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December 31, 2008

Direct veneers

Blogged under Aesthetic Dentistry by DrJean on Wednesday 31 December 2008 at 12:51 am

I am not too fond of showing “before and after” pictures as they inevitably give the very wrong impression that with a snap of the finger and “Tada!”,you get an instant makeover.I am merely showing them because I want to get the message across that more often than not,we can use direct veneers as an alternative to crowns.

Direct veneers are composite material bonded directly on to the enamel of the teeth.It is unlike indirect veneers which is usually done with porcelain which is fired in the laboratory and then bonded onto the tooth with a bonding agent or luting cement.

Direct veneers are actually a very good and far more economical option when correctly indicated.However,as I said,the indications has to be right ie it is nor a magic potion for every and anyone.

I do quite a bit of veneers because there is minimal removal of tooth structure as compared to full coverage crowns where a lot of tooth structure has to be take off in order for the crown to be fitted on to the tooth.

This is a simple case where the patient has fractured his front tooth and there was no pain nor sensitivity over a long period of time.I did some tests to ensure the tooth is still healthy and proceeded to do a veneer for him.

The following person had whitening done followed by veneers over his 2 front teeth which had brown streaks on them since they came out in the mouth.

This other individual had very heavily restored 4 front teeth and the restorations tend to discolour and chip off every now and then.Instead of crowning them,I just placed some veneers over them and at the same time giving them a whiter shade.

This is a young person who has small front teeth and some of them pegged shaped.As a result,she has spaces between her front teeth.I just bonded the veneers on to make her teeth look wider and longer without removing any tooth structure at all.

They are really quite nice and durable.Again,I want to stress that it is not THE solution for everyone.

October 9, 2008

Cosmetic Dentistry-current trends and options

Blogged under Aesthetic Dentistry,Dental Education by DrJean on Thursday 9 October 2008 at 8:17 am

The “in” thing currently on teeth appearance in the US is long,squarish and white,BO shade(aka toilet-bowl white) teeth.

Who knows,in a couple of years,this may change to the small,oval and not-so-white look.

This is what trends are all about.They change.Whatever it is,most Hollywood celebrities are sporting this kind of teeth.

                                 

And,I can assure you that many who are non-celebrities aspire to do likewise.

So.what are the options for a lady to look like Halle Berry or Jessica Simpson?Oops sorry,I mean to have teeth like them.What would it take for the men to have Tom Cruise’s set of pearly whites? Or even Shrek’s Chiklets teeth?

Teeth whitening,be it the one-hour professional whitening or the take-home DIY whitening kit,is a good start.As I have mentioned previously,if you are not contra-indicated for teeth whitening,then you would be able to achieve a reasonably brighter smile.

Other options include porcelain or resin-bonded veneers to change the shape and colour of your teeth.However,these treatment options may not be appropriate for everyone.Sometimes,other treatments are required as an adjunct treatment.For example,one may need some sort of gum surgery to improve the shape of the teeth.Orthodontic treatment is often a treatment of choice for poorly aligned teeth.Other lesser known options include corrective jaw surgery and more extensive gum surgery to lengthen the teeth.

Whatever the treatment of choice,my stand as a dental care-giver is that one should not attempt to have healthy tooth material removed extensively just for the sake of aesthetic and beauty.We need to manage our expectations.We are after all only blessed with one set of permanent teeth which is to last us the rest of our lives.

 

 

 

August 7, 2008

Cosmetic Dentistry-what’s that all about?

Blogged under Aesthetic Dentistry,Dental Education by DrJean on Thursday 7 August 2008 at 9:10 am

In the Oxford dictionary,the word “cosmetic” is defined as relating to treatment intended to improve a person’s appearance.”Cosmetic Dentistry” then refers to branch of dentistry dealing with the apearance of teeth.

What exactly is cosmetic dentistry? This term has been made even more popular by the various reality TV shows with “Extreme Makeover” theme.A common scenario is where a person,usually a young working adult or a middle age woman,would tell me “I don’t like the appearance of my teeth” or “I feel ashamed to smile widely because I do not have nice teeth” or “I wish to have nicer looking teeth”.

I remembered many years ago,a lady in her 50s came to see me and in her hands she had a photo.She said,” I would like to have teeth like that” and she shoved the photo into my hands. It was a photo of Faye Wong,the Hong Kong artiste,fllashing her celebrity smile.I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry!!

I think it is perfectly fine to want a set of teeth that is pleasing to look at.

Asthetic is definitely a very important feature of dentistry. But what is more important to me is the foundation under that beautiful set of straight and sparkling white teeth.

I constantly remind my patients that if they do not have underlying healthy gums and teeth,whatever “cosmetic” job that is done will usually not last.

In the next part of this topic we will look at what aesthetic or cosmetic dentistry constitutes and what are the current trends in cosmetic dentistry

 

May 20, 2007

Tooth coloured fillings-nano filler composite resin

Blogged under Aesthetic Dentistry,Dental Education,Technology by DrJean on Sunday 20 May 2007 at 10:03 pm

Materials used for fillings are constantly being researched and upgraded.Composite resins has been around for a long time,as a more esthetic option to the silver amalgams.

Over time.with technology and much R&D,composite resins has evolved to be a material with high quality esthetics.The size of the fillers particles used in composites will determine the polishibility and therefore the quality of esthetics in the results produced.Particle size has evolved from 1 micron(1000nm) in the 80s to around 20nm in today’s modern dentistry.Hence the nano-technology in tooth-coloured fillings.

For front teeth,we can get really good results with these new materials.Here are some examples of before and after pictures.We no longer have to live with ugly and unesthetic looking fillings on our front teeth!

   

 

   

 

   

January 6, 2007

One happy patient

Blogged under Aesthetic Dentistry,Technology,Testimonial by DrJean on Saturday 6 January 2007 at 9:21 pm

Dental treatment has moved towards aesthetics and cosmetics in the recent years.Dental material have also revolutionised to enable us as dental professionals to produce very aesthetically pleasing restorations on our patients.And for me,it is always most satisfying when my patients return to me or write to me to tell me how pleased they are with their new smile.

This is the case of Aireen.She has been walking around over the last few years with a badly discoloured front tooth which was previously root-canal treated.And she has some unaesthetic restorations placed on her two front teeth.

This was Aireen,before

And this is Aireen,after

The smile on her face was priceless.Aireen emailed me a picture of her taken with her friends over the Christmas season and this is what she wrote,”Hello Dr Jean,now I can smile like I used to.Thanks again.Regards,Aireen”

Aireen is seated 2nd from the right.Hey,Aireen.You look lovely!

 


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