In today’s age of technology, your dentist has a range of options to help your teeth look great. Stained teeth, dark teeth, chipped teeth, crooked teeth, and even teeth that are missing altogether, can be repaired or replaced. Cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry is the broad heading under which many dental procedures that improve the appearance of teeth may be described
What are the latest developments in cosmetic dentistry?
The latest developments in dentistry include tooth whitening treatments, micro-abrasion, bonding and veneers. These techniques can whiten and improve the shape and color of your teeth, even close gaps.
Tooth Whitening – treatments are designed to whiten your own teeth without any artificial additions. There are several ways dentists can whiten your teeth:
- With very high peroxide gel concentrations, the dentist may very carefully apply the gel and use some heat from a light source (sometimes a laser is used) to whiten the teeth in a short time. This technique is not common and is usually expensive.
- Plastic trays are custom-made by your dentist using models of your teeth.
Sometimes dentists will ‘kick-start’ the whitening in the surgery with high-strength bleach gels in the trays.
This is followed by home treatments you do yourself using safe-strength gels. Home treatment alone is the most popular and least expensive method.
Home bleaching works in most cases although the result depends on the initial level of staining of the teeth and the type of staining. It is less predictable on teeth that contain some specific discolorations such as those caused by tetracycline intake in childhood. Home bleaching usually takes about two weeks, wearing trays either during sleep or for a few hours a day, depending on the technique. Home bleaching will not whiten fillings, and it may be necessary to have visible tooth colored fillings replaced with ones that more closely match the final tooth color after whitening is completed.
Micro-abrasion – can be used to remove discoloration in the surface layer of the enamel. A paste containing acid and an abrasive is used to remove the outer surface of the tooth enamel. If the discoloration is deep in the enamel your dentist may need to remove the affected enamel with a bur and place an adhesive tooth colored filling. Usually an anesthetic is not required.
Bonding – is a process whereby your dentist cleans and prepares the surface of your teeth and then bonds tooth colored resin fillings to them. Bonding can be used to repair chipped teeth, close small gaps between teeth, alter the shape of teeth and sometimes cover discoloration in teeth. Bonded resins are simple to re-polish and replace if they eventually discolor.
Veneers – are thin pieces of porcelain, which are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of teeth by changing the shape of the teeth, by changing the color of the teeth, by masking stains and by replacing small fractured pieces of teeth.
Invisalign – clear braces that move your teeth using a set of sequential aligners (removing the cumbersome brackets which are often unsightly).
Bleaching, micro abrasion, bonding and veneers can improve many cosmetic problems with teeth. However, if the teeth are badly aligned, severely broken down or teeth are missing, it may be necessary to have orthodontic treatment, crowns or bridges constructed or implants placed.
What is the best way to whiten teeth? There is no “best way” when it comes to teeth whitening.
Alternative methods include;
Scale and Clean and Polish – often just removing external staining and buildup (tartar) from teeth can achieve a brighter smile.
Home whitening kits – customized trays and bleach in small syringes for application at home can take between 2-6 weeks for most cases. Bleaching one hour per day gives you the ability to pause treatment when you are happy with the result.
Zoom Whitening Teeth System – is a safe and effective treatment applied right in our South West Calgary clinic that whitens teeth in one appointment. The system is more effective than any take-home products, is quick acting, gives you noticeable results, and is long lasting. On average this non invasive procedure will whiten your teeth 8 shades brighter by using a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin.
Results do vary between people and methods – so the best thing you can do is book in with our Hygienist and go over all options and see which fits your budget, schedule and gives you the results you are looking for.
Teeth whitening is a nice treat before a big event, special occasion or “just because”, however, healthy teeth and gums are our priority – Dr, Charchuk always advises his patients to have a thorough dental examination before considering teeth whitening. Book in for your examination at our Chinook Mall dentist office today.