Porcelain and composite veneers are effective aesthetic “cover-ups” for damaged or stained teeth. Although some veneers are designed to be removable, most are permanent and are bonded very tightly to the tooth they are protecting. The advancements in technology have improved bonding agents to the point where it is quite common for veneers to stay active for twenty years or more.
The main advantages of porcelain veneers are that they are extremely natural looking and are resistant to future staining. In fact, porcelain veneers are custom-made in a dental laboratory to look exactly like the patient’s teeth. Additionally, there is no tooth reduction needed in the manner of composite resin, which takes up considerably more bulk and volume once applied.
Composite veneers are much faster and more efficient than porcelain veneers. They can be set and fixed within one visit (porcelain veneers require a minimum of two visits) and cost significantly less money. In fact, the composite resin used will expand and contract with natural fluctuations in tooth size, which, combined with the additional volume the resin takes up, makes it the perfect choice for repairing fractured teeth.
Teeth bleaching products brighten teeth that have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco use, age or injury. There are a variety of in-office and take-home teeth whitening products to reduce or eliminate such stains. In-office bleaching, also called chairside bleaching, takes place over a series of one-hour appointments at your dentist’s office. First, your teeth will be examined and cleaned to make sure there are no cavities, loose fillings, gum problems or other issues that may be exacerbated by the bleaching process. You and your dentist will make a custom-fit mouthtray for your teeth. Then the bleaching gel, a hydrogen peroxide solution, is applied to your teeth in the tray, sometimes after another gel or rubber shield is fit over the gums to protect them. An ultraviolet light may be shone on the teeth to facilitate the process.
Advantages of in-office teeth whitening over take-home whitening include:
- Professional supervision.
- Safe and simple.
- No sensitivity.