cosmetic dentistry nanaimoCosmetic dentistry has become a hot topic for both young professionals and baby boomers seeking to improve their smile, but it is a term that can mean different things to different people.

Some people associate cosmetic dentistry with looking younger – something like a dental facelift that can rewind the natural aging process of their teeth. Other people have developed a host of dental challenges that leave their teeth and smile needing a comprehensive approach rather than temporary fixes, and others yet, who have always felt self-conscious about their smile.

Much as cosmetic dentistry does not mean the same thing to everyone, a good cosmetic dentist offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile. The options range from teeth whitening to porcelain veneers to Invisalign or braces.  In many cases, a combination of these dental techniques is required to deliver the best results.

Here are some examples of the most widely used forms of cosmetic dentistry in action:


Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in dentistry today. This fantastic dental procedure effectively provides a quick way for patients to achieve a beautiful white smile. There are several professional whitening procedures, both in-office and at home which can be used to enhance your smile.

Composite Fillings

Traditional mercury fillings fail over time as the conditions of the tooth and mouth change. Worse yet, mercury fillings can crack otherwise healthy teeth as they expand and contract due to heat and cold. Newer, longer-lasting composite fillings are a very effective replacement for old mercury fillings.  At Downtown Dental Group in Nanaimo, we only use composite fillings from the beginning!

Smile Makeover

A smile makeover is the ultimate restoration of your smile’s youthful appearance. A smile makeover encompasses all the necessary components of cosmetic dentistry for you to achieve a beautifully youthful and healthy smile.

The goal is to create a rejuvenated natural smile properly proportioned to your face. With advancements in cosmetic dentistry, almost anything is possible. For example, crooked unbalanced teeth can be immediately improved through dental crowns or porcelain veneers.  This is known as “instant orthodontics”. Porcelain veneers are also often utilized to fix chipped and broken teeth and enhance the appearance of your natural smile.

Gum Therapy

A healthy smile is not just about healthy teeth, it’s about the overall health of your mouth and body. Using advanced ultrasonic Cleaning techniques, dentists are now able to combat bacteria growth and help the body use its own natural defences to increase overall oral health. Treatments are also available to contour gum tissue to improve health or to reduce a “gummy” smile.

Neuromuscular Dentistry

Some smile improvements are not just cosmetic. Many of these treatments, such as neuromuscular dentistry, can improve bite problems such as over-bite, under-bite or cross-bite. When treated to maintain a proper jaw position, patients find a lifetime of jaw pain and headaches can be resolved in just a few appointments.

Which procedure is right for me?

Our dentists at our Downtown Nanaimo, BC, dental clinic can answer any questions you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and results you seek often indicates the best procedure. We often give our patients a range of treatment options from best-case scenarios to short-term or even temporary repair.  It’s always up to you to choose.

Contact us today to book an appointment or read more about cosmetic dentistry on our website!

The Canadian and American Associations of Orthodontists recommend all children have an orthodontic evaluation invisalign no more braces nanaimoby age 7. Treatment does not necessarily begin at that time, but knowing which specific problems a child may be developing can prompt early attention and correct the problem before it starts impacting the child or teen’s health.

The case of a Nanaimo teen treated by Dr. Mahara at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is a good example of early intervention heading off a host of serious consequences.  The Nanaimo teen’s case started with his adult teeth coming in crooked and tilted and his lower jaw in a receded position.   Since the adult teeth no longer formed a smooth chewing surface after the adult teeth came in, the child began to experience the early signs of TMD, a jaw disorder characterized by clicking of the jaw, soreness in the jaw from chewing, jaw tension and headaches.  In this case, the child could not even chew gum without complaining of jaw soreness and headaches.

Teen orthodontic before and after photos :


“This was a more complicated case, “ says Dr. Mahara, “as the goal was to fix the jaw position, by moving the lower jaw forward, and straighten the crooked teeth.”

The teen recalls the time when his teeth needed straightening and his jaw was in pain.  “I was very aware of my crooked teeth and tried to hide my smile or not smile at all,” he says.  “I remember having a sore jaw and  headaches almost everyday,” he adds.

Dr. Mahara began the teen’s orthodontic and TMD treatment by correcting the jaw position with a fixed appliance that almost immediately eliminated the jaw pain and tightness which were the early symptoms of TMD.  Two years later the lower jaw had moved back into a normal position and then at age 15 the teen began the second phase of his TMD and orthodontic  treatment using traditional braces to straighten his teeth.

