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Teeth whitening is one of the quickest ways to improve your appearance dramatically. Your smile is your calling card and one of the first things people notice about you. Having a teeth whitening treatment by a Novato Dentist can not only change the way people see you, but it can improve your feeling of self-confidence. When having a teeth whitening treatment, most people want to know how long it will last.

Any whitening process, whether it be over the counter or professional, will require a certain amount of maintenance.  The benefit of professional whitening, because they include professional strength whitening products, will typically last the longest and require the least upkeep. Generally speaking,the maximum benefit professional teeth whitening treatments performed by a cosmetic dentist, can last anywhere between 6 to 12 months. After this time period, the benefits will start to fade. Your individual oral hygiene habits as well as your age will determine how long your whitening treatment will last.

A diet that includes a lot of staining food or beverages; such as coffee, tea, berries or red wine, will also influence how long the whitening lasts. The good news with professional whitening is all you have to do to return the teeth to their maximum whitening is to wear your take home maintenance trays for a day or two, and your teeth typically return to the same white you had after your professional whitening.  You are good to go for another 6 to 12 months.  This is much easier than over the counter products which often demand that you use the product almost daily to keep the maximum whiteness.

Of course, there are steps you can take that will extend the teeth whitening results as long as possible. The main culprits that cause teeth to stain and darken are smoking, coffee, red wine and dark teas, which all contain tooth-staining agents. Eliminating or avoiding these items can help extend the effects of your tooth whitening. Touch-ups by your Novato Dentist every 4 to 6 months will also help a white smile last longer.

Another factor that can influence how long a teeth whitening treatment lasts is the structure of your teeth. Crooked or overcrowded teeth can cause plaque and bacteria to linger in spaces between teeth, possibly spreading and leading to discoloration as well as other oral health issues. Using a tooth whitening toothpaste recommended by your dentist or hygienist after each meal will also aid in maintaining a bright, white smile. Ask your dentist to recommend a mouth rinse to help remove bacteria and stain-causing food particles from between your teeth.

There are no teeth whitening procedures that will produce permanent results. Especially as we age, our teeth become somewhat porous, absorbing staining agents from tobacco, coffee, red wine, etc. If you begin to notice your teeth are becoming yellowed again, ask your dentist before having any other tooth whitening treatment, even an over-the-counter kit. Too much whitening too fast should be avoided, as it causes some patients sensitivity.

Dental implants are quickly becoming a vital component of general dentistry and dental restorations. Losing a tooth can often have a devastating effect on one’s ability to speak, chew and even on one’s self-confidence. Whether caused by dental trauma or decay, losing a tooth does not have to alter your lifestyle. Dental implants offered by our Novato Dentist office now provide an option for tooth replacement that create a long-lasting and natural looking restoration.

The dental implant itself is a small titanium post surgically implanted into the bone. During the initial phase of the implant process, the titanium bonds with your jaw bone to form a strong foundation for a natural-looking dental restoration. Once the post is firmly seated in the jaw, the restoration is affixed to the implant. Because the titanium post takes the place of the tooth’s missing root, dental implants are actually integrated into the structure of the bone to mimic the appearance and strength of your natural teeth.

Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or multiple teeth. Dental implants are an exceptional tooth replacement option when used alone, but they can also be used effectively to help improve the stability and comfort of existing dentures or bridges.

At our Novato Dentist office we can strategically place dental implants to stabilize bridges and dentures. Typically, bridges stay in place because they are affixed to adjacent teeth, but this can cause unnecessary strain and structural stress on a patient’s natural teeth. Now, a patient’s bridge can be anchored to a dental implant, ensuring a comfortable fit, and taking the pressure off of healthy, natural teeth.

Dental implants can be used alone or with dentures and bridges to improve the appearance and functionality of a patient’s smile. They are a versatile tooth-replacement option providing stability and a durable, natural-looking restoration.

In years past, metallic (amalgam) fillings were the only option available to fill a cavity and provide a stronger, restored tooth structure. These old “silver” fillings are actually a combination of metallic alloys such as mercury, silver, and others.

As advances in cosmetic dentistry have made a beautiful, bright smile accessible to everyone, many patients choose our Novato Dentist office to have these old amalgam fillings replaced. Fortunately, these patients now have more aesthetically-pleasing options when it comes to dental fillings and restorations. 

Tooth-colored composite fillings are preferable to amalgam fillings for a number of reasons. So why do patients choose tooth-colored composite fillings?

One of the top reasons patients choose to use composite fillings over amalgam is, composite fillings closely match the patient’s natural color. These tooth-colored restorations blend naturally with dental enamel as opposed to amalgam fillings that appear as dark spots on white dental enamel. In addition, amalgam fillings will eventually discolor teeth over time, causing teeth to take on a darker, bluish hue. 

Structural Integrity

Amalgam fillings are prone to “shrinking” over time. As a result, the fillings pull away from the edges of the tooth’s natural enamel. This allows bacteria to accumulate in the space formed between the filling and the natural tooth, leading to more serious dental issues which may ultimately necessitate root canal therapy. 

SIlver-mercury amalgam fillings can also act as a metal wedge over time, leading to deep fractures to the teeth. These fractures can cause the tooth to split, thereby needing an extraction. The only replacement options thereafter are bridges or implants. 

White composite fillings are incredibly popular with dental patients because they look clean and natural and they do not shrink with age like amalgam fillings. When choosing a Novato Dentist to have a recent cavity filled, or to replace old amalgam restorations, we can help you understand your options! Give us a call for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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