Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

Best Teeth Whitening Solution: In-Office Dentist Bleaching

If you’ve been considering teeth whitening then you probably are aware of how many countless options are available out there. But if you want the absolute best results then you’ve probably narrowed down your choices to either an in-office dentist whitening, take home bleaching trays or whitening strips. These probably work better and quicker than any other whitening products out there. These methods directly apply a high concentration of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to your teeth surfaces to help whiten them.

In-office dentist whitening – This is the type of whitening you can only receive at the dentist. There will probably be an exam and cleaning before you start the whitening. Your dentist will isolate your teeth and gums and places a barrier to protect your gums. The whitening gels dentists use are very strong and this needs to be done to protect your gums if any seepage occurs. After this workup the whitening gel will be applied to your teeth surfaces to begin the process. Treatment usually takes an hour or so. Most in-office whitening treatments also include a light source which acts as an accelerant to expedite the process and give you even better results.

Bleaching trays – These are custom trays that are made by your dentist to fit your teeth. You place the whitening gel in the trays and position them on to your teeth. The whitening gel comes in contact with teeth and starts to whiten them gradually.

Whitening strips – These work pretty much the same as custom trays do but the difference is you can buy these over-the-counter. They use strips that you directly apply to your teeth without the need for a custom tray. The gel within the strips is applied to your teeth and starts to whiten them. In terms of results, these are pretty comparable to custom trays and will be discussed together herein.

Pros of in-office whitening

1. Only a dentist can use the strongest whitening gel solutions. At home whitening products including bleaching trays and whitening strips can only use a concentration of up to 16 percent carbamide peroxide (or its equivalent in hydrogen peroxide). Dentists are allowed to use concentrations as high as 40 percent carbamide peroxide which is basically two to three times stronger. Highly concentrated whitening gel can damage your teeth and gums and should only be used by an experienced professional. Now keep in mind that double the concentration doesn’t mean you will get your teeth twice as white, it just means that you should probably expect better and quicker results.

helpful hint – The whitening brand which your dentist uses is the most important factor in getting good results, not the concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. If your dentist is using a reputable brand then expect to pay a few hundred bucks for the whitening treatment. If you see a bargain advertisement for an in-office whitening then chances are they either aren’t using a reliable whitening product or they are planning on giving you take home trays instead of an in-office procedure.

2. Fastest results and even faster when an accelerant is used. Since dentists use a high concentration of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide so you get better and faster results. And if your dentist uses a light source as an accelerant it will work even faster and better. These light source which are an LED, halogen or plasma arc light are used to help break down the whitening gel into its ingredients and will speed up the activation of the whitening gel for even speedier and better results.

3. The whitening will be applied within a controlled environment. The fact that you have a professional administering the whitening can be beneficial for many reasons.

  • Your dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening. Certain teeth shades and stains don’ t do as well with the stronger whitening procedures.
  • They can examine your teeth for any fillings or crowns which may interfere with the results
  • They can remove any plaque, tartar or stains from your teeth surfaces to allow the gel to better come into contact with your teeth
  • They can cover any sensitive areas with a barrier so prevent the gel from affecting it and causing sensitivity
  • They can apply the whitening gel carefully and evenly to give you uniform results
  • They can monitor the procedure and stop it if you start becoming too sensitive
  • They can apply fluoride and desensitizing agents if required before or after treatment or even make you a custom fluoride gel tray to treat the worse cases of tooth sensitivity
 NEXT >> Best Teeth Whitening Solution: Bleaching Trays or Whitening Strips

Best Teeth Whitening Solution: How To Decide

Benefits of Veneers over Crowns

Should I get veneers or crowns?

You’ve been wanting a smile makeover and finally decided to go for some cosmetic dental treatment. Your goal is to make your smile look perfectly white and straight. Your dentist recommends to place a couple of porcelain veneers on your front teeth. You’ve heard of veneers before but aren’t quite sure of what they are and what they do. So what exactly are these porcelain veneers that are so popular with cosmetic dentists? And why should you go with veneers over crowns anyways?

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelains veneers are thin cosmetic crowns which sit on top of teeth to correct any imperfections that exist. Veneers are typically made from porcelain, although composite and other ceramic material are also used. They are very thin, about the size of a thick contact lens. Veneers are typically placed on top of front teeth which are the ones that show most.

Placing porcelain veneers on your teeth will change the shape and color of your teeth. They correct any stains, cracks or damaged teeth up front.  By placing veneers, you can make your teeth white and perfectly shaped. In fact, you can get your teeth permanently whitened by placing veneers on them since veneers don’t change color. If your front teeth are slightly crooked, placing veneers can also straighten them out.

if you know anything about dentistry then you may realize that these veneers sounds awfully similar to crowns. So why choose a veneer over a crown? Why not just get regular porcelain crowns instead of veneers?

Differences between veneers and crowns

The basic difference between a veneer and crown is that veneers require less tooth removal than crowns do. Essentially, think of a veneer as a much more conservative crown. To prepare a veneer you dentist shaves away less tooth structure and leaves more of your own tooth intact as compared to a crown.

  • Most crowns fully encompass your entire tooth (the portion above gum line). Preparing a crown requires substantial removal of original tooth structure. On average, your dentist shaves down about 50% of original tooth structure (above gum line) to prepare a crown.
  • Veneers only cover the front portion and tip of your teeth, leaving the inside portion of your tooth intact. To prepare your tooth for a veneer your dentist needs to only remove around 30% of the tooth structure.

As you can see, preparing teeth for veneers requires significantly less tooth removal than crowns do. With a veneer you get to keep more of your own tooth structure.

What are the advantages of veneers over crowns?

