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Cosmetic Dentistry

Changes in the appearance of teeth can be due to:


Veneers: These cover the front teeth and can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth and smile.

Bonding: Bonding can correct blemishes and irregularities of the front teeth without removing tooth structure.

Bleaching: This is a method used to whiten teeth.

Tooth-coloured fillings: These can be an alternative to amalgam fillings in many cases.

Inlays and Onlays: These repair large cavities or cracks on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, increasing their strength while maintaining their appearance.

Porcelain Veneers

These are thin, tooth-coloured porcelain (ceramic) shells carefully crafted to bond to and cover the front of unsightly teeth. They are a more conservative treatment than a crown and can often be used as an alternative if the underlying tooth is strong and healthy.

Veneers are excellent for treating:

However, a veneer cannot be repaired if it is damaged or if the gum shrinks away from the top edge. And a small amount of tooth must be removed during preparation.


Bonding is useful for improving small irregularities but is less successful than veneers in the treatment of some problems. The tooth is prepared by etching its surface with a gel. The surface is then painted with a bonding liquid that sets firmly when a special light is shone on it. A putty-like resin is moulded onto the tooth and shaped. The light is again used to harden it. Finally, the set resin is trimmed and polished.

However, bonding resin is not as strong as veneers and is more prone to chipping or breaking, but is easily repaired. And it may need regular touch-up work in some cases.


For stained or discoloured teeth, bleaching can lighten teeth that have not responded sufficiently to professional cleaning. It is a safe procedure when done by a qualified dentist. Bleaching may not be appropriate in people who have oral symptoms of some diseases.

There are 3 options available

  1. Laser Bleaching - fast and effective. A special whitening gel is painted onto the tooth surface and dental laser is used to bleach the teeth. It is painless and the procedure takes 45 minutes only.
  2. Home whitening kit - economic and safe. An impression is taken of the teeth and special trays are made to fit over the teeth. Daily application of bleaching gel with the trays are required. It can be done as a day procedure or while you sleep. Good results usually occur within 2 weeks. The trays can be reused later for touch ups.
  3. Laser and Home Whitening - the best guarantee. In some cases, it is recommended to utilize the speed of laser to achieve a good initial result and use the take home kit to enhance the whitening. An excellent result is usually within 3 to 4 days.

Nevertheless, some blemishes will not improve. Bleaching works best for teeth that are stained yellow, brown or orange. Teeth with grey stains may lighten a little, but results will not be as good. Teeth and gum can become sensitive during the process, and is usually temporary. Fillings and crowns cannot be bleached so some white fillings may need to be replaced after bleaching. Some teeth do not bleach evenly.

Tooth-coloured fillings

Composite (tooth coloured) fillings can be an alternative to amalgam fillings. They are made of a resin material mixed with small glass particles. They are suitable for repairing both the front and the back teeth.

They are more attractive than amalgam fillings and can be fitted into very small holes, so less drilling is required in preparation for the fillings.

However, composite fillings take longer to place than amalgam and the technique required is more complex. In large cavities, especially on the back teeth, composite fillings can wear out sooner than amalgam fillings. It can be stained by some food and drink, and it may be sensitive for a time after the procedure.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays are fillings that were traditionally made of gold but now are often made of porcelain, ceramic or composite material. They are used to repair moderately damaged back teeth and need to be extremely strong to withstand the grinding pressure of these teeth. Inlays are glued into place and are contained within the cusp tips of the tooth. A special glue is used to increase the strength of the bond.

Onlays are made of the same materials as inlays. An onlay is a more extensive repair that covers the tooth cusps. It is much stronger than any other type of fillings and actually increases the strength of the tooth.