There’s nothing that can beat a healthy smile and we’re certainly here to help with the health of your teeth and mouth through the preventative care we provide our patients. Through modern dentistry, there are a variety of ways to improve the appearance of your teeth. Regular dental care, including good oral hygiene and routine oral exams and cleanings, go a long way toward keeping teeth in tip-top shape.
You may want to opt for cosmetic dentistry if you have an imperfect smile with teeth that are chipped, oddly shaped or discolored. Cornerstone Dental offer several cosmetic dentistry options, including teeth whitening services and veneers.
Regular oral exams and cleanings can remove the majority of stains. The stains left behind by smoking or drinking wine, tea, or coffee are usually easily removed with a polish by your hygienist at a teeth cleaning or with polishing and whitening toothpaste.
Several environmental and lifestyle factors can influence the color of your teeth:
Aging: Over time, your dentin appears darker, while the enamel is thinner due to wear, grinding, or exposure to acidic foods and drinks. The discolored dentin then reflects through the enamel like a prism, making the tooth look yellow.
Besides aging, your teeth may turn yellow or grayish due to:
- Taking tetracycline, a powerful antibiotic, before age 10
- Falling on or hitting a tooth
- Being exposed to too much fluoride (also called fluorosis)
- A rare dental disorder called amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) which makes the teeth yellow or brown
Genetics, which determine the color of your teeth from birth
- Silver (amalgam/mercury) fillings
The good news is that most stains can be resolved through safe, effective teeth whitening procedures. Professional teeth whitening actually works by changing the color of the inside of the teeth (known as intrinsic whitening), or removing stains from the outside of the teeth (known as extrinsic whitening).
If you find your teeth are still yellow after a professional cleaning, you have intrinsic yellowing and no amount of stain-removing toothpaste can lighten the inner color of the tooth. You’ll need to whiten your teeth using a bleaching gel that is held up against the teeth during a professional tooth whitening procedure.
Most teeth whitening results last from 6 months up to 2 years. The length of time depends on how easily your teeth stain, as well as your diet and lifestyle. The more you’ve maintained regular dental appointments, brushed and flossed regularly, and avoided damage and discoloration, the whiter your teeth will appear after a teeth whitening service.
Some teeth-related things are beyond your control, and you may still be unsatisfied with the way your teeth look. Whether they are chipped, stained, irregularly shaped or have other cosmetic flaws, dental veneers may be the answer.
A dental veneer is a thin wafer of porcelain that is permanently bonded to a tooth to mask its color, shape, or positioning in the mouth.
The Pros and Cons of Veneers
The Pros of Porcelain Veneers:
Improved appearance and restored confidence: Porcelain veneers can help individuals with dental flaws such as teeth that are crooked, discolored, or have small gaps between them. Veneers dramatically change a person’s smile and, in the process, help improve self-confidence.
Durability: Veneers can make your teeth stronger and porcelain veneers are relatively long lasting giving you 15 – 20 years of wear. But if you don’t take care of them (brushing and flossing regularly), you’ll need to replace them sooner.
Realistic appearance: The optic properties of porcelain veneers has been one of the main reasons they’ve become so popular. Porcelain is a ceramic that has many similar properties to enamel. Because of this, porcelain veneers appear natural and realistic.
Stain-resistance: Porcelain is a ceramic and its surface is extremely smooth and impervious making it very resistant to permanent stains.
Color versatility: The color of porcelain veneers can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
Ease of shaping: Compared to crowns, porcelain veneers do not require extensive shaping prior to the procedure thin. Ultra thin veneers often need no shaping of the teeth.
The Cons of Porcelain Veneers:
Artificiality: Although they look realistic, porcelain veneers are artificial teeth, which may be a problem for those desiring a more natural solution to their dental problem.
Cost: Veneers, especially porcelain veneers, can be expensive depending on the number of teeth involved.
Fragility: Although porcelain veneers are relatively tough, they are not impervious to teeth grinding, eating hard foods, etc.
Permanence: The teeth sometimes have to be shaped so it’s generally not a reversible procedure.
Teeth sensitivity: If removal of enamel is needed during the veneer process, your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.
You may not be candidate: If you have unhealthy teeth (for example, those with decay or active periodontal disease), weakened teeth (as a result of decay, fracture, large dental fillings), have an inadequate amount of existing enamel on the tooth surface, or suffer from bruxism (teeth clenching).
Nothing conveys the good health of your family like a clean, white, healthy smile. As a full-service dental office, Cornerstone Dental Clinic of West Bend provides you with not only a range of general and cosmetic dental services but also a convenient location, comfortable & friendly service and in-network insurance. Please give us a call at (262) 334-4083 or request an appointment.