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Dr. Gerald Regni Jr & Associates

The Secrets Behind Hollywood Smiles

By Gerald Regni, DMD on April 10, 2013

12Nine times out of ten there is gener­ally room for improvement in our smiles.  However, all too often, most of us take a very casual or passive approach when it comes to considering or making a positive change. As our smile slowly changes we gradually accept the new image, even if the changes are for the worse. But now, having a winning smile is a lot faster and easier than you might think.

There are a number of techniques that can  give you  the  bright,  winning  smile you've always wanted. One of  those  is bleaching. Bleaching is a desirable way to eliminate  unattractive dark colors  from your teeth  without  having to actually reduce tooth structure.  It is an effective way to lighten or eliminate stains caused by dis­ coloring agents such as tobacco, coffee and tea,  stains  caused   by  tartar   and   other deposits on the teeth or stains that may be caused by medication. Bleaching is accom­plished  through  an oxidation process and can easily be successfully completed using any one of the three methods:

(1) In office

(2) Supervised

(3) Unsupervised.

The costs for bleaching can vary. For example, bleaching prescribed by your den­ tist and carried out at home should be gen­ erally less expensive than an in-office  pro­ cedure. However, kits for  carrying out  the procedure at home can be expensive. Some dentists charge up to $700 or more ' for the kits. Apparently, some people are willing to pay a higher price to avoid a few extra trips to  the  dentist.  On  the  other  hand,  $200  - $500 is a more reasonable  price for dentist supervised "at-home treatments" that will brighten the teeth that show when  you smile.

Most methods share similar chemical ingredients. However, the concentration of those ingredients will vary, on a case by case basis, depending on the procedure. The best results are obtained when concen­tration is increased over 1-3 weeks worn in intervals of 3-6 hours in custom trays which provide optimum contact with teeth.

Possible Side Effects

As with any procedure, some side effects may occur. Many times, some patients will experience increased sensitivity to cold during treatment. Some patients have reported temporary discomfort such as gum and/or tooth sensitivity, tongue and lip soreness, throat irritation, and moderate continuous tooth pain during the bleaching process. If any of these symptoms occur, are more than mild and continue to persist, call your dentist. In fact, if you have any ques­ tions or concerns, it's always a good policy to call your dentist immediately rather than waiting. Generally, these side effects will almost always resolve within three days after interruption or completion of the treatment. To help relieve discomfort, a special fluoride gel can be worn in your custom tray.

Bonding

The use of bonding to whiten and enhance your smile is a little more difficult and complex than bleaching. Bonding can close  gaps  between  teeth,  repair  small chips, replace noticeable fillings and hide light colored stains. Most dentists use a putty like plastic or composite material that is bonded onto the tooth and sculpt­ ed to the desired shape. Then the bonded tooth is hardened under a special  light and polished. The cost for bonding varies on a case by case basis. It begins at about $100 per tooth. The procedure can usual­ ly be completed in one session. Bonding can last 3-5 years, but it also can chip and stains easily, requiring touch ups.

Veneers Brighten Hollywood Smiles

In the early 1980's many Hollywood celebrities were among the first to use Porcelain Veneers to create their picture perfect smiles. Porcelain is used to sculpt a covering that is then bonded to the tooth enamel. The effect of this process improves the color, shape and alignment of the teeth making for picture perfect smiles.

Laminate veneers have replaced crowns as the treatment of choice for tetracycline stained teeth or a front tooth that's too misshapen for bonding. Here's how the process works. First, enamel is reduced from the problem tooth. Second, the veneer, a thin porcelain shell that matches  the  shape  and  color  of your., teeth, is bonded directly on the tooth. In many respects it works in much the same way as applying artificial fingernails.

Veneers generally cost $400 to $600 per tooth but can be considerably less expensive than caps or crowns. They are easier to apply and will usually last eight to fifteen years. The procedure is irre­versible   once   the   tooth   enamel   is removed, and staining or decay can occur if veneers aren't properly fitted. If your teeth are not as white, not as straight, not as evenly spaced as you'd like them to be, you may be pleasantly surprised at how simply and effectively Porcelain Veneers can correct many of these cosmetic prob­lems.

The porcelain used in Porcelain Veneers is very strong and stain resistant. It has the same translucent polychromatic shade quality as natural tooth enamel and can give your smile a healthy, younger glow.

When used to restore or straighten the appearance of one or two teeth, Porcelain Veneers can be color matched to the rest of your teeth. Porcelain Veneers can whiten, brighten and block out even the most severe stains on any or all of your teeth, even discoloration caused by tetracycline.

Porcelain Veneers have changed the life and smiles of a countless number of people. They have literally transformed thousands of smiles from self-conscious to self-confident by helping to create an entirely new and more positive self- 1mage.

So once you've had your smile enhanced with one of these procedures, there's nothing left to do but practice smiling -And learn to enjoy an added new dimension in self confidence.

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