Our smile is very important. lt is pleasant for those who receive it and comforting for the person giving it. A smile is a moment of happiness, friendliness. A smile is, also, often a reflection of our health. This is why it is advisable to have healthy, straight teeth. Crooke & Laguna Dental Clinic are specialists in dental aesthetics and here are some recommendations.
What methods are there for improving our smile?
There are many ways to improve a smile, modifying gums with periodontal plastic micro-surgery, colour changes with whitening products and veneers, and orthodontics to correct the position of the teeth. lt is important to carry out a thorough consultation with each patient to obtain an ideal diagnosis because in some cases several treatments must be combined. For example, a frequently used option is to, first, redefine the outline of the gum in order to level the edges and later use veneers. At other times we use orthodontics to slightly modify the position of the teeth, which allow us to minimise dental preparation and better distribute spaces. On other occasions we combine whitening and composites. The important thing is a good diagnosis and the use of top quality materials because to obtain the best look we can’t use any porcelain, and not all technicians treat ceramics in the same. The challenge is to imitate the textures and light refraction of natural teeth and how it transmits light, which is why there are different prices.
Are there any contra-indications against whitening?
It is important to check that gums are healthy and that there is no decay before whitening because it can cause sensitivity, toothache or inflammation of the nerve. lt is not recommended for patients with badly receding gums or is it effective for patients with severe staining caused by tetracycline antibiotics.
What other alternatives do we have if we want to change the colour of our teeth?
We can use veneers or porcelain plates on teeth which resist whitening. This is a fine sheet of porcelain which sticks to the surface of the teeth. Minimal dental preparation is required and the appearance is unbeatable. lt is carried out using feldspathic ceramic, which perfectly imitates the translucidity of enamel.
How do we know if we’ll like the result?
Before starting treatment we carry out a diagnostic wax·up. We establish a treatment plan with the patient’s photos, x-rays and models. We carry out the changes we require by adding wax or removing plaster from the plaster model and present the final result to the patient. To make sure that the aesthetic result is the desired one, silicone guides and resin are used to test the wax-up in the patient’s mouth. There are even patients who take the plaster model home in their mouths to show friends and relatives.
How many appointments are required?
Three or four at most. The first is to take the details for the study. The second is to test the wax-up to make sure we have obtained the best result. The third is for carrying out dental preparation and the last is to put on the veneers.
Is there anything quicker?
Yes, composite veneers. They are put in during just one session, sometimes two. The advantage is that they are cheaper and quicker although they require more maintenance and periodic polishing as it is more sensitive to thermal changes in the mouth and possible staining due to food or smoking.