The use of whitening gel to change the shade of teeth is the most common esthetic dental treatment. The store shelves are filled with home whitening strips, gel, toothpaste, and even some paint on whitener. If these work, fantastic, but to get the results you want it is quite possible you will need a stronger, more effective treatment. In our office we use a prescription strength gel that will get your teeth photo ready.
If we need to change the shape or position of the teeth then the use of porcelain to improve cosmetics is very common. It may sound strange to use a material we all know to be somewhat fragile but dental porcelains are extremely strong. In fact porcelain can be used to crown, fill or veneer teeth. Dental porcelain can be made of several materials, each chosen to best suit the support required. The ability to more closely mimic the enamel of adjacent teeth also makes porcelain a perfect choice.
Porcelain veneers are very thin, hand- made layers of porcelain that are most commonly placed on front teeth. They generally require minimal modification of the tooth structure but are able to make a very cosmetic change to most teeth. Veneers allow us to change not only the color, and size of teeth but can also be used to effect minor alignment changes. Thin veneers of porcelain “glued” to your front teeth probably doesn’t evoke any thoughts of confidence in their strength but once veneers are bonded to your natural teeth they are very durable.
Fillings don’t have to be the old silver or grey metal you remember. The use of tooth colored composite fillings allows us to repair small or medium size chips or cavities with a strong durable material that is bonded or “glued” into your teeth. This material can be used to restore new cavities or replace old metal fillings and is appropriate for front or back teeth.
More sizable cavities may be better served with a restoration of tooth colored porcelain. The strength of porcelain makes these larger fillings possible and restores the tooth to its natural luster. The decision on what material to use is based on how much tooth remains, the chewing force on the tooth, where it is in mouth and your esthetic demands.
If you want dramatic change whitening, composite or porcelain might be your answer.
For more information on Cosmetic Dentistry, click the links below.