Resurrecting Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

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Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, “My teeth used to be so white and beautiful. What happened?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. Tooth darkening is one of the most common dental issues for adults. Over time, the color of teeth can change due to a variety of causes: foods, drinks, tobacco, age, trauma or medication. Most of these causes have simple solutions — teeth whitening products and services that will transform your smile with brighter teeth.

The most important teeth whitening ingredient

When it comes to teeth whitening, not all products and services are created equal. Certain offerings provide noticeable results, while other “solutions” barely make a difference. So how can you tell which products or services will improve the color of your teeth?

The answer lies in the most important ingredient – peroxide-based products or services (carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide). Many over-the-counter offerings include 3%-20% peroxide, while in-office whitening services often contain 15%-43% peroxide. Higher concentrations of peroxide require shorter treatment times, while smaller amounts require longer timelines for adequate results. Before beginning any teeth whitening treatment, consult your dentist to ensure these products or services will produce satisfying results.

Popular teeth whitening treatments

Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry services over the course of the past 20 years. More and more treatment options are appearing in supermarkets and drugstores, and patients are flocking to dental offices to improve their smile. Patients interested in bleached teeth typically pursue the following options:

  • In-office whitening treatment;
  • Dentist directed at-home bleaching;
  • Whitening toothpastes and rinses;
  • White strips;
  • Tray-based systems.

These are often the most convenient, cost-effective teeth whitening options that deliver great results.

1. In-office whitening treatment

Professional teeth whitening is the safest, most effective treatment available. Dentists use products that contain 15-43% peroxide that produce lasting results. In addition to removing surface stains, professional whitening effects changes at the molecular level. Teeth whitening appointments are only 30-60 minutes long. In just two to three visits, your teeth will look noticeably different. Cosmetic dentists use a thick peroxide gel that whitens teeth by three to eight shades. Some treatments use light or heat for enhanced results. The use of peroxide gels and desensitizers (potassium nitrate and fluoride) reduce the risk of gum and tooth sensitivity. Before beginning any treatment, talk to a dentist and make sure you are a worthy candidate for teeth whitening services.

2. Dentist directed at-home customized bleaching

While some patients use professional services, many prefer to try bleaching teeth at home. Before at-home treatments can begin, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and design a customized tray to hold the teeth whitening agent. Dentists typically administer a carbamide peroxide-based gel for at-home whitening. This gel requires longer treatment times, but patients experience less sensitivity from it. The exact fit of the custom tray typically produces better results than over-the-counter whitening trays or products. Patients must wear trays between two to ten hours per day for as long as 28 days. Take-home whitening kits are not as fast as in-office treatments and require diligent care for optimal results.

Over-the-counter whitening products

Teeth whitening products are available in most supermarkets and drugstores. Most over-the-counter whitening solutions contain smaller amounts of carbamide peroxide (10-20%). Some people are more sensitive to peroxide than others, so it’s best to start with a product that contains around 15% peroxide. When it comes to over-the-counter teeth whitening products, there are several options:

  • Whitening toothpastes;
  • White Strips and Gels;
  • Standard trays.

These and other over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions can sometimes take longer than cosmetic dental options, but they can still help you whiten your teeth over time.

3. Whitening toothpastes

Any kind of toothpaste has mild abrasives and removes surface stains from teeth. Certain whitening toothpastes have polishing properties that produce even better results. Although they do not contain bleach, these toothpastes lighten teeth by one shade.

4. White strips and gels

Whitening strips and gels contain peroxide-based agents that remove stains from teeth. Gels are spread across the teeth with a small brush once or twice a day for 10-14 days. Results usually appear in several days and last four months. Whitening strips are soaked in a peroxide-based gel and laid on teeth. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid tooth and gum sensitivity.

5. Standard tray-based systems

Over-the-counter whitening trays are filled with peroxide-bleaching solutions. Trays are worn for varying amounts of time, ranging from several hours a day to every night for four weeks (or more). Custom trays produce better results quicker, but standard trays can lighten teeth with diligent application and time.

Which is the best teeth whitener for you?

More and more people are bleaching teeth and improving their smiles with different products and services. Before making any decisions on teeth whitening solutions, talk to your dentist to see if you are a good candidate. At Providence Dental in Las Vegas, we educate our patients and empower them to make the right decision. Call our office today at 702-852-2244 today to schedule a consultation.

