Teeth whitening can be a great way to have a bit of a mini smile makeover, and it needn’t cost a fortune. There are a multitude of excellent home teeth whitening kits that can be purchased relatively cheaply, so you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. This might be enough to brighten up your smile, but it could be worth talking to your dentist about combining teeth whitening with other treatments for a greater effect.
You do need to see your dentist prior to teeth whitening, even if you intend to use a home whitening kit. The reason for this is that your teeth and gums must be healthy before you apply any bleach to your teeth as otherwise you could experience unwanted sensitivity.
Renewing Old Fillings with Cosmetic White Fillings
More people are choosing to have their teeth filled with cosmetically pleasing white fillings. In the past these tended to be used to fill front teeth, while larger areas of decay in the back teeth were often treated using amalgam fillings. There has been a lot of controversy over amalgam due to its mercury content, and while they are still a very cost-effective way of restoring teeth, they don’t look very pretty as they can create dark areas in the mouth. Modern white fillings are now strong enough to replace amalgam fillings.
If you have older style amalgam fillings that are reaching the end of their natural life then you might want to consider replacing them with white, composite resin fillings. These fillings can also be better for your teeth, as amalgam expands and contracts whenever it comes into contact with hot and cold foods and this constant movement can cause tiny fractures and cracks to develop in your teeth.
All filings have a limited life span, so if you already have white fillings at the front of your mouth then these may have become discoloured or stained over the years. Renewing them can really help to lift a newly whitened smile.
Re-contouring Teeth with Dental Bonding
Another technique that can help to perfect a smile is to use dental bonding. This is where your dentist will apply white filling material to the front surfaces of your teeth, and will contour and shape it to give a more pleasing appearance. This can be a great way to hide minor chips and cracks, or to reshape teeth to give a more even and attractive smile.
Your dentist may also choose to remove a small amount of your natural tooth material to reshape the tooth. This treatment can be great for helping to mask minor imperfections and is far cheaper than having your teeth veneered.
Dental bonding can also be used to hide to colour of teeth that may have darkened due to root canal therapy, or which may have stains that won’t respond very well to teeth whitening. Some stains are located inside the tooth. These include stains caused by fluorosis or by exposure to tetracycline.
These options won’t break the bank, but could make quite a difference to your smile. If possible, it would be better to whiten your teeth first before having fillings replaced as this will enable your dentist to accurately match the filling material to your newly whitened teeth.