Your options for cosmetic dentistry explained

Cosmetic options in Croydon explained

Your options for cosmetic dentistry explained

As you may know, one of the things our Croydon Dentist is passionate about with cosmetic dentistry  is what is known as ‘Minimally Invasive Dentistry’ – this means we do the absolute smallest amount of treatment possible to achieve the desired result.

In years gone by the only way to restore broken down, discoloured or misaligned teeth was to either have train track braces (which many people didn’t like the look of) or to have dental veneers (which can, in some circumstances, remove otherwise healthy tooth tissue). However modern advances in 3 key areas have changed this dramatically.

  1. Our ability to move crooked and misplaced teeth in to the perfect alignment with modern orthodontic techniques that are almost invisible
  2. Modern advances in Teeth Whitening & bleaching techniques to reduce the dark and/or yellow colour on teeth
  3. Advances in materials for dental bonding to restore broken tips and make minor changes to the shape of teeth

This philosophy is known as ‘Align, Bleach, Bond’ for obvious reasons, and so this blog is written in that order to reflect our conservative and minimal approach.

Ways to straighten crooked teeth

Orthodontics

Orthodontics can straighten crooked teeth with a variety of techniques.

  1. Lingual orthodontics – these fit on the tongue side of your teeth so are not visible in everyday use. Not everyone is suitable for lingual orthodontics due to the amount of space required, especially on the top teeth.
  2. Lifestyle orthodontics – these include things like Damon braces which can use clear brackets which are virtually imperceptible.
  3. Almost invisible orthodontics – treatments such as Invisalign have revolutionised the way orthodontic braces are used. Invisalign uses clear aligners rather than brackets and wires to straighten teeth.

What do the different orthodontic braces look like?

Lingual orthodontics
Lingual orthodontics

Lingual orthodontics-notice how the braces cannot be seen from the front

Lifestyle orthodontics
Damon braces

Notice the difference between the lifestyle Damon braces on the front top teeth and the regular train track braces

Almost invisible orthodontics
Invisalign braces

Notice how these braces are completely clear and virtually imperceptible when they are in place

Using veneers or bonding to straighten crooked teeth

Sometimes it can be more advantageous to use dental veneers or bonding to straighten crooked teeth, typically these would be used when:

  • The patient requires a more rapid result, veneers and bonding can usually be done in a few weeks compared to many months for orthodontics.
  • The basic shape and/or colour of the teeth is not desirable. If the teeth would require covering with bonding or veneers in order to alter the basic shape or colour then it may be decided to change the alignment of the teeth at the same time with that veneer or bonding, thereby eliminating the need to have orthodontics.

Many times however, orthodontics and veneers or bonding are used in conjunction with one another. Teeth can be moved to an ideal position and then veneered or bonded to restore the colour and/or shape.

How to whitening dark teeth

The quickest, simplest, easiest and most cost-effective way to white and dark teeth is to have teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is one of the few treatments which almost everyone can have, making it an extremely popular choice for whiter teeth.

If your teeth are particularly dark then you may not be able to whiten them to the desired colour, if this is the case then dental veneers and/or dental crowns may be preferred as they can cover up the dark tooth.

How to rebuild a broken tooth

  • Dental bonding – this can restore broken down teeth, particularly chipped teeth. Dental bonding using a composite resin is applied to your teeth directly by the dentist.
  • Dental veneers – these can be build more severely broken down teeth and tend to last longer than dental bonding as they are made from a stronger material. Dental veneers are made by a highly skilled dental technician.
  • Dental crowns – for the most severely broken down teeth dental crowns may be required. Dental veneers only cover the front surface of your tooth whereas dental crowns, the whole surface. Dental crowns made by a highly skilled dental technician.

Which type of cosmetic dental treatment is right for me?

This is a great question. Many times a cosmetic dentist, such as ours in Croydon, Surrey will use a combination of techniques to achieve the desired result.

The best thing to do is to tell your dentist the outcomes you are looking for, rather than the treatment that you want. The dentist will then have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and can then give you a range of options.

 

Dr Lage has a special interest in Implant Dentistry, Mercury free Dentistry, Root Canal Treatments (Endodontics), and Cosmetic Dentistry (crowns, bridges, veneers, teeth whitening).

He is very calm and very good with children and nervous patients.

Jose speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and is trying to improve his Italian and French.

What is cosmetic dentistry and what treatments does it include?

What is cosmetic dentistry and what treatments does it include?

