Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc… Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth. Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for teeth whitening:
- Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer
- Stained teeth due to medications
- Yellow, brown stained teeth
What does teeth whitening involve?
This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile. Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions. As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Reasons for porcelain veneers:
- Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile
- Crooked teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Severely discolored or stained teeth
- Teeth that are too small or large
- Unwanted or uneven spaces
- Worn or chipped teeth
What does getting porcelain veneers involve?
Getting veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia required during the procedure. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.
On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.
You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.
Even if a person has teeth that are straight, healthy, and symmetrical, the beauty of their smile may be diminished if the gum line is uneven or falls too far below the lip line. Gums that extend too far down are referred as a “gummy” smile. It can make the teeth look small and cause people to feel self-conscious about the appearance of their smiles. Ideally, the gums should appear even and smooth, and should act as a frame to complement a person’s smile, rather than as a distraction from it. Fortunately, a gummy smile can now be corrected with cosmetic dentistry procedures such as gum contouring.
Reasons for gum contouring:
- Cosmetically, to create a uniform, beautiful smile
- Make Gum appear even and smooth
What does getting gum contouring involve?
In the past, patients who were troubled with “gummy” smiles could have the prominence of their gums reduced with a scalpel, which could cause bleeding and an uncomfortable recovery. Now, with the advent of laser dentistry technology, patients can have their gums sculpted to perfectly accent their smiles in a fast, simple, and virtually painless procedure.
The dentist will then use a laser to gently cut away excess gum tissue and sculpt a more uniform, scalloped gum line. Lasers cauterize while they cut, which means less bleeding and a dramatically reduced chance of infection for patients. The entire gum lifting procedure can be completed in just one brief visit to the dentist’s office.