Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry can have dramatic results when changing the color, size, shape or position of your teeth. At Desert Ridge Smiles, we can help to create the smile you have always desired.

Are your teeth crowded?

6 Month Smiles

6 Month Smiles case involving lower crowding

6 Month Smiles could be your answer.

Are your teeth short and chipped?



Veneers were done on this patient.

Do you have gaps and spaces between your teeth?

Space closure with crowns

Space closure with crowns

This patient chose crowns over braces to fix this problem.

Do you want to whiten your teeth quickly?

Glo in-office whitening

Glo in-office whitening

Glo in-office whitening may be the solution for you.

Have you been ashamed of your dark misshapen teeth?


Crowns on the front teeth

Crowns could be your answer.

Do you have an accumulation of years of dental troubles?

Full mouth rehabilitation using crowns and implants

Full mouth rehabilitation using crowns and implants

Your treatment could involve a full mouth rehabilitation utilizing crowns and implants.

Are you tongue-tied?

Tongue tied

Tongue tied patient

A frenectomy surgery using a soft-tissue laser will help.

Is your gumline uneven, with decayed worn teeth?

crowns and gum lift

Crowns and gum lift

A gum lift and crowns can fix these problems.

Are your dentures loose or the teeth different sizes due to wear?


New denture recaptures youthful appearance

We can give your smile that youthful appearance again.

Have you tried to whiten your teeth with regular methods, but it just doesn’t seem to do the trick?

KOR Deep Bleaching

KOR Deep Bleaching

KOR Deep bleaching will whiten those difficult cases.

Do you have sensitive, worn teeth due to acid exposure from reflux or an eating disorder?

Anterior wear, full mouth rehabilitation

Anterior wear, Full mouth rehabilitation

A full mouth rehabilitation with crowns may be your answer.

Do you have problems with decay, but can’t afford the crowns needed?


Decayed teeth repaired with composite bonding

Bonding may be the solution you need.

No matter what your dental problems may be, there is a solution that could give you the smile of your dreams! If you’d like to see what we could do for you, call us at Desert Ridge Smiles for an appointment. We look forward to seeing you.

Posted in Beauty, Better Image, Bleaching, Brightening Smile, Cosmetic Dentistry, Crowns, Dentist, Health, Sensitive Teeth, Teeth, Tetracycline Stained Teeth, Whitening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professional #Whitening #Bleaching Options 2015

Whitening products became wildly popular in the great dental cosmetic boom of the 90’s and early 2000’s and are still sought after today. What makes the materials better now? There have been improvements in the products and techniques: less sensitivity, some that can bleach nearly-impossible-to-whiten teeth, and the simplicity of the procedure. In our office, we have changed our procedures to tailor the bleaching products to our patient’s needs.

For those of you who are do-it-yourselfers, there are over-the-counter (OTC) products that can work. The difference in the materials used in these OTC kits is the strength of the product, which affects the speed of the bleaching. OTC kits will take more time and possibly numerous kits (more $$$) to get the results of professional whitening obtained from a dental office.

I ran an experiment to test some different whitening products before changing our protocol for our patients. Who better to be the guinea pigs, than me and one of my staff members?

The problem I had when utilizing other bleaching systems was that my teeth were sensitive, while I was bleaching. When too much sensitivity would happen for our patients during the procedure, we previously would change to a lesser strength of the whitening product. The only problem with changing the solution strength, was that it would then take more time to achieve the results. And I am impatient.

My goal was to find a system that was less sensitive to use, worked in the same amount of time, and produced good results. Our in-office procedure now uses the #GloBleaching system. Check out the results.

DesertRidgeSmiles, ElizabethJFlemingDDS, Whitening, Bleaching, GloBleaching

My Glo Bleaching Results

My teeth were fairly light to begin with, so here are a few actual patients to show their Glo in-office bleaching results, too.

DesertRidgeSmiles, ElizabethJFlemingDDS, Whitening, Bleaching, Glo Bleaching

Desert Ridge Smiles
Glo Bleaching Result

ElizabethJFlemingDDS, DesertRidgeSmiles, GloBleaching, Whitening, Bleaching

Desert Ridge Smiles
Glo Bleaching Result

The next problem we tackled was to find a bleaching system to whiten those, “I’ve tried everything and nothing whitens my teeth” cases, the dreaded tetracycline stained teeth. Our previous solution had been to try to whiten these patients with the best systems out there and when that failed, (which it did), we would do crowns to mask the discoloration since we couldn’t change it much with bleaching.

Our more conservative solution is now to do #KorDeepBleaching on our patients who fall into this category. Though it is definitely not cheap, about the equivalent of one crown fee in our office, the fact that numerous crowns would not be necessary to mask the discoloration makes this a viable “cost saving” alternative in the long run.

The amount of time needed to get the Deep Bleaching results is extensive in comparison to the routine bleaching cases, but these hard to bleach cases can now see results! And that is exciting!