Cosmetic dentistry is often considered a standalone aspects of dentistry however, it possible for all dentistry to be cosmetic and for everything to look good as well as keep your teeth healthy and in great condition.

What follows is an overview of treatment is normally assigned to the category of cosmetic dentistry, we’ve listed them by dental problem rather than by specific treatment, this allows you to find the best cosmetic solution for you.

How can I straighten crooked teeth?

Straightening crooked teeth can be done with a variety of different treatments depending upon the level of correction required, timeframe and cost.

  1. Dental bonding
    1. Timeframe: immediate, dental bonding can be applied in the dental chair whilst you wait.
    2. Level of correction: usually only suitable for a couple of teeth at a time, mild correctional changes only can be made.
    3. Cost: Low – from £99/tooth
  2. Dental veneers
    1. Timeframe: usually 2 or 3 weeks from start to finish.
    2. Level of correction: dental veneers can treat fairly extensive crooked teeth, but because the teeth are not moved bodily this is still limited.
    3. Cost: medium/high Depending on the number of teeth to be corrected – from £598/tooth
  3. Orthodontics
    1. Timeframe: anywhere from six months to one year
    2. Level of correction: Orthodontics give the highest level of correction and can be achieved with orthodontics as the teeth are moved bodily from their crooked or misaligned position to their new position.
    3. Cost: medium/high. Treatments typically start from £1650

How can I whiten dark teeth?

Whitening dark teeth can also be achieved with a variety of treatments, depending upon the amount of whitening required.

  1. Air abrasion and/or polishing
    1. Regular dental hygiene appointment can remove surface stains of teeth quite quickly, particularly good for smokers stains.
    2. Cost: from £50 per appointment
  2. Teeth whitening
    1. Teeth whitening can whiten teeth to your desired colour, usually in a couple of weeks.
    2. Cost: from £259 per arch (top or bottom)
  3. Dental bonding
    1. Bonding can lighten a single tooth if that tooth has become dark, perhaps due to an underlying problem with the tooth, decay or root canal treatment. This is often only possible if the tooth is set back from the other teeth as the bonding will form a liar over the surface of the tooth.
    2. Cost: Low – from £99/tooth
  4. Dental veneers
    1. Dental veneers can lighten extremely dark teeth which cannot be lightened adequately with teeth whitening.
    2. Cost: from £598/tooth

How can I replace missing teeth?

Missing teeth are unsightly and can affect confidence, they can also be a trap for food which can lead to dental decay. Adjacent teeth can also drift into the gap meaning that, over time, your bite can be affected.

The options to replace missing teeth will depend upon the convenience, cost and number of teeth to be replaced.

  1. Dentures
    1. Convenience: usually the least convenient option as the teeth are not fixed permanently and the dentures can become loose overtime requiring continuous maintenance. Dentures can have a tendency to fracture if not maintained although repair is usually quite simple.
    2. Cost: usually the cheapest option with acrylic dentures starting from £400
    3. Number of teeth: Dentures can be used to replace a single missing tooth right way through to replacing all missing teeth.
  2. Dental implants
    1. Convenience: the treatment can take up to one year to complete but once done, so long as the dental implants are looked after they can be an exceptionally good way to replace missing teeth as they support the teeth either side and can help to prevent further bone loss.
    2. Cost: From £949 per implant to have a dental implant placed and then from £629 per tooth to have the implant restored with a crown. Pricing can be a little complex due to the number of variables.
    3. Number of teeth: It is not always required to have one implant her tooth which need replacing, for example often six teeth could be replaced with two dental implants. Implants can replace anything from a single missing tooth up to a full mouth.
  3. Dental bridges
    1. Convenience: treatment usually takes approximately 2 weeks and once done, so long as the bridge is maintained can last many years.
    2. Cost: from £498 per tooth
    3. Number of teeth: bridges require standing teeth as this is where the new. It will be attached. Therefore in order to have a classic dental bridge (without implants) you need to have existing teeth either side of the gap. To replace a single missing tooth is easy with a dental bridge. In order to replace multiple missing teeth it’s usually only possible to replace three standing teeth in a row, a healthy tooth needs to be at each end of these three teeth. If this is not the case then either a denture or dental implant may be required.

 

Dr Lage has a special interest in Implant Dentistry, Mercury free Dentistry, Root Canal Treatments (Endodontics), and Cosmetic Dentistry (crowns, bridges, veneers, teeth whitening).

He is very calm and very good with children and nervous patients.

Jose speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and is trying to improve his Italian and French.