Cosmetic treatment can involve something as simple as shaping the teeth in a more aesthetic fashion, adding some white filling material to change the shape or fill in a defect, to tooth whitening or the placement of porcelain veneers onto the outside of teeth.
A porcelain veneer is a thin layer of ceramic material cemented onto the surface of the tooth. Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of stained, chipped or misaligned teeth.
They often require minimal preparation of the teeth in order to accommodate the veneer and are bonded to the tooth using a resin cement.
Multiple teeth can be veneered to provide a drastic improvement in the appearance- what is commonly known as a “smile makeover”.
Tooth Whitening (Bleaching)
Tooth whitening is an effective way of lightening the colour of your teeth. It does not require any preparation of teeth or necessitate having anything glued onto the surface of the teeth. It is a predictable and well received treatment for dentists and patients alike.
Why do teeth discolour?
The most common causes are:
- Staining from tea, coffee, coloured foodstuffs, smoking
- Natural tooth ageing
- Some conditions that mark the enamel of teeth
- Filling materials
What does tooth whitening involve?
Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. Your dentist will assess you first to see whether tooth whitening is suitable for you. They will tell you about the options you have for tooth whitening and which will be the most suitable for you.
We offer either home whitening or Enlighten whitening.
Home whitening involves having trays made specially to fit into your mouth like gum-shields. The trays are usually worn overnight for 2 weeks with the whitening gel placed inside each night.
Enlighten whitening starts in a similar way with 2 weeks worth of home bleaching but then an appointment for in-surgery bleaching is also made in order to lighten the teeth even further.
The ‘active ingredient’ in both whitening systems is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel and dentine of the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.
How long will my teeth stay whiter for?
The effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years. However, this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. Ask your dentist for their opinion before you start the treatment.
What are the side effects?
Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.
It is important to remember that fillings and crowns will not turn whiter with teeth whitening.