By age 16, the Nanaimo teen had completed his TMD and orthodontic treatment and couldn’t be happier with his nearly perfect straight teeth and a normal, pain-free bite.

If your child has crooked adult teeth or complains of jaw soreness and discomfort from chewing, talk to your dentist.  As with the Nanaimo teen treated at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group, a positive ending to this story is possible with early intervention and a sound treatment plan.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  Our Nanaimo dentists and dental hygienists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.

Would you trade the overall health of your teeth for a perfectly aligned, beautiful smile? Of course not! Luckilyno more braces nanaimo invisalign these two goals are not mutually exclusive. Dental health is always the number one goal for our patients, so before we discuss the benefits of Invisalign, you need to know why having straight teeth is actually vital to creating a healthy vibrant mouth and smile.

Why straighten?

Are your teeth crowded or too widely spaced?  Beware, as swollen, red gums prone to periodontal disease can often be the result.  Crowded teeth can lead to plaque accumulation and tooth decay while spacing issues between teeth can lead to gum problems due to lack of protection by the teeth as well as periodontal pockets.

Properly aligned teeth allow the gums to fit more securely around the teeth, allowing for the strongest and healthiest defence against potential periodontal problems.

Do you have an overbite or underbite?

As with crowded or widely spaced teeth, these conditions not only affect your appearance but could be causing dental problems and leave you more prone to periodontal disease.

If you suffer from teeth crowding, spacing, overbite or underbite, you’ll be pleased to know that traditional metal braces are not the only option.

Invisalign, a clear, removable solution for orthodontics

Invisalign is a patent technology that uses a series of custom-made clear aligners that fit onto your teeth.   Invisalign treatments last between  4 – 12 months for less complex cases and 18 – 30 months for more complex cases.  The trays must be worn for 22 hours per day to be effective but may be removed for eating and regular cleaning.

There are many advantages to using Invisalign over traditional metal and wire braces.  Since you can remove the aligners, it’s much easier to maintain good oral hygiene while straightening your teeth.  There is little to no discomfort in terms of contact with soft tissues in your mouth and the aligners are virtually unnoticeable to those around you.

Invisalign is often the treatment of choice for adults, but teens can also use Invisalign to straighten their teeth.  In fact, Invisalign for teens provides for the free replacement of up to 6 aligner trays throughout the treatment plan.

In terms of cost, Invisalign treatment is comparable to traditional braces and many extended health insurance providers recognize Invisalign and provide benefits in the same way as any orthodontic procedure.  To spread the cost out over a period of time, talk to our Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group receptionist about our no-fee dental financing program.

Invisalign is a great technology that may be able to help you improve the health and appearance of your smile while maintaining your comfort like never before possible.  As a certified Invisalign provider, Dr. Mahara at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group welcomes you to book a consultation to discuss whether Invisalign is a suitable option for you.

Please link to the following pages on our website to find out how Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group can make Invisalign work for you.


Between October 15th – December 1st 2015 receive $500 off your Invisalign treatment  and get a free teeth whitening with Invisalign at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group!

Call us today to book your free Invisalign consultation with Dr. Mahara: 250-754-4322!

Watch these videos to learn more about how Invisalign can straighten your teeth and greatly improve your oral health.


Are your child’s adult teeth coming in crooked or crowded?  Are you wondering when is the right time to start looking at childrens and teetn orthodontics nanaimo August 2015orthodontic solutions?

As a parent, of course you want the best for your child – including nice straight teeth and a healthy smile.  Asking the above questions when a child is just starting to get their adult teeth is actually the right time to do so!

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the ideal age for children to have an orthodontic assessment is around 7.  In this post we’ll discuss why it’s important to start orthodontic discussions with your dentist at an early age.

While some of the discussion will be about planning for the future, there are early treatments that can be done to correct tooth and jaw problems in advance of orthodontics and give your child a head start.

What are some signs that your child my require braces?

Sometimes there are obvious signs that a child may need braces in the future.  These included crowded adult teeth that overlap or cannot straighten out due to lack of space.  Less obvious signs include difficulty chewing or biting food, a jaw that makes a sound when opening or closing, or a jaw or teeth that appear small relative to the rest of the face.

The best course of action is to discuss any concerns with your dentist at your child’s next dental exam.

At what age are braces needed?

Once all of the adult teeth have arrived, your child can begin orthodontic treatment.  For most children this happens between ages 12 and 16.  Although braces could be done later in life, there are several reasons to get it done during these formative teen years.

One reason to have your teen correct crooked or crowded teeth is based on general oral health.  The fact is, it is more difficult to clean crooked teeth, which may contribute to cavities and the potential for gum disease.

