Cosmetic Dental Treatments
Tooth whitening involves the use of a whitening system (often activated by a special light). The agents used include carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide in different concentrations.
Before tooth whitening is done, the dentist will make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. A protective orabase cream layer (or vitamin E) is then applied to the gums and the teeth isolated. The teeth are then cleaned polished.
The whitening agent is then applied to the teeth and activated for about thirty to forty-five minutes. This can be repeated once or twice until the desired shade is achieved.
It is common for the gums to feel sore and appear white after tooth whitening but this should not worry you. It always resolves within 2-3 days after the procedure. If you have any concerns ask the dentist to do a review.
Note that tooth whitening will not remove internal stains present in the tooth for example the rusty stains caused by excessive fluoride.
Tooth whitening will not be effective on artificial composite restorations.
You also need to understand that it is sometimes only possible to achieve whitening to a few shades lighter.
Avoid smoking and foods with heavy staining properties like wine within two weeks after the procedure.
Contrary to what many people may think, tooth whitening has no proven long term adverse effects on your teeth.
Ask the dentist about home tooth whitening kits.
Veneers are thin artificial covers cemented to the front part of the teeth to improve the appearance of the teeth. (They work the same way like artificial finger nails or white tiles put on a wall.
The dentist will do a preparation to remove a thin layer of the tooth enamel. A record (impression) of the teeth is made and the veneers made. These will then be permanently cemented onto the teeth to improve their appearance.
It is not uncommon to experience mild sensitivity after veneers have been placed. This is usually a temporary occurrence. If it persists ask the dentist for a review.
Other cosmetic treatments include full coverage single tooth crowns.