How far would you go for the “perfect smile”? As humans we are constantly looking for the best and easiest ways to make ourselves look and feel better.
The latest trend: whiter teeth!
According to a recent Doha News article, the trend has become increasingly popular in recent years and this is due to sharing of images on social media. Seven out of ten children suffer from dental decay, and Qatar residents of all ages are looking to dentists to beautify their teeth. We spoke with our top rated dentists to see what all the fuss is about.
So why do people ask for teeth whitening?
- Dr. Nizar: People usually ask for it when they have discoloration in the teeth and they are not happy with the way their smile looks. It works to make people feel more confident, happier and the teeth are protected. It is a great investment.
- Dr. Maysa: It has become a trend that is very popular. It is used to get you a job or a mate. Everybody has different needs and we need to understand and listen to what the patient wants.
How should people proceed with getting their teeth whiter?
- Doing some research on the internet, or using credible scientific websites, to get an idea of what options are available.
- See a dental professional, get a checkup to make sure the patient has no other major oral issues.
- Come up with a treatment plan for any issues with doctor
- Discuss cosmetic options with doctor
What factors must be taken into consideration when considering cosmetic dentistry?
Multiple factors need to be considered prior to treatment. These include:
- What the dentist can provide – limited treatments, their specialization
- What the patient wants
- The patient’s medical history – if they have any diseases like gum disease or diabetes, etc.
- The patient’s social history – if they are smokers or heavy drinkers, or consume too much sugar
- The condition of the teeth – discoloration, gum disease, needs fillings or crowns, cavities, non-aligned teeth.
- Time consumption for the treatment.
- Financial limit for the treatment.
“The most important thing to remember is that good communication is vital, because you have to know what the patient really wants and for them to understand what you are suggesting, along with the risks.”
Myth Busting Lightning Round!
Do our teeth become more sensitive when we whiten them?
It is true but it is very temporary. The worst case scenario is sensitivity for a day and then it will be gone. It is an established fact that whitening does not cause irreversible damage to the nerve, it causes reversible sensitivity and then it goes away!
Does teeth whitening actually last ?
Theoretically, if we are angels and all we have is water and milk, then it can last for 6 months. However, unfortunately, we will have coffee and tea, some will smoke, etc. It will reduce the time to 3 months or less. As a general rule of thumb, the more you discolor the teeth, the less the lifespan of the result would be. They are not going to get darker than before, but will become discolored again.
Do veneers weaken the enamel?
That’s another controversial hot topic. If veneers are done the proper way, and if minimal preparation is done, meaning minimal removal of the enamel or no removal in rare cases, then veneers are a brilliant option because they are beautifying the teeth. They are protecting the teeth because they are going to protect the outsides of the teeth from tooth wear from citrusy or fizzy drinks, so if it is done properly it certainly does more good than harm. As for cosmetic purposes, it really does make the teeth look better. So if it is chosen for the right case, eg. if the teeth are protruding then the best course of action would be braces and then veneers instead of cutting off 5 cm from the teeth.
Can veneers ruin the teeth?
Veneers are unpopular because people think they are bad, and they destroy the teeth and I think people get them mixed up with crowns sometimes. Crowns are known to destroy a healthy tooth, and that’s why veneers are a very good alternative.
Veneers are over-priced!
That’s not true! Yes, you will pay a lot for a full mouth of veneers, but this will be an investment that will last you 10 to 20 years even, if you take care of your teeth.
Are veneers always “extra” white?
That’s not true, because you can choose whatever shade you want, whichever shape your want also.
Can regular whitening be as white as veneers?
You can’t get whitening to measure up to the white veneers, because there is a limit to how much brighter or lighter they get. However, your teeth will look naturally white.
Are veneers plastic? What are they made of?
Veneers are actually made out of porcelain, they come in many different brands, it is a very strong, durable cosmetic, natural-looking porcelain. It is not a filling or a crown. It does not come in a tube, and is made special to each person who orders it.
Are all veneers in the same price range?
As far as I know they are around the same range in price. However, don’t mistake cheaper versions of veneers to the real thing. Many patients get tricked into getting “veneers” for less in other countries, but end up getting fillings for the outer surfaces of their teeth. This will chip off and can damage their teeth later.
Can you get a whole mouth-full of veneers?
Yes! You can get a whole mouth veneer if you are not happy with all aspects of your teeth.
Can having veneers cause damage to the tooth under it?
No! The likelihood of having secondary decay is very rare. First step to installing veneers is to make sure that the teeth are decay-free. It is at almost 0% always because the bonding is so powerful, that the veneer becomes a tooth, so because it is part of the tooth and even stronger than the tooth, the chance of anything getting between them is nearly 0%.
Back to teeth whitening, does the laser used cause any damage to the patient’s health?
The frequency is very important. Home whitening is safe to use once a week or just 3 days a month. So there is a limit to how far you go. Clinic whitening, can be done at a rate of 1 session every 2 months, 2 sessions every 3 months, there’s no research that confirms that it’s going to kill the nerves if you over do it. However, it is certainly not a good idea to do it in certain frequencies which are once a month, for clinic whitening, or 2 sessions every 3 months. For the home whitening, 2 sessions per week or 5 to 6 sessions per month.
What’s the most important part about teeth whitening?
Keeping up with dental hygiene, and getting a cleaning and polishing of your teeth every 6 months, even if you don’t have veneers or have whitened. Removing the stains is about 40% of the teeth whitening process.
Interested in getting your teeth whitened? Book an appointment with our top dentists here!