50 Shades of Whiter Teeth

Our last several blogs have covered a few of the common cosmetic dentistry mistakes that cause smile makeovers to end badly. In this blog, we’ll talk about one aspect of cosmetic dentistry that seems simple but can have a huge impact on the final outcome. Teeth whitening can produce dramatic results especially when the change makes teeth many shades whiter than the original tooth colour.

Mistake # 5: Poor Shade Selection for Whiter Teeth

Many people put a lot of faith in teeth whitening to improve their smiles. The whiter the better they believe, and in some cases that may be true. But for most people, extremely bright shiny white teeth just look unnatural. Just the right amount of whitening, however, can have an amazing effect. It’s up to the dentist to help determine the right shade to give you the best results.

Is Whiter Better for Full Smile Makeovers?

As a dentist, doing a smile makeover that includes all of the visible teeth, gives me a lot of options in what I can do for my patients with respect to the final shade of their restorations. For patients who get veneers to cover all of the teeth visible when they smile, the final shade can be as white as they want or at least allows for a greater degree of whitening from the original tooth colour.

Whiten Now, Makeover Later

However, when applying cosmetic treatments such as veneers or dental bonding to a limited number of teeth, let’s say only the four or two teeth in the front, we need to keep the colour of the restorations in line with the existing teeth. It is critical that shade selection is based on taking multiple shades for each tooth so that the final restorations look real. If the new restorations are noticeably whiter than the untreated teeth, the contrast can be very unappealing. One way around this is to consider whitening the other visible teeth first. By starting off with a whiter smile, you can match the shade of your new restorations to the whiter teeth you have just created, giving the patient a much better, brighter result. In my office, we often do teeth whitening on patients who are having other cosmetic dentistry procedures. It allows for a much better place to start, and can even result in needing procedures on fewer teeth.

If You Learn One Thing About Teeth Whitening From This Blog

Dentists just starting out in cosmetic dentistry will quickly learn (hopefully not the hard way!) that there are nuances to teeth whitening. Take at least 3 different shades that you will then match to (from the cervical, body, and incisal surfaces of the tooth), which ensures a very realistic looking restoration that accurately matches the patient’s smile.
Dr. Agatha Bis has been whitening and brightening smiles for over 20 years. Get in touch with us about restorative cosmetic dentistry in Oakville using the form below or by calling us at 905.338.6684 then read the other blog posts in this series on Common Cosmetic Dentistry Mistakes.

This blog is the fifth in a six-part series about the common mistakes made in cosmetic dentistry.

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