Nowadays, an extremely precise correction of teeth size, colour, and shape within the smile’s frame is possible through whitening, modelling, or restoration techniques using the latest generation composites or ceramic restorations.
Strictly speaking, we shouldn’t use the term “whitening” even though it is referred to as such because the colour of the teeth is not altered but lightened.
The colour of a tooth is determined from birth by the dentine shade and the tooth enamel’s transparency and light refraction capacity. The dentine colour does not change over time, but the enamel is stained due to staining substances such as tobacco, lipstick, coffee, tea, tomato, chemical pigments, cola drinks, some drugs, etc.
Consequently, dental whitening is the removal of all the particles that alter the original enamel colour by means of chemical substances.
The efficiency of the treatment is proportional to the amount of dental stains as teeth become discoloured over the years due to staining substances. The treatment may be less effective, even futile, in teeth discoloured by intrinsic disorders, such as the consumption of tetracyclines during childhood, congenital enamel dysfunctions, etc.
How long the whitening effect lasts really depends on the food the patient eats. Thus, for a smoker who regularly drinks wine or coffee the whitening effect will not last as long.
These are thin ceramic layers which are placed over the front surface of the teeth. They do not wear down over time; do not lose their brightness and their colour remains intact. They are firmly bonded onto the teeth using a special adhesive.
They are mainly used to cover discoloured teeth that cannot be treated by means of conventional whitening. They are also used to conceal alterations in teeth size or shape, giving the teeth a more natural aspect.
Latest generation resins mark a great advancement as their mechanical and aesthetic properties are being improved every day. They are made with the same material used to make dental fillings but have been optimised to achieve better aesthetics. They have the advantages of being cheaper, they keep the enamel intact, and they are placed in just one session.
Sometimes, when the patient suffers a severe impact on the mouth or bites into something tough, the veneer can break or come uncemented. If it comes uncemented, and the veneer is intact, it is put back in place. If it is broken, we just make another in a few days. Whilst we are making it, a provisional composite veneer is placed.