A few years ago the wonders of cosmetic dentistry entered the zeitgeist through TV shows like The Only Way Is Essex to become a permanent feature of modern life, the impossibly white and straight Hollywood smile apparently becoming the holy grail of anyone interested in upgrading their looks.
At Aquae Sulis we take a more measured view — we’re interested in our patients’ long term oral health as well as their appearance in the here and now, and so when it comes to porcelain veneers, for example, we’re clear about the implications for the natural tooth tissue underneath.
In many cases, especially where teeth have already been damaged, they will be the right decision (they can even strengthen weakened teeth), but a proper discussion about the alternatives should be had between patient and dentist before proceeding.
So, why porcelain? It mimics the light reflecting properties of natural teeth and is difficult to tell apart from them, it’s durable and it is tolerated by the oral tissues, reducing the likelihood of gum problems.
We provide veneers for patients with worn enamel, unsightly gaps or uneven teeth, and on teeth that are showing signs of general wear and tear. It takes at least two visits: first the tooth is prepared by removing a small amount of the surface, possibly under local anaesthetic or conscious sedation in the case of extremely nervous patients.
Removing enamel means the veneer will feel natural in shape and position, but the surface of the tooth will feel rough and so a temporary veneer will be placed in between appointments while the permanent one is being made. When it’s ready the patient can see how it looks on their tooth to check they are satisfied before it is permanently bonded into position.
Incredibly, 50% of adults are unhappy with their smile and 11% are so embarrassed that they cover their mouths when speaking. Veneers can play a life changing role in smile makeovers because of their ability to mask surface defects on the teeth and correct discolouration and minor misalignments.
They create a bright, perfectly aligned smile and look natural but they do require some of the natural tooth tissue to be removed to make space before they can be permanently bonded into place. For that reason, having veneers is a serious decision with permanent oral health implications. Read more >
Teeth whitening is a bit like sunbathing; if someone goes into the sun just for an hour and then doesn’t do it for a week they won’t develop a tan, but if they expose themselves over a number of days they will.
Similarly for patients who use teeth whitening trays over a number of days, the process is more effective and works quickly. It’s simple, long lasting, there’s no taste and no smell. Read more >
Crowns and bridges
Despite advances in technology enabling the widespread use of complex treatments like dental implants, the fact that conventional restorative work is still used points to its important role as a technique to restore beauty and function to damaged teeth.
Crowns are finely crafted pieces used to build up a tooth that has been chipped or broken or has become too weak to chew with. They can be made from ceramic, a combination of metal and ceramic, or a high gold alloy. Ceramic crowns can produce near perfect aesthetic results that are indistinguishable from natural teeth. Read more >