Teeth whitening: Is it good or bad for you?

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As you get older, the color of your teeth may jar your smile and you will begin to feel conscious about how you carry about yourself. Even among the young, stained teeth is a huge problem, owing to habits such as smoking, consuming caffeinated drinks, colas, etc. Teeth whitening is a godsend to many of us, and it can make you feel better about your appearance. A safe and relatively inexpensive procedure, teeth whitening is a common cosmetic technique preferred by a growing number of people. However, there are precautions, of course; for instance, it is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers to undergo this procedure.

One of the most common complaints about teeth whitening includes sensitivity and damage to the roots of teeth. However, sensitivity due to teeth whitening does not affect all people. It is best to get in touch with your dentist and have your concerns clarified. In fact, your dentist may be able to identify if you will experience any sensitivity due to the procedure, and suggest remedial measures.

Some of you may still have nagging questions on teeth whitening. We have listed out the pros and cons of teeth whitening to help you decide whether this procedure is right for you.

Pros:
Teeth whitening is not a dangerous procedure at all.
There is no evidence to suggest that teeth whitening will affect your overall health. The chemicals used are not harsh enough to cause bodily harm or have long-term health implications.
Tooth whitening is successful in at least 90 percent of patients.
You can generally finish a teeth-whitening session in under an hour.
Whitening your teeth is much cheaper than other cosmetic procedures.
Whitening can be done at home. You can get professionally produced whitening kits that you can self-administer.
The intrinsic advantages of teeth whitening are many—primarily, the boost in confidence you get when you show off your new smile.

Cons:
Yellow-colored teeth respond well to whitening, while brownish-colored teeth do not respond as well.
People having grey stains caused by smoking or fluorosis (ingestion of too much fluoride) may not experience a dramatic change with this procedure.
Bonding or tooth-colored fillings will stand out after the teeth whitening procedure. The reason being that the whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will not match your newly whitened smile. The dentist may suggest other options such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding on other teeth.
Teeth whitening is not recommended if you suffer from gum disease or worn enamel.
Teeth whitening is not a permanent cure. You will have to repeat this procedure in the future for the effect to last.


Dental veneers

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Dental veneers are used on the front surface of teeth to change their color, shape, size or length. These are thin, tooth-colored materials made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Your dentist will recommend using veneers to fix the following problems:

Teeth discoloration due to root canal treatment, stains, fluorosis, etc
Worn down tooth
Chipped or broken tooth
Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
Teeth with gaps between them

A visit to the dentist will help you to understand the procedure of using veneer and some of its limitations. You may need to sit for an X-ray and tooth model. Once the model is taken, it is sent to a laboratory. After 2-4 weeks, the laboratory re-creates the veneer tooth and sends it to you dentist. Temporary dental veneers can be placed during the waiting period. After receiving the veneer from the lab, the dentist examines the tooth and veneer before permanently cementing it to your tooth. You may need to return for a follow-up visit a few weeks later to check how your gums are reacting to the veneer.
Some of you may still have nagging questions on veneers. We have listed out the pros and cons of veneers to help you decide whether this procedure is right for you.

Pros:

Veneers provide a natural tooth appearance.
Porcelain veneers do not irritate the gums.
Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
Porcelain veneer makes dark teeth appear whiter.
Veneers offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative to crowns.
Veneers generally last between 7 and 15 years.
Dental veneers do not require any special care.

Cons:

This is not a permanent solution.
Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding.
Veneers are usually not repairable in case of a chip or crack.
There is a chance of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
It is possible that veneers do not exactly match the color of your teeth.
There is a risk of veneers falling off.
Teeth with veneers can still experience decay.
Individuals with unhealthy teeth are not advised to undertake veneer treatment.
Veneers are not suitable for individuals who clench and grind their teeth.


Implant overdentures

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The psychological effect of losing all of one’s teeth can be devastating. It impacts the comfort, confidence and social interactions of the person. Overdentures are a boon for such persons who suffer from the discomfiture of missing teeth. Overdentures are replacement teeth, which are retained by dental implants, to help people regain confidence and live a quality life. Like traditional dentures, implant overdentures are removable. However, patients undergoing this treatment often experience better comfort, have speech clarity and retain unadulterated taste.
Having dental implants is a premiere way of addressing the problems of missing teeth and is a commonly prescribed treatment option. These implants are small titanium anchors. They are placed into a jawbone, and they remain there permanently. With time, the implant integrates with the bone and acts very much like your natural tooth root. Implants create a stable foundation for attaching single or multiple teeth. Moreover, it slows down bone loss. A separate implant treatment, called overdentures, is prescribed for people with multiple teeth missing. In this procedure, people typically have complete or partial dentures.

Benefits of overdentures :

PROMOTES BETTER DIGESTION:
Overdentures are more stable than poor fitting dentures, which are often held in by using adhesives. Overdentures give you improved stability while chewing food, helping in breaking down food more efficiently, and absorbing more nutrients.
SLOWS BONE LOSS:
Overdentures will continue to stimulate your jaw bone when you eat or chew. This will effectively slow or even stop the shrinkage in facial features when teeth are missing.
HELPS RETAIN YOUR LOOKS:
Over time, missing teeth can cause the distance between your nose and your chin to shrink. Overdentures arrest this shrinking, which can make your face look prematurely aged.
MAKES YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE:
Overdentures have increased stability, thereby reducing or even eliminating unnecessary movement during chewing and talking. With correctly fitting overdentures, you are also effectively eliminating the risk of dislodgement or sores.