The field of cosmetics in dentistry involves creating a positive change in your smile. It may involve changing the shape and/or shade of your teeth to enhance your smile’s appearance. Cosmetic dentistry will give you a more youthful smile and help increase your confidence and self-esteem.
Enamel stains or discoloration, trauma to baby teeth which has stained the adult teeth, or a general discoloured pattern in teeth, can all benefit from whitening. Whitening can also be used to complement other cosmetic treatments to provide a uniform, highly attractive appearance.
During the cosmetic whitening process, we first invite you to a consultation to ensure that whitening is suitable for you. We then examine your mouth, and take records such as photographs and impressions.
Teeth whitening by Opalescence
We first measure your mouth and take an impression of your upper and lower teeth, using this to make a thin plastic whitening tray, similar to a sports mouthguard, to specially fit your mouth exactly. This usually takes about a week to make. When the tray is complete, you return to us for instructions and supplies.
We will apply a strong booster Gel in-house as a starter to your treatment. This takes approximately 1 hour, is completely safe and gives your teeth an initial boost to start your treatment. The whitening gel is applied to your teeth via the tray, which ensures that only the teeth to be whitened are covered by the gel.
We will then instruct you on how to apply the take home gel into your custom made whitening trays. We usually advise wearing them at night or during the day depending on the gel used, over a one to two week period. Whitening results usually last a long time, but will gradually fade, therefore we usually recommend a 3 or 6 monthly “touch up” treatment of one to two days duration. Your mouth is unlikely to change in this time, so your trays will still fit. Should you run out of whitening gel, we can provide you with a top up kit.
Are there any side effects?
The whitening gel we use has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment, which does not damage or weaken the teeth enamel.
On rare occasions, some patients may experience a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity. Should this occur, we suggest stopping the whitening process for a day or two to give your teeth a rest, before continuing the process.
Gum irritation may also occur, especially if you have gingivitis and bleeding gums to start with. For this reason, we recommend a thorough teeth and gum cleaning prior to your whitening treatment. This also helps to remove any stains from your teeth to make the whitening more effective.
Whitening will change the shade of your teeth, but not the shade of your fillings or restorations. For this reason, after your teeth have been satisfactorily whitened it may be necessary to replace some old restorations for a comprehensive, stunning new smile.
Severe tetracycline stains may not improve enough, in which case an alternative treatment procedure such as porcelain veneers may be required.
Whether you’re looking for a dramatic or subtle enhancement, veneers can refresh your smile to create a beautiful new look.
Veneers are thin yet strong, tooth-coloured shells that are custom-made to bond to the front surface of your teeth. Simple, safe and effective, veneers are excellent for treating chipped, discoloured or misshapen teeth.
Porcelain veneers can be used to whiten the colour of a tooth or to change its shape. At The Dental Touch, we can apply veneers to one tooth or a series of teeth, to completely change the way you smile.
To prepare a tooth for a porcelain veneer, a small amount of tooth is removed from its front surface. A dental technician then constructs the thin porcelain shell that is cemented to the tooth. This layer can be made whiter, larger or smaller then the original tooth to change its appearance. A porcelain veneer will last for up to eight years, depending on your individual circumstance.
Composite Resin Veneers
Also used to whiten teeth, composite resin veneers are applied directly onto the tooth in the dental chair. A small amount of your tooth is also removed, to provide space for the veneer to be built up. The shade and shape of teeth can be easily altered for a fantastic cosmetic result.
Porcelain vs Composite Resin Veneers
Advantages of Porcelain veneers
Porcelain veneers have a more natural tooth-like appearance than resin veneers. They are stronger once cemented onto teeth. It is easier to achieve a perfect tooth shape and colour with porcelain veneers. Placement takes less chair treatment time. They resist staining and will stay looking better for longer. They will not wear down as fast as resin veneers.
Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers
If they chip or break, there’s no way to repair the veneer, a new one must be made and fitted. They are more expensive than resin veneers. For teeth grinders, a night guard must be worn to protect the veneers from the enormous forces of teeth grinding.
Advantages of Composite Resin Veneers
Less expensive than porcelain veneers, if they chip or break, they can be repaired. No temporaries are required since the material is applied straight onto the tooth. Normally a result can be achieved in one sitting, although chair time can take up to 2-3 hours.
Tooth Coloured Fillings
Traditional amalgam fillings, although very durable and easy to place, are slowly being phased out by dentists as their patients look for more aesthetic restorations. White fillings are resin based (plastic) restorations that are applied straight onto prepared teeth cavities, enhancing their appearance and in some cases strengthening tooth enamel.
Unsightly old amalgam restorations can be easily removed for a better looking white restoration, which will be virtually unrecognisable by others. Only a dentist will be able to tell!