14122 West McDowell Road Suite 200
Goodyear, AZ 85395
Burros, David G D.D.S.
1011 N Craycroft Rd # 107
Tucson, AZ, 85711-7310
North Scottsdale Endodontics
8765 E Bell Rd # 213
Scottsdale, AZ, 85260-1321
Endodontics, Allen D.D.S.
6520 N 7th Ave # 7
Phoenix, AZ, 85013-1158
Dewsnup, Nathan C D.D.S.
1658 Oaklawn Dr # B
Prescott, AZ, 86305-1110
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Is the reflection you see not quite what you used to see? Do you say to yourself, "I don't feel any older, but I see an older person." Getting older is an inevitable process, but you don't have to look older, too.
When it comes to looking younger, there are all sorts of products and procedures available so you can look your best (such as anti-wrinkle gels, cosmetics, skin treatments, facelifts and day spas). One of the procedures that is the least emphasized, but can have a profound yet subtle effect, is an improved smile from a dental makeover.
It's typical that most adults don't realize that their smile is not as bright as it used to be. Coffee, tea, red wine, smoking, and the normal, and sometimes heavy, wearing away of tooth enamel have cumulative effects on the teeth. As we age, our smile begins to look a little discolored.
Old dentures can become yellow or gray, which will make your smile appear older. In fact, dentures will naturally pick up stains and wear down faster than our natural teeth. If you have had the same dentures for more than six years, they require a dental makeover. New dentures should be made every six to ten years and relined every three to five years.
The fastest and easiest way an esthetically minded person can get a dental makeover is through bleaching or tooth whitening. It can be achieved either through an at-home or in-office process. Now, there are over-the-counter products that will whiten your teeth; however, for safe and predictable changes with dramatic results, there is no substitute for the dental office.
Bleaching is usually the first step to achieving a more youthful appearance to your smile. Not only can you brighten your smile through bleaching, but the physical appearance of your teeth can also be improved. Applying composite bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns to your teeth is the ultimate in dental makeover and cosmetic dentistry enhancements.
When these options were presented to one patient, she couldn't envision the immediate change the procedures would have on her smile. In front of a mirror, I showed her the gradual changes that had occurred over time due to the wearing and staining of their tooth enamel. The patient decided to have her teeth whitened and her front teeth artistically rejuvenated with porcelain veneers. When the patient went to work after the procedure was complete, her coworkers noticed a difference, but couldn't exactly identify the change in her overall appearance. They thought that she did something different to her hair or was losing weight. No one guessed that subtle improvements had been made to her teeth.
It's never too late to care more about your smile and make immediate improvements with a dental makeover. A small change today can enhance your smile for years to come.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS
If you require a dental crown to be placed, it is a good idea to talk to your cosmetic dentist about how you feel about the color of your existing teeth before beginning the process. If you like the color of your teeth, your cosmetic dentist will then find a color that matches the crowns.
On the other hand, teeth bleaching may be an option for you. If you feel you would like to whiten or lighten your teeth, it is a good idea to communicate this to your cosmetic dentist beforehand. Once the final restorations are made, it will not be possible to change their color without redoing them.
If you desire whiter teeth before the cosmetic crowns are placed, the best way to achieve this is to talk to your cosmetic dentist about at-home teeth bleaching. With this procedure, custom-fitted plastic trays will be made for your teeth and you will be given some small tubes of teeth bleaching material.
Your cosmetic dentist will show you how to place a small amount of teeth bleaching material in the tray and then place the tray in your mouth. If any excess material squirts out of the tray onto your gums, you will want to remove it with your finger or a toothbrush.
The tray is then worn for one to two hours in the evening, depending on the type of teeth bleaching material. The biggest advantage of this method of teeth bleaching as compared with procedures that are done in your cosmetic dentist's office is that you are the one that can control how white you want your teeth to be.
Since you are the one in control, you can stop the teeth bleaching whenever you feel you have achieved the desired color. The typical teeth bleaching time is one and one-half to two weeks, but it may be longer.
You may experience that your teeth become sensitive to cold air or liquids during the teeth bleaching process. This is normal and will subside and finally go away when you stop the teeth bleaching.
There are a couple of things you can do to decrease this sensitivity if it arises during the teeth bleaching process. One is to only bleach every other night. By taking a break after each night of teeth bleaching, your teeth will not be as sensitive.
The other is to have your cosmetic dentist prescribe you a fluoride gel that you can place in your custom teeth bleaching trays every other evening. The fluoride acts to decrease the sensitivity by coating or sealing the tooth surface and it will not affect the color of your teeth. This is the most reliable way to decrease sensitivity while you bleach.
Once you get your teeth to the desired color , your cosmetic dentist will have you wait about three to four weeks before taking a color match of your teeth in order to make the final restoration. During this time, the color of your teeth is stabilizing.
Teeth bleaching is very predictable, but the results will not last forever. Since the restorations were placed when your teeth were at their whitest, you will most likely find that in one and one-half to two years, the restorations may begin to appear lighter than your natural teeth.
This result is to be expected. It is not caused by a change in color of the restorations, but rather by your own teeth getting darker. At this point, all that is required is to, once again, bleach your natural teeth until the color is evened out. Usually, this only requires teeth bleaching a couple of times.
After the color is evened out, you can then expect to have the color stability last for another one and one-half to two years. On the other hand, if no restorations were placed by your cosmetic dentist after your teeth bleaching, you will most likely not notice the teeth changing color because there is no reference to help judge this change.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD