Cosmetic Dentistry2018-10-22T08:25:09+10:00

COSMETIC DENTISTRY

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Our dentists are skilled practitioners in all areas of dentistry including cosmetic dentistry. This includes:

Teeth Whitening

This is the use of bleaching agents to whiten the colour of teeth. The normal colour of tooth enamel varies, with most teeth ranging from off-white to yellow. Teeth may be discoloured by various factors, including surface stains due to lifestyle (smoking, coffee, tea, red wine), age, poor hygiene, certain medicines, dental trauma, or excessive fluoride.

Your dentist is the ONLY person qualified to assess you correctly, and if applicable provide you with a bleaching treatment to ensure the best results for you. Tooth whitening is usually safe and effective but some people are not good candidates for bleaching.

The main side effect of tooth whitening is tooth sensitivity, and this can usually be managed if you follow your dentist’s instructions.

Other possible complications are:

  • sometimes blemishes will not improve and white patches in the teeth may become brighter than expected
  • filling materials will not whiten along with the teeth, so you may need them replaced
  • gums may become irritated if the bleach is in prolonged contact,
  • some over the counter preparations are very abrasive and can damage the teeth

We offer a couple of options for tooth whitening, and are very happy to answer any questions you might have, so please ask if you are interested.

Tooth Coloured Fillings

Modern dentistry now provides a hard wearing, cosmetic alternative to the traditional silver amalgam fillings. White coloured fillings are made from either composite resin or glass ionomer cement, and are basically a plastic material mixed with small glass particles which mimic the shade, translucency and texture of your teeth. They bond to the tooth, so less of your natural tooth needs to be removed in preparation, resulting in smaller, more conservative fillings.

Composite resin is the most common material used in tooth coloured fillings. It has excellent aesthetics with superb polishability and mimics tooth appearance very well.

Glass ionomer cement is a fluoride releasing material which bonds extremely well to the tooth. It is not as strong as composite resin and is not used on surfaces where there are high loads on the teeth.

We no longer place dental amalgam at Moore Street Dental.

Veneers

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to bond to, and cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can be made of either porcelain or composite resin.

Composite Resin / Direct Laminate Veneers

Direct laminate veneers are basically a thin layer of our usual composite resin restorative material placed over the front of the teeth, and then polished and contoured to recreate the natural colour and shape of your tooth.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-coloured porcelain shells carefully crafted to bond to the front of teeth.

Usually two to three visits are required where your dentist will prepare the teeth for veneers, usually by shaving a small amount of tooth away and then taking an impression. This impression is sent away to a dental ceramist, who manufactures the porcelain veneers to fit your teeth. You then return for cementation of the veneers, after the fit and colour are checked by your dentist.

Porcelain veneers are strong, natural looking and more conservative than crowns. They will not discolour like composite veneers, and are less likely to chip.

Our mouths are constantly changing, and no restoration lasts forever, so they may need replacement after several years, whether they are made of porcelain or composite resin.

Crowns & Bridges

A crown, which is sometimes called a ‘cap’ is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. In cosmetic dentistry, a crown is made of porcelain. Sometimes gold is used in circumstances where appearance is less important.

Crowns may be indicated if a tooth has become weakened or broken due to trauma, tooth decay, large fillings, cracks, root canal treatment, or excessive wear and tear. They can also be used for front teeth, where veneers are not sufficient.

A bridge replaces one or more missing teeth. It consists of crowning teeth adjacent to a gap and suspending an artificial tooth or teeth between them. The whole unit is then cemented in place.

Bridges are becoming less common these days, as the benchmark treatment for replacing a missing tooth is now a dental implant.

At least two visits are required for a crown (or bridge) to be placed.

  1. the tooth/teeth to be crowned are shaved down to allow space for the crown to be fitted. An impression is taken and sent to a laboratory for crown construction, and a temporary crown is made for you to wear in between appointments.
  2. the temporary crown is removed, the colour and fit of the new crown is checked, and cemented in place permanently

Crowns and bridges should last for many years, although there is never a lifetime guarantee in dentistry. As with natural teeth, longevity depends on good hygiene and maintenance. Although they are the strongest way to restore a tooth, they are can still fracture or suffer decay of the underlying tooth. If there is a clenching or grinding habit a guard may be strongly recommended by your dentist to be worn at night, to minimise the risk of this kind of damage.

Possible complications of crown and bridge treatment are:

  • tooth breakage during preparation
  • infection or inflammation of the pulp (nerve). Approximately 4-8% of crowned teeth have an issue with the pulp at some stage, and will require root canal therapy
  • failure/fracture of the crown or bridge – can happen in cases of grinding or trauma, or due to decay over a period of time

Inlays & Onlays

Inlays and onlays are used to rebuild teeth that have lost a large amount of their structure Unlike direct restorations (fillings), they are made in two stages, much like a crown. The tooth is prepared, an impression taken and sent to a dental laboratory for inlay/onlay construction. When the inlay/onlay is returned, it is cemented or bonded into the tooth.

The process is almost identical to crown construction, but is more conservative of your natural tooth. For an inlay or onlay to be successful, very strict size/shape/depth criteria need to be met.

Your dentist will carefully consider what is the best option when assessing your restorative needs.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are now the benchmark treatment for a missing tooth. A titanium implant is surgically paced into the jawbone where it forms a connection and acts as a new ‘root’ to which a crown can be connected. The implant forms a sold foundation in the mouth for the crown, which then looks and feels almost like a real tooth.

At Moore Street Dental we are happy to offer implants to all suitable patients. We refer to superb specialists for the surgical component of treatment, and once we know your implant has integrated with the surrounding bone, you return to us for your crown.

Usually the procedure takes 3-6months from extraction to crown placement, so if in an area that is visible, you may require a temporary tooth – usually on a denture or within a thin mouthguard.

Dental implants have many benefits:

  • they help prevent bone loss in the jaw
  • they provide a stable, great looking restoration
  • they prevent the formation of hollowed or collapsed cheeks that can occur following tooth extraction
  • they are usually surrounded by gum tissue just like natural teeth they are firmly secured in the jaw
  • they are far better tolerated than dentures (plates)
  • they allow patients to chew and speak properly, as well as increase comfort and self confidence.

As with any dental procedure, there can be complications. These include:

  • failure of integration, where the titanium and bone don’t blend properly
  • failure of the implant crown – internal screws can loosen and break
  • gum disease around the implant – this can happen in the same way it can happen to teeth

There are some patients who are not good candidates for implants, but for most people they are the restoration of choice when a tooth is missing.