Frequently Asked Questions

Novi Cosmetic Dentist | Dr. Joseph Serra

Teeth Whitening
Dental Veneers
Dental Implants
Dental Crowns
Clear Braces

If you have any additional questions about any of our dental procedures, please contact us at our dental office in Novi.


How does teeth whitening work?
Teeth whitening systems usually use a hydrogen peroxide gel that is applied to your teeth. The ingredients work to get rid of the stains left on your teeth from various things.

Will my teeth whitening results last?
Teeth whitening is meant to be permanent and is said to last about two years. However, most patients opt to come back into the office periodically to ensure that their teeth stay pearly white. Remember, discoloration will occur again if you eat or drink certain things in excess. Smoking always adds to teeth discoloration.

Am I a good candidate for teeth whitening?
Almost anyone can have their teeth whitened! As long as you have proper oral health, there is nothing to stop you from getting teeth whitening. If you have discolored or stained teeth, you can usually depend on teeth whitening to enhance and brighten your smile. In some instances of extreme discoloration, you may require porcelain veneers to achieve a truly bright white smile.

What teeth whitening options are available?
There are many different types of teeth whitening systems used in Detroit. From whitening strips and toothpastes to at home teeth whitening kits that involve a whitening gel and trays, you have plenty of options! However, it is best to work with Dr. Serra to decide which type of teeth whitening will give you the best possible results.


If you’ve ever asked a friend what’s the first thing they notice about someone, often times you’ll hear eyes, face, and of course, their smile. Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with smiles that spell perfection. The most popular method to gaining that eye-catching smile is through the use of dental veneers, something that we all have access to.

How do dental veneers Work?
Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed over your existing teeth. Even though the material used is very thin, it is strong and will stay on your teeth permanently, provided that you take good care of your teeth. The dental veneers can be used to mask several different flaws that your teeth may have. The porcelain material used by Dr. Serra is of high quality and is customized to fit the size, shape, and color of your teeth.

Are dental veneers for me?
Dental veneers are highly versatile and a smile makeover with dental veneers is a great solution for almost anyone. Dental veneers are perfect if you’re looking to:

• Permanently brighten and whiten your smile
• Straighten crooked teeth
• Close gaps between teeth
• Cover up chipped teeth
• Fix unevenness along your teeth

If you suffer from any of these problems, call us today or book an appointment online to go over the process of getting dental veneers.

How long do dental veneers last?
Dental veneers are placed over your teeth and are meant to last forever. Porcelain, the most commonly used material, is very sturdy and tough and won’t easily break. The dental adhesive used to place the dental veneer on your teeth is also strong and the bond created is hard to break. As long as you take proper care of your dental veneers, they should continue to be durable and hold their sparkling white color for years to come.

How do I take care of my dental veneers?
The best way to take care of your dental veneers is to treat them like they are your own normal teeth. Brush them regularly and keep them as clean as possible. High quality dental veneers don’t stain easily, and if they do, a simple in-office cleansing can work wonders. Avoid biting on extremely hard foods as this can cause dental veneers to crack.

What Are Lumineers?
Lumineers are very similar to dental veneers in that they are used to cover many different flaws that you may have with your smile. However, Lumineers are brand name for dental veneers and differ in that they are considered to be “prepless veneers.” When traditional dental veneers are placed on your teeth, the dentist must remove some of the surface of your teeth so that they are prepared to receive the veneers. The Lumineer method is intended to be done without this preparation of the teeth before they are placed.

Though this less invasive approach may seem attractive, and though some dentists regularly offer Lumineers to their patients, Dr. Serra prefers to use traditional dental veneers because they are far more reliable and get better results for most patients. A common complaint from patients who have had Lumineers is that their teeth look “fake” because they are too white and lack the natural appearance that you can achieve with traditional dental veneers.


Choosing an implant dentist is an important decision for any patient. To ensure that the implant dentist you decide to work with is right for you, you will want to ask certain questions. It’s also important to ask questions not only about the dentist, but about dental implants as well. Below are some questions to consider:

How long will the process take?
Of course, you want to know how long it will take to have your dental implants put in place. Inquire about comprehensive examinations before the process even begins. It often takes a few visits to the dentist’s office to have everything in place. You want to ask about the time frame for scans and x-rays as well as the time needed to make the dental molds.

What type of implants do you use?
You want to find an implant dentist that uses top of the line dental implants.  The brand used should be of a reputable company that is consistent and has a track record of successful results.

At the Dental Care Novi, we use Implant One. Implant-One implants feature an Implant-Abutment connection, which is straighter than any other screw-retained implant available in the US market.