Teeth that do not fit well together, also known as an improper bite, can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing, and stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.  Orthodontic treatment early on may prove less costly than the additional dental care required to treat these same problems in later years.

Although it’s true that your teen will not likely enjoy having braces on, the emotional side of an unattractive smile that is not treated is also significant. Teenagers with orthodontic problems left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscious, hiding their teeth and their smile.

You can also ask your dentist about the possibility of using Invisalign for teens, an orthodontic solution that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth.

What can be done to minimize the need for braces?

Most children with crowded teeth and misaligned bites have underdeveloped lower jaws, which can be corrected with functional appliances. Functional appliances help expand the jaw and create more space for new adult teeth, while the teeth are straightened with orthodontic appliances later on.

The use of functional appliances can reduce the time the child needs to wear fixed braces and also can reduce the need for the extraction of permanent teeth. Functional appliances develop the dental arches so that all the permanent teeth can erupt, which helps create a broad smile and healthy jaw joints.

The ideal age for the use of functional appliances is between 7 and 11, however, in some cases can be utilized as early as age 4, if the upper jaw is too narrow and is having a negative effect on the child’s breathing and speech.

Getting Started

Contact Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group today to book an appointment and begin discussions about your child’s orthodontic needs.

Pre-Invisaligninvisalign male downtown nanaimo dental

For adults looking to straighten their teeth, nothing could be more of a blessing than a relatively new technology in orthodontics called Invisalign.

I was lucky not to have needed braces as a teenager, as my teeth were naturally quite straight.  In my early 20’s, however, my wisdom teeth came in fully and put the squeeze on my front upper and lower teeth making them slightly crooked.  I didn’t like it, but I didn’t see an alternative to fix it – until I discovered Invisalign.

What is Invisalign?

In brief, Invisalign is a removable system of braces which are nearly invisible.  An Invisalign technician creates a series of aligner trays (that look like thin, snugly fitting mouthguards) that are worn for two weeks each.  Each set of aligners moves your teeth one step closer to the straight position you want them in.

It’s almost like a dream come true – teeth straightening without juvenile looking braces!  I like the fact that I can remove them on my own to eat, clean my teeth and if I just feel like it.  On lookers can hardly even notice that I’m wearing them.

Challenges and opportunities with Invisalign

Although the aligners fit snugly on the teeth and don’t have much thickness, it does take some practice to speak normally.  In my first week I found myself with a lisp, which I used as an opportunity to tell everyone that I was doing some orthodontic work.

For any dentists out there, please note that it’s a great marketing tool to set your Invisalign patients out there to help you spread the word.  Several coworkers were immediately interested in learning more about Invisalign once they saw how non-intrusive it was.

Keeping the teeth constantly clean is another challenge with Invisalign.  I’ll write more about that in my week one experience.  In brief, it really makes you notice how often you snack or consume any sort of beverages besides water because you are supposed to brush and floss each time after doing so.

Why I chose Invisalign

I have to thank Dr. Mahara and his team for encouraging me to go for Invisalign.  Jenna, my hygienist, had mentioned it to me a couple of times during hygiene treatments since plague builds up around crooked teeth.  In fact, after hygiene I often felt like a space the size of the “grand canyon” had opened up in-between my crooked lower teeth.  Did she remove some of the tooth or what?  Nope, just lots of hardened plaque known as tartar.

Dr. Mahara also encouraged me to try Invisalign and he let me know that most of the people on his dental team, including himself, had used or were currently using Invisalign.  There’s nothing like leading by example.

In addition I already knew that Dr. Mahara was constantly undergoing professional development for himself and for his dental team – including extensive post-doctoral training at the prestigious LVI.  There was no doubt for me that he had the skills and experience to do a great job.

I was also swayed by Dr. Mahara’s philosophy which goes something along the lines of, “why just fix up your teeth, when you can transform the health of your mouth and the beauty of your smile?”

Without being pushy, Dr. Mahara gives you your options, including the best treatment option available. I simply chose to take the best option.

Stay tuned for my next Invisalign experience blog post where I’ll describe the fitting process and first week review!

Invisalign technology changed the field of orthodontics since its introduction more than a decade ago.  Adult and teens were invisalign nanaimoamazed by the fact that Invisalign braces could straighten teeth without the need for metal and wire brackets and the many restrictions and awkwardness that having braces often entailed.

As Invisalign has evolved, it can now be used for increasingly complex orthodontics cases.  In this article, we’ll show you how Invisalign works and give a powerful example of how complex cases are now being treated effectively through Invisalign.

