Apart from chewing and production of sounds, teeth play an aesthetic role, i.e. they are one of the components of human appearance. Perception of aesthetics is very individual and is changing over time. Certainly, much depends on our perception or perception of people around us, yet when required, it is really possible to change the dental colour and shape. In our Clinic, a truly natural look of artificial teeth is obtained by means of modern technologies, however, to maintain a good look, regular efforts by doctors and patients are certainly required.
When teeth are healthy and merely whitening by several shades is sufficient, a thorough cleaning of surface stains and additional bleaching with special pharmaceuticals are performed (see Teeth Whitening).
The colour and shape are changed radically by covering teeth with ceramic dentures of desired colour and shape or composite (helium) fillings. This procedure is normally performed when teeth are affected by decay or other diseases. Coating dental surface with fillings is also called aesthetical filling. It is a rapid way of adjusting the colour and shape of teeth. However, in the long run negative properties of filling materials become apparent. Over time, fillings start changing colour, turn grey, attract plaque and pigments. Therefore, aesthetical filling is more suitable for correction of minor defects. If a larger area of the dental surface needs to be coated, longer-term and more natural results are obtained by means of ceramics.
When only the shape of the surface of incisors is unacceptable and the tooth has not darkened yet, only the front surface is coated by all-ceramic laminate. When a larger part of the dental surface is damaged, the entire crown is replaced. Where one is looking for a more cost-effective aesthetical restoration or a very dark tooth needs to be masked, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns with no metal rim on the front surface of denture at gums are used. Where teeth have not darkened, the most natural effect is obtained by using more transparent metal-free glass ceramic crowns. When teeth are missing and metal-free ceramic bridge dentures need to be manufactured or when a darker tooth needs to be masked, metal-free ceramics from zirconium oxide is used. Optical properties of this substance together with natural look are not as good as those of glass ceramic dentures (for more information see Prosthetic Dentistry).
Thus, the dentist with the knowledge of technological properties of substances must select the method of adjustment of dental colour and shape on a case-by-case basis.
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