Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ's:


Back To FAQ's

What is cosmetic dentistry?
Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years. Nowadays, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry’, as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth. Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, tooth-coloured fillings, implants and tooth whitening.

What is a veneer?
Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.

Why choose veneers over fixed crowns?
Veneer requires minimal tooth preparation which conserves tooth structure.

What are the different types of veneers?
There are porcelain veneers or composite veneers.

Why are composite veneers less used?
because of its change of color (darkens by time) and because of its non smooth surface which causes stains to stick and causes gum problem.

In which cases are veneers indicated?
1) Extreem discoloration (not treated by bleaching)
2) Tooth fractures
3) Spacing between teeth and mid-line diastimas
4) Tooth wear
5) Surface defects

How are veneers made?
A small amount of enamel is removed from the tooth, usually the same thickness as the veneer will be. An impression is taken by the dentist and sent to a dental technician for the veneer to be made in the laboratory. The veneer is then bonded to the tooth to form a strong and natural-looking repair. Sometimes a natural colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain. Composite veneers can be completed in one visit and involve bonding tooth-coloured filling material to the front of the tooth. Although these veneers are slightly more prone to staining and have a shorter life, they are easily replaced

Can I have white fillings?
For over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called ‘amalgam’. This is still one of the strongest and longest-lasting materials available for fillings. However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks. 
White fillings are now becoming a popular alternative to amalgam fillings. The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling. Sometimes white filling material can be used to cover unsightly marks on the teeth, in a similar way to veneers. 

My tooth is badly broken - what can I do?
When a tooth is badly broken or heavily filled, the dentist may need to crown or ‘cap’ it to restore its appearance and strength.

Can implants be used to replace missing teeth?
Implants are an alternative to dentures or bridgework, but they are more expensive. Implants are titanium rods, which are surgically placed into the jawbone and act as anchors for fastening dentures or crowns onto.

Can I lighten the colour of my teeth?
Tooth whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces.

What does tooth whitening involve?
Professional bleaching is the most common form of tooth whitening. Your dentist will apply the whitening product to your teeth, using a specially made tray which fits into your mouth like a gum-shield. 
The active ingredient in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter. 
Once your dentist has started this treatment you will need to continue it at home. 

What other tooth whitening procedures are there?
There is now laser whitening or power whitening. During this treatment a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The light speeds up the chemical reaction of the whitening product and the colour change can be achieved more quickly. Laser whitening can make teeth up to five or six shades lighter. This procedure usually takes about one hour.

Are there any alternatives to orthodontics?
Invisalign appliance & Cosmetic contouring can be used to improve the appearance of teeth.

What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is the invisible new way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign® uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.

Does Invisalign® really work?
Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth. 

How does Invisalign® work?
Invisalign® uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made "Aligners" are produced. Each "Aligner" moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved. 

What is tooth jewellery?
Tooth jewellery involves sticking small accessories onto the teeth. They should be fitted by a dentist, who can easily remove them if necessary. It is important to keep the area around the jewel clean as plaque can easily build-up around it and you will be more likely to get tooth decay.


Back To FAQ's