How Composite Treatments Can Help Whiten Your Teeth
Here at Dental Excellence, we have a range of dental treatments that will allow you to obtain a wider, whiter and brighter smile. In this blog, we’re going to discuss how composite treatments can help whiten your teeth, or give the aesthetic impression that your teeth are whiter. So, keep on reading for more information on how composite treatments can help whiten your teeth!
What are Composite Veneers, and are they Suitable for Me?
Modern composite veneers provide a natural-looking, beautiful appearance that is non-destructive to the tooth structure. This resin material is matched to the natural shade of the tooth to be veneered. Composite veneers are applied in layers to the surface of your tooth. They are then shaped and sculpted within your mouth by a dentist, in a dental procedure that is non-intrusive and non-destructive. The resin material is then hardened using a high-intensity light and polished to bring about a more natural appearance. If required, additional layers can be applied and sculpted to obtain the desired aesthetic outcome.
Composite veneers can be applied for a number of reasons, but they are used mostly when a tooth is chipped or damaged in some way. The layered veneer acts as a filler, filling in the gaps and correcting the defects in the damaged tooth. Composite veneers can also be used to correct squint teeth or minor misalignments in your teeth, providing a fuller, straighter smile.
Composite veneers are more durable these days, thanks to advancements in technology and the materials used to create them. On average, they last between 5 and 7 years, after which you will probably need a replacement set. You can extend this expected lifetime with due care and careful attention to your oral hygiene. Follow these steps and take care of your composite veneers, and they may last a while longer – possibly as long as 10 years.
The Advantages of Composite Veneers
The most obvious advantage to composite veneers is their cost, especially when you compare this to other options like porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can sometimes be more than twice as expensive as composite veneers, which is a very important deciding factor for many patients.
The reason they are cheaper than porcelain veneers is because composites can be fabricated on the same day as your initial dental appointment, meaning you can leave the dental surgery with a new composite veneer in just a few hours. Here at Dental Excellence, we can include a composite veneer treatment as part of a same-day smile makeover.
With porcelain veneers, your dentist will first need to make an impression of your teeth and send the resulting mould to a lab to fabricate your veneers. In the meantime, you will be given a temporary veneer until your personalised veneers are ready. This means you will need to return to your dental surgery a second time to have it fitted. This increase in time, process and skill means more cost for your treatment. The composite procedure is much less invasive and noticeably quicker than porcelain, making it more affordable.
Reversible and Repairable
Another major advantage of composite veneers is reversibility and the ability to be repaired. Minimal preparation work is required for composite veneer dental treatment, so your teeth are not permanently altered or damaged in any way. This means the composite material can be removed and replaced as needed, to make repairs or reverse the treatment completely. With porcelain veneers, a dentist must first remove a very thin layer from the surface of your tooth, permanently altering their structure. If a porcelain veneer chips or breaks, it must be replaced.
Composite Veneers and Whitening Your Teeth - Everything You Need to Know
Composite veneers do not actually whiten your actual teeth or cause them to change colour. The resin material will match the colour of your natural tooth, as the primary function of this veneer is to fix aesthetic problems like misshapen teeth, squint teeth, chipped teeth, and other defects. It is a good choice if your teeth are in relatively good condition, besides small defects like chips and misalignments.
If you would like your tooth/teeth to be brighter/whiter then it is advised that you have all of your teeth whitened before having a dental veneer. This way, the composite veneer can match the colour of your new whiter teeth before being applied.
Composite veneers can discolour and stain over time. With modern materials and advancements in technology, this is less of an issue than it used to be and is improving all of the time. Nevertheless, composite resin will not stain or discolour any quicker or any more noticeably than your natural teeth enamel.
So, if you do have a composite veneer, it will not become darker than the rest of your teeth and stand out. If it does begin to discolour, it should do so with the rest of your natural teeth. As with your natural teeth, surface stains can develop over time after prolonged exposure to things like red wine, coffee or cigarette smoke.
You should not be tempted to try a home-based tooth whitening kit on your composite veneers, as they will not respond well to this tooth whitening treatment. You should speak to your dentist if you notice that your veneers are starting to look yellow or brown, or stain in any other way. Your dentist may be able to conduct a professional clean to help lift and remove stains. If this is not possible, composite veneers can be repaired or replaced with relative eases by a skilled dentist, with procedures often completed on the same day.
Tips on How to Care for Your Composite Veneers
You should care for your veneers as you would care for your own natural teeth and enamel. Below we have our top 5 tips for looking after composite veneers, including general advice like avoiding colour-saturated foods, and other more specific bits of advice.
Composite veneers let you easily improve your smile and inner confidence, but to keep them looking their best you need to take care of them. As a standard you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss them too – flossing is often a forgotten element that is majorly important to remove food and plaque from in-between your teeth.
You should also book regular appointments with your dentist for general check-ups and professional cleaning if required.
- Soft Bristle Toothbrushes are the Way Forward - Firm bristles on a toothbrush may cause damage to the composite resin over time, especially if you are a firm brusher! Not only this, but firm bristled brushes can also cause the gum line to recede slightly, potentially exposing the base of your veneers. Choose a soft bristle toothbrush instead, they are the way forward for your dental veneers!
- Brush Your Teeth After Certain Foods - As mentioned previously, composite veneers will not stain as easily as your natural teeth, so you won’t have to monitor them as often as you usually would with your normal set of gnashers. However, luxuries like coffee and red wine will cause discolouration over time, just like your natural teeth. The advice here is the same as usual, brush your teeth twice a day and try to brush them directly after eating or drinking such things. It may be inconvenient to brush your teeth after every cup of coffee, but a few times throughout the day will help you maintain good overall oral hygiene and prevent staining. If you do not have access to a toothbrush, you should at least rinse your mouth with a good quality mouthwash. You can also try to limit your intake of fizzy drinks, as they are both sugary and acidic.
- Try to Avoid Baking Soda - Baking soda is a great ingredient to clean natural teeth, and is found in many different brands of toothpaste. However, you should try to avoid these as baking soda can be known to be abrasive for veneers. This is more true for porcelain veneers but still relevant for composite resin.
- Try Polishing or Veneer Specific Toothpaste - You can now buy toothpaste that is specifically designed to remove build-up and whiten minor stains on veneers. Your dentist may be able to recommend prescription-strength fluoride to keep your veneers at their best.
- Quit Smoking - This may not apply to you, but if it does then there are an obvious plethora of reasons why it is beneficial to give up smoking. If you need another reason to kick the habit, the appearance of your teeth and dental veneers should be one of them. Smoking causes your veneers and teeth to become yellow or light brown. This completely defeats the purpose of improving the appearance of your teeth in the first place.
Talk to the Team at Dental Excellence
You can contact us today on 0151 729 0000 to chat to our team and learn more about our services, or to find out how we can straighten, repair or whiten your smile. Feel free to browse through our website where we have lots of information regarding our cosmetic dentistry treatments, or book a consultation with one of our dentists to see what we can do for you.