Are you completely satisfied with your smile? Few people are gifted with a perfect smile, and almost everyone has something that they would like to see improved. If your teeth are chipped, misaligned or discolored, chances are you do not feel completely comfortable smiling, and that is very unfortunate because a smile is the way you greet people – it is how you make that all-important first impression.
Fortunately, there are cosmetic treatments available that can improve almost any smile, and we offer a wide range at King Street Dental Centre, Waterloo. Sometimes, all you need is a whitening treatment. Serious issues may require crowns or dental implants. There is also a full range of treatments that fall somewhere in between.
Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
- Teeth Whitening
- Porcelain Veneers
- Composite (White) Fillings
- Full or Partial Tooth Bonding
- Invisalign/ Clear Braces
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Cosmetic Dentistry - Treatment Details
Teeth Whitening is a process where the tooth discolouration is ‘whitened’ to a lighter shade. It removes the staining agent through chemical means. It is a safe procedure when carried out under professional supervision. Treatment results usually depend on the severity of the discoloration. Both vital (i.e. live) and non-vital teeth (e.g. tooth with root removed) can be bleached and may take several visits to complete. It is not effective on dental restorations such as amalgam fillings, metal or porcelain crowns, etc.
Teeth can discolor for various reasons. The dentist will recommend the ideal method based on your oral condition after an in-office examination to establish the cause and nature of your tooth discolouration, as well as provide you with more information on the various types of whitening procedures available, duration & frequency of treatment.
Veneers cover the visible face of your teeth with a thin layer of porcelain ceramic or composite resin that is designed to change the color, texture, shape and in some cases, the alignment of your teeth. Veneers are typically used when your teeth are otherwise in great condition but you’re unhappy with the way they “look”.
As a precursor to veneers, we recommend you try teeth whitening first. Veneers are used in the “smile zone” i.e. on the teeth that are visible when you smile, whereas whitening will brighten all of your teeth. In addition, you achieve a better result with veneers when your natural teeth are as light as possible.
A porcelain veneer is a semi-transparent tooth shaped “shell” that is custom-made to fit over the face of each of your teeth, either in a dental laboratory or using our CEREC system. Veneers are permanently bonded to your natural teeth.
Porcelain veneers are typically completed in two appointments. During the first appointment, your teeth are cleaned and prepared and an “impression” is taken that is used to make a model of your teeth. This is used by the dental laboratory to make your veneers. At the second appointment, your veneers are set in place.
Most people have fillings of one sort or another but today, because we are much more conscious of our smile, we can choose a natural looking alternative – the composite or tooth-coloured filling.
A composite resin is a tooth-coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) first introduced in the 1960s. Originally only used for front teeth because of their softer nature, modern improvements to their composition make them generically suitable today.
The main advantage of composite fillings is their aesthetic appeal. White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings but there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of your composite filling can depend on the depth of cavity and its position in the mouth; your dentist is best positioned to advise you.
Chipped or broken teeth could need crowns, depending on the extent of the damage. Crowns are expensive though, and unless the goal is also to restore function, perhaps not the best course of action. As long as no more than a third of your tooth is missing, dental bonding could be a less costly alternative.
Bonding is a restorative treatment as well, so it will not just restore the appearance of your tooth, it will also give back functionality. It is a relatively quick and easy procedure, simply involving roughing up your tooth and then using an acid etch to clear away any dirt while also opening up tiny holes that cause the bonding compound to adhere. The bonding material, which is colored to match your tooth, is then shaped, cured with a special light, and polished. Bonding can be used to correct slight imperfections like gapping in addition to restoring a damaged tooth.
Invisalign braces are an innovative type of brace that is clear, comfortable and convenient. They are also known as ‘invisible’ braces. This minimalist brace is produced from a transparent material which means that it is virtually undetectable to the naked eye. An Invisalign brace is comprised of a set of custom made aligners which are designed to your requirements. This set is changed every two weeks to facilitate the movement of your teeth.