Teeth whitening and veneers are great ways to brighten up and restore your beautiful smile.
Whilst teeth whitening helps to temporarily restore your discoloured teeth, veneers are a more permanent solution. Veneers can not only can change the colour of your teeth, but also the shape, length, position and size of your teeth to the extent that you desire.
Both treatments can also be used as part of an overall dental treatment plan with crowns, implants or bridges, if required.
As you age, you may find that your teeth are gradually getting stained or discoloured. Factors such as plaque, coffee, tea, wine or tobacco can all stain or discolour your teeth.
Teeth whitening is a great starting point from which to restore your beautiful smile and boost your confidence.
As a starting point, we will make sure that your general oral health is good enough for teeth whitening. If you have gum disease, tooth decay, exposed root surfaces, receding gums, then these underlying problems should be treated first.
If your teeth are severely discoloured, are brown or grey, or have white or brown spots on the surface, then they may not respond well to whitening treatments. In such cases you may need more sessions for whitening treatments to be effective. You may also consider veneers to be a more suitable treatment option for you.
Whitening agents only work on natural teeth and do not whiten fillings, crowns or veneers. If used in these circumstances it may result in your teeth having uneven shades. Again, in such cases, veneers or crowns may be a better option for you to obtain the best outcome.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under the age of 18, whitening is also not recommended.
You can choose to undergo professional teeth whitening using ‘take home’ kits, or elect to have in chair whitening at the dentist. Other options include over-the-counter solutions (like whitening toothpastes); whitening strips and gels; rinses; and tray-based tooth whiteners.
Professional teeth whitening is the quickest way and, depending on how much whitening you require, you can sometimes achieve satisfactory results after just one treatment. Generally, however, the worse the staining or discolouration, the more treatments will be required.
Since in-chair whitening treatment tends to cause more post-treatment pain and sensitivity than take-home whitening treatment, at Dentist Mandy we only offer take-home teeth whitening treatments.
Take-home teeth whitening treatments usually require two appointments. In the first appointment, we will assess your suitability for teeth whitening. If you are suitable for teeth whitening, we will take impressions of your teeth so we can make customised mouth trays (a bit like a sports mouthguard) for your home use. When you return for the second appointment, you will be given the customised trays and a whitening kit, and we will teach you how to use it at home. Usually, the two appointments can be arranged on the same day and you can start your whitening as soon as possible!
After treatment, if you consume food and drinks that result in staining like coffee, tea, wine or if you continue smoking, the whiteness will gradually fade again and you will need another whitening treatment. Avoiding such foods or habits can prolong the results of your newly whitened teeth.
Regardless of the type of whitening treatment, you will usually experience tooth sensitivity and/or gum irritation from a few days to a few weeks. In some rare cases, pain may be experienced. Generally, the sensitivity or pain or irritation will subside over time. Please return to see us if you experience prolonged sensitivity after using our take-home whitening treatment.
Although teeth whitening usually does not cause irreversible nerve damage, it can occur in rare cases, thus subsequent root canal treatment can be required.
Veneers are thin layers of porcelain or composite materials bonded onto the front of your teeth to re-create the natural appearance of your teeth. Unlike teeth whitening, veneers not only change the colour of your teeth but also the shape, length, position and size of your teeth. Thus it is one of the best treatment options to deal with discolouration, spacing problems, slightly misaligned teeth, or fractured teeth all at once. Veneers can either improve the appearance of one damaged or misaligned tooth or be done on multiple teeth, creating a complete makeover of your smile. Veneers can give dramatic results with a perfect, bright and uniform smile.
First and foremost, you must have good oral health to have veneers.
There are many conditions that can interfere with the success of veneers and these would need to be fully treated before veneers can be applied. Conditions that can prevent good outcomes with veneers include gum disease, tooth decay and periodontitis.
