Treatment options to improve teeth

There are several cosmetic treatments available that are designed to improve the appearance of teeth. This includes veneers, crowns, dental implants, bridges and orthodontics.

During the first consultation with your cosmetic dentist, they will help you choose the right treatment option for your case.

To give you a clear overall understanding, we have outlined each cosmetic treatment and its suitability below.

Veneers

What is a veneer?

A veneer is a wafer thin, tooth shaped material that is cemented to the outside of a tooth. It covers the tooth underneath completely, as an acrylic nail would cover a natural nail.

Veneers are made from two different types of material – porcelain or composite. They can also be made in any shape or colour depending on your needs.

Moreover, veneers can be designed to blend in with your surrounding teeth or used to create that bright white ‘Hollywood’ smile.

The main attraction for veneers is a patient can have their preferred smile within 5 business days.

Porcelain Veneers Composite Veneers Male Smiling

Who are veneers suitable for?

Veneers may be a suitable solution for individuals who have discoloured, crooked, widely spaced or worn-down teeth.

What is the treatment process?

Before veneers can be placed, preparing (drilling) of the front and sides of the tooth will be required to make room for the veneer. Then, impressions of your teeth will be taken and sent off to our partner lab.

At the lab, your veneers will be fabricated and polished. During this time, you will be given temporary veneers.

Once your veneers are fabricated, they will be cemented to your natural teeth.

How long do veneers last?

Porcelain veneers can last on average between 10 to 17 years. Composite veneers, on the other hand, are made from composite and last around 5 years.

Good oral health, and regular dental check-ups can help to prolong the longevity of veneers.

Dental Crowns

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown covers the entire 360° surface of a tooth and is placed on the tooth like a cap.

Dental Crowns Couple Smiling White Teeth

Who are dental crowns suitable for?

When the strength, shape or appearance of a tooth needs to be restored, a dental crown will be placed. Patients usually require dental crowns when tooth decay is severe, or the tooth has been worn down.

Alternatively, if a tooth has had a recent root canal, a dental crown will be placed to protect the tooth from further damage.

Lastly, a dental crown might be used to support a bridge for a missing tooth.

What is the treatment process?

Firstly, the front, side and back of the tooth is prepared (drilled) to make room for the dental crown. Impressions of your teeth are then taken with our 3d scanner and sent off to a lab to be fabricated.

During this time, you will be given a temporary crown. Once the crown is ready, it will be securely cemented in place.

How long do dental crowns last?

On average, dental crowns last around 15 years. With a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental check-ups, your crown could last much longer.

Dental Implants

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth that has a metal screw base which is placed into the jaw bone. Implants can replace a missing tooth or help to support surrounding teeth and maintain facial structure.

Dental Implants Smile Mirror Happy Patient

Who are dental implants suitable for?

Dental implants are suitable for patients who have one or more missing teeth. Patients must also have appropriate bone tissue, be free of periodontal disease and be a non-smoker (during healing process).

What is the treatment process?

First, a hole or osteotomy is prepared where the implant is to be placed. From here, the implant base is carefully inserted into the jaw bone and the area is stitched closed.

After 2 to 6 months of healing, an impression can be made to fabricate a tooth. Once completed, the tooth is supported on top of the implant base.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants last for a very long time, upwards of 25 years. They are considered a permanent solution and only need replacing if they become loose, infected or damaged.

Dental Bridge

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge uses one or more teeth as a support to cover a missing tooth. If many teeth are missing, the support component of the bridge becomes an implant instead.

Dental Bridge Treatment Model

Who are dental bridges suitable for?

Dental bridges are suitable for individuals who have one or several missing teeth in the same arch.

There are several types of dental bridges available to suit a variety of needs. To learn more about the different types of bridges review our dental bridge page.

Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics involves one of several treatment methods to straighten teeth. This includes dental orthopaedic appliances, braces, or clear aligner systems like Invisalign.

Orthodontics Invisalign Teeth Straightening

Who is orthodontics suitable for?

Orthodontics is suitable for patients who have crooked teeth, crossbites or crowded teeth. Depending on the patient’s dental development age and the condition of their teeth, the dentist will determine if orthodontics is viable. From here, the most suitable system for your case will be chosen.

Not everyone is suited for orthodontic treatment. Consult with your dentist to determine if treatment is right for you.

What is the treatment process?

Dental orthopaedic appliances: Are designed for children to widen the upper jaw and correct their bite. The appliance will be custom-made for each patient, and our cosmetic dentists will discuss how to properly expand the plate over time.

Braces: Are cemented onto the teeth and a wire is then threaded through the brackets. Periodically this wire will be replaced with a new (usually stronger) wire. This process will continue until the teeth are straight and your orthodontist is happy with the results.

Invisalign: An impression of your teeth will be made by your dentist and sent away. From here, you will receive a set of clear aligners. Each set will be worn for two weeks and replaced by the next set.

