Because of the advancements of modern dentistry we can now avoid the placement of metal fillings that are not only unsightly but contain metals such as mercury. Because the removal of mercury containing fillings is also a concern we have special equipment to help aid us in the safe removal of such materials. Through the use of a special high velocity suction we can minimize the amount of exposure to these metals during their removal process.
In order to bond a white filling material to your tooth it is first necessary to remove decay, prepare the tooth and then to condition the enamel and dentin. Once conditioned, a thin resin is applied which bonds to the etched surface. The bond strength of these white fillings is incredible. Bonding increases the strength of these restorations far beyond those of only a short time ago. After placement, composites are hardened by shining an intense light on them for a specified period of time, usually around 40 seconds. You may chew right away. These fillings are instantly hardened by the light. Your teeth may experience some degree of temperature sensitivity for a few days or even up to a month. If it does not disappear within that period of time, contact your dentist.
These light cured composites are extremely cosmetic and most often bonded into place in one appointment. For this reason, this is often referred to as “bonding”. These fillings can be used in both the front of the mouth as well as in your back teeth. These materials come in a variety of shades so that they will match the color of your own teeth. When we refer to Direct Composite Bonding we are typically referring to procedure where white filling materials are bonded to the surface of healthy tooth structure. Direct Bonding is usually done for cosmetic reasons to help us change the shape and contour of a tooth while preserving natural tooth structure.
Our office uses the most advanced metal free crowns that are bonded to the prepared tooth. Since the cement used is light cured, you leave being able to chew on your new tooth right away. A veneer is a crown that only covers the front and sides of your tooth. When removal of the natural tooth structure is required or when a significant color change beyond the capabilities of bleaching is necessary, porcelain veneers may be the ideal choice to achieve a beautiful and natural smile.
In general, dental bleaching is a very safe, inexpensive, and effective cosmetic treatment. For people who have really yellow teeth what you can expect is a result that is about two shades whiter than what you have now. Even with the most sophisticated dental bleaching systems, there is a variability in results – 3 shades whiter to no change at all. As this is a cosmetic procedure, dental bleaching cannot guarantee you a specific result.
Some people have tooth colored fillings in their teeth that match their yellow teeth before the dental bleaching. After the dental bleaching, the teeth whiten but the fillings stay the same color. Consequently, these fillings will need to be replaced at an extra cost after the dental bleaching is completed.
Additionally, crowns or porcelain restorations in conspicuous areas will not lighten from bleaching and may not match the shade of your newly bleached teeth.
Another word of caution – those people with sensitive teeth should avoid bleaching procedures. Tooth whitening could increase the sensitivity of your teeth. Some people even experience extreme pain when bleaching. If you have sensitive teeth but would still like to bleach your teeth, we suggest that you first correct the sensitivity problem.