Though Cosmetic Dentistry and corrective dentistry are distinct categories their practice often overlaps. Misaligned teeth are less than pleasing to see, but are often connected with other health problems- trouble chewing and stress on the jaw being only two examples. Similarly, worn teeth are more susceptible to hygiene problems if left untreated, even with regular cleaning. Cosmetic dentistry can treat both of the issues with porcelain veneers, crowns, braces or various other methods.
Porcelain veneers are the most convincing substitute for natural teeth. They combine a slightly translucent look with high strength and durability that can last a lifetime under the same basic maintenance used on all teeth. A skilled dentist is able to convincingly match the colour of porcelain veneers to the colour of the surrounding teeth.
There are two basic types of porcelain veneer:
Prepared Teeth Veneers: These are custom made to the individual’s mouth, and are look highly realistic. They require the tooth to be shaved slightly, but can be fitted to correspond precisely with the surrounding teeth. They offer a wide scope for variation in shape, colour, translucency and brightness, allowing a skilled dentist a broad scope for giving the patient a pleasing and fully operational set of teeth.
No Prep Veneers: These are premade, generic veneers, available with several variations in appearance, but not custom made to suit the individual’s mouth. They are considerably thinner than prepared veneers and are placed directly over the existing teeth after a slight amount surface material is removed. Though they are cheaper than Prepared Veneers they offer little scope for variation as the dentist is confined to working with the predetermined shape. As such, they often prove unsuitable for many patients.
Poor diet, strong beverages (tea, coffee, cola), smoking or even hereditary disposition can cause stained or dark coloured teeth. This problem can be remedied with teeth whitening, which it relatively simple and has a high success rate.
Home Whitening: This is a cost-effective and efficient method of tooth whitening. A gel, which can vary in concentration, is applied to the teeth via a moulded tray, usually for about an hour. This is repeated for several days to get the desired result. The stronger the concentration of the gel the faster and more intense the whitening effect, though sensitive teeth may suffer temporary irritation from this.
A dental exam is essential before this home whitening procedure, as any gum or tooth problems will be severely aggravated by the bleaching gel.