Your smile is the thing that most people first notice about you. So welcome to our new TGATP series “Smile Styles With Dr. Paul,” which will feature monthly tips from NY dentist, Dr Paul Banks, that can help you achieve your best possible smile, thus enhancing your total beauty.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought how nice is would be to have whiter and better-looking teeth? Do you avoid smiling because you don’t like the appearance of your worn, chipped, uneven or yellow teeth? This month we will discuss the top ways that you can remedy these issues.
There is no difference between bleaching and whitening the teeth, which becomes a necessary procedure for just about everyone, as we age. One of the number one ways you can project a more youthful appearance is to make sure your teeth are a healthy white. But don’t go overboard as nothing is worst than overly whitened teeth. Your dentist can work dentistry wonders utilizing these two procedures:
Whitening Trays: These are a convenient at-home option. Custom fitted trays made by your dentist are used with a solution to whiten the teeth. Trays are worn for about 2 hours per day for 2 weeks to achieve the best shade, then once a month for maintenance.
In-Office Whitening: There are 2 types, Zoom and Brite Smile. The majority of patients find this to be the most convenient method since you come into the office for a 2-hour appointment, and you leave with the whitening procedure completed. In our office, we also make the whitening trays so that you can maintain your beautiful smile.
Please note that whitening is not for everyone. If you have very sensitive teeth, it will be difficult to go through this procedure. Also, teeth whiten, but fillings, crowns and veneers do not. So if you have any of those, and you really want to whiten your teeth, you may have to have these changes. If you are unable to tolerate whitening or you have restorations in your mouth that show when you smile, bonding or porcelain veneers are your best options. Let’s discuss each:
Bonding: There are a few similarities between bonding and veneers, but also some very major differences. First, in order to do either procedure, the teeth have to be properly prepared. There is a slight removal of tooth structure, so the tooth has a bonding surface and the restorations will not look too bulky. Bonding material is resin based. The procedure will match the shade and color of the resin to the other teeth that aren’t being bonded. Obviously, if you are doing the entire mouth, then matching isn’t an issue. After the bonding is placed, it is contoured and polished, which in the hands of a quality dentist, will result in beautiful restorations.
Porcelain Veneers: Differing from bonding, applying Porcelain Veneers is a multi-step process that involves a dental lab and a qualified ceramist. Similar to the bonding, there is slight removal of tooth structure, but unlike bonding, a dental mold (impression) is taken of the teeth and sent to the dental lab where the veneers are made. In this case, the doctor will send very specific instructions on how the veneers should be made (length, width, shade, etc.) according . Before you leave the office, the dentist will place temporary veneers and contour them and make them similar to how your permanent restorations will look.
In addition to the methodology of the procedures, there are two other big differences – cost and longevity. Bonding is significantly cheaper, but there is a tendency for this to chip, wear and stain over a 3-year span whereas veneers do not. The porcelain veneers are so finely polished that they will not stain over time and they can last, if maintained properly, for up to 15 years.
If you have any questions regarding any of these procedures, please feel free to leave a question for Dr. Paul in the comments or you can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Dr. Paul M. Banks
Dr. Banks received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry in 1985 at The George Washington University and his dental degree from Georgetown University School of Dentistry in 1989. Along with his full time practice, Dr. Banks has completed study in advanced esthetic dentistry and is currently a clinical instructor in esthetic dentistry at the prestigious Rosenthal Institute at New York University in Manhattan. In addition, he is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Morris Seminars Study Group. Dr. Banks is a sports fanatic and enjoys spending time with his wife and triplet sons.