Tooth care has always been a massive industry, a beautiful smile is a naturally endearing feature and people will pay good money to have a nice bright white set of teeth. Orthodontists have long been helping us with the shape of our smile. They use braces to help guide the teeth into an attractive formation, because when left to their own devices some people's teeth can grow over the top of each other, at angles or with large gaps. While these problems are generally not a health issue, they are unsightly and in this day and age, our appearance matters.
Over the past few decades tooth care has moved up a gear, and now not only can we shape and move our teeth to improve our smile, but we can also tackle the second most unwanted feature, discoloration and stained teeth. Teeth Whitening as the industry is known, is increasingly affordable, and different methods to achieve a brilliant white smile have been developed, each with their pros and cons. Some are single treatments, some are courses of treatments that last weeks or months and involve continued home care afterward too.
Two of the less time consuming methods of improving your smile are whitening veneers and cosmetic dentistry bonding. Veneers come in two types. Porcelain veneers (the most common) and direct (also known as composite) veneers. Veneers are small strips of either porcelain or plastic (direct/composite veneers) that literally cover your teeth to cover and conceal any stains or discoloration. These are ideal for people with severe staining when bleaching will be ineffective. Veneers do not last forever and will need replacing in time, porcelain last longer which is why they are most common, as they last 10 to 15 years. Porcelain veneers will take a few trips to your dentist, as they will need to be molded to your teeth individually. Direct or composite veneers, being made of plastic can be made and applied by your dentist in a single visit. These veneers are cheaper but do not last as long, about 5 -7 years.
The other alternative, cosmetic dentistry bonding is a different way to improve the color of your teeth, but it also used when you want to reshape your teeth and fill gaps. Bonding is a composite resin which is injected onto and into the teeth, the advantage of bonding in this way is that it looks very natural when filing gaps between teeth, however the downside it that if you are a smoker the nicotine will quickly discolor the resin.