What type of technology do you use to place the implants?
Technologies in the dental world continue to advance every year. It’s important that the implant dentist you choose is using top of the line technology. At our office, we use digital x-rays and guided implant technology. Using these new tools make the procedure much more tolerable. Ask what kinds of technology the implant dentist you’re considering will use to make your dental implant a success.


Placing tooth crowns is a procedure that all dentists know about. However, patients are often curious and want to know about a procedure before getting it. Below are frequently asked questions that you may find to be helpful if you’re looking to have a tooth crown placed.

Do I need a tooth crown?
If you have a tooth that is severely damaged from trauma or an infection, you just may need to find a dentist to place a tooth crown on the tooth. A dentist will confirm whether or not a simple filling or dental bonding will do. If not, a tooth crown is often placed to provide protection for your tooth. Often times, teeth crowns are placed to:

• Keep a dental bridge in place
• Cover a dental implant
• Restore a broken or worn down tooth
• Support a tooth when a filling isn’t enough to hold it together
• Protect a weak tooth from cracking and/or breaking

What sorts of teeth crowns are used?
There are many kinds of teeth crowns that can be used. Teeth crowns are available in metal, porcelain fused to metal, ceramic, and all-porcelain. Even though there are many different kinds to use, Dr. Serra prefers to use all porcelain teeth crowns in his Novi dental office. Porcelain crowns, despite what you might think when you hear the word “porcelain”, are known for being long-lasting and very durable. They also blend in well with your existing teeth.

Are teeth crowns meant to last forever?
During the process of getting a tooth crown, you will be fitted with a temporary tooth crown. This is to simply protect the tooth while your permanent crown is being molded, fitted, and designed. When your porcelain tooth crown is placed, it is meant to last! Of course, you must take care of your tooth crown if you want it to be a life-long thing. Otherwise, you may need to have your tooth crown replaced or repaired at some point in the future.

How do I take proper care of my crown?
When you get a tooth crown, it’s important to take proper care of it so that you aren’t at risk for causing more damage to your tooth. Some things to keep in mind after your tooth crown is placed:

• Avoid foods that will stick to your tooth crown. Chewy foods like caramel and chewing gum can, over time, loosen the crown’s bond.
• Avoid chewing hard foods such as hard candy. You could easily break or crack the tooth crown doing this.
• Be careful when flossing

Do tooth crowns carry risks?
After your tooth crown is in place, you may experience certain symptoms. Things such as sensitivity and discomfort are not rare. Long-lasting pain when you bite indicates that your crown is not seated just right. This requires an immediate call to your dentist so that the problem can be fixed.

Porcelain and ceramic teeth crowns can chip or crack, which is why it is extremely important to take proper care and precautions. Tooth crowns can also become loose or fall off entirely. If this happens, you will need to consult a dentist to have a new crown placed or have the existing tooth crown reattached.


What are clear braces?
Clear braces, first popularized by the Invisalign® product by Align Technology, Inc., are braces that are used to straighten your teeth through the use of progressive, clear plastic aligners. With clear braces, you won’t have to deal with metal being in your mouth and you can gently straighten your teeth all day long without anyone ever knowing! Clear braces have become extremely popular as they are easier to keep up with when compared to traditional braces.

Could clear braces work for me?
Before deciding yes or no, you will want to speak to a qualified clear braces dentist, such as Dr. Serra, to determine if clear braces are right for you. If you have misaligned or crowded teeth, you could surely use clear braces to straighten them. However, some people are not qualified for clear braces because of their teeth placement.

Do clear braces hurt?
Having clear braces is mostly painless. Some people do say that they experience a bit of initial discomfort when switching aligners to further straighten the teeth.

Are clear braces better than traditional metal braces?
Dentists and patients would generally agree that clear braces are preferable to metal braces for aesthetic purposes, but, metal braces may be more suitable for some patients and in certain situations, metal braces can achieve orthodontic results that clear braces can’t. But for most patients, clear braces are clearly the better option. With clear braces you won’t have a mouth full of metal, which means no worries of cuts or abrasions. Also, you don’t have to worry about being ashamed of having braces, because no one can see them! The results are obvious to the eye but the method is not.

How long do clear braces last?
The length of your orthodontic treatment with clear braces will depend upon how much of a change in the alignment of your teeth is needed. You are expected to use the aligners until your teeth have reached their desired positions. Each aligner is different so be aware of your routine set by your dentist. Once you’ve completed treatment, you won’t need your clear braces anymore.