With the help of cosmetic dentistry, you can improve your smile and have teeth you’re proud of. At Twin Creeks Dentistry PLLC we offer several cosmetic dentistry options, including teeth whitening and veneers.
Improving Your Smile – Smile Checklist Look in the mirror.
- Do you like the way your teeth look?
- Do you dislike the color of any of your teeth?
- Are there spaces between your teeth?
- Do you have any chips or cracks on your teeth?
- Are you missing any teeth?
- Do you have any crooked teeth?
- Do you feel your teeth are too long or too short?
- Are you pleased with the shapes and position of your teeth?
If your answers show that you might want a change in your smile, talk to your dentist about Improving Your Smile.
A great smile can be the most attractive feature of your face. A smile helps you express health, success, youth and sincerity. It is a great asset in your personal, business and social contacts. So it’s important that you are happy with how your smile looks. But if you are like many people, you may not be.
Your dentist has many different techniques to shape, sculpt, and make your smile more beautiful. With a few simple steps, you can have a smile you feel great about. And treatment may be more affordable than you think.
Here are some popular treatment options:
- Tooth Colored Filling
- Tooth Whitening
TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS
Your dentist can use natural-colored materials to restore teeth that have cavities. Options include composite materials, such as resin, as well as lab-made porcelain inlays, onlays and crowns.
Teeth become stained for many reasons – drinking coffee, tea or wine; smoking; and even aging can discolor teeth. Tooth whitening is a process that makes discolored teeth whiter. The bleach used for in-office (chairside) whitening is stronger than the bleach found in at-home whitening kits. Keep in mind that not everyone’s teeth can become movie-star white. Your dentist can recommend the whitening treatment that is right for you.
Teeth whitening is a fast, easy way to brighten teeth and enhance your smile. Twin Creeks Dentistry PLLC offers two teeth whitening services:
- In office: Using state-of-the-art laser technology, your dentist or dental hygienist may lighten your teeth 5-7 shades in just one hour.
- At home: In just two weeks, you may lighten your teeth 5-7 shades just by wearing a whitening tray several hours a day.
Are you having dental work done such as a crown or bridge? Replacement teeth don’t whiten, so you may want to consider whitening your teeth prior to your procedure. Your dentist can then match your replacement teeth to your whitened existing teeth.
According to the American Dental Association:
People generally think of teeth as being white. But tooth enamel can be many different shades. Over time, tooth enamel can change color or become stained. There are many reasons why teeth become discolored:
- genetics—tooth color can run in the family
- injury to the teeth
- medicines, such as some antibiotics
- tobacco use
- contact with stain-causing food and drinks over time (such as berries, sauces, coffee, cola, black tea, and red wine)
- getting too much fluoride while teeth are developing
If your teeth are discolored, tooth whitening may help. “Whitening” is any process that can make teeth look whiter. It may be safely done at home or in a dental office.
Options for whitening your teeth
Tooth-whitening options range from gentle surface whiteners to stronger ones that can also remove deeper stains. There are many different types of tooth whitening products.
They fall into three main types:
- Whitening toothpastes help remove stains on the surface of your teeth. They are the gentlest kind of whiteners. Since they work using polishing action rather than chemicals, they usually do not have side effects. However, they do not get teeth as white as chemical products. Whitening toothpastes can lighten teeth a little bit at a time, over days or weeks. Whitening toothpastes can be bought over the counter. Several whitening toothpastes have earned the American Dental Association’s (ADA’s) Seal of Acceptance.
- Home -use whiteners come from your dentist or are sold over the counter. They can be applied with trays, strips, a rinse, or a brush. They usually contain a chemical called peroxide, which gets below the surface to lighten tooth enamel. Home-use whiteners are meant to be used over days or weeks. It is best to consult your dentist before whitening your teeth. Your dentist may make special whitening trays for your upper and lower teeth. You put the whitening gel in the trays and wear them for short times during the day or overnight. Your dentist will tell you how long to wear them. If you wear the trays for too long, the peroxide in the gel can irritate your teeth.
