A beautiful smile is an important asset. Not only do white teeth enhance your smile, but they make you feel more confident about your appearance. Before deciding whether an in-office teeth whitening option is right for you, we conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums to ensure proper health, and talk with you about your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits to determine if you will benefit from whitening. This helps us agree on the whitening product or technique that’s best for you. Enemies of a bright and confident smile are numerous. Tooth discoloration may result from drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine; or from smoking. The aging process can also stain and darken your teeth. To help you decide what’s best for you, here are some options to consider when considering teeth whitening.
Whitening Toothpastes Are Helpful
These can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach. Whitening toothpastes can lighten the tooth’s color by about one shade. On the other hand, light-activated whitening or bleaching techniques, can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter. At Northgate Dental we offer our customers a range of teeth whitening that begins with:
- The Sinsational Smile® method: Look younger and feel better in just 20 minutes! This method uses a fast and effective technology with a patented pre-filled silicone tray. This allows the jaw to remain relaxed and the person comfortable throughout the 20 minute procedure.
- The Zoom Teeth Whitening method: This procedure uses a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel that is applied working together with the Zoom light to penetrate the enamel and break up the stains and discoloration. The gel remains in place for 15 minutes, 3 consecutive times, for a total of 45 minutes while the light is activated. During this time, you can relax by listening to music.
- Opalescence Tooth Bleaching method: This is an affordable and convenient at home bleaching solution with custom take home trays. The bleach is placed in the tray and worn for 30-60 minutes a day until the desired whiteness and results are achieved. The custom trays can be used for years, reapplying as needed to sustain the desired shade of your teeth. This is clinically proven to make your teeth their whitest!
How Can I Change the Shape of My Teeth?
There are several different options available to change the shape of your teeth. You can choose to make your teeth look longer, close spaces between your teeth or repair a chipped or cracked tooth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and re-contouring.
- Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth.
- Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
- Veneers (also called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth.
- Re-contouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping, or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth’s length, shape or surface.
Each option differs with regard to cost, durability, and “chair time” necessary to complete the procedure and the best cosmetic approach to resolving your specific problem. We would be glad to discuss which one is right for you.
My tooth is cracked, how should I proceed?
If your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, see your dentist as soon as possible. Otherwise, your tooth could be damaged further or become infected, possibly causing you to end up losing the tooth.
Dental bonding of a chipped tooth is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface. Bonding is a simple procedure that typically does not require numbing the tooth. After shaping the bonding material to look like a natural tooth, we use an ultraviolet light to harden the material, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth.
Veneers are also an option for a broken tooth. These are thin, bonded custom-made shells of tooth-colored material designed to cover the front surface of a tooth. The major benefits of veneers is how great they make a smile look with minimal reduction to tooth structure, improving the shape and color.
If you have any questions about your cosmetic options please contact Northgate Dental. We’re happy to help with any advice we can give. Or if you prefer, request an appointment and we will provide a free consultation. Our practice is built around your smile.