Tooth whitening or bleaching refers to the application of a peroxide based solution to the outside surfaces of the teeth to lighten the shade of the teeth. Your dentist will fabricate customized trays which are designed to help keep the bleaching solution as much off of the gums as is possible while still allowing the solution to treat the entire tooth. Many over the counter and retail products are available for tooth whitening, however many of these products cause excessive sensitivty in patients. When bleaching, keep in mind that fillings, crowns, and other dental materials which may be in your mouth do not change shade as the natural teeth change.
A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the appearance of a tooth or to protect a damaged tooth surface. Veneers are fabricated in a dental laboratory, and Dr Lowry will work closely with the laboratory technician to develop a product which meets or exceeds your expectations. Veneers are only used for front teeth as they are not able to support the force generated in the back teeth.
Inlays and Onlays
An inlay is a dental restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance, usually tooth-colored porcelain, fitted to a cavity in a back tooth and cemented into place. An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it extends to replace a cusp of a tooth. An inlay or onlay may be recommended in place of a direct silver or white filling in cases in which your dentist is concerned that a direct filling will not support the tooth sufficiently. In addition, since inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental laboratory, they can be designed to better match the shade and shape of the existing teeth. For patients who need a large silver amalgam or white filling replaced, an inlay or onlay may be recommended for not only esthetic purposes but also because these restorations can provide a treatment which is less invasive to the tooth than a full crown. The procedure for placing one of these restorations is very similar to that for a crown in that an impression must be taken and sent to the lab, and then a follow up appointment is scheduled for final cementation of the restoration.