Teeth Whitening

Bleaching: It is a method by which the color of the yellow and badly colored teeth can return to normal or they can be more whitened than normal. When it comes to teeth bleaching, you have three choices: bleaching at the dentist's office, home bleaching, and combination of one or two sessions at the dentist's office plus a complete home-based kit. In all the three methods, hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching agents are used. The materials used in home bleaching contain peroxide 3% to 15% while peroxide 15% to 40% is used at the dentist's office. The duration and method of use of each substance are different and specific. Substances are prescribed according to the conditions; increase and decrease in the duration and amount of the substance not only do not improve the results but may also make the teeth more sensitive. It should be noted that bleaching cannot whiten porcelain veneers or tooth-colored composites. Bleaching at the dentist's office: Bleaching done at the dentist's office makes your teeth more whitened in a shorter period. Bleaching agents used by the dentist are more powerful than their home counterparts. In addition, heat and light, or the combination of both, may be used to accelerate and intensify the tooth whitening process. To achieve the best results at the dentist's office, the teeth are 3 to 8 degrees whiter - about 60 to 90 minutes are required. Home bleaching: There are several methods for home bleaching that most commonly include:

  • Tooth whitening gels and strips: They are applied straight on the teeth using a toothbrush or thin film. This type of tooth whitening products containing peroxide is required twice a day for 10 to 14 days.
  • Bleaching toothpaste: Since they are a mild abrasive, any other toothpaste can do their job and help eliminate stains on the teeth. However, bleaching toothpaste contains chemicals and polishing agents that can remove stains without the use of bleaching materials. Bleaching toothpaste is relatively inexpensive and can whiten the teeth to one shade. Some bleaching toothpaste contains peroxide, but they do not remain on the teeth long enough to have any effect.
  • Dental bleaching molds: In this method, tray silicone molds filled with peroxide gel are applied to the teeth for several hours a day for 4 weeks. You can buy these bleach molds without a prescription from a pharmacy or requires your dentist to customize them to your teeth.

Dental Veneers

Veneers: Dental veneer is considered a subcategory of esthetic dentistry as it gives you a white and brilliant smile with aligned and shapely teeth. Dental veneer also protects the damaged teeth and thus the teeth do not require further treatments in the future. Among other advantages of dental veneer is their high resistance. Compared with dental coatings, dental veneer does not need to eliminate the teeth structure and if required, such destruction is much less serious compared to that required for dental coatings. Regardless of the factors that cause an ugly appearance to the teeth, veneers can solve all or most of the teeth esthetic problems, including:

  • Enamel destruction: Over time, the thin, hard, transparent material that covers your teeth (tooth enamel) may be worn or discolored. This erosion and color change can be due to natural or genetic reasons. However, such teeth wear and decay are often due to the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee, smoking, and consumption of certain medications.
  • Tooth erosion: As the age rises, the teeth become worn naturally, and the probability of fracture, cracking, and generally asymmetrical appearance in the teeth increases.
  • Genetic complications: Some people are born with abnormal tooth spacing, which increases with increasing age.
  • Dental malocclusion: Malocclusion can be the result of wear and tear of the teeth.
Various types of dental veneer: Dental veneers are mainly made of porcelain (ceramic) or composite resin. According to the American Dental Association, the application of porcelain is more time consuming than composite resin. The dentist, after removing a small portion of the enamel, obtains some samples of the damaged tooth and sends them to the lab where veneers are designed. Design of veneers may take a few days and usually takes up the next visit. However, composite resin veneers may be constructed in the dentist's office as soon as the damaged tooth is regenerated and prepared. All dental veneers are finally attached to the teeth with resin cement. Each type of veneers has different advantages. Unlike ceramic veneers, composite resin veneers require the removal of a smaller fraction of enamel, are less costly, can be placed on the teeth in a single session, and can be easily repaired if damaged. On the other hand, ceramic veneers have high strength, are anti-shock, are resistant to staining, look more natural, and their placement on the teeth requires the removal of a smaller fraction of enamel in compare to coatings. Dental veneer defects include:
  • The dental veneer process is irreversible.
  • Veneers have a higher price than composite resin joints.
  • They cannot be usually repaired when they break or fracture.
  • Due to the removal of tooth enamel, the teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold foods as well as to drinks.
  • Veneers may not be exactly the same color as your other teeth. Moreover, the color of veneers cannot be changed after placement on the teeth. If you intend to whiten your teeth, you should do it prior to veneering.
  • Dental veneers may become loose or fall off, which is not very likely to occur. To minimize such problems, avoid chewing nails, ice, pencils, or other hard objects that affect veneers.
  • The veneered teeth can be also decayed, and thus they may need to be coated.
  • Veneering is not a good option for people with unhealthy teeth (e.g., due to dental caries or gum diseases), weakened teeth (due to dental caries, fractures, high filling) as well as for those that have lost a significant amount of their enamel.
  • People who are accustomed to teeth grinding (bruxism) are not good candidates for ceramic veneers because these habits cause veneers to break and crack.

