Tooth whitening/ tooth bleaching
Tooth whitening is performed with the aim of altering the color or one or more teeth to a brighter tone. The primary substances used for this procedure are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Tooth bleaching can be performed in 3 different methods:
- In-office bleaching. This treatment utilises a higher-concentration bleaching agent, which is activated by light or heat. The whole process is performed in the dental office and supervised by the dentist. The results can vary, although most of the times this approach produces very good results. Additional visits may be needed at a later stage.
- Dentist-supervised night-guard bleaching, or at-home bleaching. This treatment option utilises lower-concentration bleaching agents, which are put into a personalised mouth guard, worn for 3-8 hours every night for 2 weeks. The whole process is guided by the dentist, who checks the progress during recalls. This is the most common tooth whitening method.
- Over-The-Counter (OTC) products. These include whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, self applied mouth trays etc. The safety and effectiveness of these methods are questionable, because they utilise low concentrations of whitening agents and their ingredients are not always controlled by the Health Regulations.
Veneers are used to restore or alter the appearance in shape and color of the front side of the tooth (the one that is directly visible when we smile). This treatment option is used usually on the front teeth (usually the 6 or 8 front teeth of both jaws). The main difference between a veneer and a crown is that a veneer requires only the front side of the tooth to be prepared with a drill. There are two types of veneers: the Direct and the Indirect ones.
- The direct veneers are built up on the tooth by the dentist, using direct composite. This method is less invasive and faster, since it can be done in a single appointment (this depends on the number of teeth restored). However, direct composite veneers become discolored faster and need regular polishing.
- The indirect method involves the fabrication of the veneer by the dental technician (laboratory process). The materials used are different types of dental porcelain. These restorations are much more durable, but are more expensive and require a number of appointments.
Esthetic Gingival Plastic Surgery
Esthetics gingival plastic surgery is designed to restore the form and function of the gum tissue. The long term goal of esthetic gingival plastic surgery is to increase the life expectancy of the teeth and their usefulness. Esthetics gingival surgery removes tissue that has been transformed from periodontal disease and reconstructs the gums and the surrounding tissues to better support the teeth and recreate a normal appearance. It is also implemented in cases of “gummy” smile, when the is too much gingiva visible during smiling.
Zirconia crowns and bridges
Zirconia crowns or bridges are different from the classic metal-and-porcelain crowns and bridges in that they offer far more superior esthetic appearance and durability. They are semi-transluscent and imitate the natural color of the tooth very well. Another advantage of zirconia crowns is that even if the gums recede after some years, there won’t be any visual problem, since they don’t have a metal underbody, a major problem in the older PFM crowns.