There are nearly always more than one way to treat dental issues. They can often range from the simple to the complex.
For example, let's suppose you have lost a single tooth. Depending on where in your mouth the tooth has been lost from, the treatment options may range from doing nothing, a partial denture, a bridge or an implant.
Another example - let's suppose that you have a discoloured front tooth. Some of your options could be do nothing, bleach the tooth, veneer the tooth either with composite or porcelain or a full crown.
In these examples all options have their place and some are more appropriate than others in a given set of circumstances. What is important, is that the options are explained to you with their particular advantages and disadvantages, and you are part of that decision making process.
Tooth whitening or bleaching is an effective method of lightening the colour of teeth. However there are some possible downsides that patients must be aware of. It is not a permanent solution and the teeth can become more porous and absorb food stains over the long term. However the procedure can be repeated and the whitening effect does last several years. Occasionally patients do experience some (usually temporary) sensitivity.
Not all missing teeth need to be replaced but for reasons of function, aesthetics or to prevent further destruction of the dentition most missing teeth are best replaced. To replace teeth the main options available are dentures, bridges or implants. The most appropriate form of tooth replacement depends on several factors. These include the site of the missing tooth or teeth, the number of missing teeth and the financial resources available.
Veneering front teeth can improve the appearance of front teeth. There are two ways of veneering teeth. Composite materials can be used and are effective in the short term. However, they tend to stain over time. Porcelain veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are custom made by our technician and are bonded to the tooth or teeth. They can produce excellent aesthetic results and are colour stable long term.
Often we work with other specialists such as Orthodontists, Periodontists and Oral Surgeons to get better treatment outcomes. We have our own Ceramist in our practice and this we find an advantage in matching tooth shades correctly.