ElizabethJFlemingDDS, DesertRidgeSmiles, Whitening, Bleaching, KorDeepBleaching

Desert Ridge Smiles
KOR Deep Bleaching Results

ElizabethJFlemingDDS, DesertRidgeSmiles, Whitening, Bleaching, KorDeepBleaching

Desert Ridge Smiles
KOR Deep Bleaching Result

If you have whitened your teeth in the past and were frustrated by the process or the results, it may be time to ask your dentist about the current systems that could brighten up your smile. Or give us a call, and we would happy to add your pictures to our satisfied Desert Ridge Smiles bleaching patient portfolio!

Desert Ridge Smiles KOR Deep Bleaching Testimonial

Posted in Beauty, Better Image, Bleaching, Brightening Smile, Children's Dental Health, Cosmetic Dentistry, Crowns, Sensitive Teeth, Teeth, Tetracycline Stained Teeth, Whitening | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Team Brad and Dena, Phoenix AIDS Walk, by guest blogger Kelly

Today’s blog is written by Kelly, the friendly and efficient team member who will be the first to greet you by phone (or in person) at Desert Ridge Smiles.  Thank you for sharing your story.

As the summer days end and fall begins, many people are preparing for nice weather and the holiday season, however, I am preparing for the Phoenix AIDS walk.  I participate in the AIDS walk every year with my family and friends to support the many people that have suffered with HIV/AIDS.  I am the captain of Team Brad and Dena, commemorating my parents.  This disease has impacted my life profoundly, as both my parents were infected with AIDS in the late 1980’s from blood transfusions.  My mother passed a year after her diagnosis from pneumonia and a weakened immune system.  My father passed a year later.  In the 80’s, not much was known about this disease, but after many years, advances in medicine have been made in treating HIV/AIDS.

Dena and Brad

I have worked in the dental field for seven years.  I see the effects that oral health, or lack thereof, can have on a person’s body.  There could be many reasons why patients are not keeping up with their dental visits, but it is very important for the HIV/AIDS patient to be active in their dental care.

For the HIV/AIDS patient, regular dental care will help to maintain the health of their mouth, which can help their entire body. If a patient is in pain from dental problems, it could interfere with eating and obtaining proper nutrition, both of which are vital for patients with this disease.

The oral cavity is full of bacteria that can lead to bacterial or viral infections in an immunocompromised individual.  Gum disease and decay can cause serious illnesses, so it is important for HIV/AIDS patients to keep up with their routine dental visits.

As I participate in the AIDS walk each year, I observe the people that walk.  Many of them may be battling HIV/AIDS and others are walking for people they know or have lost from this disease. I have watched others go through the same battle as my parents, and though they are living longer now, there still is no cure.

I am currently setting up my team.  This year my family will be making team shirts, with the picture of my parents, Brad and Dena on them.  We hope to encourage people to spread the word about the disease, build a bigger and stronger team than before, and ultimately help to find a cure for HIV/AIDS.


The Phoenix AIDS walk is always entertaining.  You will see people of all ages, with some dressed in costume!  Many people bring furry friends to support Paws for the Cause. Throughout the walk there are bands and disc jockeys.  You may even catch sight of a storm trooper or Sparky, the mascot from ASU.

We will walk the AIDS walk and donate until there is a cure.  I hope that bringing routine dental care into the minds of patients afflicted with disease will help them to live strong lives.  The Phoenix AIDS walk is October 26th, 2014 in downtown Phoenix.  If you would like to join the walk, please go to

Posted in Better Health, Dentist, Diet, Exercise, Health, Local Community, Periodontal Disease, Teamwork, Teeth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Changing People’s Lives, One Smile at a Time

This gallery contains 4 photos.

When cosmetic cases are completed and the “after” pictures are taken, I review the case and enjoy seeing the transformation that has taken place.  My most recent cosmetic makeover involved endodontics, implants and restorative and took close to 3 years to … Continue reading

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Recharging my batteries

Do you ever feel like a hamster on a wheel? Going, going, going, with little time for rest? It is nice to take a break, find relaxation and get rejuvenated. Vacation was just what was needed!


Twenty-three years ago, my husband and I were married on Kauai, in a beautiful Japanese garden on a golf course. Our honeymoon hotel was in the sunny Poipu area, where we had the time of our lives and fell in love with the island. The following year, hurricane Iniki hit Poipu and wiped out our hotel. When we visited Kauai many years later, we were saddened to see a fence still surrounding the broken dilapidated structure that had been Poipu Beach hotel.

But this year was different!


The hotel had been rebuilt and the spectacular view was back. This happy discovery was one of many as we reconnected with our favorite haunts of Kauai visits past.

As a family, we reminisced about our previous trips and revisited many of our favorite sites, hiking the best trails on the island including trails in Waimea Canyon and the Napali Coastline. We toured by helicopter and boat, and found the scenery was still as breathtaking as ever. I will never cease to be amazed by Kauai’s beauty.