Modern Advancements in Cosmetic Dentistry

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There have been so many advancements in dental instruments, products, technology, education and quality of care in recent years. Cosmetic dentistry especially has improved over time and has become one of the most popular types of dental care. Patients of all ages regularly use cosmetic dentistry products and services to protect their teeth and transform their smile. Are you looking for ways to improve your appearance? At Providence Dental, we offer a variety of cosmetic dental procedures that can help enhance your smile.

The most popular types of cosmetic dentistry

There are so many ways to enhance your smile and preserve your teeth. Some of the most popular types of cosmetic dentistry include:

  • Dental implants;
  • Porcelain veneers;
  • Teeth whitening treatments;
  • Invisalign;
  • Gum or teeth contouring;
  • Tooth bonding;
  • Digital smile design.

Many of these procedures have dramatically improved over time, to become some of the top trends in cosmetic dentistry.

Dental implants

Missing teeth is a relatively common issue that requires attention. If left untreated, surrounding teeth can loosen and shift in the mouth. The remaining space is more vulnerable to infection and disease. To avoid these issues, young people are using dental implants to replace missing or infected teeth. Implants are one of the most reliable durable tooth replacement options, and provide stability to the adjacent teeth. Although artificial, tooth implants look identical to natural teeth and last longer than most dentures. These tooth replacements also prevent deterioration of the jawbone.

Porcelain veneers

One of the notable advancements in veneer dentistry is the use of porcelain. Originally, dental veneers were made of a composite resin, but had to be replaced or repaired more often due to lower-quality materials. Porcelain was introduced as a suitable alternative, and has proven more durable than composite resin. These higher-quality veneers can be customized to match the shape, size and color of your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers look more natural than composite resin veneers and restore teeth with darker stains.

Teeth whitening treatments

Yellow or dark teeth are one of the more frequent oral issues for adults. As treatments have improved, teeth whitening products and services have become very popular. While many over-the-counter products lighten teeth by several shades, in-office procedures are noticeably more effective. At-home teeth whitening solutions contain less peroxide, while professional teeth whitening services use higher concentrations that provide more natural-looking results.

Invisalign

For years, metal braces were used to straighten crooked teeth. In the last 20 years, Invisalign clear braces have gained significant popularity as an alternative straightening method. These plastic aligners are removable, which allow patients to eat all types of foods and maintain better oral hygiene. Many patients prefer Invisalign to metal braces because they are simple, effective and practically undetectable.

Gum reshaping

Gum contouring is another trendy cosmetic dentistry procedure. It’s one thing to have straight white teeth, but gum reshaping completes a beautiful smile. Before making a decision about gum reshaping or teeth contouring, schedule a consultation at Providence Dental and receive guidance from our dental experts.

Tooth bonding

Teeth can be restored in a variety of ways. One of the most affordable and versatile methods is tooth bonding. The procedure can be used for a variety of problems:

  • Decayed teeth;
  • Cavities;
  • Chipped or cracked teeth;
  • Fill spaces between teeth;
  • Lengthen or reshape teeth.

Cosmetic dentists apply a bonding resin material to the tooth. The resin is shaped and hardened with a special light or laser. Once dry, the dentist will trim and polish the tooth to match your smile. This procedure is brief (30-60 minutes) and less invasive than veneer dentistry or dental implants.

Digital smile design

In the last 20 years, there have been countless advancements in dental technology. One of the most significant developments is the digital smile design and preview. Before beginning treatment, dentists take scans and pictures of your teeth, gums and face and use a special dental software to create a 3D replica of the mouth. Together, the patient and dentist use the design software to reshape the replica into a beautiful smile. Once finalized, the product is sent to a fabrication system.

Ceramic materials

While most dentists still use metal-based materials, many have started offering ceramic products as well. Ceramic is more durable and looks more like natural teeth. Patients prefer ceramic because of its customization properties, appearance and safety. Certain metal-based products include small amounts of mercury. High levels of mercury have been linked to brain and kidney problems. While most metal-based products contain very low risk, some patients prefer optimal safety and choose ceramic materials.

Cosmetic dentistry for every patient

With so many advancements in modern dentistry, there are more cosmetic dental options than ever. If you’re ready to take the next step in straightening your teeth or improving your smile, schedule your same-day appointment or call Providence Dental today at (702) 852-2244.

