Over time, coffee, tea, soft drinks, tobacco, poor hygiene, certain medications and genetics can leave you with dull or stained teeth. In less than an hour, an in-office bleaching procedure using a peroxide gel can safely remove those external stains and whiten your teeth five to ten shades. To remove stubborn stains, you may need to return for another bleaching session. The whitening is only temporary, so you’ll need to repeat the process as needed, or your dentist may send you home with an at-home whitening system to maintain the whitening effects.
A visit to the dentist can also correct teeth that are badly stained, chipped or unevenly spaced. One method is through a process called bonding. A dentist will use a tooth-colored plastic to resurface and reshape your teeth into a natural-looking and natural-feeling smile. Veneers can correct more serious stains, cracks and chips in your teeth. Veneers are thin, durable acrylic or porcelain shells that fit over the front surface of your teeth for an instant natural-looking smile that will resist subsequent stains and damage.
Crowns are tooth-shaped caps for badly decayed or damaged teeth. Unlike veneers, they cover the entire tooth, rather than just the front surface. Crowns can be made of plastic resin, porcelain, metal or a combination of these materials. Typically, your dentist will make a mold of the affected tooth and put a temporary crown in place while a dental lab makes a well-fitting permanent crown. Crowns are natural-looking and durable, usually lasting 10 years to as long as 40 years.
People who are missing a tooth or all their teeth can benefit from dental implants. In the past, full or partial dentures were the only solution. However, over time, missing teeth will cause bone loss in the surrounding facial structure, which often causes dentures to slide and irritate the gums. People whose dentures are painful will often discontinue wearing them, which may cause social and quality of life issues. Implants are permanently anchored into the jawbone and can make you feel as though you have your original teeth back. Implants are surgically inserted and need time to properly adhere to the underlying bone before the overlaying crown can be placed. The entire procedure will likely take several office visits, and you won’t be able to bite down with full force for a few months.
With all these modern cosmetic dental techniques available, there’s never been a better time to brighten your smile, fix imperfections or get a brand new set of teeth. We at Artistic Smiles Dentistry want to help you make a great first and lasting impression. Call us today to discuss the options we have to offer.