Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Modern dentistry offers more than just pain relief or extraction of a bad tooth. These days a great number of people turn to cosmetic dentistry to enhance their appearance and improve their self esteem. These treatments can be used to straighten, whiten, reshape unsightly teeth or to close unacceptable spaces. Cosmetic treatments include: porcelain veneers, tooth whitening procedures, white filling replacements, crowns, bridgework and even dental implants. Having a beautiful smile makes you feel beautiful inside!
Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Veneers are an ideal way of treating discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks. To make a veneer, a small amount of enamel is removed from the front of the tooth (usually less than 1mm ). An impression is taken and sent to a dental technician for the veneer to be made in the laboratory. The veneer is then bonded permanently to the tooth and the procedure is complete.
How much will a veneer cost? From €450 per tooth. This is tax allowable.
If you are unhappy with the colour of your teeth or simply want to improve your smile for a wedding or a special occasion, then tooth whitening may be the answer. This involves the application of a peroxide gel to the front surface of your teeth. The organic matrix of the dental enamel is cleaned, removed of stains and bleached. The results can be impressive and quickly achieved. There are a great number of systems available but essentially they fall into two types, either at home whitening using custom made dental trays or in surgery power whitening using a UV light or laser. In our practice we use the best two systems available, Nite White at home whitening and the Zoom! surgery whitening system featured on extreme makeover TV programmes. It is important that teeth have been professionally cleaned prior to whitening and that any sensitivity is treated beforehand.
The Zoom! Whitening system is a one hour power whitening procedure done in the surgery where a strong whitening gel is applied to the teeth and activated under ultra violet light. The results can be seen at the end of the visit and up to six shade changes can be achieved. The Nite White at home whitening system uses a more gentle approach to apply a less powerful gel to the teeth over a longer period of time usually about four weeks. The gel is placed into the trays and held against the teeth for two hours a day until the desired whitening results are achieved.
Does it work? Absolutely! The results are quite striking and most patients are delighted. However some teeth will respond poorly or not at all. These are usually teeth which are pigmented grey/brown and Tetracycline antibiotic stained teeth. The dentist will usually caution these patients beforehand that results are likely to be disappointing.
Is whitening safe? /Will it damage my teeth? Whitening works by removal of stains from the organic matrix of the enamel by a tried and tested procedure used since 1968. Published laboratory studies have shown no detrimental effects on teeth.
Which is the best system? We recommend a combination of both. The Zoom! system will get results fast and most people are completely delighted. However if you are looking for the powder white ‘disco’ look then the Zoom! visit can be followed up with a week of home whitening. In any event over time the teeth will restain , the whiteness will fade a little and the at home system is ideal for giving the teeth a whitening boost.
Does it hurt? No, usually not at all. However some patients report sensitivity to whitening so for this reason we recommend using Sensodyne or Pronamel toothpaste for at least a week beforehand. We also advise taking a Neurofen Plus tablet the evening before, and another one hour prior to the Zoom! procedure. Sensitive reactions are most unlikely as a result.
How long do the results last? This depends on your habits. If you are a smoker, or drink a lot of red wine, black tea or coffee then it will not last as long. However the teeth can still be kept white by having them cleaned regularly and following up with a week of at home whitening. For heavy smokers whitening procedures can be disappointing as the results don’t last.
How much does it cost? The in surgery Zoom! system costs €250.00. Nite White at home system costs €250.00. However we offer and recommend the combination of both systems at a cost of €400 all in. That’s good value whitening!
A lovely smile can be spoiled by visible black metal fillings. It used to be that these were placed for increased strength and durability but with improvements in techniques and materials we can now offer a far more aesthetic alternative, tooth coloured composite resin fillings. It is now common practice for us to remove old metal fillings and replace them with white ones. This can greatly improve your smile and restore your confidence. In some cases where the existing fillings are very large or come under strong biting force it may be best to leave them alone or opt for a porcelain bonded crown. The placement of a white filling is a more complex procedure and takes longer to do than a metal amalgam filling. This is usually reflected in the cost.
How much do white fillings cost? This varies according to size and difficulty but somewhere between €70 and €120.