Dental Crowns

Dental crown: Such crowns are used in cases of teeth with broken walls or with significant amounts of structure loss due to decay. Moreover, teeth that are likely to break as a result of endodontic therapy or thin wall are repaired and regenerated with denture-shaped coatings. Inappropriate diets and failure to observe oral health can cause tooth damage due to decay. Further, beating may also cause a tooth fracture. In such a degeneration, if covering a major volume of the teeth, the tooth remaining structure requires to be reinforced using dental crowns. The fixed prosthesis, also called dental crown, in addition to providing strength for the missing tooth structure, also provides the beauty of healthy teeth, as it can repair teeth that have congenital fractures as well as short and unaligned teeth, and also can eliminate the dental discoloration. However, from the therapeutic point of view, the teeth with broken walls, teeth with lost structures due to decay, or teeth with a high risk of fracture due to endodontic therapy or having a thin wall, might be regenerated by dental coating. Coatings may be made of metals such as gold, porcelain, or a combination of them.

Tooth Bonding

Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored tooth. Unlike veneers, which are manufactured in a laboratory and require a customized mold to achieve a proper fit, bonding can be done in a single visit. The procedure is called bonding because of the material bonds to the tooth. Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth. Sometimes, bonding also is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed when gums recede. Preparation No preparation is needed for bonding. Anesthesia often is not necessary, unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. Your dentist will use a shade guide to select the composite resin color that will match the color of the tooth most closely. Once your dentist has chosen the color, he or she will slightly abrade or etch the surface of the tooth to roughen it. The tooth will be coated lightly with a conditioning liquid, which helps the bonding material adhere. When the tooth is prepared, your dentist will apply the tooth-colored, putty-like resin. The resin is molded and smoothed until it's the proper shape. Then the material is hardened with an ultraviolet light or laser. After the bonding material hardens, your dentist will further trim and shape it. Then he or she will polish the material until it matches the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface. It usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete the procedure. If you're having more than one tooth done, you may need to schedule several visits. Tea, coffee, cigarette smoke, and other substances can stain the resin. To prevent or minimize stains, it's essential to avoid eating or drinking foods that can stain for the first 48 hours after any composite procedure. In addition, brush your teeth often and have them cleaned regularly by a dental hygienist. The composite resin used in bonding isn't nearly as strong as a natural tooth. Biting your fingernails or chewing on ice or pens can chip the material. Bonding usually lasts several years before it needs to be repaired. How long it actually lasts depends on how much bonding was done and your oral habits.

Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontics is the treatment of inappropriate jaw positioning, misalignment of teeth and irregular teeth. The need for orthodontic treatment is diagnosed by orthodontic dentists. The orthodontics is performed using two major types of braces: fixed and removable. Fixed orthodontics is performed in more complex abnormalities compared with removable orthodontics. This treatment is done by attaching the orthodontic wire and brackets to the teeth and is fixed in the mouth. The treatment is approximately 6 months to 3 years. Tooth orthodontics is a great way to increase self-esteem, increase oral health and create a beautiful smile. Various types of tooth orthodontics include bracket-and-wire orthodontics, ceramic tooth-colored braces, lingual braces and invisible braces with Invisalign aligners. Urgent cases for orthodontics: Malocclusion, dental spacing, dental protrusion, and retrusion, dental impaction, dental crossbite, narrow mandibular arch, dental midline difference, maxillary and mandibular arch spacing, the overlap of mandibular teeth by maxillary teeth (overbite), facial developmental problems, transverse difference, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, dental alignment or coating. Treatment at an early age prevents many permanent teeth extractions and also helps eliminate damaging habits and reduce the possibility of damaging to protruding teeth. In this method, the newest materials such as heat-sensitive titanium wires or the newest model of braces with minimal thickness and soft edges are used to provide comfort. The number of sessions required for dental orthodontics: Technological advances in this method have facilitated quicker, more reliable and more convenient treatment of patients. In this method, the efficiency of movement and alignment of teeth will increase due to the use of titanium wires with mild forces, and best treatment results are achieved at a lower number of sessions at the dentist’s office.

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