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burnaby cosmetic dentistry invisalign
FAQ

Cosmetic Dentistry: Enhancing your Smile

Cosmetic dentistry continues to lead in popularity, and the technologies and techniques dentists use continue to evolve to provide even better results in a shorter amount of time. While most patients think that it involves little more than teeth whitening and replacing lost or damaged teeth, there’s quite a bit more to it than that.

A beautiful smile has a huge impact on your confidence and how the people around you perceive you. Before we take a look at some of the more popular cosmetic procedures, let’s define what cosmetic dentistry is – how it’s changed, how it impacts your smile, and how it’s perceived by people at large.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a method of professional oral care that focuses on improving the appearance and health of your mouth, teeth, and smile. And although cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually elective, rather than essential, some cases of treatment will also provide restorative benefits.

The most common procedures used in cosmetic dentistry are fairly simple, whereas others are more complex and require specialized care.

How has Cosmetic Dentistry changed?

A number of historians believe that ancient civilizations have been practicing aesthetic dentistry since as far back as 700 B.C. People who had dental problems wore dentures created out of animal teeth, bones and even seashells. Later on, during the reign of the Roman Empire, the people learned the value of ammonia and other similar abrasive substances in removing tooth stains. By the 1700s, dentists began creating teeth covers out of porcelain.

How can Cosmetic Dentistry impact your smile?

It’s endless what cosmetic can do for your smile. Cosmetic dentistry can help whiten your smile (zoom whitening), improved biting and chewing (porcelain veneers), a straighter smile (Invisalign), healthier teeth & gums (bonding & gum contouring), a stronger smile (dental implants), and prevent future damages (dental crowns) which all lead to a more confident smile.

Five Types Of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Composite Bonding

Composite bonding refers to the repair of decayed, damaged or discolored teeth using material that resembles the color of tooth enamel. Your dentist drills out the tooth decay and applies the composite to the tooth’s surface, then “sculpts” it into the right shape before curing it with a high-intensity light. Also referred to as simply “bonding,” per the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, this effectively covers the damage to the tooth and gives the appearance of a healthy tooth in its place. Bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures available to patients with tooth decay, chipped or cracked teeth and worn-down edges.

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Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers are typically manufactured from medical-grade ceramic and are made individually in a lab for each patient to resemble one’s natural teeth, according to Burnaby Dentist Dr. Komal Dhir. They look exceptionally realistic and can resolve numerous cosmetic problems, ranging from crooked teeth, to cracked or damaged enamel to noticeable gaps between two teeth. The dentist applies the veneer to the front of each tooth using a dental adhesive.

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Teeth Whitening

One of the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedures, teeth whitening or teeth bleaching can be performed at your Burnaby Dental Office or at home with our Free Take-Home Whitening Kit for new patients. Whitening should occur after plaque, tartar and other debris are cleaned from the surface of each tooth, restoring their natural appearance. Teeth can also be bleached to achieve an even lighter shade than this original color, according to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).

Over the years, teeth become stained and worn from food, drinks, medication and personal habits such as smoking. Whitening coats the teeth and this procedure can be done in the dental office or at home. Additionally, patients can use whitening toothpaste to achieve the same effect.

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Implants

Dental implants simply are used to replace teeth after tooth loss. Our dentist will insert a small titanium screw into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth, which serves as the support for a dental crown. These implants are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth, and once the bone and supporting tissue fuse to the implant, they are permanently secured into place. Dental Patients need to practice diligent oral hygiene during the implant placement period to clean plaque and food debris from the area.

If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry procedures, it’s vital to find a cosmetic dentist who specifically offers the option you’re interested in. Talk with family and friends to find out if they can refer to you a dental professional.

At Bainbridge Dental Office in Burnaby, our dentists have placed over 1000’s of implants.

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Invisalign

Invisalign® is a custom-made clear aligner that is interchanged roughly every two weeks for a period of six to eighteen months, or longer depending on the severity of misalignment of the patient. Similar to a mouth or dental retainer (which is designed to keep teeth from shifting out of place), an Invisalign® aligner is used for orthodontic treatment as a technique to move and properly align teeth for a beautiful smile. This clear aligner is usually computer generated from a mold (or impression) of the patient’s teeth—taken by our dentist in Burnaby—and the fitting is unique to each patient only.

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Cosmetic dentistry continues to lead in popularity, and the technologies and techniques dentists use continue to evolve to provide even better results in a shorter amount of time. While most patients think that it involves little more than teeth whitening and replacing lost or damaged teeth, there’s quite a bit…

burnaby stained teeth
FAQ

Do You Have a Discolored Tooth That’s Annoying You?