Veneers are most suitable for mildly discoloured teeth. Heavily discoloured teeth require thicker veneers to cover them up, so more of your natural tooth structure has to be removed to allow the veneers to be fitted.
We often recommend that a course of teeth whitening be conducted first, as this will lighten any existing disclouration and make it easier to hide. In turn, this means that less natural tooth structure has to be removed. Veneers are also very effective at covering up chipped or fractured teeth, irregular, uneven, and asymmetric teeth or worn out teeth from grinding.
The best way to correct crooked teeth is to have braces. However, this may not always be practical for a variety of reasons. If your teeth are only slightly crowded or crooked, veneers may be used instead of orthodontics treatment (braces).
However, if you have teeth that are severely out of position, if you have a severe overbite or crossbite, orthodontics treatment at Dentist Mandy should be considered first. Once the position of your teeth has been corrected, veneers can correct the colour and shape of your teeth.
The fitting of veneers involves removing some of your tooth enamel. How much material needs to be removed depends upon the position of your teeth and the severity of the discolouration. As your tooth enamel is permanently removed, having veneers is irreversible and we are happy to discuss all the options with you before you decide to proceed. Veneers are, however, much less destructive than crowns, which require more of your natural teeth to be removed.
If your teeth are weakened from being restored with fillings, crowns may be a more suitable option to strengthen your teeth. If your teeth are so heavily restored that crowns may fail, other options like extraction and subsequently, partial dentures, bridges and implants can be considered.
At Dentist Mandy, we will consider the holistic state of your teeth and we create a treatment plan which might combine several treatment options to help you obtain the best outcome.
Porcelain veneers create a very natural appearance and can match the colour of your teeth more closely than composite veneers. Porcelain is also a lot more stain resistant than composite materials, are more easily kept clean and maintained and last longer than composite ones. That said, composite veneers are cheaper and require less tooth structure to be removed than porcelain veneers. For more information about composite veneer, you can visit here.
In order to deliver you the result that you expect, our dentists will need to understand your expectations right from the beginning. During our first consultation and examination, we will collect necessary xrays, pictures and models for us to plan our treatment. We then present our proposal to you and discuss whether we can meet your expectations.
Porcelain veneers require two or more appointments, while composite veneers can often be completed in just one visit.
Like all other restorations, veneers need to be replaced after a period of time. The frequency of replacement will depend on the level of wear and tear, your diet and lifestyle. As your gum line can change over time, veneers may also need to be replaced to be aesthetically desirable.
The colour and shape of your porcelain veneers cannot be changed once they have been bonded on thus we always emphasis good communication to ensure that you are really happy with your veneers before permanently bonding them on.
If you wish to re-do your veneers, or if they break (for example, due to teeth grinding habits) and need to be replaced, more destruction to your natural teeth may occur as more natural tooth material may need to be removed in order to fit a replacement veneer.
As with any restoration, tooth decay can still occur, as the natural tooth edges around the veneers are still susceptible to tooth decay. Tooth decay can lead to the veneers falling off if your natural teeth are not properly maintained.
Once veneers are fitted, you can eat, chew and brush your teeth normally with only a little recovery time. That said, you should always bear in mind that any restored tooth is not as strong as your natural teeth. Veneers can still chip and fracture, and if you have grinding habits, so be sure to wear a night splint (similar to a plate or mouthguard). Similarly, avoid hard foods and contact sports as much as possible to reduce the risk of your veneers chipping.
You may experience some temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages as some enamel has been removed from your teeth. Your gum margins may also be slightly sore from the polishing. However, these problems should subside within a few days.
Most importantly, be sure to maintain good daily oral hygiene and attend regular dental check ups to ensure the longevity of your veneers.
At Dentist Mandy, we are here to understand your individual needs and advise you on your best treatment plan. We are committed to ensuring that you achieve the most aesthetically desirable outcome and maintain your optimal long-term oral health. Contact us today to discuss if veneers or teeth whitening are right for you.