Cosmetic dentistry encompasses several areas. The most common are veneers and whitening.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They are an option for correcting stained, chipped, decayed or crooked teeth. Veneers are made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist. Placing veneers is usually an irreversible process, because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your tooth to accommodate the shell. Your dentist may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or discolor your veneers such as coffee, tea or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or fracture. MouthHealthy.org
Composite filling material can also be used to achieve much the same results as lab fabricated veneers. Like veneers, this is an irreversible process. However, it is usually less expensive and can be done in a single appointment.
Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. If you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth the whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. MouthHealthy.org
If you are a candidate for whitening there are several ways to whiten your smile:
We use the Zoom teeth whitening system for in office bleaching. Typically, only one appointment is necessary. An at home bleaching kit may be included for ‘touch ups’. There are potential side effects, such as increased sensitivity or gum irritation.
Peroxide containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in an appliance similar to a mouth guard. The appliance is fabricated in our office and only one appointment is usually required. Gel refills are available at our office. As with all bleaching techniques, there are potential side effects, such as increased sensitivity or gum irritation.
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. These products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.