Cosmetic Dentistry Specialist

Lighthouse Family Dentistry

Patricia Van Kooten, DMD

Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Monterey, CA

Cosmetic dentistry improves the appearance of your teeth and mouth. Virtually everyone believes that a smile improves your appearance. If you haven’t smiled in a while because you’re embarrassed of the way your teeth look, it’s time to take a step forward. Dr. Van Kooten at Lighthouse Family Dentistry in Monterey, California, can determine which procedures can work for you that can dramatically change the way you look and the way you feel about yourself. Contact our office now to request an exam and consultation.

Cosmetic Dentistry Q & A

The following are common cosmetic dentistry procedures Dr. Van Kooten performs to improve your smile and your confidence.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a non-invasive procedure that Dr. Van Kooten can complete in one office visit. While protecting your lips and gum, she uses a hydrogen peroxide solution on your teeth along with a special light that helps break away stubborn stains. After a one hour treatment, voila! Your teeth are sparkling white. You’ll be wearing a smile all day long!

Dental implants

Dental implants are metal rods that act as roots for replacement teeth. If you lose a tooth to disease or injury, you are a candidate for an implant. An implant fits into the jawbone and provides support for a replacement tooth. Once the implant has become firmly attached to the bone in your jaw, Dr. Van Kooten then places a crown on it so that you have a beautiful new tooth.


Dental veneers are thin covers for the outer surface of your teeth used to cover imperfections and improve the appearance of your teeth. They are either porcelain or resin composite material. If your teeth have gaps between them, are uneven, misshapen, or extremely discolored, veneers are a good solution for restoring your smile.


Lumineers are a proprietary form of veneers. They are ultra-thin, less invasive than regular veneers, and eliminate the need for temporaries.

Porcelain crowns 

Dental crowns are coverings that fit over a tooth that Dr. Van Kooten files down because of decay, cracking or chipping. When complete, a crown results in a perfectly shaped new tooth. The crown fits like a cap; a lab usually manufactures crowns. Dr. Van Kooten uses an adhesive to cement the crown to the base of the tooth that remains. She uses porcelain crowns; they produce the best results in matching the color of the surrounding teeth.

Composite restorations

Dentists use composite materials for several purposes. If your tooth is chipped, cracked, or discolored, Dr. Van Kooten may bond the tooth with a composite resin; she can match the resin to your tooth color. She also uses composites for fillings. Today, customers expect fillings to be the same color as the tooth; in the not-too-distant past, dentists actually used mercury in fillings, so fillings in older people today are a black/gray color. One of Dr. Van Kooten’s customers says, “My filling turned out to be invisible, as though no dental work had even ever been done on that tooth. I requested that the same material be used for my sealants, which turned out just as well.”