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  • Writer's pictureDr Donna Hill

What are cosmetic dental procedures?

So many patients are asking about cosmetic dentistry in Devon that we thought we would explain some of the treatments involved and how they might work together.

One of the things we are passionate about is what is known as ‘Minimally Invasive Dentistry’ – this means we do the absolute smallest amount of treatment possible to achieve the desired result, and that desired result could be better dental health or better aesthetics. Modern thinking is to align teeth, whiten teeth and then apply some minimal bonding to correct the tooth shape - Most certainly, this is the thinking to which we subscribe as it maintains as much of your natural tooth as possible.

Up until fairly recently the only option for cosmetic dentistry was to have healthy tooth structure removed to make way for either crowns or veneers, this is still a common treatment option and in many cases is the right thing to do. However modern advances in 3 key areas have changed this dramatically.

Our ability to move crooked and misplaced teeth in to the perfect alignment with modern orthodontic techniques that are almost invisible.

  1. Modern advances in Teeth Whitening and bleaching techniques to reduce the dark and/or yellow colour on teeth

  2. Advances in materials for dental bonding to restore broken tips and make minor changes to the shape of teeth

This philosophy is known as ‘Align, Bleach, Bond’ for obvious reasons, and so this guide is written in that order to reflect our conservative and minimal approach. This guide, whilst containing information about veneers, is primarily aimed at showing and explaining how you can have the smile with the least amount of dentistry… great news for you and your teeth.

Common questions about cosmetic dentistry

Are braces considered cosmetic dentistry?

Generally speaking yes, orthodontic braces are now part of regular cosmetic dentistry. Sometimes patients prefer a more rapid approach to straightening crooked teeth, if this is clinically possible then dental veneers or dental bonding may be chosen instead of orthodontic braces.

Do dental crowns look natural?

Dental crowns can be made to look extremely natural with modern techniques. If you are concerned about how natural a dental Crown looks then ask your dentist for a metal free crown, these crowns can be made from alumina or zirconia giving high-strength and high translucency and avoiding the opacity of a crown which is made with a metal substructure.

Is it bad to get your teeth whitened?

So long as the teeth whitening is done by a dental professional then it is safe and effective way to whiten teeth. The bleaching agent contains hydrogen peroxide and this needs to be prevented from touching your sensitive gum areas. Prior to any teeth bleaching your dentist will also ensure that your gums and teeth are dentally fit, this is important to ensure that the bleaching does not irritate any underlying dental problem. Only a dental professional will be able to tell you if you are dentally suited to teeth whitening.

Is it normal to have yellow teeth?

The problem here is defining what is yellow? The definition of yellow has changed in recent years due to the advent of Snow White dental veneers. Comparing your teeth next to these Hollywood white veneers will always make your teeth look yellow!

This shade guide is used by dentists to determine the colour of your teeth when making restorations or teeth whitening. The three white shades off to the left are these new snow white Hollywood colours. They have been made in addition to the classic teeth colours which, by comparison tend to look yellow, although in reality are not!

How do you whiten your teeth overnight?

The best way to whiten teeth overnight is to have teeth whitening trays made by your dentist. These trays are custom made to fit you precisely and ensure that the bleaching gel which is placed inside the tray does not touch your sensitive gum area. Overnight bleaching for approximately one week is normally what is required to achieve the desired shade.



After qualifying in 1992 in Birmingham, Donna moved to Cornwall then helped to set up Trinity Dental Centre in 2000, with the aim of providing kind and gentle dental care. Donna's interest is in the cosmetic field and she frequently updates her knowledge in this area. Outside of work she likes to read and to cook. She is married to Rodney and they have two sons. View all posts by Dr Donna Hill .


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