Discoloured teeth-what can I do about this?
Depending on the extent of discolouration, teeth can be bleached with a peroxide gel to improve the appearance. The lowest concentration of peroxide which will give a result is best used over several applications. The procedure is conservative and safe. Very grey discoloured teeth tend to take longer to bleach for a change of colour.
Does bleaching of teeth damage the teeth?
The bleach placed on the tooth surface will penetrate into the tooth and end up in the pulp (soft tissue in the middle of the tooth with blood vessels and nerves which keep the tooth alive). The lower concentration of peroxide ie, 10% carbamide peroxide has been shown to be safe for use under professional supervision. Many studies have shown that the use of bleach is safe for teeth.
Do I need to see a dentist to have my teeth bleached?
Yes, teeth bleaching should only be carried out by a registered dentist. There are many reasons for this, the most important is that at the minimum, effective concentration of bleach available, under current civil law, only dentist can prescribe. Dental disease must be attended to prior to bleaching teeth. Some very grey brown discolourations will not improve with bleaching. Lasers need to be used to change these stubborn colours.
Can crooked teeth be fixed without using braces?
Yes but it depends very much on how crooked the teeth are. Large spaces with very misaligned teeth are best treated with braces. The use of veneers in mild to moderate misalignment can be carried out with great success. However in some cases a significant amount of tooth structure will need to be removed in order to have the veneers or crowns fitted to look natural. At ProCare Family Dental we are very conscious of preserving tooth structure as we understand that nothing in the mouth last forever and at some stage in an individuals life cycle these restorations will need to be replaced. Replacing old restorations will lead to further tooth loss. So depending on the age of the individual cutting teeth back for cosmetic reasons may not be in their best interest.
Cosmetic procedures in dentistry have been improving over the last few decades. The options available to the patient have improved and achieving better looking teeth have never been easier. Cosmetic dentistry strives to improve the appearance of teeth to complement the smile of a patient.The main issues associated with cosmetic dentistry can be divided into two parts.
- Tooth anatomy and position:Misshapen teeth.
- Teeth are either too long or too short.
- Crooked and misaligned teeth.
- Tooth appearance: Blemishes and discolouration of teeth.
The most conservative management of a dark tooth is to chemically treat it with bleaching. This is a procedure which permanently changes the underlying colour of the tooth (Bleaching 101). Teeth naturally darken as they age. This may necessitate the bleaching process to be redone years later or sooner if the teeth darken quicker.
If the teeth are misshapen and discoloured the best option, depending on the degree of discolouration, is to use crowns or veneers. Veneers are better than crowns when we want to conserve tooth structure. As dental ceramic attaches well to tooth enamel, only a small amount of tooth structure needs to be removed. But if the discolouration of the underlying tooth is too much the teeth need to be bleached first or a crown used instead of a veneer. The reason for this is that the veneer is thin and cannot mask the underlying discolouration. The dark shade tends to bleed through the veneer making it appear dark.
In cases where the teeth are too misaligned the best option is orthodontics or braces. It is best in these cases to move the teeth into better positions rather than to cut teeth back too much to realign them. Orthodontics is a good adjunct to achieving a good cosmetic outcome in addition to veneers and crowns. Braces will re-position the teeth and the veneers and crowns will change the misshapen teeth. But if no tooth shape need modification then bleaching alone to correct for colour will suffice to complete the cosmetic transformation.
The extent of cosmetic procedures can be tailored according to budget and needs. At ProCare Family Dental we prefer to put oral health before cosmetics. If a procedure compromises the teeth or bite then it will not be in the best interest for the patient to proceed. We try very hard to treatment plan each case to achieve cosmetic excellence within the boundaries of good oral health.