Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years. Nowadays, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or 'aesthetic dentistry', as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatment can be used as straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth.
Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, and tooth-coloured fillings.
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frequently asked questions
What is a Composite Resin (White Filling)?A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the colour of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite placed?Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, typically using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
What is the cost?Prices vary, but composites can cost up to two times the price of a silver filling.
What are the advantages of composites?Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a colour nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
Teeth restored with white fillings are less sensitive to hot and cold than teeth restored with amalgam, if correct techniques are used.
Composites are mercury-free. Mercury in the fillings is viewed by some as being toxic.
Composites require less removal of tooth structure. Especially with new cavities, the size of the hole made for the filling can be dramatically smaller with composites.
What are the disadvantages?After receiving a composite, a patient may experience postoperative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. The dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the colour from changing if a patient is particularly concerned about tooth colour..
Veneers:Dental veneers are versatile and relatively conservative ways to change the colour, forms, and shapes of your teeth in order to improve your smile. Sometimes veneers are done in conjunction with teeth whitening and/or orthodontics in order to achieve the best results possible.
Veneers are either made of composite and can be done right in office or can be made of ceramic/porcelain which provide the best aesthetic results but will require at least 2 appointments. Based on the appearance of your existing teeth and your budget, our professional team would be happy to discuss which option would be best suited to create the smile you want and deserve
Teeth Whitening:Teeth whitening is a successful and simple method of lightening the colour of your teeth. The food and drinks we consume stain our teeth. Smoking also affects the colour of your teeth. Teeth whitening can help remove these stains.
How long does it last?Degree of lightness will vary from patient to patient. Some patients may need to repeat the procedure periodically to top up the effect.
What are the benefits?-Teeth whitening improves the appearance of your teeth without removing any of the natural tooth surface.
-It is a better option than a crown or veneer if you want to lighten the colour of healthy teeth
When whitening might not work?Whitening cannot change the colour of natural teeth it can only lighten the existing shade. Whitening only works on natural teeth. It will not affect the colour of existing porcelain crown, veneers, bridges or denture teeth. It will not change the colour or shade of existing tooth coloured fillings: these may need to be replaced to ensure good shade matching.
Is there anything else I should know?Some patients may experience sensitivity from hot and cold drinks after treatment. If you are considering Teeth Whitening, please ask your dentist for further information about risks, benefits and suitability
Crowns and Bridges:
What are Crowns and Bridges?Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by your dentist.
How do crowns work?A crown is used to entirely cover or 'cap' a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed onto an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.
A crown could be recommended to:
-Replace a large filling when there is not enough tooth remaining
-Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
-Restore a fractured tooth
-Attach a bridge
-Cover a dental implant
-Cover a discoloured or poorly shaped tooth
-Cover a tooth that has has root canal treatment
How do bridges work?A bridge may be recommended if you are missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomadibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Bridges span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement
How long do crowns and bridges last?While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes become loose or fall out. THe most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. By brushing twice a day and also flossing daily can help keep your gums healthy. Also ensure that you visit your dentist and dental hygienist for regular check-ups and cleaning.
To prevent damage to your crowns or bridges, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.