Teeth WhiteningEverything from whitening to crowns, bleaching, bonding & polishing
When you smile, your friends and family take notice. A brilliant sparkling white smile will give you so much confidence. It will enhance your overall appearance.
There are a number of ways to treat stained, discoloured teeth and the choice depends on the cause and degree of discolouration.
The main culprits for causing stains are tea/coffee and tobacco use. However it can also come from tetracycline (an antibiotic) use as a child; fluoride stains and from old fillings or physical damage. Our teeth naturally go slightly darker as we age.
Polishing is the simplest method to remove simple stains caused by food and tobacco use. A visit to one of our friendly Hygienists is usually all it takes to give your teeth a good scale and polish. The results can be amazing!
Bleaching can be a highly effective method of whitening teeth. Bleaching uses an oxidising agent that can either be placed on the outside surfaces of teeth (Vital bleaching), or on the insides of teeth (Non-vital bleaching) if they have been root filled.
VITAL BLEACHING: Can be either an in office 1½ hour power bleach, or a take home kit, or for very best results a combination of both.
*In Office Bleach; One of our clinicians will apply the bleach in the chair. This is a 40% hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel. It gives whiter, brighter teeth after just one hour.
*Take Home Bleach: Take home whitening gel offers sustained whitening in the comfort of your own home. An impression is made of your teeth, and a custom made tray a bit like a very thin mouth guard is made to fit your teeth. The whitening gel is delivered to your teeth via the custom tray. The gel is a 10% carbamide peroxide gel. You can wear it during the day or overnight. You should notice dramatic changes over a couple of days.
NON-VITAL BLEACHING: Teeth that are dead, and root filled can sometimes be lightened via this technique. It takes 2 or more appointments and involves removing a small hole in the back part of the tooth (a painless procedure) and placing bleaching gel in the pulp chamber. It is left in place for 1-2 weeks and sometimes the procedure is repeated to achieve the desired effect. Once lightened, the small hole is filled in again.
For those whose teeth do not respond to bleaching, or are not good candidates for bleaching; bonding is an excellent alternative. In this procedure, composite resin is veneered onto the front surfaces of a tooth to improve its colour and shape. The effect is dramatic and can be achieved in just one appointment. The procedure is quite straightforward, and usually requires little or no drilling.
Bonding can be used to:
- Close gaps between front teeth
- Repair chipped front teeth
- Cover over stained teeth
- Change the shape of slightly crooked front teeth.
One of the features of tooth bonding is their natural appearance. Invariably, bonded teeth are indistinguishable from natural teeth. Long term results are impressive and they can be easily repaired or polished up if required.
Laminates or Porcelain Veneers as they are sometimes called are thin shells of tooth coloured porcelain that are bonded onto the front of teeth.
Porcelain veneers can be used to improve the appearance of stained, chipped or crooked front teeth. They can give teeth a vital, natural appearance. They are far more conservative than full crowns (caps) because only a very small amount of enamel has to be removed to fit them. It takes a minimum of two appointments to make them. Teeth are prepared on the first appointment, impressions taken, and the veneers themselves are made by technicians. At a second appointment (usually about 1 week later) they are cemented on.
Porcelain veneers can be used in the same situations as for bonding.
- Closing gaps between front teeth
- Repairing front chipped teeth
- Covering dark teeth
- Recontouring slightly crooked front teeth
They provide a stronger and more permanent solution than bonding.
Crowning a tooth is a last resort for stained, discoloured front teeth, although crowns are also used on molar teeth to give strength to a tooth.
When a tooth is fractured, severely damaged, root filled or heavily stained a crown is often placed. A crown strengthens the tooth and protects the remaining tooth structure, and can greatly improve appearance.
The location of the tooth, the intensity of the bite and patient expectations will all be factors in deciding which type of crown to use.
Broadly they fall into three main categories…
- Ceramic crown
- Porcelain fused to metal crown
- Gold crown