For some people, whitening their teeth is a good start but they may be looking for other ways to further improve their smile. Thankfully, with the advances in dental technology, there are now many ways to improve or correct a person’s smile. Whether it is by using the new white filling materials to reshape teeth to totally rebuilding a person’s smile with porcelain veneers and crowns, the sky is the limit in terms of smile design options.
Some of these options are outlined below:
Veneers are thin coatings that can be placed onto the front of the teeth to reshape them or alter their colour. They can be placed directly onto the tooth using tooth coloured filling material or constructed in porcelain and cemented or glued onto the front of the tooth. They are used generally when the tooth does not have any existing fillings and it is only the shape or colour that needs enhancing.
- Tooth coloured filling veneers (also called composite resin) can achieve a good cosmetic result and are generally less expensive. However, due to the more porous nature of the material, the cosmetic lifespan of these restorations is normally only 2-4 years. Stain producing drinks such as tea, coffee or red wine tend to leach into the material at these time frames resulting in the need to replace the veneers.
- Porcelain veneers, whilst more expensive, offer greater strength and are more stain resistant than the composite resin. They also offer a better long term cosmetic result in most cases. The process of making these veneers is quite complex. Firstly the dentist does some fine preparations to the tooth and makes a custom mould. This is then sent to a ceramist who constructs the veneers in a laboratory. A second appointment is then needed to cement/glue the veneers to the tooth.
- Crowns are used in smile reconstruction when the teeth involved have large existing fillings. They are custom made in porcelain are like thimbles that fit over the tooth.
- They not only improve the shape and appearance of the tooth but also increase the strength and durability of the tooth.
- Implants are used in smile design and construction when a person has a gap in their smile where they have previously lost a tooth.
- People usually look to implants if they are unhappy with or sick of their existing partial denture. Dentures are difficult to incorporate into an ideal smile design and some people just want to have something that they don’t need to adjust their smile to hide.
Our dentists can examine your mouth and discuss all of your options with you.If you have any concerns about how you smile, call us today for a consultation.