Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and we have had a lot of patients ask what they can do to improve their smiles for their big night with their significant other. We have thought of a few ways that we help our patients quickly, but effectively improve their smile:
Boost In-Office Whitening
The first, and favorite method of our patients, is the Boost In-Office Whitening by Opalescence. It is a similar process to the Zoom! By Philips, but there are no invasive ultraviolet lights to activate the whitening gel. Far fewer of our patients complain about sensitivity after the Boost process than they did after the Zoom! process. The In-Office Whitening procedure takes about an hour and a half start to finish, and while we have seen results vary, a high percentage of our patients have seen a marked improvement. This process is the fastest that we have tried over the years to whiten teeth.
Take Home Whitening Trays
Another form of teeth whitening would be to have custom trays fabricated here in the office, and then take them home for home use. This is preferred by patients that like to control their own exposure to the whitening gel, as some post application sensitivity can occur. This is also a quick process in our office. It involves taking impressions of your upper and lower teeth to start the fabrication process. The time to take impressions varies a little patient to patient, but usually it is done within a 10 minute period. What happens next is that our assistants take the actual mold of your mouth and fabricate custom trays that you would use to administer the bleaching gel at home. This is usually a lot less costly of a procedure, but It usually takes a little longer to get to the desired shade.
Bonding is basically another word for a filling. Most bonding is performed on anterior, or front teeth. It is usually done to fix small chips or fractures in teeth, and in the end looks just like a natural tooth. This is a cheaper alternative to veneers or crowns, but cannot always be performed. If too much tooth structure has been compromised, then bonding is not an option, as it doesn’t protect the tooth too well from future chips or fractures.
Sometimes referred to as caps, crowns come in many different shapes and styles. The standard crown is made up of a metal base with porcelain stacked on top of the metal to make it look like a natural tooth. Some crowns are made from a gold alloy, with no porcelain on top of it. These are used in extreme cases where a person’s bite is so small that there is no room for the porcelain, or their bite is so strong that the dentist is fearful that the patient will crack the porcelain with their biting force.
In recent years, technology has advanced so much that some dentists can fabricate the crown in the office while you wait. A CEREC trained doctor (which Dr. Core has been for years) can take a digital image of the tooth, and send it to the CEREC milling unit, which acts like a 3D printing milling the crown out of a porcelain block. This technology has come a long way in recent years, and most times Dr. Core can get you in and out of the office with a permanent crown in about an hour and a half.
The downside of having a crown done, is that in most cases the dentist has to remove a lot of tooth structure to have enough room for the crown to fit onto the rest of the tooth.
Veneers are the piece de resistance when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. They can be used to fill in gaps, change the shape of teeth, and change the shade of teeth more permanently than whitening can do. Also, to place a veneer, less tooth structure needs to be removed than when placing a crown, so it is usually the best case scenario.
The only real downside to having veneers done is the cost. They are the most costly procedure on this list, and because they are strictly cosmetic, most insurance companies will not cover any of their cost.
All of the procedures listed above are performed here at our office by Dr. Louis Core, and if you would like to learn more about any of them, one of our team members would be happy to help explain the processes to you, just give us a call anytime!