By Debbie Hall
Creating beautiful smiles from the inside outMore than creating a beautiful smile, Dr. Laurie is committed to presenting comprehensive dental care, accepting complicated restorative cases, creating the best possible solutions to restore or build a smile. Her team of three highly trained professionals, along with Dr. Laurie, focuses on one patient at a time.
A complete executive physical of the mouth and teeth is conducted during the initial visit. Decisions about the patient’s dental care are totally up to the patient and Dr. Laurie strives to make certain each person is empowered with choices. Dr. Laurie does explain ways to restore health and function along with enhancing esthetics.
Dr. Laurie offers a variety of services along with general dentistry to include some of the following:
Many Americans suffer from headaches, migraines or unexplained pain in the face, jaw or teeth. Others suffer from a pain in the neck or back, tingling in the fingers or ringing in their ears. Some have earaches, recurring or constant jaw pain, or tooth pain. While many search for answers (and relief), in good faith doctors misdiagnose the problem and the symptoms remain. Dr. Laurie has discovered in her practice that many times the medical condition is temporomandibular joint disorder. The most common cause of TMD is malocclusion, otherwise more commonly referred to as a bad bite. In this case, the upper and lower teeth are misaligned and do not close in the correct way, whether functioning or at rest.
The temporomandibular joints are small joints in front of each of the ears that keep the lower jaw connected to the skull. This complex network of teeth, bones, muscles, tendons and nerves are normally associated with manipulating the jaw and mouth to speak and chew. But when there is a dysfunction, it can also cause problems in other areas of the body. Dr. Laurie can isolate the problem and fix it so that the pain is gone.
Smile Makeover versus Full Mouth Reconstruction
Speaking of dental health, Dr. Laurie also advocates good internal health, as well as a beautiful smile. The best analogy to explain this concept is that of a home. While one can decorate and make their home beautiful, if the foundation is cracked and shifting, there will be problems and the home can eventually collapse, despite the pretty façade.
It is the same with teeth. While so much can be done to create a beautiful smile, it is essential that any functional problems with teeth, mouth and gums are addressed and treated. A smile makeover is just cosmetic while a full mouth reconstruction combines both aesthetics and function.
A dentist offering a facelift? One of the most visible signs of aging is a changing smile. Front and back teeth break down or suffer from wear and tear as the years pass. It’s not just a smile; it’s the facial appearance as well. Most people don’t realize that the front teeth support the lips and the back teeth support the face and jaw joint. The lips are the only muscle in the body not supported by a bone. According to Dr. Laurie, what happens is that the distance from a person’s nose to their chin collapses. While this might be four to five millimeters, it does make a difference in what their face looks like. It’s like the lower third of the face “squishes up.” If the teeth become shorter due to wear and grinding, the lips can become thinner and the profile can become flatter. By restoring the length of the teeth to their original size, the lips and profile will become fuller and more youthful. By building up the back teeth, this creates less wrinkles, tighter necks and stronger chins for a more youthful appearance and better dental health.
When it comes to smiles, Dr. Laurie has a master ceramist on site that can create custom veneers, colors and shapes.
Working closely together, Dr. Laurie, the ceramist and the patient can create a mock-up, also known as the “trial smile” that can be tested. Together they can determine if subtle changes need to be made before the final restorations are created. With this procedure, there are no surprises and everyone knows that they will be satisfied with the end results. Dr. Laurie and her ceramist have worked as a team for over 15 years and the personal touch is evident in creating natural looking smiles that fit the patient’s face, not just their mouth.
A dental implant is a permanent tooth replacement option that is directly inserted into the jawbone that is formed and colored to match natural teeth. Dental implants create a stronger replacement tooth because the tooth and the tooth’s root are replaced. With proper care, the implant can last a very long time and are more durable than other tooth replacement options. This is an option for one or several missing teeth and they can be placed in the upper or lower jaws to strengthen the smile.
Dr. Laurie graduated from the Oregon Health Sciences University and practiced in Oregon before relocating to Las Vegas to purchase the private practice of the founder of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Nevada Dental Association, the International Association of Comprehensive Aesthetics and the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics. She is an author and speaks nationally and internationally on advanced dental procedures.
In the month of October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Laurie will offer free teeth bleaching for a donation to the Breast Cancer Society.
“I love watching the transformation that happens when a patient is given back the smile and jaw support that they had in their youth,” explained Dr. Laurie.
This is evident in her attitude and her practice where she helps her patients achieve a new smile that is healthy both internally and attractive externally, enhancing appearance, boost confidence and renew a sense of self-esteem while promoting the best dental health possible.