Bleaching & Implants
Teeth bleaching to whiten teeth:
There are many products currently on the market that promise whiter, brighter teeth, many times overnight. But, dental professionals, and the American Dental Association, issue a word of caution about the improper use of such over-the-counter products, as they are often too abrasive and can damage the teeth with extended use. Most will contend that there is nothing harmful about many teeth bleaching procedures, as long as they are dentist-supervised. In most supervised cases, teeth bleaching can effectively whiten and brighten the color of teeth for up to five years, without softening or weakening the teeth and gum line.
- smoking and age spots
- yellow or orange spotting on teeth caused by coffee, tea, berries, chocolate and other foods
- gray or brown stains caused by fluorosis (excessive intake of fluoridated water)
- gray stains caused by smoking and/or the use of certain medications
- overly-sensitive teeth
- people with a gum or mouth disease (periodontal disease or oral cancer)
- people with worn tooth enamel
What are some different teeth-whitening methods?
The dentist will use either an in-office bleaching system or laser bleaching while you are in the dental chair. Most patients, however, choose dentist-supervised at-home bleaching, which is more economical and, in most cases, provides the same results.
At-home bleaching involves using custom-made bleaching trays that can be worn comfortably while you are awake. The trays are so thin that you should even be able to talk and work while wearing them. Most modern bleaching regimens are 30 minutes a days for about 1-2 weeks fore the desired results.
Teeth bleaching side effects and health risks:
The American Dental Association has granted its seal of approval on some teeth whitening products. Consult your dentist regarding which products are most effective and safe to use. As a general rule, the most effective and safest method of tooth bleaching is dentist-supervised.
Gum irritation and increased tooth sensitivity are the most common side effects of teeth bleaching. However, each individual may experience side effects differently.
What are dental implants?
An alternative to dentures, dental implants (small dental appliances that are inserted into the upper and lower jaws) help to restore the mouth that has little or no non-restorable teeth. Dental implants are replacing dentures used by some people, as they provide many advantages over traditional dentures.
Advantages of implants over dentures:
For some people, particularly persons with loose or poor fitting dentures due to flat ridges, or persons with multiple missing teeth who need support for crowns and bridges, implants may be considered a more appropriate alternative to fix the appearance of missing teeth than dentures. According to the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics, implants help to accomplish the following:
- reduce movement of dentures, bridges, and/or crowns
- facilitate proper chewing
- provide support and improved stability for removable dentures or fixed bridge work
- approximate the "feel" of natural teeth better than dentures
- promote "denture self-confidence", as speech and appearance are often improved
Who are likely candidates for implants?
There are many variables to be considered before placing an implant:
- the patient must be healthy
- healing abilities affected by a disease may affect the successfulness of an implant
- a proper diagnosis must be made before an implant can be placed
- placement and technique is specific to each individual candidate
- to further prevent complications, the implant(s) must be treated properly by the patient and the dentist
- heavy smoking and drinking may affect the successfulness of an implant
What are the different types of dental implants?
There are many different types of dental implants from which to choose, including:
An artificial bone substitute
This type of implant involves a synthetic bone substitute being fitted on top of the bone to help rebuild the shrinking ridge and provide sturdy support for dentures. Because it is made of the same type of mineral found in natural bone, this type of implant bonds to the existing jaw bone.
Endosteal implants: This type of implant is inserted into the jaw bone to serve as the tooth's root.
Subperiosteal implants This type of implant, usually an option for persons who can no longer wear conventional dentures, involves a lightweight, specially-designed, metal implant that fits directly on the existing bone.
Dental implants may either be inserted by a dentist specially training in implantology, or by an oral surgeon in a hospital.
Health risks and dental implants:
According to the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontists:
Implants are made of biologically compatible materials which have undergone extensive testing over a period of several years. Since these materials are largely metals, such as titanium, and have never been living tissue, there is no likelihood of causing an antigen-antibody response which could cause rejection similar to that which sometimes occurs with heart and kidney transplants.