Other cosmetic dentistry treatments include dental bonding, tooth-colored fillings, porcelain veneers and dental crowns. Tooth replacements such as dental bridges and dentures may also be considered somewhat cosmetic in nature, although they also play an important role in the structure and function of the smile.
These treatments may be provided individually or in combination, depending on the patient’s needs. If the patient is receiving multiple treatments, then certain procedures may need to occur earlier in the timeline. For example, in order for the smile to match, teeth should be whitened prior to veneer placement, as veneers do not respond to teeth whitening treatments.
Problems That Can Be Addressed By Cosmetic Dentistry
A host of problems that can plague the smile’s appearance can be eliminated using cosmetic dentistry. Discolored teeth due to age or staining can be brightened and whitened using bleaching agents, which can be stimulated by lasers to take effect in as little as 90 minutes. If the stains are too deep or dark to respond to teeth whitening, veneers can be used to hide those stains. Similarly, flaws such as chips or cracks can be hidden using various restorations, depending on the severity of the issue.
At Advanced Family Dentistry & Braces, we offer Zoom whitening in order to whiten your teeth in our office. Zoom is a popular bleaching process that is widely used across the U.S., and it utilizes a special chairside lamp to activate a whitening solution of 25% hydrogen peroxide. As the hydrogen peroxide within the solution is broken down, oxygen will enter the dentin and enamel to bleach the teeth. The end result is a tooth structure that is unchanged, but enamel that appears significantly whiter.
The complete procedure will take about an hour and a half in our office. It typically starts with a regular tooth cleaning before the actual whitening session, your lips and gums will be covered so that only the teeth are exposed. Next, we will apply the Zoom whitening gel, and it will stay in place for 15 minutes while we activate the light. This process will happen three times, and immediately after you have finished, we will place a sensitivity-reducing fluoride solution onto your teeth in order to reduce the potential for discomfort.
The at-home tooth whitening process will require two visits. During your first appointment, we’ll talk about what you are hoping to get out of the whitening process. We will examine the current shade of your teeth and can discuss how much of a change you are looking to achieve. Then, we will take impressions of your teeth, as this information will be used to customize a set of clear, plastic trays. This information and the shade specifications will be sent off to a dental lab so that your aligners can be fabricated.
Once your trays have been sent back from the lab, we will call you to set up your second appointment. During this session, we will have you try the trays on to ensure that they fit properly, and if adjustments are needed, we will make them in the office. We will then explain exactly how you should use the trays in order to whiten your teeth.
Typically, you’ll wear your trays either twice per day or overnight. They will be filled with a specialized whitening solution, and the amount of time that you need to wear them will depend on how white you want them to become and the degree of staining found on your teeth. Be aware that it is normal to experience tooth sensitivity while whitening, but these effects should subside after your treatment has ended.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Questions