Teeth whitening is a very popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that is safe and proven to brighten your smile. Their are many effective methods for increasing the brightness of your smile. Very simply, brushing at home daily with a American Dental Association approved toothpaste and regular flossing is a great place to start the whitening process. Alternatively, a traditional method of brushing with a baking soda slurry can be used to improve the luster of teeth and to remove superficial stains. Their also exist many over-the-counter whitening toothpastes and mouthrinses that can help brighten your smile. Most teeth discoloration happens over many years of exposure to dark foods and beverages like coffee, tea, wine, chocolate, berries, and soda. These dark pigments reach the inside layers of your teeth and result in a darker hue. Dark stain on the inside of the tooth can really only be removed with the application of hydrogen peroxide which is absorbed by your teeth and elminates stain, thus increasing the brightness of your smile.
For teeth whitening, 3 cosmetic dentistry techniques are used to get results:
At-home teeth whitening with custom made whitening trays
ZOOM teeth whitening done in 1 office visit
At-home teeth whitening with do-it-yourself Crest White-Strips
We get the best results with the at-home, custom made tray approach. You receive custom made trays (soft clear plastic retainers) and a supply of whitening gel. The trays with teeth whitening gel are worn everyday for 30 minutes or overnight for 2-3 weeks until you’re happy with the brightness of your smile. This method of teeth whitening is the most predictable with the smallest incidence of tooth sensitivity. The trays are reusable so you can "freshen up" your smile, when needed, with a low cost whitening gel refill.
ZOOM whitening is a hassle free, 1 hour method to immediately brighten your smile. ZOOM whitening is completed here in the office by one of our qualified dental assistants. ZOOM uses unique LED technology to activate and accelerate the teeth whitening process. Included in the ZOOM whitening procedure are custom made teeth whitening trays and gel for use at home. These can be worn for 30 minutes during the day or overnight to keep you smiling bright.
Patients have also purchased Crest White-Strips, a do-it-yourself kit available in our office or local pharmacies, and successfully whitened their teeth. This low cost alternative is a good first step toward a brighter smile. However, the results can vary because the teeth whitening agent is less concentrated, and they can slip out of place. For those with mild yellowing, Crest White Strips may be a good option. Expect teeth whitening to take a bit longer using this method.
What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that uses a mild peroxide gel to lighten discolored enamel and dentin (the underlying tooth structure) by oxidizing stained tooth cells. Teeth whitening is not permanent and may be repeated often.
What causes tooth discoloration?
Teeth acquire stains most commonly through our diet: Coffee, tea, red and white wine, sodas, and tobacco are the usual suspects. Other causes of tooth discoloration include tooth injury, a previously root-canaled tooth, a dying or degenerating tooth, and old tooth colored bondings. The antibiotic tetracycline or excessive fluoride when you’re young may also cause tooth discoloration.
Who may benefit from tooth whitening?
Most everyone can benefit from tooth whitening. Sometimes, however, tooth whitening alone cannot achieve the results we seek. Your dentist may determine the viability of teeth whitening for you through an oral exam and diagnosis. One should note that existing fillings and/or porcelain crowns cannot be whitened by using whitening gels.
Is the process safe?
YES! Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums. Some people experience tooth sensitivity during the process, but it’s only temporary.
How does it work?
The whitening gel is placed in a thin tray that fits over your teeth. As the active ingredient in the gel reacts with your teeth, oxygen enters the tooth and whitens the colored substances. The structure of the tooth is not changed; only the tooth color is made brighter.
How long does it take?
Results are usually seen after the first application. Maximum results generally occur when the process is continued for 10-14 nights. Stubborn teeth stains may take longer. There are new stronger gels that can be used as you sleep, with quicker results.
How long do the results last?
The teeth will always be lighter than they once were. However, some patients may want a tooth whitening "touch-up" for 1-2 days, once or twice a year.
Cosmetic dentistry or Adhesive Dentistry, has emerged over the past 20 years. Bonding refers to the replacement of a chipped tooth, stained filling, or decayed tooth with tooth-colored “composite” material that blends to match your natural tooth color almost perfectly. The adhesion of composite to your natural tooth reinforces its strength and can prevent broken teeth.
That depends upon the number of tooth surfaces and teeth involved. A single tooth bonding can take as little as 30 minutes to complete.
Bonding is very strong. Your diet won’t be limited; you can eat apples, corn-on-the-cob, carrots, etc. As with natural teeth, you should avoid using bonded teeth as a tool, such as removing nylon labels from clothing, biting your fingernails, holding hair pins, or chewing ice. It is very important that you brush and floss your teeth daily to get the longest life possible from your cosmetic dentistry restorations.
Results of Treatment:
Extremely natural looking and long-lasting cosmetic restorations.
Average Range of Treatment Life Expectancy:
Average life expectancy (looking their best) is 5 to 12 years.
Highly cosmetic, natural looking teeth
One appointment results
Orthodontics or Invisalign should be completed before bonding.
Extreme care must be taken to avoid metals (such as hair pins) from coming into contact with tooth bonding.
Certain types of tooth stains cannot be covered well with bonding.
May involve minor tooth reduction to remove some of the stains.
Teeth Whitening should be done first, then bonding to match.
Not all insurance policies pay for bonding of teeth.
In the world of cosmetic dentistry, veneers are unquestionably the most effective means of giving you the perfect smile. They can be utilized to change the shape, color, or size of a single tooth or for an entire smile makeover. Veneers are thin porcelain caps which fit over and bond to your teeth. They look incredibly natural. Porcelain veneers are often used for the same reasons as bonding: to whiten teeth, remove gaps, and straighten teeth, but are considerably more durable and stain resistant. It looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth.
Porcelain veneers can also be used to correct teeth that have been worn from teeth clenching and teeth grinding.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
While they're not suitable for every patient, veneers are the best alternative for conditions involving the front teeth, including:
Gaps or spaces between teeth
Broken or chipped teeth
Unsightly, stained teeth, or spots near the gumline
Permanently stained or discolored teeth that can't be whitened
Old fillings in between the front teeth
Advantages and Benefits of Veneers
The procedure takes only two appointments
Minimal tooth structure is removed during the procedure
Veneers are the most durable,most natural looking and feeling restorations in modern cosmetic dentistry
Porcelain Veneers are the most compatible material you can use next to the gums
A healthy "natural" look is achieved; in fact, porcelain veneers are the most aesthetic restoration in dentistry
How Are Porcelain Veneers Done?
At the first appointment the teeth are prepared for the veneers and an impression of your teeth is taken. Our dental laboratory customizes each porcelain veneer to the dentist's specifications. 2 days later, at the second appointment, the veneers are permanently bonded to your teeth. Once bonded, they are immediately ready to use.
What to Expect
Porcelain Veneers can last indefinitely, depending on how well they are taken care of. Veneers are stronger and more resistant to stains and chipping than bonded fillings. Maintaining your oral hygiene at home, and making your hygiene visits here with us will ensure many years of service for your veneers. Bad habits such as nail biting, opening bobby pins, and chewing on ice or candy can damage your veneers and shorten their life expectancy.
The resin is then smoothed and polished
A bonding light hardens the resin