The simplest decision to make is whether to have a white or a silver filling. In healthcare, there has been a lot of debate around the use of mercury-based fillings in adults and children. Silver mercury-based fillings, also known as Amalgam fillings, have been used for many years in dentistry.
Here at the Lupus Street Dental Practice we like to give our patients the choice of having metal fillings or plastic white fillings, which are cosmetically more pleasing. White fillings (composite fillings) stick to tooth tissue, whereas mercury-based fillings do not and therefore simply fill the cavity created.
In some cases it is possible to drill less tooth tissue away from the tooth when placing a white filling. This is better for the tooth in the long term.
White fillings have a variety of uses, for example:
If you want to brighten and make your smile more attractive, then tooth whitening or ‘bleaching’ may be the answer. Your lifestyle and normal ageing can stain your teeth and make them look darker.
Tooth whitening is one of the easiest ways to recapture a dazzling white smile and boost your confidence.
Whitening uses a special gel called “carbamide peroxide” which gently lifts the colour of your tooth, without damaging the tooth in any way or removing any natural tooth tissue.
At the Lupus Street Dental Practice, we carry out home whitening, as we feel this will give you excellent, long-lasting results and allow you to control what tooth shade you wish to achieve. It also helps to limit any temporary tooth sensitivity which may result from all forms of tooth whitening.
How do you carry out tooth whitening?
To carry out whitening, we take moulds of your teeth and make custom trays which match your mouth. We then suggest you wear them overnight, or alternatively for several hours during the day.
It takes a majority of people around 2-3 weeks to achieve a shade they are happy and confident with. This will then give you a long lasting, brightened smile which you will be proud of.
Can anyone have tooth whitening carried out?
Your dentist will assess your suitability for tooth whitening during your one-to-one consultation. If you have gum disease or other dental health problems, you may not be suitable. The tooth whitening process does not change the colour of crowns, veneers or fillings so it is important to understand that you may need to change these to match the colour of your whitened teeth.
What are the side effects?
The most common side effect from tooth whitening is sensitivity, which may occur whilst you are carrying out whitening. This is a temporary effect and should not occur after the whitening treatment is complete. Sensitivity can often be overcome by the use of a toothpaste designed to treat sensitivity, or by having the occasional night off from the whitening treatment.
Veneers can be made out of porcelain or composite.
Porcelain dental veneers can quickly and easily transform your smile.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that fit over the front surface of your natural teeth. They are ‘cemented’ to the front surface of teeth to improve their cosmetic appearance. Many dentists use the analogy that dental veneers are for your teeth what false fingernails are for your hands.
We can use these to improve the shape, colour and position of teeth in as little as 2 visits. They may be ideal if your teeth are:
They are custom-made and once bonded to your teeth, will not change colour over time.
The term “smile design” or “smile makeover” is sometimes used when a number of teeth are improved, in harmony with your other facial features, to create the perfect smile for you.
Porcelain dental veneers have long been used to create the ultimate smile makeover. With this treatment, it is possible to transform crooked, discoloured or chipped teeth into a warm, pleasing smile you will be proud to show off.
What is better – Composite or Porcelain?
The most popular type of veneers are made of porcelain, which offers a stronger and more durable alternative to its composite counterpart. Composite veneers are also more prone to staining and do not last as long as porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers also offer a more natural looking, translucent appearance. Composite veneers cost much less than porcelain veneers in general, but because they do not last as long they need replacing more often. Composite work is ideal for small chips, as this treatment preserves more of your natural tooth structure.
This can be discussed in detail with your Dentist, and advice will be tailored to you and your mouth, to help you make the right decision for you.
Dental crowns are restorations that protect damaged, cracked or broken down teeth. A crown strengthens your existing, damaged tooth so as to preserve it. Dental crowns are also commonly known as ‘caps’ (because a crown sits over your existing tooth, covering the entire outer surface).
What materials can crowns be made from?
In modern-day dentistry there are a wide variety of dental materials to choose from. Some crowns are made almost entirely from precious metals such as gold, whereas others consist of a metal alloy core covered by a porcelain outer shell (porcelain bonded crowns).
Metal-free crowns such as all-porcelain or all-ceramic crowns are the best choice for a natural cosmetic look in the front of the mouth, as they have no metal in them. A porcelain bonded crown or gold crown is more commonly used on back teeth as they are stronger than metal-free crowns.
How long do crowns last?
This will depend largely on how well you look after your teeth. Dental crowns require the same level of care and attention as your natural teeth. Provided you have a good oral hygiene program, attend regular checkups at your dentist, don’t grind your teeth and maintain a tooth-kind diet, a high-quality dental crown can last at least 10 years.