Teeth can lose their natural whiteness for a number of reasons including diet, ageing, certain medications, smoking and trauma, but a noticeably brighter smile can be achieved with teeth whitening – a safe, chemical process that eliminates discolouration.
Teeth whitening will only work on natural teeth and will not be effective on restorations such as crowns, veneers or dentures. However, these can be replaced to match newly whitened teeth.
At St. Oswald’s we recommend tray whitening, a time proven treatment that offers a simple, safe way to brighten your smile. This highly effective procedure requires very thin fitted trays to be constructed that are unique to the patient. The patient then applies whitening gel to the inside of the trays which are then worn at convenient times. The effect will be noticeable after only a few days. In the initial stages, the dentist has to periodically monitor the results.
When the patient has achieved an optimal result this can be maintained by further single applications every few weeks.
But before we start we assess each patient to try and work out what is causing the discolouration and give an indication of how long the treatment could take. Occasionally we may advise against teeth whitening.
Veneers are when we add to the front surface of a tooth, allowing us to change their shape and colour. Changing the shape of teeth also provides an opportunity to make it appear as though the teeth have moved if we want to, for example closing gaps between teeth or straightening mildly rotated teeth without the need for braces. In short, they are a very powerful way to improve your smile quickly.
Veneers can be made from a variety of materials, each with pros and cons. There is no “best material” as it varies person to person. If you want to know more about how veneers can help just ask your dentist.
Sadly nothing in dentistry lasts forever. Fillings can chip, stain and generally show signs that they are heavily used every day. Depending on where the filling is, this may affect your confidence in your smile. Swapping metal amalgam fillings for white ones, or just upgrading old white fillings is something our patient regularly ask about. If you wish to know more all you have to do is ask your dentist.