Smile Design
September 14, 2012
Ways to get the Hollywood Smile
May 8, 2014

Craving that bright, white, perfectly aligned celebrity smile? Well, we have a range of solutions for you. Whether your problem is darkened, stained or misaligned teeth, the solution for you is as easy as it is effective! Advances in the dentistry field have made a Hollywood smile at an arm’s reach for everybody.

Options range between veneers and lumineers, arch crowning and whitening (plus or minus the possibility of aligners and/or orthodontics). The majority of the above mentioned procedures are simple, and, all are highly effective. Determining which of these is best suited for you lies in your hands, as well as your dentist’s. So, before making any major decisions, a detailed, individual view of each procedure is necessary.

Lets start with the simplest of them all; whitening. The most effective and clinically approved of the whitening method is ZOOM!®. ZOOM!® is a compound light activated gel with high penetration activity. Before explaining the procedure, it is necessary to outline the different reasons as to which your teeth become darker. There are two types of stains; intrinsic (embedded within the tooth structure) and extrinsic (stuck on the tooth surface only). Extrinsic stains are typically removed during the routine procedure of deep cleaning as they only reside on the surface of the tooth. They occur due to the consumption of staining food and beverages (coffee, tea, coke, etc) or smoking., and the presence of the calculus and rough tooth surface to allow stain precipitation. Intrinsic stains are more tricky, as they are embedded in the tooth from within, and cannot be removed during deep cleaning. Intrinsic stains occur for a variety of reasons, some of which are; a naturally dark tooth colour (genetic), prolonged use of coffee, tea, tobacco or other staining consumables, fluorosis, tooth defects, etc. This is where whitening kicks in, as it is designed to remove most of the intrinsic stains known to man as it penetrates deep into the tooth, whitening its colour.

The procedure is not very long, in fact, it is done in a single one hour session! Not only that, it is typically painless! It starts with preparing your teeth to receive the whitening gel, this is done by scaling (or deep cleaning) to remove calculus or surface stains which may impair the whitening procedure, this is considered a must procedure. If you do not have calculus or surface stains or had just received deep cleaning treatment recently, this step may be skipped. You can also do this step up to several days prior to the whitening session itself. (see more about deep cleaning)

Next, is the process of isolating the gums and soft tissue structures prior to gel application, this is done to prevent soft tissue damage and post-operative tissue sensitivity. This is done by applying a lip retractor, special gauze and cotton and a light activated gum protector called Liquidam® which adequately isolates the gums preventing any sort of damage during the procedure.

Then follows the procedure of actual whitening gel application. ZOOM!® whitening gel is composed of a superior balanced compound light activated hydrogen peroxide formulation which penetrates deep into the tooth to achieve the best possible whitening results. A specialized activator light is then placed and directed onto the target teeth for 15 minutes, afterwhich, the gel is removed teeth are inspected and new gel is re-applied and reactivated for a further 15 minutes. The same procedure is repeated 4 times, for a total of one hour (4 applications x 15 minutes each). When the session is over, it yields teeth up to 8 shades whiter!

Now, given ha whitening is the simplest means to achieve a perfect smile, by no means suggests it is the only alternative or the most effective of them. Whitening does have its drawbacks, such as; mild sensitivity during the procedure and mild to moderate sensitivity post-operatively, both manageable with regular Off-The-Counter analgesics, Whitening is not intended to be done more than once per year, exaggerated use of whitening agents can cause demineralization of the teeth and their subsequent damage.  In cases of mottled teeth (i.e. teeth with more than one colour), it would whiten each colour individually, it would not homogenize the colour, therefore, in such a case, veneering or crowning would prove a better option. Also, in cases of misaligned teeth, whitening only assesses tooth colour, not their shape, form, contour or position, therefore, other options should be considered in accordance with whitening.

Ask your dentist about the options offered, and for an assessment of which options are best suited for you as per visual demands, shape of face, skin tone, results and more. For more information about veneers and lumineers, crowns and aligners please read our upcoming articles.

Dr. Ahmed Hosam Shousha

B.D.S., M.Sc, Dentist

Member of The American Dental Association (ADA)

Member of The American Dental Implant Association (ADIA)

Member of  The International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI)

Member of The Hollistic Dental Association (HDA)

April 2nd, 2012

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