By Camille Gillies
Getting a movie-star smile is as close as your neighborhood dentist’s office. Thanks to the technological advances in modern dentistry, you too can have pearly whites that rival Halle Berry’s or Matt Damon’s. Of course, to achieve tthe same kind of striking results, you need to choose a dentist well-trained in cosmetic dentistry, and that’s a specialty of cosmetic and general dentist Jay Nelson, DMD.
Located on Highland Oaks Blvd., just east of Livingston Rd. on S.R. 54 in Lutz (just 10-15 minutes from much of New Tampa), Dr. Nelson has been serving patients in and around Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, New Tampa and Wesley Chapel since 1987.
In addition to general dentistry, Dr. Nelson specializes in all aspects of cosmetic dentistry – from veneers and teeth whitening to Invisalign™ and Six Month Smiles™ orthodontics– as well as in the emerging discipline of dental sleep medicine that addresses snoring and sleep apnea.
Flash That Winning Smile!
By now, most people are aware of the term veneers, the thin shells of porcelain that are custom-made to create a sparkling white smile, but you may not be familiar with a new alternative to traditional veneers called DURAthins. DURAthins are wafer-thin veneers that adhere directly to the front of the teeth, which eliminates the need for enamel reduction.
Another new alternative – this one for straightening teeth – is a procedure called Six Month Smiles™. It’s a short-term orthodontic treatment that shifts only the teeth visible when you smile; it does not change your overall bite. These braces close gaps and fix crowded or overlapped teeth, often within six months. Priced lower than traditional braces and barely visible due to the use of clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, they also entail fewer office visits. Six Month Smiles™ is available to most patients older than 18.
“This is a procedure for adults,” says Dr. Nelson. “For the younger patients, under 18, I always insist that they have their bite corrected by an orthodontist.”
Dr. Nelson also offers Invisalign™ for adult patients who don’t want the inconvenience or embarrassment of metal braces. Using a series of custom, removable plastic shells called aligners, Invisalign™ moves teeth into their optimal position in one to two years, which Dr. Nelson says is typically faster than traditional braces.
If a chipped tooth is making you self-conscious, you may be only an appointment away from boosting your self-esteem. Dr. Nelson will bond the problem tooth to rebuild its shape, and then sculpt and polish the restoration to perfection. He says cosmetic bonding can be a viable, affordable alternative to porcelain veneers, although it is not a permanent fix. With proper care, bonding typically lasts 5-10 years. If your problem involves missing teeth, Dr. Nelson can replace them with permanent dental implants.
Have No Fear
If any of these procedures or simply getting a filling sends you into a cold sweat, Dr. Nelson and his warm and friendly staff will assuage your fears with minimal sedation dentistry.
Here’s how it works: Before your visit, you take a pill that totally relaxes you but enables you to respond to questions. When you become fully conscious you have little or no memory of the experience.
“This type of sedation is also a great alternative for busy people who want to complete several procedures in one visit,” says Dr. Nelson.
With modern-day dentistry, nervous patients may not even need sedation. Many fillings can now be done without shots or drills. Dr. Nelson’s use of technology such as air abrasion (an alternative to traditional drilling, it’s a relatively new decay removal and tooth preparation tool that produces no vibration or heat, so patients require little or no anesthetic) and dental lasers make treatments more comfortable. The procedures are often completed in a single visit.
Dr. Nelson says that laser technology is revolutionizing dentistry. Using Laser Periodontal Therapy™, he is able to treat gum disease without scalpels or sutures. Laser treatment can help avoid gum surgery and it speeds healing and recovery time.
Improve Your Sleep
Another breakthrough in the field is in the area of sleep medicine. Five years ago, the American Association of Sleep Medicine approved the use of oral appliances for treating sleep apnea, a serious condition in which a person stops breathing while asleep. Dr. Nelson, a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, began extensive postgraduate training in the area and is now on the Academy’s education committee and treats numerous patients with the disorder.
He says if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, you may be a candidate for an oral appliance called the SomnoMed™.
“I have many patients who refused to wear their CPAPs (Continuous Positive Air Pressure machines) but now wear this appliance successfully,” says Dr. Nelson, who custom fits the SomnoMed™ for each patient.
The acrylic device fits over the upper and lower teeth, similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard, and gently realigns the jaw to open the airway, allowing more air into the lungs while you sleep. “The success rate is excellent and I’ve seen it make an incredible difference in people’s lives,” comments Dr. Nelson.
Also a member of the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Dentistry and the Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Nelson works cooperatively with area physicians who specialize in sleep disorders to address individual patient needs. He says many physicians whose patients don’t need or can’t tolerate a CPAP device refer patients to him. Some sleep apnea sufferers find CPAP apparatus cumbersome to wear and especially troublesome to use when traveling.
Choose An Expert
Dr. Nelson earned his bachelor’s degree Summa cum Laude from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics, the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, and a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Nelson is able to offer the most recent advances in dentistry due to his commitment to continuing education. He has trained with some of the world’s most prominent cosmetic dentists and has received post-graduate training at such prestigious institutions as the Center for Advanced Dental Studies and the Pankey Institute. He has earned a proficiency certification from the Academy of Laser Dentistry and a Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry.
All of that training has resulted in many happy patients. A patient named Erin says, “I have never felt as comfortable about smiling as I do today. The veneers were the best thing I have ever done in my life. I wish I had done it sooner. My self-esteem and confidence have risen to new levels, thanks to Dr. Nelson’s artistic hand.”
Another patient named Susan says she is happy that she no longer fears going to the dentist.
“For someone who has had dental fears most of her life, I actually look forward to my every-three-month visits,” Susan says. “I always recommend Dr. Nelson and his team to anyone who asks about a great dentist. It’s so worth the drive to be treated with such respect and caring by the entire staff.”
Dr. Nelson and his wife, Susan, are longtime residents of Tampa Palms and have two daughters.
To request an appointment online, visit DrJayNelson.com. Or, call 949-0424 to schedule a complimentary cosmetic dental evaluation or sleep apnea/snoring consultation. Ask about the complimentary teeth-whitening kit available to new patients. The office address is 1928 Highland Oaks Blvd., off S.R. 54, between Livingston Rd. and I-75.