- In-office whitening is done in the dental office. In-office whiteners are much stronger than whitening toothpastes and home-use whiteners, since they have more peroxide. They can change the color of your teeth faster than the other methods. The in-office whitening is usually done in about one hour. To help protect the mouth from the peroxide, the patient’s gum tissues are covered either with a thin sheet of rubber or a protective gel. Sometimes a light or laser is used with the peroxide.
For a few days after treatment, your teeth may be sensitive to very hot or cold temperatures. Whitening may also irritate the gums for a short time. If the side effects do not go away after a few days, see your dentist.
To avoid harming your teeth and gums, always follow the product directions and any instructions from your dentist. If your teeth become very sensitive or you get sores in your mouth, stop using in-home products and call your dentist.
There is such a thing as too much whitening. Do not use whitening products for longer than advised in the product directions or by your dentist. Overwhitening can cause severe discomfort to your teeth and gums. Too much whitening can even harm your tooth enamel.
It’s not for everyone
Tooth whitening is not a good choice for all people. If your gums have pulled away from the teeth in some places, whitening may irritate these areas. If you have tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist may recommend that these be treated before whitening. Also, the color of fillings, crowns, and some stains cannot be changed by tooth whitening.
So talk to your dentist about tooth whitening before you begin. He or she will do an oral exam to find out if tooth whitening is right for you.
Keep your teeth white
Newly whitened teeth may stain more easily. To keep your teeth white as long as possible, avoid tobacco and stain-causing food and drinks for several days after whitening. Keep in mind that teeth usually return to their original shade over time. But if you steer clear of tobacco and large amounts of stain-causing food and drinks, your teeth may stay bright for several years.
If you want to improve your smile, dental veneers are a simple option. Veneers are thin, toothcolored shells that are bonded, or cemented, to the front of your teeth. They are custom-made of ceramic or composite resin, and look like natural teeth. Veneers can be used to fill spaces between teeth and to cover teeth that are stained, poorly shaped, or a bit crooked.They look like natural teeth.
Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:
- teeth that are stained and can’t be whitened by bleaching
- chipped or worn teeth
- crooked or misshapen teeth
- uneven spaces or a large gap between the upper front teeth
Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resin material. Your dentist will help you choose the material that is best for you. Each type of veneer has its own benefits.
A porcelain veneer is a thin shell that is custom-made to fit on the tooth. Benefits of porcelain veneers:
- they are strong and long-lasting
- they have a natural-looking surface
- less tooth enamel needs to be removed than with a crown or cap
- they don’t stain easily
Composite resin Veneers
Before you get veneers
- Your teeth and gums must be healthy before you get veneers. Your dentist can treat any disease or decay before your veneers are placed.
- Veneers are not always a good choice for patients who clench or grind their teeth, because the thin veneers may chip or break. If you clench or grind your teeth, your dentist may suggest you wear a plastic dental night guard while sleeping.
- Although your dentist removes as little tooth enamel as possible for veneers, the process cannot be undone once the enamel is removed.
- It is possible for veneers to come loose over time. In that case, new ones might be needed.
- As with all your dental care, discuss all your expectations and treatment options with your dentist. Regular dental visits are a must for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
After you get veneers
- Veneers can chip or break under pressure. Avoid biting your fingernails and chewing on hard objects, such as pencils or ice.
- It may take you a few days to get used to the feel of your veneers. But do let your dentist know if your bite does not feel right after the veneer has been placed. He or she will correct it before you leave the office.
- Keep your teeth and gums clean by brushing and flossing each day. You can still get cavities under or around veneers.
Braces can help correct crowded or crooked teeth or an uneven bite. Braces have become much smaller and less noticeable over the years. Brackets, the part of the braces that attach to each tooth, can sometimes be attached to the back of the tooth to make them less noticeable. Some brackets are clear or tooth colored—which help braces blend in.
In some cases, treatment may be done without using braces at all. A series of clear, removable aligners are used to move your teeth over time. These aligners are more discreet than traditional braces.
If a tooth needs more a dramatic change than veneers or enamel shaping can provide, crowns are an option. The outer part of the tooth is removed and a crown is placed over it. The crown can be made to fit in with your other teeth. It’s like a fresh start for your tooth.