Cosmetic Dentistry – Answers To Common Questions

Cosmetic dentistry is a perfect combination of both art and science that provides a perfect smile. It will give a boost to your self-confidence by eliminating the embarrassment that causes you to hide your pearly whites and enhancing your smile in every aspect you desire. If you are planning to go to the cosmetic dentist to enhance the aesthetics of your smile, you may have the following questions in mind.

Do I Need Porcelain Veneers or Teeth Whitening?

Oftentimes, patients inquire about porcelain veneers to enhance their smiles. While they are a way to provide beautiful results, some people are better candidates for teeth whitening. People who have structural tooth damage, such as cracks or chips in teeth, can benefit more from porcelain veneers since they help hide imperfections and protect the tooth. Teeth whitening, on the other hand, is the better option for people with undamaged teeth to remove stains and brighten their smiles.

What Is Involved In Tooth Whitening?

Most tooth whitening procedures usually require two visits. During the first visit, molds of your teeth will be made to design custom plastic trays according to the shape and size of your teeth. During the second visit, you will be given the trays, and adjustments (if necessary) are made to ensure a proper fit.

You have to wear clear plastic trays with a special whitening solution (bleaching powder) for a couple of weeks. You can either wear them overnight or twice a day for 30 minutes. It is normal to feel tooth sensitivity due to bleaching powder. Your dentist will advise care instructions for your trays and the teeth to help maintain a beautiful, healthy smile.

Can Teeth Whitening Damage Gums?

According to some cosmetic dentists, You should not worry about irritation or chemical burns to the gums from the bleaching powder as long as you wear the teeth whitening trays properly and follow the care instructions. If this happens, any gum discomfort is usually minor and won’t hurt your gum tissues. The burning and sensitivity will fade within a couple of days.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Well, it varies greatly from person to person. The longevity of teeth whitening depends on several factors such as the use of whitening material, the method of whitening, the severity of their staining, and the condition of the patient’s teeth.

Most people typically expect their teeth to maintain their whitening and brightness anywhere from six months to two years. Recent studies have also found that how properly you follow the guidelines and some lifestyle factors also play a role in how long you can expect your results to last. These include habits like drinking coffee, tea, or red wine, smoking, and staining foods and drinks. Dentists recommend that you avoid smoking altogether and limit the intake of staining drinks to preserve teeth whiteness for a long period.

How Are Composite Fillings Placed?

They are typically placed in one appointment. After taking the X-rays and injecting the local anesthesia, your dentist will remove the decay (dead blood cells and nerves) using special instruments. The area will then be prepared (cleaned and widened) for the new filling. A special medication will be applied in the hollow area for added protection and the composite filling will then be placed. They help to restore and polish your tooth to its primary shape and function.

At first, you feel sensitivity to cold and heat, but it will subside soon after your tooth adjusts to the composite filling. After your treatment, your dentist will instruct you on the proper care of your new fillings. Healthy eating habits, good oral hygiene, and regular visits to the dentist will help increase the life of composite fillings.

What Is Involved In Getting Porcelain Veneers?

Unlike teeth whitening, two appointments are typically needed for getting porcelain veneers. During the first appointment, your dentist will take a mold or several molds (impressions) of your affected tooth. These molds are used to create your custom temporary and permanent crowns.

After administering the local anesthetic, your dentist will first remove any decay (remnants of the affected tooth) and shape its surface to properly fit the crown. Next, a temporary crown will be placed for about two or more weeks until your new, permanent crown is ready.

The temporary crown will be removed during the second visit and the new custom-made crown will be carefully placed. The dentist will check accurate spacing and make sure you can bite properly.

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