Cosmetic Dentistry Before and After! What to Expect at SLO Smiles

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We have to say, it’s great to see everyone’s smiles again as California opens up. Now that masks are coming off, if you’re considering sprucing up those pearly whites to confidently put them on full display again, there are a lot of options for cosmetic dentistry in San Luis Obispo. Luckily, our friendly dentists are here to help with a guide to three of our most popular and effective procedures, along with answers to some of the most common questions we get about each service.

Let’s dive right in.


If you’re looking to transform your smile without the use of braces or surgery, porcelain veneers may be the answer. Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin shells, designed to be placed over the surface of the teeth, that almost instantly transform your smile.

What is the process like?
First we meet for a comprehensive consultation where we get to know your smile goals and the look you’re going for. At this consultation, we take into account tooth display, lip position, amount of wear, etc., and factor that into the veneer design process where we together decide the best color, shape, size, and length to complement your facial features.

Next, we fit you with temporary veneers to wear while the lab custom makes final restorations to your new veneers. Finally, the veneers are permanently bonded to your teeth for a lasting smile that you can be proud of.

How long do they last?
We’re talking a long time here: around 10 years, or even longer when cared for properly.

How customizable are veneers?
It’s all up to you—they can be made in any shape or color.

Do they stain?
Nope! They hold their color for the life of the veneer.

How long does it take?
Not long at all, but it can vary depending on your needs. Generally, 2-4 visits, several weeks apart.

Dental Implants

Implants are the best option if you have missing or damaged teeth. And they’re so much better than dentures; they never need to be removed, you can eat anything, and they rarely require anything other than a normal care routine as with your regular teeth.

What is the process like?
We start with an exam, where X-rays are taken to plan out the exact size and shape of the implants.

We then place the implant and let it heal for 3 to 6 months. The last step is the coolest part: designing the teeth and attaching it to the implant. And just like that, you’ve got a brand-new smile!

Does it hurt?
Nope! Local anesthetic takes care of that.

How similar to a natural tooth are implants?
Implants are just like your own teeth. They look and feel the same, and you take care of them like normal teeth. And the best part: you can eat whatever you want.

How do I know if I’m a candidate for implants?
Odds are, you are! Just to make sure, we do a clinical evaluation to determine bone volume and density. If we find too little bone, we can perform bone grafts, so for this reason many patients are candidates.



Remember old-school braces? Big, bulky and unsightly. Well, Invisalign is one of the most popular alternatives to traditional braces. They’re streamlined, hard to see, and in a lot of cases just as effective. You can also take them out when you eat, as well as when you brush and floss your teeth, so they give you the benefits of straighter teeth without the hassle of braces.

What is the process like?
It’s pretty cool, actually. We do a 3D scan of the mouth to ensure the course of treatment is exact. The custom aligners are replaced every couple of weeks based on the movement of your teeth until your smile is perfected.

How long does Invisalign take?
That’s on a case-by-case basis, but it can be as little as six months.

How many hours a day do I have to wear my trays?
Pretty much all day—whenever you aren’t eating or cleaning them. But you’ll hardly know they’re there!

How do I make sure my teeth don’t shift after treatment?
Custom post-treatment retainers take care of that.

The Results

A new and improved smile can do so much for self-confidence, and we’ve seen it firsthand. Whether it’s giving someone the ability to eat foods they love again, or simply the confidence to smile and feel proud of their teeth, we’ve witnessed so many tears of joy from these cosmetic procedures.

Dr. Ian recently treated a patient who is a musician but couldn’t play his instrument because his dentures wouldn’t stay in place. We did full-mouth, permanent implants, allowing him to play his instrument and once again do what he loves. Like we said, these procedures can be life-changing.

If you aren’t feeling confident with your smile, call (805) 541-0550 to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services in San Luis Obispo, and book a life-changing appointment today.

Office Hours
  • Monday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday7:00am - 2:00pm
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New patients are always welcome at SLO Smiles. Our friendly San Luis Obispo dental team looks forward to meeting you!