How long do orthodontics last?

The duration of each treatment, and how long the results last will depend on each case. You should ask your dentist how long treatment might last for your individual situation.

Dental Treatments at The White Bite

Talk to us today to discuss your treatment options and how we can help to improve your teeth. Please contact our friendly team today and get started on your smile journey!

How to Improve Stained or Discoloured Teeth

Tooth discolouration is a natural process and happens to everyone over time. Below is a brief overview of the different types of tooth discolouration and what you can do to improve the appearance of your teeth.

Types of tooth discolouration

As we age, our teeth change colour and can be influenced by the foods we eat and our oral habits. This discolouration can be broken down into three broad categories: extrinsic, intrinsic and age-related.

Extrinsic Tooth Discolouration

Extrinsic tooth discolouration is caused when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Causes of extrinsic staining include food and drink, things like red wine, coffee, soy and tomato sauce, or berries can all stain your teeth. Smoking and tobacco chewing also lead to extrinsic staining.

Intrinsic Tooth Discolouration

Intrinsic discolouration occurs when the inner tooth structure (the dentin) is darker than normal. This can be caused by tooth development issues such as excess fluoride or antibiotic use during pregnancy or early-life. Teeth that have been traumatised or undergone root canal therapy can also change colour and may appear darker or even turn black.

Age-Related Tooth Discolouration

As we age our enamel wears away and the underlying dentin becomes denser. Dentin is naturally yellow-brown in colour, so as the proportion of dentine becomes thicker the tooth becomes darker.

What can I do to improve the appearance of my teeth?

Good dental hygiene

A good oral hygiene routine consists of brushing at least twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes with a soft toothbrush. As well, it is recommended to floss at least once a day, making sure to clean the line between tooth and gums and between the teeth.

Myth: Whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes are generally not a good idea. The amount of bleaching agent in them is quite low, so the teeth themselves don’t change colour. They tend to be very abrasive, running the risk of damaging your gums and scratching any fillings or veneers you may have and making them more prone to extrinsic staining.

Tricks with staining foods

After you eat or drink anything other than water, we always recommend quickly rinsing your mouth out with water to remove residual food and liquid from your teeth. It is these ‘leftover’ particles that are the biggest contributors to extrinsic staining. If you are not able to rinse out with water afterwards, a good idea is to chew sugar-free gum instead.

Regular dental visits

During your 6-monthly dental check-up and clean, your dentist or oral health therapist will professionally clean your teeth. This may remove some tooth discolouration, although many stains are permanent unless the teeth are treated with a whitening (bleaching) gel.

teeth whitening before and after

What treatments can whiten teeth?

There are several ways to whiten teeth but the right treatment for you depends on the types of stains affecting your teeth and your desired outcome.

Teeth whitening at home

You can get over-the-counter whitening agents or a take-home whitening kit from your dentist. The differences between the two are the dentist take-home kit comes with a custom-made trays that tightly fit over your teeth. The tray that you will use for the treatment and the dentist take-home gel may be stronger than the over-the-counter version.

Your dentist will have to take impressions of your teeth to make these trays, so they fit snugly onto your teeth. The whitening gel is then applied in little pea-sized portions into the gap for every tooth and left in place for a period of time.

The take-home bleaching gels are not as strong as those applied by your dentist in-chair, meaning the process will take longer to achieve results. Most take-home whitening kits take between two to four weeks to whiten your teeth.

Teeth whitening in chair

In-chair whitening can take between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. At the start of the Philips Zoom whitening treatment, your dentist will cover your lips and gums and will apply a high strength whitening gel to your exposed teeth. The whitening gel works together with LED heat lamp and breaks down your stains and discolouration.

In-chair whitening is broken down into 15 minutes cycles. Depending on the sensitivity of your teeth and the result that you would like to achieve, the number of cycles can vary between 2-4 cycles. 3 cycles are considered as the norm. While the gel and light are working, you can listen to music or watch TV.

If your tooth has darkened due to a trauma or after a root canal, teeth whitening of the enamel won’t change the colour of the tooth as the problem is deeper down in the dentin. You may need to consider internal (inside the tooth) bleaching or covering the tooth with a crown or veneer.

Veneers

Some intrinsic stains that are caused by nerve or blood vessel damage of the inner part of the tooth can’t be fixed with teeth whitening. Veneers are a thin layer made of porcelain or composite resin (filling material) which can cover a stained tooth like an artificial fingernail would cover your real nail. The colour of your veneer can then match the colour of your surrounding teeth.

If you are looking for an instant white smile, start your free online consultation or give our team a call today on 07 5576 9333.

World no tobacco day: How does smoking affect your oral health?

