involves many subjects and some of the terms can be confusing. Here is our simple guide to cosmetic dentistry.Tooth WhiteningTooth whitening is the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry. If you have yellow, discoloured teeth and
would like them whiter this is for you. Our preferred method involves using take home whitening trays and 6% hydrogen peroxide gel. We use Philips Zoom and Enlighten systems. These techniques are proven, safe and easily maintained.Tooth whitening
will not work on dental restorations such as crowns, veneers, bridges, implants and metal fillings. Areas of gum recession and abrasion will also not whiten. It is therefore very important that a dentist undertakes a full clinical examination prior to tooth whitening.Cosmetic BondingCosmetic bonding
is the most conservative method of restoring fractured, chipped, small, uneven teeth. The technique is non invasive as highly aesthetic tooth coloured composite material is carefully layered over the teeth. Once placed, it is then contoured and polished to a fine lustre.
The bonding will require maintenance over time with polishing, repair and eventual replacement. However, as the underlying tooth is the same there is no biological damage and the process can simply be repeated. In our experience, cosmetic bonding is the first choice to repair damaged teeth.Porcelain veneersPorcelain veneers
are an excellent method of repairing a tooth if there has been heavy damage, severe discolouration or large existing dental fillings. They are the most aesthetic method of providing a new tooth surface. With the latest technology, porcelain veneers are undetectable from natural teeth.
They often require preparation of the underlying teeth and for this reason, the technique is not the most conservative. In certain circumstances, porcelain veneers can be placed with minimal or no preparation. This is usually when the teeth are in a good alignment, with no crowding and point contacts. Our porcelain veneer of choice, is E max by Ivoclar.Laser gum contouring
If you have a gummy smile and the gum (gingival) margins are uneven this presents a major cosmetic issue. One simple method is to create symmetry of the gum line by using a soft tissue laser. This technique is very precise, delicate and allows fantastic healing of the area.
However, careful analysis must be undertaken prior to any contouring to avoid invasion of the biological width. What is this, you may ask. Well, ask your dentist. Any dentist with experience and knowledge of cosmetic dentistry should know. If your dentist cannot answer this, then they should not be undertaking the procedure!Teeth StraighteningCosmetic teeth straightening
is becoming the technique of choice prior to any of the above techniques. Moving the teeth in the correct position not only creates a beautiful smile but allows for far better dentistry in the future.
Due to the advances in modern technology, teeth be straightened fairly quickly and discreetly. There are techniques such as lingual braces (placed on the inside of the teeth), ceramic braces (tooth coloured braces) and clear aligners such as Invisalign (removable clear braces). These all mean that the traditional metal braces can be avoided.
Each person is different and hence each treatment will be bespoke. It is vital that a full clinical examination and assessment is undertaken prior to any treatment. There is no such thing as one size fits all. If your dentist only offers one option, seek a second opinion.
One important point to mention is that when teeth are straightened, they must be retained. Our preferred method of retention is by using a fixed wire retainer placed on the inside of the teeth. A removable retainer can also be used at night to doubly ensure the teeth stay nice and straight.Dental hygiene
For any cosmetic dental technique, the health of the gums must be excellent. Prior to any treatment, a visit or two to the hygienist
will not only make the teeth look better and improve the gum health but ensure that the future treatment will b successful. The presence of dental plaque is the main cause of failure in dentistry. The lower the levels of plaque bacteria, the less risk of biologic damage and the higher the success rate. Visits to the dental hygienist should be at least twice a year or quarterly for those who require greater maintenance.
We hope you have found this guide to be useful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:Progressive Dentistry
- Voted London's Best Practice Dentistry Awards 2013
Tel 0207 7311162