Are you conscious about your smile? Do you cover your mouth with your hands to avoid the display of your teeth? Do you lack confidence because you have yellow teeth or crooked teeth? These days, a visit to a cosmetic dentist helps you find solutions to all such issues. However, some knowledge is key before you head to one! The following are answers to the top ten questions which explore the basics of teeth whitening and smile makeovers, and will help you make informed decisions.
Q: Who is an ideal Cosmetic Dentist?
A: There is no specific field in the curriculum of a general dentist in India which caters specifically to cosmetic/aesthetic dentistry. A dentist having sound knowledge and good skills in this field is an ideal cosmetic dentist. Always a good idea to look up references before deciding.
Q: Is teeth cleaning the same as Teeth-Whitening?
A: No, in short. Teeth Cleaning or Scaling is a procedure that removes the dirt (plaque and calculus) and stains from the teeth. It is done for better oral hygiene and is recommended every six months. Teeth Whitening or Bleaching, on the other hand, is a cosmetic procedure done to change the yellow /dull shade of the teeth to a much whiter /brighter color. It is not related to the oral health of your gums and teeth.
Q: How long will my teeth stay white after Teeth-Whitening?
A: Teeth whitening procedures lasts from three months to a year, subject to individual lifestyle. It is usually recommended for occasions like marriage, pre-wedding photo shoots, interviews or the entertainment industry, where you have to face the camera – for a brighter smile.
Q: How many appointments are needed for Teeth-Whitening?
A: Usually a single visit of 30-60 minutes, but multiple appointments could be in order if the shade of your teeth is much darker.
Q: What are the drawbacks of Teeth-Whitening?
A: Teeth-Whitening, in some cases, results in slight teeth sensitivity. However, this lasts for only a couple of hours or maximum, a few days.
Q: There are various videos on social media which show Teeth-Whitening done using baking soda, lime, alum, etc. Do these tricks really help in Teeth-Whitening?
A: Most news or medical information available on social media is not accurate. There is a science behind formulation of different dental and medical products. The bleaching kit used for teeth whitening is a formulated composition which helps us attain optimum results.
Q: What is the use of activated charcoal in whitening teeth?
A: Activated charcoal has various toxin-absorbing properties, along with anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents. Various companies have tried incorporating activated charcoal in toothpastes and bleaching agents to make use of these properties. However, there is not enough long-term clinical evidence to prove the efficacy of activated charcoal in these products.
Q: What is the long term solution for whitening of teeth?
A: There is an alternative procedure to whiten your teeth. Smile designing or laminate veneers can help you permanently whiten your teeth with the use of white porcelain shells. This procedure is spread over approximately 10-15 days, with 3-4 appointments.
Q: What is a laminate veneer?
A: Laminate veneer is basically a thin shell of ceramic material which is placed over your existing teeth. These are as thin as 0.3 to 0.7 mm in thickness.
Q: Can we see the final outcome of the procedure before we start the treatment?
A: Yes, you can! In this digital world, we can provide you with the final outcome using the latest technology. It helps you see, analyze and modify the outcome of your treatment even before you start the procedure. For any cosmetic procedure, the cost factor is based on technique, materials used and experience of the doctor.