If you’re looking to boost your confident by improving your smile this New Year, Dr. Harold Brooks, Jr. of Viera Dental explains some of the latest techniques and procedures to help get you the beautiful smile you’re looking for.


If your smile is looking a little dull these days, consider whitening. The entire process only takes about an hour, a good choice for on the go individuals.  The process begins with a protective gel that is applied to gums that protect the soft tissue.  A special light-activated gel is applied to teeth and a light or laser is used to improve the whitening effect of the gel, making teeth brighter.  The process also includes creating custom trays for at home touch-ups. The result is considerably whiter teeth that will last for many more New Years.


If you want to straighten your teeth without the awkward look of braces, consider the Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out about every two weeks. Each aligner is individually made with exact calculations to gradually shift teeth into place. The aligners are virtually invisible so no one even knows you’re wearing them, the edges are smooth so gums do not become irritated, and they can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing or flossing. The process usually takes three to six months.


If you are looking to improve teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure but want to avoid the uncomfortable process of crowns, then veneers may be an option for you. Veneers are coverings placed over the visible area of the tooth, usually only applied to the part of the tooth that is seen when talking or smiling. The procedure has two choices, direct or indirect. The direct technique usually involves adding composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding and the indirect technique consists of two appointments because veneers are made at a dental laboratory.  The first appointment prepares the teeth, including impressions of the teeth, and temporary coverings. In two to three weeks the temporary covers are removed, the permanent veneers are bonded to the teeth. These veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic.

What should I look for when choosing a dentist?

According to the American Dental Association, you should consider the following:

  • Is the appointment schedule convenient for you?
  • Is the office easy to get to from your home or job?
  • Does the office appear to be clean, neat and orderly?
  • Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
  • Does the dentist explain techniques that will help you prevent dental health problems? Is dental health instruction provided?
  • Are special arrangements made for handling emergencies outside of office hours? Most dentists make arrangements with a colleague or emergency referral service if they are unable to tend to emergencies.
  • Is information provided about fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled?
  • Is your dentist a member of the ADA? All ADA member dentists voluntarily agree to abide by the high ethical standards reflected in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct as a condition of their membership.