Cosmetic dentistry will give you healthy, radiant teeth. It is one of the most a cost-effective ways to improve confidence and make you want to share your smile.
With state-of-the-art materials, and tested, trusted dental techniques, cosmetic dentistry improves appearance and enhances self-esteem. Composite fillings have replaced traditional silver colored amalgams, while gold has given way to porcelain in the creation of bridges. Other techniques like teeth whitening and veneers can improve the color and/or shape of your natural smile.
There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile, and with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for you. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to your doctor about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The first professional option is commonly referred to as in-office whitening. This procedure is performed in a dental office. During an appointment, your dental professional will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes and you will be able to see results immediately.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Custom Tray Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.
Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.
Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The least expensive options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.
If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.
Dental bonding is composed of a ceramic resin that is brushed onto the tooth and hardened with intense light. Prior to bonding application the tooth surface must be prepared to accept the bonding. This is accomplished by roughening the tooth surface and applying a gel to micro-etch the surface. A primer agent is then applied so the bond will adhere properly. Dental bonding is used for:
• Repairing tooth decay damage
• Improve tooth alignment
• Fill gaps between teeth
• Cosmetic reasons (improve tooth appearance)
Cosmetic dentistry bonding may require replacement due to wear and gradual discoloration over time. For this reason some patients prefer more permanent solutions such as dental crowns, bridges, and porcelain veneers. All these options should be discussed with your dentist.
Dental bridges serve to replace one or more missing teeth. First, the dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to receive crowns. Then, a false tooth is attached between the two crowns. Once the crown-false tooth-crown combination is cemented into place, it 'bridges' the gap left by the missing tooth.
Dental bridges are a good investment compared to dentures. If a bridge is not possible, or the adjacent teeth don't need crowns, dental implants may be the best alternative.
Dental veneers are custom crafted porcelain laminates fitted by a dentist over the front of an existing tooth. They bond directly to the front of the tooth, dramatically enhancing its shape, color, and appearance. Porcelain veneers are:
• Virtually undetectable
• Very durable
• An effective way to improve smile appearance