The main difference between veneers and crowns is in how much tooth structure is removed. Veneers require about 1/3 less tooth structure removal as compared to crowns. While this may not seem like a big deal, it does have a huge impact over time. Here are some of the advantages of veneers over crowns:

Veneers have less complications

Because veneers are more conservative, they have less long-term risks and complications as compared to crowns.

Lesser chance of ending up with a root canal

There is a lesser likelihood of nerve damage with veneers over crowns. Veneers leave the inside portion of your teeth intact whereas crowns don’t. It turns out that your front teeth have their teeth located closet to this inside surface. As a result, there is a far lower risk of ending up with a root canal when receiving veneers as compared to crowns. Patients who receive multiple traditional crowns on their front teeth are much more likely to end up with nerve damage and subsequent root canal treatment.

Less chance of losing the tooth in the future

Your tooth is less likely to fracture down the line with veneers since you preserve more tooth structure. If a veneers does fall or break off, typically a new veneer fixes the problem. But when a crown breaks often times you are in big trouble. Most likely you require either a root canal or risk losing the tooth altogether. If your crowned tooth breaks badly, you will have to remove the whole tooth and place a dental implant in its place.

Veneers are a more conservative and better option for fixing healthy teeth

If your only plan is to improve your looks then veneers should be the treatment of choice. When you have relatively healthy teeth placing veneers is the better route to go. Veneers preserves more of your own tooth structure and has a better long-term outcome. Placing veneers over crowns means less chance of nerve damage, tooth fracture and other painful complications.

NEXT >> What are the advantages of crowns over veneers?

10 Questions to help you decide between placing veneers or crowns

Teeth Whitening Solutions: In-Office Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening dilemma: Going to your dentist vs. Doing it yourself

If you want whiter teeth, then you have two options: Paying your dentist a visit or doing it yourself using over-the-counter whitening products. Going to the dentist means either a chair-side in-office teeth whitening or picking up custom bleaching trays to use at home.

On the other hand, there are countless over-the-counter whitening solutions available these days. From whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, whitening strips, paint-on bleaching gels, do-it-yourself home remedies and the list goes on and on. They each promise to give you whiter teeth and to an extent they are all somewhat effective.

So is it worth investing so much more in a professionally administered whitening by your dentist? Or should you start off with over-the-counter whitening products first to see what comes of it?

Pros of in-office dentist whitening

Dentists generally offer one or two different whitening treatments:

  • The first is a chair-side in-office dentist whitening treatment. This method applies highly concentrated bleaching gel directly to your teeth for about 30 minutes to an hour. Usually a light source or laser is also used to activate and accelerate the bleaching process. This is the overall most effective and efficient whitening solution available.
  • The other treatment your dentist may offer is custom bleaching trays. These trays are made from teeth moldings to precisely fit your teeth surfaces. However, keep in mind that you can’t use as strong of a whitening gel with custom trays if you were to use them at home. Nevertheless custom whitening trays can be very effective as they deliver bleaching gel directly and accurately to all your teeth surfaces.
In-office dentist whitening gives you the quickest results

If you want super-fast results then going to the dentist is your best option. Over-the-counter bleaching products typically take several weeks to months before yielding serious improvements. Keep in mind that over-the-counter bleaching products rarely get your teeth as white as those commercials you may have seen.

Going to the dentist can produce instantaneous results in just one or two visits of around an hour or so each. So if you have a big wedding to attend to this weekend or some other big event coming up soon, then you might want to consider seeing your dentist for an in-office teeth whitening for fastest results.

Going to the dentist likely gives you the best whitening results

Concentration of whitening products that your dentist is allowed to use is significantly higher than anything else available over-the-counter. Professional grade whitening gels are very strong and contain a high concentration of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Reckless use can cause damage to your gums or result in tooth sensitivity. Which is why these stronger bleaching treatments can only be administered by a professional.

Using very high concentrations of bleaching gels should also mean that you will get the best whitening results in most cases. Just make sure that your dentist is using a reliable whitening product and you should see significant improvements in just one to two bleaching sessions. Here is a list of some of the more reliable and effective in-office teeth whitening products currently available:

  • Zoom
  • Britesmile
  • Lumibrite
  • LaserSmile
  • Ivory
  • NUPRO
  • Sapphire
  • Opalesence
Dentists administer teeth whitening within a controlled setting

A major benefit of in-office teeth whitening is that it allows for an examination of your teeth beforehand. This could eliminate any unexpected surprises or unrealistic expectations. Your dentist will perform a thorough checkup to make sure there are no issues that’s going to interfere with your bleaching treatment for best results:

  • Your dentist will identify sensitive areas such as exposed roots that shouldn’t come into contact with whitening gel. They will cover these areas with a blocking agent during bleaching treatment.
  • They will remove any plaque or tartar that covers your teeth beforehand. This prevents surface stains from interfering with the whitening procedure.
  • Your dentist will point out any fillings or crowns you have which may interfere with treatment. Dental restorations don’t change color with bleaching treatment so they might interfere with the whitening process. These issues need to be addressed before starting treatment.
  • Finally, your dentist can determine if you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening and present you with realistic options. This way your expectations will be in line with reality and you won’t be disappointed if your teeth don’t become blindingly white!

Additionally, your dentist can also provide you with instructions on what to do, what to avoid, and how to best maintain whitening results over time. They can also make you customized bleaching trays for you to take home and continue maintaining the results by yourself. Finally, if you end up developing severe teeth sensitivity, your dentist can apply fluoride or even fabricate fluoride gel trays so you can administer fluoride to help eliminate teeth sensitivity quicker.

NEXT >> Pros of using over-the-counter teeth whitening products

Deciding on going to the dentist for teeth whitening