A very common cause of tooth discoloration is a childhood injury called a pulpal bleed or bruise of the tooth due to force or trauma. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the tooth is non-vital. An evaluation by a Burnaby Dentist on Lougheed Hwy is recommended for a definitive diagnosis.

Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth. There are three main types of tooth discoloration:

Extrinsic — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration if:

  1. You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
  2. Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
  3. You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
  4. You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
  5. You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
  6. You were born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations.

vancouver seniors yellow teeth

Age-related — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Foods and smoking also can stain teeth as people get older. Finally, chips or other injuries can discolor a tooth, especially when the pulp has been damaged.

Symptoms

Symptoms include stains on the enamel. They can range from white streaks to yellow tints or brown spots and pits. If the enamel has worn away, and dentin is showing through, you may notice a yellow tint.

Diagnosis

No special tests are needed. Our Burnaby Bainbridge Dentists can diagnose tooth discoloration by looking at the teeth.

Expected Duration

Some tooth discoloration can be removed with professional cleaning. An example would be the stains caused by coffee. Many stains are permanent, however. Teeth sometimes can be whitened with a bleaching gel. In some cases, if the discoloration is severe, a crown or veneer may be required to cover it.

Prevention

Brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Our Dentists at Bainbridge Dental in Burnaby, BC recommends that you rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth. Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist also will help to remove surface stains.

Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth sometimes can be prevented. You may need to have root canal treatment to remove the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that have root canal treatment may darken anyway.

To prevent intrinsic stains in children, avoid too much early exposure to fluorides. Once the enamel is formed, fluoride will not discolor teeth.

Treatment

vancouver bleaching gel

Many extrinsic stains caused by food and drink can be removed by regular professional cleanings and home care. Good home care includes brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals.

It’s also possible to remove discoloration at home. You will use a bleaching gel and a mouth guard given to you by your dentist. The bleaching gels designed for use at home aren’t as strong as those applied by your dentist. This means that the process takes longer — usually two to four weeks.

You also can buy whitening products over the counter. They contain a weaker bleach than the products you can get from your dentist. The whitening agent is applied as a gel placed in a mouthpiece or as a strip that sticks to your teeth. Over-the-counter mouthpieces fit less securely than the kind you get from your dentist, but they will lighten your teeth over time.

Whitening toothpaste may remove minor stains. They do not actually change the overall color of your teeth.
If your tooth has darkened after a root canal, bleaching the enamel won’t help. Your dentist can apply a bleaching material to the inside of the tooth, or you may consider a crown or veneer.

Bleaching will not lighten some stains, such as tetracycline stains. In this case, your dentist may recommend covering the discolored areas. This also may be useful when the tooth is chipped or badly damaged.

A tooth can be covered with a color-matched composite bonding material. Another option is to get veneers. These are thin ceramic shells that cover the outer surfaces of the teeth.

When To Call a Professional

Tooth discoloration is mainly a cosmetic dental problem. Visit our Bainbridge Dental Clinic on Lougheed Hwy in Burnaby if you’re unhappy with how your teeth look. Any change in a child’s normal tooth color should be evaluated by a dentist.

Prognosis

The prognosis is very good for extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains may be more difficult or take longer to remove.

How Can I Prevent Teeth Discoloration?

By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you may be able to prevent teeth discoloration. For example, if you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting altogether. Also, improve your dental hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using a mouthwash daily, and getting your teeth cleaned by a Dentist in Burnaby every 6 months.

A very common cause of tooth discoloration is a childhood injury called a pulpal bleed or bruise of the tooth due to force or trauma. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the tooth is non-vital. An evaluation by a Burnaby Dentist on Lougheed Hwy is recommended for a definitive diagnosis. Your…

burnaby teeth whitening
Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth Whitening

teeth whitening burnaby dentist

Your smile is extremely important because it is usually the first thing noticed when meeting someone. A smile that is brighter and whiter, coming from a more confident person, can make a memorable impression on anyone you meet, as well as make you feel great in the process. It is unfortunate that aging and bad habits can darken and stain your perfect teeth.

Reasons for Stained Teeth

  1. Drinking coffee, tea, pop, wine, etc.
  2. Eating staining foods such as blueberries or blackberries
  3. Keeping bad dental habits such as not brushing or flossing properly
  4. Smoking or chewing tobacco

In-office Zoom whitening: This is a safe, effective, and fast way to whiten your teeth and see instant results. Perfect for the busy patient on the run. With help from your dentist, you will be able to choose the right color and shade for your teeth and have it applied all in one visit!