Dental Crowns: A Simple Solution for Damaged Teeth

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Dental crowns, also known as “tooth caps”, are a common product used in restorative dentistry. Tooth crowns are designed to protect natural teeth and prevent decay. While some tooth restorations are more obvious than others, dental crowns are virtually indetectable. A simple installation will restore the tooth’s shape, size, strength and appearance. The procedure is non-invasive and is typically completed in 1-2 quick appointments. If you’re looking for a simple way to protect and restore damaged teeth, dental crowns could be the solution you’re looking for.

How can dental crowns help my teeth?

Tooth problems are quite common among children and adults. Dentists regularly treat patients with cavities, tooth decay and chipped teeth and offer restoration options for damaged teeth. Dental crowns are one of the more popular tooth restoration options. There are numerous benefits to capping a tooth, such as:

  • Protection for weak teeth;
  • Stability for a tooth with a large filling;
  • Restored natural color;
  • Support for dental bridge;
  • Structure and stability for a cracked tooth;
  • Normal shape;
  • Cosmetic alteration;

If you have weak, cracked or chipped teeth, address these issues quickly before they require major invasive dental procedures.

Which dental cap is right for me?

When it comes to choosing a dental crown, there are a variety of choices. Some patients prefer a durable metal material, while others choose the more natural-looking porcelain option. There is no one-size-fits-all tooth cap; each kind provides different benefits.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel dental crowns were much more common before the introduction of porcelain. Now, these crowns are often used as a temporary protective solution while your permanent crowns are designed in a dental lab. Some dentists recommend stainless steel dental caps for children, as they’re cost-effective and only require one visit for an installation.

All Metal (Gold or Alloy)

A number of metals can be used in dental crowns, including gold, platinum, cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium alloys. These crowns are the most durable, and rarely chip or break. While the durability is impressive, all metal crowns can be expensive due to the price of gold. If you’re considering this type of crown, they’re best used on out-of-sight molars where the metallic color isn’t as visible.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal

The combination of porcelain and metal offers a strong base and a natural appearance. The color of the porcelain can be adjusted to match your natural teeth. Although this sounds like the perfect crown, its drawbacks include increased wear on opposing teeth. In addition, porcelain can sometimes chip or break off, requiring additional dental work.

All Resin

Resin dental caps are the most affordable option available. These crowns tend to wear down faster, and are prone to fractures because the material isn’t as durable. However, they still protect your teeth and help prevent tooth decay.

All Ceramic

If you’re searching for a natural-looking tooth restoration, look no further. All ceramic crowns can be customized to look exactly like your natural teeth. They’re a safe, suitable alternative for anyone with metal allergies and can be used on front or back teeth.

Dental crown installation process

Dental crowns are usually installed over two visits. During the first appointment, the dentist numbs the surrounding area of the tooth and gum tissue. Then, he reshapes the tooth to provide room for the crown. If part of the tooth is missing, the dentist may build up the remaining tooth with filling material. Next, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth with paste or putty and sends it to the dental lab. Typically, it takes two to three weeks to make a permanent crown. In the interim, dentists use temporary crowns to prevent bacteria from infecting the tooth. During the second appointment, the dentist administers a local anesthetic to reduce any pain or sensitivity. Then, he tests, fits and installs the permanent crown. Some patients experience tooth sensitivity or discomfort after the anesthesia wears off. Dentists recommend toothpaste for sensitive teeth for relief. If a crown chips, falls off or breaks loose, contact your dentist right away to address the issue and prevent build up of bacteria.

When will I need to replace my dental crowns?

Like most restorations, tooth crowns do need to be replaced. Typically, they last between 5-15 years depending on the materials and wear. With proper dental hygiene and good care, crowns can last two decades or more. To prolong the life of your dental cap(s), avoid chewing ice or hard foods, biting fingernails and using your teeth as tools. Make sure to brush your teeth two or three times a day, floss daily and use a night guard if you struggle with grinding or clenching.

Dental caps will complete your smile

If you have a chipped, cracked or misshapen tooth, dental crowns could be the solution for you. Don’t wait to address these issues; they can lead to larger problems such as tooth decay or infection. To learn more about dental caps, call 702-852-2244 or schedule a consultation today.