Having discolored teeth can make you want to hide your smile instead of showing it off. You should have a smile that boosts your confidence, not work against it. Dr. Sahil Goyal of Columbia Family Dentist, a provider of cosmetic dentistry in Columbia, MD, discusses how you can get a whiter smile.
Professional Teeth Whitening
This is what most people think of when they think of taking care of their discolored teeth. Professional teeth whitening is better than what you can get at the drug store. Over the counter teeth whitening products are often one size fits all. They can lead to an uneven whitening treatment and can cause gum sensitivity if the bleaching agent comes into contact with the soft tissue.
At our office, we offer both in-office and take-home whitening systems. In the office, a dentist carefully applies the whitening gel to your teeth. A light is used to activate the bleaching agents in the gel. You can get a smile up to eight shades whiter when you utilize in-office treatment. It’s ideal to quickly get a whiter smile for an event or something that’s coming up.
For take-home teeth whitening, we’ll take impressions of your teeth to make custom whitening trays. The bleaching gel is placed into the trays. Since they’re fitted, you get even results and the bleaching agents stay away from your gums. It’s a more gradual whitening. You’ll wear the trays for a few hours each day or overnight. Your dentist can help you determine how many weeks to wear the trays for your ideal result.
Not all forms of discoloration can be treated with traditional methods. If you have a discolored tooth because it’s “dead” or you have stains caused by medication, teeth whitening may not work. Porcelain veneers offer a solid alternative. They’re made of thin shells of high-quality dental ceramic that go over the front and sides of the tooth. Veneers are designed to be durable and stain-resistant, lasting for years to come.
To get porcelain veneers, some of the tooth structure will be removed from the front of your teeth. Impressions will be taken of the teeth that are getting veneers so that they can be custom-made. Once they’re completed, a dentist will fit them on your teeth and make sure that they’re comfortable and look the way you want them to. When you’re satisfied, the veneers will be permanently bonded to the front of your teeth.
If you’re looking for a more economical option or aren’t ready to commit to permanent restoration, dental bonding may be the choice for you. The bonding material is a composite resin that’s color-matched to the rest of your smile.
Like with porcelain veneers, some tooth structure will be removed for the resin to adhere better. It can be shaped and molded on the tooth, so you can also treat cosmetic chips during this. Once you’re satisfied, the material will be cured and hardened. It’s polished so that it matches the sheen of your natural teeth.
Cosmetic Dentistry in Columbia, Maryland
Are you ready to get a whiter smile? Call us or schedule an appointment online.