Reasons for in-office whitening

burnaby dentist teeth whitening
  1. Fast and convenient
  2. Little to no sensitivity issues
  3. Long-lasting
  4. Performed by a cosmetic dental professional

Take-home whitening kits: Custom whitening trays, professionally created at our office, can be sent home with our patients. After the desired effects are achieved with Zoom whitening, our trained dental professionals will go over all the instructions to make sure the patient understands how to properly use the kit. Patients can achieve professional whitening results in the comfort of their own home simply by wearing the teeth whitening kit for only 20 minutes at their convenience.

Since whitening kits contain high levels of peroxide, we advise patients to exercise caution during use. Take extra care when placing the whitening gels in the trays and ensure it is not overfilling the gums, which can lead to sore gums or more serious health problems. Also, do not wear the kit for more than an hour when whitening at home, as it could result in increased teeth sensitivity. If your teeth ever feel sensitive, discontinue use of the whitening kit for a few days to allow the teeth to settle. Contact our dental office for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

Who should use teeth whitening? Generally, anyone with healthy gums and teeth that are looking to brighten up their smile can benefit from the professional teeth whitening system. It has been shown to be highly effective at removing stains from teeth, including tobacco, coffee, tea, tetracycline, and various other tooth stains. A professional teeth whitening system will not affect existing dental work.

Does the whitening system work on Dentures, or Veneers? The process was designed to enhance the natural whiteness of the enamel. Existing restorations such as tooth-colored fillings, dentures, crowns, bonding, veneers, and bridges do not lighten. This means that any pre-existing dental work may need to be replaced to match the new tooth shade achieved in the natural teeth, should a bleaching process proceed. Clients typically apply the gel product only to their natural teeth, allowing these treated teeth to lighten up to match a cap, crown, or veneer.

Is tooth whitening bad for your teeth? Studies of teeth whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide showed no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface. Professional teeth whitening does not cause permanent damage to the enamel on your teeth, and is considered harmless by most dentists.

How many shades whiter can I expect my teeth to get? The amount of whitening varies from client to client and cannot be predicted or guaranteed; but in general use, teeth may lighten anywhere from 6 to 12 shades on the whitening shade guide.  The results depend greatly on how discolored the teeth were originally.  Yellow or brown teeth, surface stains, and uniformly darkened teeth are easiest to whiten.  Additional whitening treatments may be needed in order to achieve the desired shade, especially with heavily stained teeth.

How long do the teeth whitening effects last? Teeth whitening is not permanent. People who expose their teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.

How long does the treatment take? The process takes only 30-minutes, (2 – 15-minute applications) to achieve a whiter and brighter smile. It is broken down into two 15-minute applications to allow for maximum gel concentration and light exposure, without being under the light for too long of a period to cause gum irritation. Individuals with sensitive teeth may reduce the intensity of the bleaching unit by choosing a lower power setting and those with very heavy stains may need additional treatments.

What happens during teeth whitening? When you visit our Burnaby dental office for professional teeth whitening, our dentist will have you wear a tray during the treatment that will cover your teeth with a specially formulated whitening gel. Also, our dentist may use a type of light to enhance the whitening effects of the gel.

Does the treatment hurt? Teeth whitening may cause sensitivity during or after treatment and slight discomfort in the gums. Both of these side effects are usually temporary and will disappear a few days after treatment. It is important to tell your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms as the dentist will be able to advise how best to cope in the meantime.

How can I make my results last longer? Luckily, there are a number of steps that you can take to help retain your tooth whitening results. First, avoid eating or drinking any items that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, berries, and anything tomato-based. If you do choose to eat and drink these items, be sure to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth afterward. Finally, keeping up with twice-daily tooth brushing and biannual dental cleanings can help prevent stains from building up on your teeth.

Why is professional whitening better than other options? The greatest benefit that you’ll gain by seeing our Dentist in Burnaby for tooth whitening is quality and speed. Unlike over-the-counter kits, professional whitening uses a stronger formula that can provide you with a noticeably whiter smile in a single treatment. At-home kits that you can pick up at the drugstore often take a week or longer to provide noticeable results.

Your smile is extremely important because it is usually the first thing noticed when meeting someone. A smile that is brighter and whiter, coming from a more confident person, can make a memorable impression on anyone you meet, as well as make you feel great in the process. It is...