Dental Aesthetics is the branch of Dentistry in charge of achieving the aesthetic harmony of the oral cavity, providing solutions to the following dental conditions, among others:
– Dental asymmetry.
– Color change.
– Separation between the anterior teeth (diastemas).
– Dental fractures.
In this way, to correct this type of oral problems, there are different Aesthetic Dental treatments adapted to each case:
– Teeth whitening.
– Aesthetic veneers.
– Other restorative treatments.
Thanks to these procedures it is easier to achieve optimal dental aesthetics. Some of them can be done in a single session, obtaining excellent results.
What are aesthetic dental veneers?
Aesthetic dental veneers (or venners) are another of the most popular Dental Aesthetic treatments. In this case, using certain components such as porcelain, small sheets between 0.8 and 1.5 millimeters thick are made that are placed on the surface of the outer face of the dentition, camouflaging the natural tooth.
In this way, a more aesthetic appearance is provided to the oral cavity and the front part of the teeth is restored to solve problems related to dental coloration, alteration in the shape or arrangement of the teeth and even close the separation of these, a condition known as diastema.
Dental veneers adhere to the teeth thanks to a special adhesive cement that allows lasting fixation.
In addition, porcelain or metal crowns or caps are often used to completely cover the tooth. As for materials, today the use of zirconium is also common, due to its great hardness, resistance and aesthetics.
In how many visits does an aesthetic veneer treatment usually take place and how long do they usually last?
Now that you know what dental veneers are, it is interesting that you know that this treatment has to be carried out in more than one visit to the dental office and is not permanent. In general, in the treatment of aesthetic veneers, during the first visit, the individual case of each patient is usually informed and studied, making a diagnosis to determine the best type of treatment. Subsequently, the different shades and results are shown to the patient, so that they can see what the final effect of the treatment would be like.
In the second visit, the teeth are prepared to place the veneers, taking measurements, photos and molds so that they are in the best possible way.
Finally, the veneers are placed with a resin, so that the patient does not lose the functionality of his oral cavity. Whether they are composite or porcelain, aesthetic veneers will correct any type of defect in the color, size and shape of the tooth.
Regarding the duration of the veneers, the porcelain ones are the most resistant, which usually last between 10 and 15 years. In the case of composite ones, they are kept between 5 and 10 years. In addition, the durability will also depend on the quality of the dental aesthetic treatment and the patient’s own subsequent care.
What is tooth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that aims to remove dental stains and make teeth whiter and brighter. The current popularity of aesthetics has made this dental procedure one of the most requested in recent years.
It is especially important that dentists are trained in the handling of whitening agents, following an adequate protocol for diagnosis, planning of the procedure and maintenance of the results. For this reason, it is vital that the professional knows in depth both the indications and the contraindications of the tooth whitening techniques in order to be able to transmit them to the patients.
On the other hand, the population must conceive this treatment as a medical process that must be carried out under the supervision of a dentist, and only carried out in the dental clinic.
Causes of teeth darkening
Following inadequate oral hygiene and the consumption of certain products can cause alterations in dental staining. There are different types of dental stains that we can classify as intrinsic or endogenous stains and extrinsic or exogenous stains.
Within the intrinsic or endogenous stains are those that affect the teeth in their formation phase, before they erupt in the oral cavity, caused by the consumption of certain medications such as tetracyclines, due to enamel hypoplasia, vitamin deficiency or fluorosis. Also classified in this group are those spots that appear after dental eruption, caused by blows, fractures or due to the passage of time due to aging of the dentition, which acquires a darker hue.
Extrinsic or exogenous stains are produced by contact of the teeth with pigmenting agents, present in certain foods, beverages such as wine, tea and coffee, and other products, such as tobacco. These stains can also occur after prolonged use of certain oral mouthwashes and toothpastes based on Chlorhexidine.
Types of teeth whitening
The classification of teeth whitening depends on the tooth to which the procedure is applied.
Vital teeth whitening
This type of whitening can be of two different types:
Teeth whitening performed in the dental office. It is carried out in the dental clinic by applying a bleaching agent based on 35% hydrogen peroxide, which can be activated by a light source. It is necessary to perform adequate prophylaxis beforehand and check that the oral cavity is healthy. After this step, the area to be treated is isolated, so as to avoid contact of the bleaching agent with the periodontal tissues, and then the bleaching agent is added. It is essential to follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the whitening system so that the results are satisfactory.
It is the very effective method, since a high concentration of the whitening component is handled under the control of a dentist.
Outpatient bleaching under the supervision of a dentist. In this type of bleaching, the concentration of carbamine peroxide is 10%. This method is performed at the patient’s home, under the instructions of the dentist. In the same way as in the previous whitening, it is necessary to carry out a prophylaxis and an oral check-up before the treatment. A splint is made to measure for the patient in which the whitening agent will be applied, in order to avoid any possible contact with the periodontal tissues.
Non-vital teeth whitening
The reason for discoloration in non-vital teeth is usually due to the presence of hematic or bacterial products within the canals (pulpal necrosis). This type of whitening is performed in the dental office and consists of the removal of all bleaching agents and existing necrotic tissue from the pulp chamber in endodontic teeth.
There are two methods for whitening non-vital teeth.
immediate technique. It consists of activating the mixture of sodium perborate with 35% hydrogen peroxide through a hot instrument. The result obtained is observed instantly.
outpatient technique. The mixture made with sodium perborate (Amosan powder) and 35% hydrogen peroxide (Superoxol) is applied, brought into the cavity of the pulp chamber and a temporary filling is placed on the surface. This is a longer process.
A combination of both techniques can also be carried out.
Risks of teeth whitening
However, in addition to knowing what tooth whitening is, we must know that this treatment is not without risks. Tooth whitening is a treatment that, despite generally obtaining satisfactory results, carries a series of risks. It is the dentist’s obligation to inform about them so that they can be considered prior to carrying out tooth whitening.
Among the possible risks of tooth whitening are cervical resorption, gingival sensitivity and post-operative tooth sensitivity.
To potentially reduce adverse effects, it is necessary to comply with the necessary biological safety measures, using the appropriate concentrations according to each technique and following the appropriate exposure times.
Over-the-counter tooth whiteners
According to current legislation, whitening products with a concentration of carbamide peroxide greater than 0.3% or with more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide can only be distributed by dentists. Performing teeth whitening without medical supervision carries serious health risks.
Currently, the European Directive 76/768/ECC considers bleaching products with concentrations of hydrogen peroxide between 0.1% and 6% harmless cosmetics, so they can be purchased freely without medical supervision. However, these can have health side effects. The European Commission, CED and the General Council of Dentists of Spain defend that these products must be used under the indications of a dentist.
As for products with concentrations of less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, these are harmless to health, so their free distribution does not present risks, although their effectiveness is practically nil.
The General Council of Dentists of Spain recommends that patients demand from establishments the type of whitening active ingredient and the concentration details of the products they purchase, in order to check with the General Subdirectorate of Health Products or the Professional Associations of Dentists. if the product they have purchased is authorized in Spain.