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How Can I Whiten My Smile?

While dentists are mainly focused on helping you to maintain and improve your oral health, many also offer cosmetic treatments.[1]

If your teeth are stained or discoloured, your dentist can discuss options to help whiten their appearance. These treatments may involve applying a bleaching agent to your teeth or altering their shape with natural-looking restorations.[1]

Whichever whitening option you choose, it’s important to have a full consultation with your dentist so they can explain the possible risks and side-effects. Some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments are:

Tooth whitening

Teeth bleaching treatments may be performed at a dental clinic or using a take-home kit under guidance from your dentist. If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, your dentist can provide custom trays moulded to fit over your teeth. These can lead to more even results and prevent the whitening gel from coming into contact with your gums.[2]

Whitening treatments can be effective for covering up certain types of discolouration, such as stains from food, drink and tobacco and darkening caused by natural ageing. Your dentist will try to diagnose the reason for your tooth discolouration to determine if teeth bleaching is suitable for you.[1]

Teeth may feel more sensitive for a short time after a whitening treatment. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that anyone considering teeth whitening has a consultation with their dentist first and avoids over-the-counter products or home remedies. These may cause irreversible damage to teeth and gums, as well as being less effective.[1]

Veneers

An alternative to teeth bleaching treatments is dental veneers. These are thin coverings fitted over the front of the teeth to modify their appearance. As well as creating a whiter smile, veneers can also cover up small gaps, minor damage or slightly crooked teeth.[1]

Veneers may be made from porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers appear more like natural tooth enamel, are more resistant to stains and usually last longer. However, they also cost more than composite veneers and require more preparation of the underlying teeth.[3]

Before a veneer can be placed, a small layer of the tooth needs to be removed. This can sometimes cause teeth to become more sensitive and means you may not be suitable for the treatment if your teeth are too thin. If your teeth are more severely damaged, crooked or crowded, your dentist may suggest other treatments.[3]

Fillings and crowns

If any of your teeth are decayed, have cavities or other damage, dentists may be able to restore their original appearance and strength with natural-looking restorations. White fillings and crowns can be colour-matched to your natural tooth shade.[1]

If you have existing metal amalgam fillings that are visible when you smile, you can ask your dentist about replacing these with white fillings for a more natural look. There is a small risk of nerve injury and damage to teeth when replacing fillings.[2]

Find out more about teeth whitening in Geraldton

We offer a range of cosmetic dental treatments at Chapman Road Dental Clinic. Our Geraldton dentists can give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

For more information or to book an appointment, call us today on (08) 9964 3577.

 

References
[1] Australian Dental Association (ADA). Whitening, Crowns and Veneers [Online] 2017 [Accessed August 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Younger-Adults-18-30/Teeth-Whitening,-Crowns-and-Veneers
[2] Better Health Channel. Cosmetic dentistry [Online] 2018 [Accessed August 2018] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/cosmetic-dentistry
[3] Canadian Dental Association. Bonding & Veneers [Online] 2009 [Accessed August 2018] Available from: http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/procedures/bonding_veneers/

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.