Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Fillings

A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or through accidental damage. You may hear the dentist talk about ‘composite’, ‘glass ionomer’ these are different types of tooth coloured filling material.

If you require a filling in your tooth, a cosmetic option would be to choose a white filling material that matches the shade of your surrounding natural teeth. You can also have any existing metallic fillings replaced with tooth-coloured or ‘white’ fillings. This will allow you to smile without a metallic glint in sight, giving your teeth a more natural appearance overall.

‘Silver’ fillings are made of dental amalgam - a mixture of mercury with other metals, including silver, tin and copper. Amalgam is soft at first, but quickly becomes hard once placed in the tooth.

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Here is how fillings work:

  1. This is a safe procedure that entails the removal of any decay from your tooth, and taking out the metal or amalgam fillings if you are having them replaced.
  2. The new filling is made from a tooth-coloured substance and will withstand the forces in your mouth when you bite and chew over a long period of time.
  3. The restoration is completed in one visit and your fillings will not be visible when you smile.

Life Benefits:

  • A tooth needs less drilling for a tooth coloured filling than for a silver filling.
  • Tooth coloured filling materials, which come in different shades to match different coloured teeth, are glued into place, sealing the filling and helping to strengthen the remaining part of the tooth. Tooth coloured filling materials can be used in most situations, including the filling of back teeth and making front teeth look better.
  • When used in back teeth, tooth coloured fillings look better than silver fillings, but take longer to place, partly because they are finished and polished in one visit. Tooth coloured fillings may not wear as well as silver fillings but they do have the advantage that they can be repaired, rather than replaced, as and when something goes wrong.
  • The longevity of tooth coloured fillings is greatly extended by good oral hygiene.

Smile Aligners

An effective long-term solution to straightening your teeth and correcting your bite are ClearSmile aligners. This is a series of plastic appliances, called aligners, to gently reposition and align the teeth creating a beautiful new smile.

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Here is an overview of it works:

  1. You receive a series of custom-made aligners: these are created based on your personalised treatment plan with us.
  2. The treatment plan is created using Archwise software and your dentist will advise you when you need to swap over your aligners when you begin your treatment.
  3. These aligners work by generating forces, which gently drive the teeth and cause them to move into the right position.
  4. While they are removable, it is still important to wear them for at least 22 hours per day.

Life Benefits

  • Straighter teeth are healthier teeth, as there are no gaps for plaque to build up over time.
  • Having an attractive smile will have a positive effect on your confidence.
  • More flexible than other braces as they provide you with freedom and convenience throughout the treatment
  • The aligners are virtually invisible so you can enjoy all the benefits of treatment without any worries about your appearance.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth sometimes become darker if their roots have been damaged or diseased and the ‘nerve’ has ‘died’. Tooth colour can be very effectively lightened with Hydrogen Peroxide (bleach), used on either the outside or the inside of the tooth.

Tooth bleaching is safe as long as the bleach does not touch your gums and burn them. Dentists use a special jelly bleach. Tooth bleaching is not permanent and may need to be repeated from time to time. The treatment works on tooth enamel, but does not whiten any crowns or fillings you might have.

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Here is how teeth whitening works:

  1. You will be assessed for the type of staining your teeth have.
  2. A custom tray is made to fit snugly over your teeth.
  3. The teeth whitening process is activated by a whitening agent, which is inserted into the custom tray that transfers it onto your teeth.
  4. Home teeth whitening kits are also available to lighten the teeth more gradually. In this case, the trays with whitening agents can be worn overnight for a few hours or during the day for an hour to an hour and a half. With all whitening treatment, individual results will vary and are dependent on your initial tooth colour and the nature of your tooth staining.

Life Benefits

  • Effective solution for certain types of tooth discolouration and staining.
  • Safe treatment when delivered by a dental professional.
  • Cosmetically enhances the appearance of teeth.
Tooth Wear

Acids in the mouth can dissolve away tooth surfaces and if acid is in the mouth too often, teeth cannot repair themselves and the hard tooth surface (the enamel) becomes thinner - this is called ‘erosion’.

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How do I prevent erosion?

Don’t have acidic food and / or drink too often during the day. Try to have them only at meal-times. And drink acidic drinks quickly - don’t sip them. And don’t swish them round your mouth.

Between meals you should only have ‘safe’ drinks, which are not sugary or acidic. Milk and water are ‘safe’ drinks. So are tea and coffee if you do not add sugar to them (you can use non-sugar sweeteners).

You should try to avoid snacking between meals. If you do snack, only have ‘safe’ snacks, which are not sugary or acidic. Fruits, vegetables and products such as sandwiches, toast, crumpets and pitta bread are all ‘safe’ snacks. You should try to avoid snacking between meals. Some fruits, especially citrus fruits, are acidic and are known to cause erosion if they are consumed in large quantities. This is not normally a problem for most people; however, you could discuss with your dentist or hygienist the safest way of enjoying these fruits.

Because acids temporarily soften the tooth surface, don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic. This will allow time for your saliva to neutralise the acid.

You should brush your teeth twice a day, and always use a fluoride toothpaste.

How can my dentist help?

Your dentist can identify erosion, pinpoint the causes and advise you how to prevent further damage.