worse if I wasn’t protected with [a] mouthguard.”

Love’s injury reminds us that whether they’re played at a big arena, a high school gym or an outdoor court, sports like basketball (as well as baseball, football and many others) have a high potential for facial injuries. That’s why all players should wear a mouthguard whenever they’re in the game. Custom-made mouthguards, available for a reasonable cost at the dental office, are the most comfortable to wear, and offer protection that’s superior to the kind available at big-box retailers.

If you have questions about dental injuries or custom-made mouthguards, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”

Contact Us

Richard H. Lestz DDS, PC

Forest Hills, NY Cosmetic Dentist
Richard H. Lestz D.D.S., P.C.
11045 Queens Blvd Ste 109
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 544-9100
Call For Pricing