Getting away from the hectic life for a few weeks did my body and mind good! I was refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle things anew. My batteries had been recharged!


Spending quality time with family, while doing the things you love in paradise is a recipe for rest and relaxation in my book!

Posted in Better Health, Dentist, Exercise, Health, Mental/Spiritual Health, Stress | Tagged | Leave a comment

10 Quick Tips About Teeth


1)  Flossing is good for your health and the health of your teeth.

2)  If your tooth needs a root canal, getting the treatment done would generally be better than pulling your tooth.

3)  When filling a space from a single missing tooth, and implant/crown most likely will be a better option than a 3 unit bridge.

4)  Most people do not have room in their mouth for wisdom teeth to erupt and be functional.

5)  Cosmetic dentistry can be done to improve your smile.

6)  Having your child wear a mouth guard when playing sports will decrease the chance of dental injuries.

7)  Decreasing your exposure to acids from carbonated sodas, sports drinks and medical conditions such as acid reflux will reduce acid erosion on your teeth.  Acid breaks down enamel.

8)  Dentures are more stable when implants are used underneath, especially on the lower arch.

9)  Bad breath can be caused from bacteria in your mouth breaking down food particles between your teeth.  Flossing can help to remove the bacteria that was not reached by your toothbrush, decreasing your bad breath.

10)  Dental “insurance” is not like medical insurance, and is not real beneficial beyond maintenance procedures.

If you have any comments, questions or opinions on these quick dental tips, please post them below!

Posted in Beauty, Better Health, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dentist, Health, Heart Disease, Inflammation, Periodontal Disease, Teeth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working on my Bucket List

ImageHave you ever wanted to do something that would stretch your capabilities, but would empower you once completed?  I did just that when I was able to hike the Grand Canyon, with some experienced hiker friends of mine!

Now I have done day hikes around Arizona my whole life, but the last time I camped was probably in Girl Scouts, many, many years ago. This hike would involve backpacking, hiking and camping in a tent for 3 nights in the bottom of the Canyon. There would be no showers or makeup.  Could I do it?

The plans for the trip began over a year ago.  We were given a list of needed items, and I slowly acquired the items on the list.  REI became my go-to location for my hiking needs.  My husband became my hiking buddy for the many training hikes before the BIG hike, though he was not going with me on the Grand Canyon hike.  There were 6 of us going:  2 experienced GC hikers and 4 of us newbie GC hikers.  I knew a few of this group vaguely from dental seminars, but felt slightly out of my comfort zone, having no close friends hiking with me.  But I had always wanted to hike the Grand Canyon and figured this was as good a time as any to go!  What an opportunity to experience this hike with people who had done it many times before and were willing to put up with beginners!

The government shutdown almost derailed our plans when they closed the National Parks, but the Grand Canyon was reopened in time for our late October hike, thank goodness!  David and Yoko Madow were super organized in their planning of this trip.  Not only was I physically prepared, but I also felt mentally prepared and totally confident due to their comprehensive organization and planning. 

On the first day, we hiked down the South Kaibab trail 7 hours to get to Bright Angel Campground, near Phantom Ranch. Hiking 5000 feet down, carrying a 35 pound backpack was hard on my feet.  My hiking boots that had been great on flat desert terrain at home, were not so comfortable for the long downhill stretches in the canyon.  I couldn’t wait to get my boots off that first day!  And I had no problem sleeping in my cozy 2 person tent with Barb!  When the sun goes down in the canyon, it gets really dark!  I think we went to sleep by 8 pm, worn out from the hiking.

The next day we hiked 13 miles to Ribbon Falls and back.  I love taking landscape photographs, my favorites being sunsets and waterfalls.  The Grand Canyon did not disappoint!  At Ribbon Falls, you are able to hike up behind the waterfalls.  It is a special place.

ImageBehind the waterfall

To hike out from Bright Angel Campground, we went on Bright Angel Trail through Indian Gardens to the South Rim.  This segment took us 9 hours. There were a lot of switchbacks on this trail, but it was manageable with taking breaks as often as needed.  My biggest injury was to my feet…blisters and bruised toe-nails.  Our Grand Canyon hiking team all made it down and back out, thanks to great planning by the Madows and careful coaching along the way.  When we were close to the Bright Angel Trailhead at the top of the South Rim, I felt emotional.  Any doubts about my ability to make it had been erased.  The beauty of the canyon was captured in my photos.  I came, I saw, I conquered… and I emerged a better person because of it!


Yoko and David Madow, Lee Buzard, Barbara Vugteveen, Elizabeth Fleming and Glenn Ulick: The fabulous CG Hiking Team!

The icing on the cake was when the National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center posted one of my pictures as their photo of the week, and asked me to share my experience on their website!  Talk about being on cloud 9!!!

Have you ever had an experience like this?  Share it with us!

Elizabeth J Fleming, DDS and the staff at Desert Ridge Smiles

Posted in Better Health, Dentist, Empowerment, Exercise, Health, Mental/Spiritual Health, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments