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Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry services. Everyone wants a bright, white smile. It increases your confidence, and enhances your appearance. Whitening may not be the best choice for all tooth discoloration. If your teeth are yellowish, you’ll get an excellent result. Brownish discoloration will get good results, but may not get completely white without follow-up and at-home treatments. Grayish discoloration that can result from antibiotics or previous root canals will generally not get much of a result, but may respond with diligent bleaching and at-home treatment. If this is the case you may consider Lumineers or traditional porcelain veneers.
If you’ve had bonding or tooth-colored fillings in your front teeth, whitening treatments will not change the color of these materials and they may stand out and become noticeable as the surrounding natural tooth enamel whitens, again making Lumineers or traditional veneers a better choice from a cosmetic standpoint.
There are many over the counter products available to whiten teeth. You may have tried some these with varied results. There are whitening toothpaste, mouth trays with whitening gel and whitening strips. Use caution with whitening toothpastes as some are highly abrasive and can cause harm to tooth enamel. Peroxide based gels and strips are generally safe if used as directed. However they can cause tooth sensitivity which will generally reverse once the product is discontinued.
The difference between at home treatments and in office treatment is we can provide a great result in one visit which may take you several weeks to achieve with the at home treatments. Tooth sensitivity can occur even with in-office treatments but is generally reversible.
All whitening treatments will relapse with time. How long the whitening last without re-treatment depends on life style. Red wine, coffee, tea and tobacco are products that stain the teeth most. However everything you consume will over time stain teeth including tap water which often contains dissolved minerals. You may therefore wish to do some maintenance on your own after an in-office treatment via white strips or trays with gel. You may repeat the in-office treatment as the need arises.
If you have heavy staining or discoloration, excessive spacing between teeth, or teeth that are awkwardly shaped, porcelain veneers can give you the smile you’ve always wished you had! Veneers aren’t generally recommended for healthy teeth that can achieve similar results with more frequent cleanings and whitening treatments. But if you have significant issues, veneers can be a long-lasting and durable option allowing you to chew normally and have great cosmetic improvement. This generally requires 2-3 visits, one for the initial consultation to discuss and evaluate your needs, one to prepare the teeth and take impressions and a final visit to place and bond the veneers onto your teeth.
Lumineers is a brand of very thin veneer that’s made from a special kind of porcelain called Cerinate. They are much thinner than a traditional porcelain veneer, and have the translucent appearance of normal tooth enamel. If your teeth are very crooked, they probably aren’t the best choice. But for most people, Lumineers are an excellent choice since they are quite simple to place, give amazing results, and don’t require much if any preparation or grinding of the actual tooth surface. They’re quite durable, and simpler to remove and replace if they do get cracked or discolored.
Lumineers vs. Porcelain Veneers
The difference between Lumineers and traditional veneers is the Lumineers are very thin yet strong. Because of this they can be placed on the front of teeth with very little grinding of the existing tooth. However this does add a certain thickness to the tooth and if the teeth are already protruding then it may not be the best choice. Traditional veneers require tooth modification to allow for the thickness of the porcelain. They work well when the teeth are protrusive. We offer both options. Which is the right choice for you? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Jamharian to find out!
Snap On Smile™
It is quick, easy and cost-effective. You can have a Hollywood smile in as little as two visits. As the name implies it is a “snap-on” appliance over existing teeth to cover stains, chips, gaps or missing teeth. It can be used as a transitional appliance while undergoing an extensive smile makeover or a permanent solution. It is easy to care for and available for upper and lower teeth. For many people, Snap-On Smile™ can be life changing. It gives back the confidence to smile. Thousands of people worldwide have already experienced its unique benefits. Please see our “Before and After” photos to see how a Snap On Smile™ can benefit you!