What treatment would you recommend for a bride-to-be to get the perfect wedding smile?
Always start with a consultation. You want the most conservative option. This usually involves alignment of the teeth through orthodontics. I favour Invisalign as it is discrete, flexible and fits in with the modern day patient. If you wish to change the shapes of your teeth cosmetic bonding is always a great - it involves using resin to add to the teeth.
How far in advance before the wedding should a bride-to-be come in to see you?
At least one year as treatment can take one year or longer. Some cases maybe shorter but it’s always best to have this checked with a dentist.
What are the most common treatments you offer and how do they work?
Whitening involves taking moulds of the teeth and having bespoke trays made. The dentist fits the trays and shows you how to use the product - I prefer the home whitening by Philips Zoom. Little droplets of gel are placed in the bespoke trays and worn for an hour twice a day or over night for up to two weeks. For every day that you wear the trays the teeth will get whiter.
Bonding involves the dentist using resin which they match to your existing teeth and using the resin to change the contour, shape, surfaces and edges. It does not involve any drilling but requires artistic skill and knowledge in cosmetic dentistry about how to recreate nature and produce a beautiful smile.
Contouring is the filing down of the teeth to create different edges such as more round, square or combination shaped teeth. It involves mild removal but usually isn’t enough to cause sensitivity .
What are the advantages of these treatments?
They are part of our ‘minimally invasive movement’ which means that tooth structure is preserved and not damaged. The treatments leave your teeth in tact and allow enhancements and corrections of what already exists.
How white will your teeth look and how long will it last?
Everyday is different and not everyone achieve that Hollywood white. It depends on the compliance of wearing the trays, the thickness of your enamel, so if you have worn down teeth or erosion you may not whiten as well. We usually measure the shades on what’s known as a vita shade guide. The most natural white is known as B1 and the more obvious whites can go to OM1.
What foods should you avoid for maintaining the best result?
Think of anything colourful; beetroots, turmeric, coffee and red wine. These pigments stain.
Tell us about Invisalign, is this a treatment you would recommend alongside the treatments mentioned above?
People are steering away from veneers and huge trends in cosmetic orthodontics. I do a lot on Invisalign, bleaching and bonding. The oldest person I am treating is 65! What is definitely changing in terms of the ‘Hollywood smile’ is the shape and style. The new generation of dentists are moving away from invasive procedures such as veneers and leaning more towards straightening the teeth and allowing the patient to see their progression from the offset so that if they were still to go for procedures such as veneers then they still have the option to do so.
What are the Dos & Don’ts while you have Invisalign?
DO avoid taking them out other than at meal times as you need to wear them 22 hours a day for optimal results.
DON’T chew gum with the aligners in as it will stick to them.
DON’T drink alcohol with the aligners in. Because of the high sugar content in alcohol, a moderate amount would be fine to consume, as long as care is taken to clean the teeth and the aligners soon after so as not to trap sugar between them.
DON’T smoke with the aligners in place as this can cause staining.
DON’T place the aligners in a napkin in a restaurant as they can be accidentally thrown away.
DO use a ‘chewie’. Aligner chewies help close any air gaps between your teeth and your Invisalign aligners. The trays may not fit tightly against your teeth at first. Biting on the chewie helps your trays to fit tighter on your teeth, which helps your treatment progress faster.