What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
One of the greatest advantages offered by modern dentistry is the ability to solve cosmetic dental problems. Cosmetic dentistry is far-reaching, and can be as simple as whitening and tooth-coloured fillings or as complex as a full-mouth reconstructions.
Teeth whitening is achieved using peroxide substances to break down ‘chromagens’ in teeth which give them their colour. It is perfectly safe and found over many years to be a permanent change. The 2 methods of whitening are in-chair whitening, such as the ZOOM! system used at Apple Dental, or take-home whitening, whereby custom trays are made and used at home with weaker concentrations of peroxide.
Tooth Coloured fillings
Until the 1980s, the only options for filling teeth were mercury amalgam and gold. Amalgam has been proven to cause cracks in teeth, resulting in further tooth decay or fracturing, which can sometimes lead to loss of the tooth. We now use materials such as composite resins and porcelain to restore teeth. Composites are fine in the short to medium term, and porcelain materials remain the better long term choice. Both are tooth coloured. Currently, according to numerous studies, the longest lasting filling material is porcelain milled and bonded in the same visit, using CAD/CAM processes such as the CEREC system that we use at Apple Dental. CEREC is the world leader in CAD/CAM dentistry.
Bonding is a term used to describe the use of composite materials on front teeth to correct misaligned, discoloured, chipped, and gaps in teeth. Bonding is usually very conservative, inexpensive and effective for up to 10 years or so. Bonding can either take the form of extensions to teeth or veneers made from composites.
Porcelain veneers and crowns
Often, instead of bonding, patients choose porcelain veneers and crowns to achieve a more beautiful appearance with the added benefit of increased life span, although at a higher cost. Porcelain veneers and crowns are routinely made using CEREC in one dental appointment. Crowns cover the entire tooth from the gum up, as opposed to veneers which cover the front faces of teeth. The choice between crowns and veneers depends upon what is required in each case. Crowns are often used on top of implants or as components of bridges, to replace missing teeth.