How Invisalign works

Invisalign shifts teeth into a proper position by using a series of clear aligners made for you by an Invisalign dentist.   Aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day to be effective, leaving up to 2  hours per day to remove them for eating, cleaning the teeth or any other special circumstances.

Each set of aligners are worn for about 2 weeks, so the changes made to your teeth are progressive and you can see the change happening each time you move to the next set of aligners.

Invisalign Example

To illustrate the use of Invisalign, here is the case of a patient at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group.

A young adult patient had been bothered by the appearance of her smile for many years.  She suffered from a narrow arch which invisalign example beforeimpacted her smile.  In fact, only four teeth were visible when she smiled – while normally 8 – 10 teeth are visible in the smile line.  To make matters worse, the two front teeth extended forward, giving a “bucked tooth” appearance.

Beyond appearance, the position of the young woman’s teeth also caused a functional problem – a misaligned bite.  Although this was not causing pain at the time, it was expected that without treatment, this bite anomaly would eventually lead to jaw pain and other symptoms of TMD.

Given all of these factors, straightening the young woman’s teeth and aligning her bite was complex.   Fortunately, Invisalign technology had advanced enough to be able to tackle this difficult case.  After an Invisalign consultation, the patient researched all other options which included seeking further opinions and exploring the option of using traditional wire and bracket braces for her orthodontic treatment.

In the end, since her job involved interaction with the public on a regular basis, she decided that traditional braces might impact her professional image in a negative way.  She also did not look favourably on the idea of wearing metal braces for 2 years or longer.

After taking time to weigh the options, the young woman finally decided to go ahead with Invisalign.

Less than two years later, the young woman finished her treatment and now she wears retainers at night to keep her new smile invisalign afterintact.  Now she has a broad smile which shows her front teeth in an oval arch shape giving her a younger look. The excessive overbite is fixed and the patient admits that she cannot stop smiling now!

Get started with Invisalign

Get started by contacting us for an appointment at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group today.  Dr. San Mahara is a Certified Invisalign Provider and financing plans are available to help make your perfect smile a reality today.  We also recommend that you read more about the Invisalign treatment process on our website and contact us if you have any questions.

Teens are known for being naturally self-conscious – after all, they are growing and still developing their sense of identity.  Havinginvisalign teen nanaimo dental 2014 crooked teeth can be a challenge for teens, but using traditional metal and bracket braces as a solution can often make this acute sense of self-consciousness even worse.

Invisalign Teen is a virtually invisible orthodontic treatment solution for teens with mild to severe cases, including underbite, overbite, overcrowding and gaps between teeth.

When the stigma of braces is taken away, most teens will fully embrace the opportunity to straighten their teeth and improve the health of their mouth and their smile for a lifetime.

How are Invisalign braces different?

Rather than wires and brackets, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners that have been custom-made for your teen’s teeth. Your teen simply wears them for a minimum of 22 hours per day.

A new set of aligners is begun about every two weeks, gradually shifting your teen’s teeth into place and helping them achieve a smile they will want to show off.

How effective is Invisalign and how long does it take?

Invisalign teen has been shown to be as effective as traditional braces and the average treatment time is about the same as with traditional braces.  The treatment time will depend on the severity of your teen’s case and will be estimated during your Invisalign consultation at Downtown Dental Group.

Advantages of Invisalign teen

invisalign braces nanaimoDoes your teen play sports or musical instruments?  Would your teen be upset if you limited their diet?

With Invisalign, the aligners are removable, so your teen can play sports without the worry of being hit in the mouth, which can cause real damage in braces.

For the musical teen, Invisalign allows them to remove their aligners to play their instruments properly.

With braces, there is a long list of foods your teen shouldn’t eat, from popcorn to apples and raw carrots. With Invisalign, your teen can simply remove their aligners and eat as normal. The removable aligners make it easy to brush and floss normally to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Does my dental insurance cover Invisalign teen?

Many dental insurance plans cover orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign.  It’s best to check directly with your extended health insurance carrier to see what is covered. If finances are an issue, Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group offers financing plans which can help get your teen’s treatment started without delay.

What if my teen loses an Invisalign aligner?

We understand that teenagers are prone to losing items.  Therefore, we offer up to six replacement aligners for free. In the event that an aligner is lost, just let us know right away and we’ll help you replace it at no cost.

How many visits to the dental clinic will Invisalign teen entail?

The good news is that Invisalign Teen often requires less time with at the dental clinic than traditional braces do. After the initial appointment, follow-up appointments are usually scheduled for every four to six weeks.

