The Multiple Ways to Achieve a Whiter Smile
White teeth are universally accepted as an attractive feature in a smile. It is important for people to feel comfortable expressing their emotions, and not resort to hiding their smile because of yellowing or discolored teeth. Dr. Marc Lazare specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry and can address discoloration of the teeth through a number of different treatment options.
A cosmetic dentist may provide bleaching treatments at their practice, or provide high-quality products for patients to use at home. Generally, the regimen consists of two trays that are fitted to the patient’s top and bottom teeth and a whitening gel that is spread inside them.
This ensures a more targeted and uniform whitening. Depending on patient tolerance, the treatment can be performed over shorter or longer time frames as some bleaching products lead to mild sensitivity.
The Zoom teeth whitening system is an in-office treatment that can leave the teeth up to 8 shades lighter. Generally performed following a routine dental cleaning, special devices (dams) are placed in the mouth to expose the teeth.
A gel is carefully applied to the exposed surfaces of the teeth, and a light source is directed at them. This accelerates the bleaching process and patients can achieve maximum impact through a single Zoom teeth whitening session.
Tooth-colored material that is used to fill in cavities or to complete other camouflaged dental corrections can also be used to address tooth discoloration. Some teeth may display permanent stains that result from trauma to the tooth, certain medications, and even issues with water fluoridation.
Your cosmetic dentist can buff out the imperfections and replace the discolored part of the tooth with composite bonding to correct these small cosmetic defects, leading to a whiter smile.
Veneers and Laminates
Dental veneers and laminates are thin shells of tooth-colored material that are fit over the exposed surface of the teeth to permanently alter their appearance. The material can address permanently discolored teeth that are difficult or impossible to whiten otherwise.
Some patients’ teeth display transparency from worn enamel, which exposes the yellow- or gray-colored dentin below. Others may find that having veneers or laminates placed is the easiest solution to addressing the color of the teeth as they can also reshape, realign, and treat other structural and cosmetic defects of the smile.
There are many cases where a dental crown may be necessary to improve a patient’s oral health. The laboratory-crafted structure looks and functions like a normal tooth, and is fitted over the existing structure, which must first be abraded to accommodate the new artificial tooth.
Generally, patients don’t receive crowns to whiten their teeth, but because the crown can be custom created, the new tooth may be made to appear whiter than the natural tooth, which may have been damaged and discolored in the process.
Some teeth that require a root canal treatment become discolored, and don’t improve in appearance following the minor dental surgery that is necessary to save the tooth. Because the staining occurs within the structure, internal bleaching is the only way to lighten the tooth once the nerve has been damaged and removed.
While root canal treatment is not performed for cosmetic purposes, the secondary bleaching process can be completed during the treatment. Generally, the bleach remains in the tooth for a few days and is then removed by the dentist so a permanent filling can be placed.
NYC Cosmetic Dentist
Dr. Lazare specializes in both general and cosmetic dentistry so patients can visit a single location for all of their dental needs. Through his own experiences in the dentist’s chair and the wealth of knowledge he acquired through dental school, Dr. Lazare feels passionate about delivering great care to his patients.
Please visit his site if you’re looking for teeth whitening services in the NYC area