Cosmetic dentistry is usually treatment of healthy
teeth to correct or enhance their appearance. Teeth Whitening, Veneers
and Bonding are the most common cosmetic dental procedures. Whitening
is used when the teeth have satisfactory shape and position, and
all that is desired is a whiter smile. Veneers and Bonding are used
when the teeth are badly stained or when spacing and/or shape needs
Whitening or Bleaching the teeth to achieve a whiter smile is the
most popular cosmetic dental procedure performed today. Over the
years, you've experienced a natural buildup of organic pigments
on your teeth. Colorized proteins from coffees, teas, and other
foods have darkened the natural whiteness of your teeth. The use
of tobacco, antibiotics, and certain minerals usually speeds the
Whitening is gentle and safe when supervised by your dentist. In
fact, dentist-supervised whitening has been done for nearly a century,
but has increased in popularity in recent years as yellowed teeth
are becoming less and less acceptable, both socially and professionally.
There are many different kinds of whitening, the two most common
are bleaching trays and in office bleaching. The first step regardless
of which method chosen, is for the dentist to check your teeth
and gums to make sure that you are a good candidate for this procedure
and begin treatment in good dental health.
With bleaching trays you will see results usually within two-three
days of starting the whitening process. The complete process normally
takes 2 weeks, but treatment times will vary depending on the sources,
type and depth of discoloration. The dentist will take an impression
of your teeth in order to provide you with a custom-fit plastic
tray designed to hold the bleaching gel next to your teeth. Some
patients might feel an increased sensitivity to cold foods during
the whitening process, but this sensitivity ends a two-three days
after treatment is completed.
With in office bleaching you will see results immediately and the
process is completed in one appointment. The dentist applies a gel
to your teeth that is then light activated. This process is repeated
as needed to get the desired shading. No follow-up visits are necessary.
In our office we use
for in office whitening, which we have found provides the most satisfactory
results according to our patients and is the choice
of stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Calista Flockhart, Lisa Kudrow,
Regis Philbin and Noah Wyle to name a few. For whitening trays,
home whitening, we use Discus Dentals
The result can be dramatic, as you can see.
Graphic showing differences between in office and tray bleaching
The whitening process will not affect your enamel, tooth structure,
bonding or restorations. Whitening acts only on the molecules that
carry the discoloration. Non-smokers who don't drink coffee or tea
often see little or no change over 5 years. But your own long-term
results will depend on your habits and the specific foods you eat.
Based on those variables, some patients may require a "touch
up" treatment at regular intervals.
What is the difference between dentist-supervised and the over-the-counter
bleaching trays treatments?
There are many differences, starting with the fact that your teeth
and your own dental situation are absolutely unique. Which is why
the safety of your treatment requires a dentist's evaluation and
supervision. You'll also find that custom trays designed by a dentist
will fit better and will expel far less bleaching gel than the unsupervised,
over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all treatment alternatives.
If you want to obtain a more confident smile by improving the
whiteness of your teeth, talk to us. Our office is well experienced
in tooth whitening treatments, and we'll be happy to answer any
questions you may have
Veneers and Bonding
"Bonding" is simply a method of "micromechanical"
retention of a restorative material to the tooth. "cosmetic
bonding" is the bonding of restorative materials to the tooth
to enhance esthetics. Bonding is used to whiten, straighten, lengthen,
reshape or restore teeth using either chairside or custom-fabricated
Chairside veneering is a process of bonding a quartz
filled resin to the tooth, and improves as materials and techniques
Porcelain veneering is bonding of a lab-fabricated
porcelain veneer to the tooth. It is generally more durable and
stain-resistant, although a small amount of the tooth is usually
removed along the front of the tooth to allow room for the thin
layer of porcelain.