Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental 101: Teeth Whitening, Crowns and Veneers, Dental Implants

Everywhere you go these days, you are never short of seeing advertisements and billboards of people with perfect, shiny, white teeth! There are a myriad of products out there ranging from whitening toothpastes, boxed take-home teeth whitening kits from the pharmacy or "smile bars" in a shopping centre, to professionally supervised in-chair teeth whitening procedures from your preferred dentist.  How do you choose what the right treatment is for your teeth and for your particular needs?  IS your need purely cosmetic or does it go further than that?

To take the guessing aside, here is some background information from the Australian Dental Association on Aesthetic Dentistry.  It would be worthwhile having a read of this and then consulting a dental health professional to assess your current oral condition to find the most suitable solution for you...


Aesthetic dentistry, often incorrectly referred to as “cosmetic dentistry”, is the term used to describe treatments which change the way your teeth look. There is far more involved than simply changing the appearance of your teeth.

While a cosmetic procedure like tooth whitening is included in aesthetic dentistry, the field is mostly concerned with Orthodontic treatments which restore function such as teeth straightening, and Prosthodontics, which involves the insertion of teeth prostheses such as crowns, veneers and dental implants.

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Teeth Whitening

As the name suggests, this treatment is all about lightening stained or discoloured teeth.

While you can buy over-the-counter, use-at-home toothpastes and strips, your dentist is best qualified to determine if you need teeth whitening, and can use a stronger bleach than you can at home, with greater safety and expertise.

You may be tempted to go to a shopping centre booth or a beautician to get your teeth whitened but neither are suitably qualified and could cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. DIY bleaching comes with all sorts of risks, and old wives tales treatments such as rubbing strawberries, lemons, or even bicarb of soda on your teeth, do a lot of damage to your teeth for no real whitening gain.

Keep in mind is that crowns, veneers and fillings don’t change colour when you have your teeth whitened.


Veneers are thin, tooth-coloured porcelain or glass/plastic layers fixed onto the front of your teeth that can be a suitable option if you have teeth with gaps, that are stained, discoloured, broken or chipped, crowded-in or crooked, oddly-shaped or badly-aligned.


If your broken or decayed tooth needs to be rebuilt, it’s likely your dentist will use a crown to do the job. Crowns are generally made from materials such as porcelain, and porcelain/metal combinations. Not only do they make your teeth look more attractive, but they also give them added strength, durability and stability.

Teeth straightening

Using corrective items like braces and plates, your dentist will line up your teeth with your jaw so you not only look better but have better use of the affected teeth. Once considered unsightly, braces, a key part of teeth straightening, are now much less noticeable than they were, in some cases being all but invisible.

Dental implants

If you’ve got lost or missing teeth, your dentist may use implants to replace them. Not only will your smile immeasurably improve but you’ll enjoy a better quality of life too. Your dentist is best placed to advise on the most suitable option for your teeth, and any decision on changing the look and function of your teeth should always start with them.

Source:  Australian Dental Association (

Please note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Dento-Facial Makeovers: What is it?

As we see it, a smile is not just about the teeth. 

Our whole face consists of skin, muscles and soft tissues that move constantly. Everyday exposure to different elements and pollution add to the wear and tear of facial skin. Unfortunately, this wear and tear can result to unpleasant features etched in our skin.  Wrinkles, lines, grooves and depressions are the battle scars of life. They are the result of decreased production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid that help support and provide volume to our skin.

The interplay between the mouth and surrounding structure of the face is responsible for the harmonious appearance of your face as a whole.

A dento-facial aesthetic makeover is about enhancing your smile by restoring the natural beauty of your facial structure using safe, minimally invasive techniques and materials.  This is done through facial injectables such as Botulinum Toxin Type A (BTx-A, commonly referred to as "Botox" TM), a purified natural protein that is injected into the skin to work on the underlying muscles of the face (ie. anti-wrinkle injections that relax the muscles and allow the skin to become smooth and more youthful-looking, such as areas of the forehead, frown lines, crows feet, smoker's lines, bunny nose and minimising a gummy smile).  Another way to enhance your look is through dermal fillers in the form of Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which help hydrate and provide volume to our skin to keep it looking young (ie. lip fillers, filling lines and grooves and sunken areas of the face). 

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Why choose a dentist for your facial enhancements?

This is simply because a dentist’s training and expertise is all about the understanding of facial structures and anatomy. Knowing where all the nerves, blood vessels and muscles in the face are crucial to not only achieving the best results, but also avoiding potential complications. 

If you have further queries regarding dento-facial makeovers and how it can improve your smile and overall appearance, I highly recommend you to talk to a certified dento-facial aesthetic provider, such as Dr. Rouel Vergara and Dr. Benjamin Barrera here at New Leaf Dentists.