Contact Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group today to make an appointment for your teen!




There is a trend toward more and more adults choosing Orthodontic treatments.  With advances in orthodontics, such as the clear, no more braces nanaimo invisalignremovable braces offered by Invisalign, it’s no surprise that new technology is setting the trend for the rise in the number of adults undertaking orthodontic treatment.  In fact, over half of the new orthodontic patients at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group are adults.

What is it exactly that adults want from their orthodontic treatment?

We find that there are 3 expectations that our adult orthodontic patients are frequently expressing the need for.  In order for an orthodontic treatment to work for their lives, our patients are asking for convenience, comfort and appearance.

Fortunately, Invisalign braces answer to each of these concerns – we’ll show you how!

Expectation #1 — Convenience

Our patients have asked for a flexible and convenient teeth straightening process to improve their smiles.  At the same time, our patients do not want to make trade-offs with their lifestyle or valuable time.

Invisalign treatments are designed with convenience in mind. Since the clear invisalign aligners can easily be removed they can be conveniently popped out on special occasions and then popped back in again later.

This teeth straightening system is perfect for those with a busy schedule. Visits to our Nanaimo dental clinic are expected just once every 6 weeks. In terms of cleaning and maintenance, there are really no special requirements – just remove you invisalign aligners and brush and floss as usual.

Of course you still need to wear the aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day, but with the ability to remove them at will, the impact on your lifestyle is under control.

Expectation #2 — Comfort

Traditional wire and bracket braces of the past had a bad reputation for feeling very tight and uncomfortable the whole way through the treatment.  With Invisalign, making the decision to straighten your teeth doesn’t equate to a year or more of discomfort!

Each set of aligners are worn for about 2 weeks.  At the beginning of each new aligner set, it is common to feel a sense of tightness or pressure.  However, since the aligners are designed for short stages, this pressure is lighter and most people adapt to it quickly.  If the pressure is really too much, it is possible for your dentist to adjust the aligners.

Traditional braces also used to wreak havoc on the delicate tissues of the inner mouth.  Invisalign aligners, in contrast are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate your gums and inner checks.

When it comes to eating, the Invisalign design really shines.  Simply remove the trays when eating and don’t worry about sacrificing any of the foods you normally enjoy!

Expectation #3 — Appearance

Working professionals dread the idea of wearing wire and bracket braces for over a year to straighten their teeth.  Also, the traditional appearance of braces carries the stigma of being juvenile – the realm of teenagers not grown adults.

Invisalign aligners in contract to traditional braces are virtually invisible – giving you the privacy and anonymity you deserve while completing your orthodontic treatment. With all of these advantages, it’s no wonder that adult orthodontic trends favour treatments like Invisalign that provide comfort and convenience without sacrificing appearance.

Contact us about Invisalign

Get started by contacting Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group to book a free invisalign consultation today.  We are Preferred Invisalign providers and offer financing plans to help make your perfect smile a reality today.

Learn more about the Invisalign treatment process on our website.

At the age of 16 one of our patients was involved in a biking accident and the front teeth were broken and part of the teeth lost.  Now 18 years old, the patient came to Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group to repair his chipped front teeth and restore his smile.

Besides the chipping of the front teeth, the patient also has some crowding which has left some teeth crooked.  Invisalign treatment is recommended as the ideal option to straighten the teeth.  Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment method which uses a series of removable invisible aligners to move the teeth back into a correct and straight position.

In the meantime, the patient was given a couple of options for repairing the chipped front teeth.  The ideal treatment recommended was porcelain veneers to correct the problem and create the most natural looking and long lasting solution possible.  Modern porcelain veneers are durable and have physical properties which match very closely with natural teeth.  This is due to the translucency of porcelain which reflects light in a similar way to natural teeth.

A second, short term option presented to the patient was to restore the shape of the front teeth using a bonding technique with composite materials.  Bonding produces a very nice result, but on the downside has a tendency to show discolouration over time.  It is a great short term solution however.

The patient, in this case, decided to go with the bonding with composite material option and is very happy with the result.

The patient is now considering Invisalign treatment and will consider porcelain veneers as a more permanent solution to his smile makeover once his teeth have been straightened.

Dr. Mahara at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group specializes in cosmetic dentistry and Invisalign treatments to help you achieve both a healthy mouth and a smile that you are proud to let shine.  Read more about having a smile make over or Invisalign treatment at our Nanaimo dental clinic and contact us today to book a consultation.  We look forward to serving you.