The 31st of May is World No Tobacco Day. WNTD is an initiative of the World Health Organization to highlight the risks associated with tobacco use, and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The World Health Organization is calling on countries to prioritise and accelerate tobacco control efforts as part of their responses to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Tactics such as plain packaging, graphic health warnings, increased taxes, and increased funding for initiatives to reduce tobacco usage have helped to reduce consumption and increase awareness in the health problems which are caused by tobacco. Although Australia is a world leader in the push for reducing tobacco usage, there is still a major problem among the population.

Smoking increases your risk of tooth discolouration, oral cancer, and gum problems

There are a number of oral health issues which can be directly related to tobacco usage. Your risk for tobacco-related diseases, such as those affecting your oral health, depends on how long you’ve smoked and the number of cigarettes each day. Tobacco usage puts you at risk of the following oral health problems:

Excessive tooth discolouration

Cigarettes contain both nicotine and tar; two ingredients which when inhaled can greatly affect your risk of tooth discolouration. Although colourless, when nicotine is mixed with oxygen it turns yellow in colour. Both substances can leak into the microscopic openings in your tooth’s enamel resulting in a yellowish/brown colour on the outer layer of the tooth.

Oral cancer

Cancer involves the gradual mutation of healthy cells within your mouth. When you inhale tobacco, harmful chemicals will pass directly through the mouth and throat. Over a period of time, extended exposure to these chemicals can cause changes to your oral cavity, leading to oral cancer.

Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease within Australia. By reducing your tobacco usage or by quitting, you greatly decrease you chance of developing oral cancer.

Gum disease

Gum disease is caused by an infection which destroys the bone surrounding your teeth. People who smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day are two times more likely to develop gum disease, whilst heavier smoker can be four to five times more likely to develop gum disease.

Help The White Bite spread awareness this World No Tobacco Day!

The White Bite is proud to support World No Tobacco Day and spread awareness of the link between tobacco usage and oral health.

Quitting smoking can immediately improve your oral and overall wellbeing. The White Bite, Gold Coast has a range of options to treat tobacco related oral health issues.

If you are experiencing any oral health concerns due to smoking or the use of tobacco, contact The White Bite team today!

The links between your oral health and your overall health

We all know we should brush, floss and attend regular check-ups to ensure our teeth stay healthy, but did you know the health of your mouth is actually closely tied to the health of your entire body?

The links between gum disease and heart disease

Recent studies have found that people who suffer from moderate gum disease have a much higher risk of developing heart disease. The inflammation gum disease causes can enter your bloodstream and result in plaque developing on the inner walls of your arteries; this of course increases your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. It’s even possible for it to enter the inner lining of the heart and cause infection and inflammation, which can cause a condition known as endocarditis. Of course, gum disease also has an effect on your oral health, and puts you at risk of losing teeth if it’s not properly addressed.

More often than not gum inflammation (also known as gingivitis) is simply caused by not brushing and flossing your teeth properly. Provided it’s not too advanced, it can be easily reversed by brushing and flossing, and attending regular cleanings by your dentist. More advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, while not curable, can be managed.

To put it simply, by brushing and flossing daily and attending a regular check-up, you could dramatically reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease, as well as helping you to keep your natural teeth as long as possible.

The magic of saliva

We know what you’re thinking; surely the words saliva and magic don’t belong in the same sentence! While we know it certainly doesn’t look or sound magical, our spit actually plays a really important and under-acknowledge role in the health of our entire body.

Without saliva, your food would be very hard to swallow, but did you know it’s also one of your body’s main lines of defence against nasty bacteria and viruses? And yes, this includes the bacteria which cause gum disease.

Most foods are slightly acidic, and some (such as sugar) are highly acidic. After you eat, your saliva gets to work bringing your mouth back to a neutral pH, and trying to stop the nasty bacteria which can cause cavities and inflammation. Of course, it can’t fix everything though; that’s where brushing and flossing gives your body’s natural defences a nice little helping hand.

A word of warning though; while you might think that brushing straight after eating something acidic will help to stop the bacteria attacking your teeth, that’s actually not the case! Acids cause the enamel on our teeth to soften, so if you brush straight away, you risk brushing away the enamel which helps protect your teeth further. It’s best to wait half an hour after eating to allow your saliva to do its important job and for the enamel to re-harden, and then brush.

Keeping yourself and your mouth healthy

A study undertaken by the Academy of General Dentistry concluded that up to 90% of systematic diseases in the human body will have symptoms which present in your mouth. The heart disease link we’re discussed above really only scratches the surface!

Other conditions which have been linked to your oral health include, but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Pneumonia
  • Problems in pregnancy

But by looking after your oral health, you could seriously reduce your risks of these diseases, and more. We think that sounds very worthwhile!

The White Bite – looking after your oral and overall health

At The White Bite, we are passionate about helping our patients to achieve the best possible oral and overall health. If you would like to request an appointment to let us help you keep your health the best it can be, contact us today!