Dental Restorations for White Teeth

Perhaps you have found yourself pondering whether or not your teeth are white enough. With all the images we see of celebrities on television and elsewhere, its hard not to second guess yourself. In reality, healthy teeth are supposed to be off-white. But you get a different impression in the media. Regardless, cosmetic dentistry has plenty of options for a patient to achieve a white smile. Some of the factors that come into play here include the health and condition of the existing tooth structure, the patient’s budget, their aesthetic goals and finally their long term income.

When discussing the existing state of the patient’s teeth, we need to know whether the teeth in the “aesthetic zone” have been affected by decay or received prior treatment for decay (fillings, root canals, etc.) A tooth that shows indication of structural weakness is often a good candidate for a dental crown. A crown fits over the entire tooth, providing it some rigidity and masking its appearance. Since crowns are considered an invasive option for tooth restoration, they are best suited for teeth that are somehow compromised.

In respect to the condition of the teeth, the dentist must consider their alignment, shape, etc. This determines the extent of tooth structure they need to remove in order to accomplish satisfactory results. If much of the tooth needs to be shaved away, then again dental crowns may be ideal. Otherwise, veneers will work. The patient’s budget plays a large role in the degree of aesthetic treatment they can receive. Crowns and porcelain veneers can cost as much as $2,000 or more per tooth, while composite veneers may only cost $500. There is a delicate balancing act in deciding which treatment to pursue that the patient can work through with the patient. Each patient has different aesthetic goals. A patient that has bruxism (tooth grinding) may want the dentist to restore the natural contours of their teeth, which can be accomplished with composite veneers. Another patient may want to correct chronic discoloration while also having longer teeth. In this case, porcelain veneers are undoubtedly the way to go.

Finally, the long-term prognosis of treatment must be considered. Crowns, veneers and dental bridges can last well over ten years, while composite veneers don’t fare as well. The prognosis can be complicated by existing oral health disorders, such as periodontal disease. Have a talk with a cosmetic dentist to determine which is the best treatment for your circumstances.

You can learn more about aesthetic dental fillings at

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