What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry can change the way you look and feel about yourself. It combines the artistic expertise of the dentist with state-of-the-art dental materials and techniques to create beautiful smiles. In order to fulfill expectations, cosmetic dentistry can involve extensive treatment planning integrating orthodontics and periodontics with cosmetic dental bonding, teeth whitening, veneers or crowns. Never before have there been so many safe and effective treatment options available to achieve a beautiful, natural looking and healthy smile.
There are many foods that stain teeth. These surface stains can be removed and teeth can be whitened by using chemical and physical actions. For example, whitening pastes may contain silica molecules that polish the enamel, or could contain sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) that disrupts the stain pellicle.
To remove stains that have accumulated below the enamel surface, bleaching is an appropriate option. Bleaching solutions oxidize the stain molecules that are embedded in the dentin to eliminate the color. Different strengths of hydrogen peroxide or another form of it called carbamide peroxide are commonly used for a take-home tray whitening systems or in-office bleaching procedures.
Experience shows that people with dark yellow or yellowish-brown teeth sometimes achieve better whitening results than those with gray or bluish-gray teeth. Multi-colored teeth, especially if the stains are due to tetracycline, sometimes do not whiten well. Lastly, teeth with large fillings, cavities, chips, etc., are usually best treated with bonding, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns.
Not very long ago, if you needed a filling, you would end up with easily noticeable bits of metal in your teeth. Today, we can use shaded fillings that will blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. Like silver fillings, bonded cosmetic fillings are permanent but may need to be replaced at some time in the future provided there is enough tooth remaining. If the tooth has a very large filling, it may be a better choice to have a crown placed to protect the weak remaining structure.