Cosmetic

   

Teeth Whitening


What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that involves the use of mild bleaching materials to gently lighten the colour of your teeth.


How does it work?

The active ingredients in dental whitening products is usually either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both the in-chair Zoom! and at-home systems work in essentially the same way. After the gel is applied to the surface of the teeth, the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour becomes lighter.

With the Zoom!  in-chair system, a strong blue light is shone on the teeth to speed up the chemical reaction of the whitening product. The procedure takes about an hour and can make your teeth up to five or six shades lighter.

With the at-home system, you will be provided with plastic trays moulded to the shape of your teeth. A small amount of Whitening gel is placed in the trays and the trays are then placed in your mouth for up to an hour a day. The at-home system usually takes between two and three weeks to achieve a similar result to the in-chair system.

Are there any side affects?

Teeth whitening is a completely safe and harmless procedure as long as it is carried out under the supervision of your dentist.

Sensitivity during or a few days after treatment is a rarely reported side effect. However, that usually quickly disappears on its on or can be eased using a sensitive toothpaste and flouride mouthwash.

What causes teeth to go yellow?

The most common causes of tooth discolouration are drinks such as red wine, coffee and tea, food such as curry, and smoking.

Discolouration penetrates the surface of the tooth so brushing alone will never restore your teeth to their original colour.

How is it different from an over-the-counter whitening kit?

Many over-the-counter kits are dangerous because they contain acids and are abrasive. Teeth whitening toothpastes are safer to use and may remove some stains, but they will never affect the shade of your teeth.

Teeth whitening is not a simple procedure, and should only be carried out under the supervision of your dentist after a thorough checkup.

How long does teeth whitening last?

Depending on your diet, smoking habits, oral hygiene and other factors, teeth whitening lasts an average of a year and a half, after which some patients request a top-up.

 

White Fillings


What is a white filling?

A filling replaces a part of the tooth that has been lost due to decay or accidental damage. For over 150 years fillings have been made out of a silver material called amalgam. Although it is a strong material, it is certainly not the most attractive!

The alternative is what are called 'white fillings', using materials that match the colour of your tooth. The aim is to make it impossible to tell that a filling has been placed. Sometimes white fillings can be used to cover unsightly marks on teeth.

The technology behind white fillings has improved considerably in the last few years, and their strength will now match that of amalgam fillings.

What is involved?

Fillings are usually a very simple and straightforward process. The area around your tooth will be numbed with local anaesthetic and then the decay together with possible old fillings will be cleared out. Weak parts of the tooth may be removed to lessen the risk it will break off later.

Unlike silver fillings, white filling materials stick to the tooth surface. This means that less tooth is drilled away.

Once the cavity has been cleared out and conditioned, a filling material is matched to the colour of your tooth and then placed. It is set (hardened) with a specially designed bright light.

At the final stage, the filling is trimmed and polished so it fits in more naturally with the contours of the rest of your tooth.

Can you replace older amalgam (silver) fillings with white fillings?

Absolutely! In fact, we highly recommend it. White fillings are, in a majority of cases, almost impossible to notice. That's because they can be matched and shaped to the existing colour and contours of your tooth.

How does teeth whitening affect white fillings?

The colour of the fillings are permanent, they don't yellow (or whiten) like the rest of your teeth. To make a filling as invisible as possible, its colour is matched to the colour of the rest of your tooth at the time the filling is made.

If you are considering whitening your teeth, then we recommend doing it BEFORE you do a filling, so that all your teeth (including the new filling) are the colour you want them to be.
 

Crowns


What is a crown?

A crown (or a cap) is a hand-made cover designed to restore a damaged tooth to its natural look and strength. It has the shape and colour of a natural tooth.
 
Crowns are made from many different materials, for example, porcelain, porcelain bonded to gold or ceramics. High-end crowns like the Procera crown are meticulously designed to emulate your natural teeth as closely as possible in both look and feel, with all the natural ridges and even a semi-transparency around the edges so no one can tell it's not your original tooth!
 
As each person is an individual, so is each tooth in your mouth. Each crown is hand-crafted by a skilled dental technician to match the specific shape and colour of your natural teeth.
 
When is it needed?

We recommend a crown when too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or fracture and a filling is not considered strong enough. A crown will completely cover the tooth above the gum line and thus restores the original shape and function of the tooth. It is strong and is designed to fit in naturally with all your other teeth.
 
What is involved?

Your dentist will start by numbing your tooth. The tooth will then be shaped and if necessary old fillings will be replaced or a core will be built up. An impression is then taken using a rubber-like material. The impression (along with the shade of your teeth) is sent to a laboratory so that a dental technician can hand-make a crown in the specified material.
 
Meanwhile, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready to be fitted.
 
One or two weeks later, the new crown arrives from the laboratory and is then "cemented" in place. Your dentist will then make minor adjustments to make sure you can bite comfortably.
 
How does teeth whitening affect crowns?


The colour of crowns are permanent, they don't yellow (or whiten) like the rest of your teeth. To make a crown as natural-looking as possible, its colour is matched to the colour of the rest of your teeth at the time the crown is fitted.
 
If you are considering whitening your teeth, then we recommend doing it before you fit a crown, so that all your teeth (including the new crown) are the colour you want them to be.


 

Bridges


What is a bridge?

A bridge fixes a replacement tooth (or teeth) to natural teeth on either side of the gap. Some bridges have crowns at each end, others are fixed to the surface of the teeth next to the gap.

Just like crowns and veneers, bridges can be made from a variety of different materials. High-end porcelain bridges are individually hand-crafted by skilled dental technicians and designed to emulate your natural teeth as closely as possible so no one can tell you are missing a tooth.

When is a bridge needed?

Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. Appearance is one consideration, however, there are health reasons too. Teeth on either side of a gap can lean into the gap and alter the way the lower and upper teeth bite together, causing problems with your jaw. It can become more difficult to eat and food can also get packed into the gap, leading to both decay and gum disease.

What are the alternatives?

If you don't want a bridge, one alternative is a partial denture. This is a plate with a number of false teeth on it. It may have clasps to keep the denture in place in the mouth, some of which may show when you smile or open your mouth. Dentures are generally removed at night and must be carefully cleaned.

A better (though more costly alternative) are dental implants. Dental implants are inserted into the jaw during surgery then topped with a replacement tooth or a crown. They form a stable long-lasting solution and can be used for almost all adults regardless of age. For more information, please refer to the section on Implants.

 
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