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Surely every dentist can do cosmetic dentistry? Surely every football player could be a quarterback too, couldn 鈥檛 they? Yes, they could, but would they do it well? Cosmetic dentistry requires more training than is given in typical undergraduate dental school. Part of the cosmetic dentistry approach is to be preventive and looking ahead to deal with any problems while they are small and easy. A cosmetic dentist does not just stuff a filling in one tooth and consider his work done. Should the filling be of porcelain or dental composite? Is the tooth close to needing a crown? If it is, a porcelain onlay might be the best option and most general dentists do not offer porcelain onlays. Cosmetic dentistry also requires knowledge of how to work with dental ceramics 鈥?how to choose the right shade of white for your particular smile and how best to collaborate with the dental laboratories that have technicians trained in porcelain work. Most cosmetic dentists can tell stories of people who come to them for correction of 鈥渃 osmetic 鈥?work done by general dentists. Why have your cosmetic dentistry done twice? Does the porcelain veneers procedure hurt? No. Porcelain veneers are not placed on any problem teeth, only on healthy teeth that could simply look better with veneers. There is no drilling and no anesthetic shots are needed. Each tooth 鈥檚 nerve is deep inside the tooth and veneers are placed on the tooth surface, so the nerve is not affected. For most porcelain veneers, a little tooth enamel is gently removed to make space for the veneers, so they line up evenly with the natural teeth. There are some veneers that require no enamel to be removed because they are so very thin that the difference in total tooth thickness after they are applied is tiny. Examples are DURAthin 庐 veneers and Lumineers 庐. Not every cosmetic dentist offers these, feeling that they are too thin for good durability. But they are popular because of being 鈥渘 o-prep 鈥?veneers. Could I get my teeth 鈥淩 egis Philbin white 鈥? Yes, probably. Teeth whitening results depend on the whitening method you use, the depth of discoloration, and the strength of the whitening gel. Some tooth stains are deeper than others. The stains that formed while your teeth were developing in childhood are difficult to remove, but there is a Deep Bleaching 鈩?procedure that can do it. It can whiten your teeth by as much as 16 shades. Typical in-office teeth whitening systems like Zoom2 鈩?can whiten your teeth by six or eight shades and that makes a dramatic difference in your smile. There are also effective take-home kits. One secret of successful at-home teeth whitening is having trays that fit your teeth snugly. If the trays are loose or ill-fitting, whitening gel can leak out and be swallowed. Saliva can also get in and dilute the gel, reducing its power. This is the main downside of store-bought teeth whitening kits. But if you have your cosmetic dentist make custom trays for you and provide you with an at-home kit with the gel strength you want, your results can be excellent. How long does it take to really whiten your teeth? Perhaps you have been trying with store-bought kits, whitening toothpaste, or the paint-on whiteners? They are not typically very effective. What is sold as 鈥渨 hitening 鈥?toothpaste will actually yellow your teeth over time because its abrasive ingredients gradually scrape enamel off, allowing the yellow dentin layer to show through. Avoid them and look for one that does not claim to whiten your teeth. For best results, call your cosmetic dentist. An in-office treatment takes about 90 minutes counting patient instructions, preparation, and follow-up before you leave the office. Whitening systems like Zoom2 鈩?include a take-home kit for later touch-ups and your dentist will show you how to use it properly. Deep Bleaching 鈩?combines in-office and at-home work to give you very dramatic results after a little over two weeks. This is the way to go if your teeth have deeper stains than average. If you would prefer to whiten your own teeth, ask your cosmetic dentist for a take-home kit with custom trays. By fitting your teeth well, the trays will hold the whitening agent against your teeth effectively and in a week or two, depending on how discolored your teeth are to begin with, you will have a bright beautiful smile. If you are in Colorado and would like to visit a fully-trained cosmetic dentist with a competent and friendly team, please visit Dr. Scott Greenhalgh 鈥檚 website and send him an email for a personal consultation.
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