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vCosmetic Dentistry FAQ
Q. Can existing porcelain crowns
or laminates be bleached?
A. No, porcelain does not change color when exposed to dental bleach.
Q: What are the effects of whitening
your teeth? Can it damage the teeth?
A: If by whitening you mean a dentist-administered
bleaching treatment, it is currently thought to present little risk except
for some short-term soreness of the gums and a transient increase in tooth
sensitivity to heat, cold, contact, and sweets. It is a relatively new
technology, and the long term cumulative effects, if any, are not known.
This may be significant, since bleaching may need to be repeated at indefinite
intervals to maintain the whitening.
Q: My husband has darkened teeth
from taking antibiotics as a child. Is there anything he could do to make
them look white again?
A: Intrinsic stain (that is, discoloration
of the tooth structure itself, rather than a surface stain) responds moderately
well to bleaching. The difficulty presented by staining that results from
tetracycline use is that it is not uniform, but usually presents as horizontal
light and dark bands. For such teeth, the banding effect will remain after
bleaching, albeit in a lighter color.
Q: I am having 5 new caps made on my upper row of teeth. They will be made to match the colour of the two natural teath that I have on that row. My dentist suggets that I have those two teeth bleached first, and then have the new caps to match the colour of my newly bleached teath. My concern is that the bleached teeth may change colour over time and then all those new caps will not match them any more. I have not heard much about bleaching, and I certainly do not know anyone who has had it done to ask them. What do you think?
A: It is true that once bleached, teeth will
eventually tend to relapse and darken. There's no reason why they can't
be repeatedly re-bleached, but this is something you may prefer not to
do. In any case, the bleaching causes only a modest amount of whitening,
and the disparity between your new caps and the bleached natural teeth
is not likely to be great even if the bleached teeth darken.
Do you think your natural teeth are too dark?
This is entirely a subjective judgement, and your opinion is just as valid
as the dentist's. If you like the color of your natural teeth, skip the
bleaching, and just have your dentist match the caps to them as they are.
This is the basis on which you should base your decision whether to bleach.
Q: Why do some people's teeth discolor a yellow to brownish color upon aging? There are no injuries to the teeth. I have been told that it is just a part of aging?
A: Often it is just a part of aging. The surface
enamel becomes worn and thin during a lifetime of chewing, allowing the
underlying dentin (which is a darker color) to shine through, or even
become exposed to the surface. The central pulp tissue becomes increasingly
calcified and the surrounding dentinal tissue becomes sclerotic, darkening
and opacifying the teeth. Recession of the gum exposes the root surfaces,
which are often darker than the crowns of the teeth.
Q: I am a 20 year old female. My
teeth are stained, their color is not yellow but grey. I think the stains
are called "intrinsic". When I was a child I always got a cold
or flu and had to use a lot of medication; I was injected mostly. I don't
know whether it is the reason, but my teeth were like this all the time.
What is strange is that sometimes there appear some white spots (not natural,
too white); sometimes the stain becomes less. I guess it is connected
with my behavoir, i.e. eating, smiling a lot. Would you please explain
to me what does this mean, and how can I make my teeth look brighter.
A: Intrinsic stain does not noticeably vary
over short intervals; any change is gradual and usually escapes notice.
If the stain you see is intrinsic, i.e. a staining of the tooth structure
itself rather than a surface deposit of stained material, any changes
you see are probably the result of some change in ambient lighting. You'd
be surprised how important quality and quantity of light is in evaluating
tooth color. It's an important consideration in dental practice, since
dentists must frequently evaluate color and other optical qualities when
matching restorative materials to natural teeth. Of course, what you are
seeing may be some combination of intrinsic and extrinsic stain, which
would further explain the variability in the appearance of your teeth.
Q. How long should bonding last?
A. Bonding lasts 3-5 years, depending on wear and tear.
Q. How long do porcelain laminates
A. In excess of 10 years, when properly maintained.
Q. Why do people choose porcelain
laminates over bonding?
A. Laminates look more realistic, do not stain, feel more natural, and are stronger.
Q. When do you need to see a periodontist?
A. When local gum inflammation cannot be controlled by a hygienist and residual pockets that cannot be maintained are left around the teeth.
Q. Can porcelain laminates or crowns
give me lip support?
A. Yes, if they are built out with bulk, provided it does not interfere with function and local biology.
Q. How do you get rid of spaces between teeth?
Q. Does it hurt to have teeth prepared for laminates?
A. No, it is a painless, two-visit procedure. Local anesthesia can be given to highly sensitive patients, but is usually not necessary.
Q. I have some old silver fillings which are beginning to look bad. What can be done to improve them.
A. Silver amalgam fillings, which are composed of 50% mercury and 50% silver alloy ,eventually need to be replaced. It may surprise you to know that the average life span of a silver filling is five to eight years. Your dentist can tell you when they appear to NEED to be replaced due to leakage, breakdown or recurrent decay.
If your concern is strictly COSMETIC, there are many new methods available to replace the fillings with beautiful, functional long lasting restorations.
There is currently a great deal of interest in new reinforced hybrid materials. These beautiful resin materials may be reinforced with fibers, similar to fiberglass, and used in very conservative inlays and bridges without having to grind away a whole healthy tooth.
Q. What are the advantages of laminates
versus orthodontic treatment?
A. Orthodontic treatment takes 18 months to 2 years while porcelain laminates correct crooked teeth in two visits.
Q. There are so many different toothbrushes on the market today. How do I know which one is the right one for me?
A. This is a good question, which we hear daily. The brand of the toothbrush is not nearly as critical as the type of bristle, the size and shape of the head and how frequently you replace your brush.
We recommend a soft bristled brush with a small head. The soft bristles are most important for the health of your gums. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums.Daily frequency of brushing and replacement with a new brush are much more important issues than the brand you choose.
We recommend replacing your brush at least once a month.
My employees and I all brush, on average, 5 times a day. We brush first thing in the morning, after each meal and at the end of the day .
If you are not able to do this because of your busy schedule, we recommend brushing twice a day at a bare minimum.
Q. I just recently went to a new dentist for a checkup and cleaning and asked him to check a cap that that was put on one of my front teeth by my former dentist. He informed me that I did not have a cap on any of my teeth. I know my last dentist fixed a broken front tooth and said he capped it. Who should I believe?
A. You have just experienced one of a number of common misunderstandings we see in dentistry today. Terminology used in dentistry is not 100% uniform throughout our profession. Both dentists were probably "correct".
The word "cap" as used in dentistry by different dentists can refer to a number of different things. A pulp cap refers to a calcium containing dressing placed under a deep filling to stimulate healing. A full crown, made by a dental laboratory which completely covers the outside of your tooth is frequently called a cap. A partly broken tooth may be built up by your dentist in the office with a bonded filling material. This is called a cap or "capping" by some dentists. This sounds like what you probably had done.
This is a "must visit" if you are going to India for any medical treatment.... Click here to read more
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