I want to whiten my teeth. Their color is the light shade of yellow and I don’t like it. What can I do? I am 29 years old. – Name Withheld Upon Request
Sometimes, it makes me sad that many people are so concerned with whiter, lighter complexion and go to great lengths in investing in whitening agents that sometimes even harm their skin, but they are not as concerned with the color of their teeth.
Good thing that, more and more today, there is increasing interest in whiter and brighter teeth, which definitely looks better and more youthful. Of course, we need to understand that a better looking smile translates to more self-confidence because a sparkling smile effortlessly makes a good impression.
There are various ways to achieve whiter teeth. First, there is bleaching, which is not only fast and easy, it is also safe and doesn’t cost that much. But then, not everybody can choose tooth bleaching. This is recommended only to those whose teeth are good in terms of shape and alignment – and, definitely, no fillings that are visible when you smile.
It is possible that you are a good candidate for tooth bleaching because teeth that are generally yellow in color bleach better and faster than those that are generally gray. Of course, almost all teeth can be improved by tooth bleaching.
Now, if you have crowns or fillings that show when you smile, what your dentist would do is bleach your teeth first and, after whitening the natural teeth, replace the fillings or crowns that do not match.
I do not intend to make this as simple as I may have made it sound because there are other things to consider. Like, with bleaching teeth, you cannot pick the exact color you will get. Also, you cannot really make the colors of all your teeth match each other. There are some core complicated cases that do not really get the desired expectations from tooth bleaching. Also, with teeth bleaching, the teeth can darken again over a few years. This may be caused by smoking or drinking coffee, tea and red wines. Of course, bleaching touch ups can be done as often as you want without damaging the teeth.
Another option is having porcelain veneers. The dentist shaves just a millimeter off your teeth and places a thin shell or veneer of porcelain on your tooth. As a result, you can get the shade you want and the colors will be uniform and will not darken over time.
Also, we have what are called porcelain crowns. The process necessarily involves more reduction of tooth structure than veneers. This is recommended when there is severe decay or extensive fillings or damage to the teeth that need treatment.
With porcelain crowns, you can asctually choose the hue of your teeth, and this is uniform and long lasting. The dentist can create subtle color effects and variations in surface finish that make the teeth look as white as you want and still look natural.
It is also possible to combine porcelain veneers and crowns depending on what is needed, and you cannot tell which is which. Of course, I’d like to advise you to drop by any of our Dental Focus branches and let us see into the condition of your teeth.