Many people suffer from tooth discoloration. Whether the result of genetics, poor eating habits or negligent oral care, dental stains and tooth discolouration can cause much embarrassment to a person. If you are not smiling as often as you would like due to having stained teeth, you would probably be looking at stain removal methods available in the marketplace such as laser teeth whitening at the dentist or buying some over-the-counter (OTC) whitening product. There is another method that many people are either not aware of or tend to overlook, that is porcelain veneers.
The dental veneering technique is a modern treatment option that allows the cosmetic dentist to cover up any dental flaws that you may have – including stained teeth. Porcelain veneers are essentially thin layers of porcelain laminates that are bonded to the teeth to fix any aesthetic imperfections. As a cosmetic treatment, porcelain veneers are ideal for many dental problems. They can be used to cover up teeth that are: Cracked or broken; misaligned; unevenly spaced; crowded; and of course, discoloured.
Although dental veneers present a permanent cure for stained teeth, patients need to be aware that the process is irreversible. Your teeth should also be in good condition as any underlying dental problems need to be fixed before dental veneers are placed. As the name suggests, the laminates only serve an external or covering purpose. They do not enhance the health or function of your teeth, safe for providing an additional protective layer over your existing teeth.
The veneering procedure, although considered simple and straightforward, still involves having to remove a thin layer of your existing teeth to make room for the veneers to properly adhere to your teeth. This way, the veneers only add beauty but not extra bulk to the appearance of your teeth.
If you do not wish to find a permanent solution to your discolouration or prefer a minimally invasive procedure that does not involve removing any existing tooth structure – no matter how minimal as in the case with dental veneers – then you may prefer to go for teeth whitening. For a speedy and effective teeth-whitening process, the better choice would be professional grade tooth whitening, as opposed to OTC or DIY methods. The dentist-administered laser teeth whitening treatment involves a painless procedure that takes no more than a single dental appointment – usually lasts around one hour or so.
The procedure basically involves the application of a whitening gel on your teeth using a special tray (like a mouthguard) and then using a high intensity light to help speed up the bleaching process. The bleaching gel can penetrate deep enough to remove the dental stains that have been accumulated through years of eating stain-causing foods, smoking or drinking alcohol and coffee.
Although the results can be visibly dramatic, this method does require follow up treatments. Depending on your food choices and oral care maintenance, the whitening results tend to fade between 6 months to a year, as more stains accumulate over time. Compared to dental veneers, professional teeth whitening is still the cheaper option, bearing in mind recurring treatments are necessary to maintain the brightness of your smile.
Before you invest in either treatment options, it is a good idea to first consult your cosmetic dentist, who will be in a better position to recommend what is most ideal in regards to your specific needs and budget.
To find out more about our cosmetic dental treatments, including teeth whitening and porcelain veneers to remove dental stains, speak to one of our highly trained cosmetic dentists at Quality Dental in North Sydney. Call Quality Dental Sydney at (02) 9922 1159 or visit www.qualitydental.com.au