Are you concerned about your smile? Do you perhaps hold your hand over your mouth each time you laugh? Or are you always thinking about how your teeth look?
It might be that you can consider cosmetic dentistry, with all of its options, to achieve a more confident smile.
This Web page has been designed as a resource for the local people of Harrow to find out more about cosmetic dentistry, what the options are and whether you may be suitable for any one of the treatments. We're going to talk a little more about how cosmetic dentistry works but before we do here are some basic links to different areas of our website relating to cosmetic dental procedures.
With modern techniques it is possible to follow a basic principle as follows:
This principle in cosmetic dentistry is known as align, bleach and bond and it is the most conservative way to correct cosmetic problems with your teeth.
If you are conscious that your teeth are crooked and you want them straight then we may decide that dental veneers are the option for you, however in many cases we prefer to simply straighten crooked teeth using orthodontics, this is a far more conservative approach than dental veneers as it maintains the natural tooth structure which is generally better than replacing it with something like a dental veneer.
There are a variety of orthodontic options available to you from rapid orthodontics, clear orthodontics and cosmetic orthodontics. At our practice in Harrow we provide 3 options for your orthodontic treatment depending on whether you want to have invisible braces, rapid braces or braces which work with your lifestyle.
Once straightening has been done with orthodontics we can look at whitening the colour of your teeth. If you are already happy with the alignment of the teeth and we can go straight to the whitening phase.
Whitening is normally achieved by home teeth whitening which will involve wearing some precision and custom made clear mouthguards. Into these mouthguards, or trays, you will put the bleaching gel and wear them for a few hours each night for about two weeks.
The advantage with whitening your teeth this way is that you can control how light your teeth go, there may be some sensitivity during the whitening process and this can also be controlled by yourself, if you reach your desired colour or experience any sensitivity then you simply stop.
You might find that your teeth are sensitive to very hot or cold drinks directly after whitening but this effect tends to disappear within a day or so after you have completed the whitening treatment.
There are many beauty salons now offering teeth whitening, we highly recommend that you always ensure that anyone you see for teeth whitening is a recognised and trained dental professional. This is because if any of the whitening gel accidentally gets onto your gum it could cause burning, the design of the whitening tray is therefore crucial to prevent this.
There are also certain dental and medical conditions which contra-indicate the use of whitening techniques, only a fully trained dental professional will be able to give your mouth a full oral hygiene review prior to receiving any teeth whitening. Cosmetic dentistry by whitening your teeth is more than simply whitening teeth, it involves your oral health and we recommend that you do everything you can to look after this by only ever seeing a dental professional for your teeth whitening.
This is the final step in our align, bleach, bond programme of cosmetic dentistry. Dental bonding involves the application of a small amount of a specially formulated and hard wearing cosmetic composite material which is applied delicately to your teeth.
This material is available in a wide range of colours and translucent effects which your dentist will apply in small layers to build up any corrections in your tooth.
Dental bonding can be used to rotate teeth, repair small chips and pits in teeth and to build up any broken down sections or portions of your teeth.
One of the great things about dental bonding is that it often requires no injection and can be completed in one visit by your dentist, this makes it a more affordable and comfortable option than things like dental crowns or dental veneers.
Dr Nishan Dixit here at our dental practice in Harrow is a full member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) and has written several articles on dental bonding techniques which have been published in the dental journals.
This article which discusses how conservative dental bonding can be can be accessed by clicking the image to the right here.
Is it possible to get cosmetic dentistry abroad? This is a question that many people are often asking and answer is yes, it is possible to go abroad to have cheaper cosmetic dentistry.
The biggest problem is that cosmetic dentistry is not a product that you can buy off-the-shelf, it is an art as well as a science and you may have to visit the dentist many times in order to get the best result. These visits to the dentist can add up considerably if you are paying for airfare each time.
In many cases cosmetic dentistry goes smoothly with no hitches, but occasionally there may be a problem such as infection or bleeding. Whilst this is extremely rare what would you do if your dentist is abroad? Dentists in the UK offer an emergency service, normally 24 hours, for their patients. This is an extremely valuable service if you happen to need it!
Overall we believe that any cost saving which is gained by going abroad for cosmetic dentistry is lost by the increased risk of seeing a dentist overseas whose reputation is not dependent upon the local people.
Please think seriously before thinking about going abroad to have your dental treatment!
In some cases it is possible to spread the cost of your treatment over an extended period. Some dental practices offer finance schemes to help with the cost of cosmetic dentistry. At our practice we are happy to accept payments over an extended period of the treatment.
This allows you to spread the payment amounts out so that it is not all to you in one go.
If you are going to have an extensive amount of cosmetic dentistry then we recommend that you speak to your dentist about their own form of financing or spreading payments over a longer period of time.
Want general information on a condition or treatment? Visit the British Dental Health Foundation where they have over 40 online leaflets.
Want to find out about dental treatment? Want to know how to look after your teeth better? Visit the new BDA Smile web site.
Want to learn about dental anatomy, conditions, treatments and good oral health? Visit the BDA's cutting edge 3D Educational web site.