If you were born before the 80s and have had some dental fillings done, chances are these were done using metal amalgam fillings and not white fillings.
Your amalgam filling may look like a silver part of your tooth, and when it gets older it may turn discoloured to a darker blackish hue. For a lot of people, it can make them very self-conscious. It may be visible when you laugh or yawn or perhaps your silver filling is deteriorating and causing some discomfort.
Dental amalgam fillings date back to the 1800s when a French dentist mixed a small amount of mercury with some melted silver coins to create a dental filling material.
It evolved from there and over time other metals (including lead – unbelievable right?) were incorporated to create a long-lasting, malleable material that was easy to place into teeth cavities. Dentists and inventors were determined to create a very long-lasting material that was easy to use and would pretty much last a lifetime. Amalgam fillings ticked a lot of those boxes.
Sounds awesome right? Except maybe not…
As we now know, mercury and lead are poisonous for the human body, and despite lots of evidence to support the safe use of modern amalgams, they are definitely no longer a preferred material for creating dental fillings. Plus, silver fillings are not very good looking things!
In our dental practice, we often see teeth that have been filled with silver metal fillings for 20-30 years… or even longer! The recurring pattern we see is that a lot of these teeth suffer from cracks and symptoms due to the old filling design and materials used.
You use your teeth every day for your entire life, and you chew up to 100 times a day when you eat. Like most mechanical systems, your teeth and mouth need a stress breaker. A metal filling that was designed to last a lifetime, wedged into your tooth (not chemically bonded) can be detrimental because all the stress is then placed on the surrounding tooth structure.
Eventually, the tooth structure, together with the filling, will break.
Here at Gisborne Family Dental, we rarely use metal amalgam materials for your dental fillings. Modern day fillings are made with tooth-coloured composite resin, which is medical grade plastic that is completely safe for your mouth.
Today’s white composite fillings adhere to your tooth structure to help provide strength. They also have a degree of flex that mimics your real tooth structure, and come in a variety of tooth coloured shades to restore the beauty of your natural tooth.
On top of all that, as you repeatedly use your teeth in daily life causing wear and tear, these white fillings do not place stress on your precious natural tooth structure, hence prolonging the lifespan of your teeth. This material has been tried and tested for the past few decades and continues to improve rapidly every day.
At Gisborne Family Dental, we only use highly advanced materials that are backed by years of scientific evidence to create the best outcome for you. Our dentists are skilled in restoring your teeth in a predictable, comfortable, and safe manner, so that you can continue eating your favourite foods and show off your beautiful smile.
You’re not alone if you’re a little self-conscious about your smile and are on the hunt for a teeth whitening dentist in Gisborne.
If you find yourself smiling without showing your teeth, or with your hand covering your mouth then maybe it’s time to speak to one of our teeth whitening dentists about your concerns. We want you to be proud of your smile, and to show it off! We want to help you to be able to express yourself openly and confidently.
Many patients ask us why their teeth are not ‘pearly white.’ It can sometimes look like someone has applied a yellow filter on your photos. Let’s be honest, us Victorians live in the coffee capital of the world and the other half of our population tend to be tea enthusiasts. Throw in the yummy green smoothies, thai red curries, and a beetroot salad, and it’s inevitable that your teeth will discolour over time.
Apart from food and drink pigments contributing to the general discolouration of your teeth, cigarette smoking, some medications and the natural ageing process of your teeth can also play a part . These factors tend to leave brownish spots, patches or lines, or a deeper yellowish discolouration across all your teeth.
On top of this, the areas closer to the gum line and in between your teeth typically show discoloration more, as they are thicker structures and may be more difficult for you to keep clean. Over time, stain molecules accumulate and become more resistant, so the older stains and teeth which have been discoloured for a long time may take more effort to whiten.
Fancy sitting on your comfy armchair, reading your favourite book, while also improving your smile?
Gisborne Family Dental make custom-fitted whitening trays and equip you with gentle and effective professional-grade whitening gels, so that you can create those pearly whites in the comfort of your own home. This is by far the safest and most sustainable way of professionally whitening your teeth, especially for long term stains that may be a little more stubborn.
A teeth whitening kit contains custom-made whitening trays and tubes of whitening gel. The process involves wearing the whitening trays for a certain amount of time everyday for a period of 2 -3 weeks. The treatment involves taking moulds of your upper and lower teeth in order to construct custom-fit bleach trays. These trays allow a greater concentration of whitening agent to be held on your teeth, whilst minimising wastage, ingestion, and overflow onto the gums.
After examining your teeth, our dentists will tailor a teeth whitening regime for you to achieve the best results in the shortest time possible.
Do I need to give up coffee if I get professional teeth whitening?
Can’t function without 3 double espressos per day? Coffee and other strongly coloured food and drinks will work against the professional teeth whitening process and for optimum results, it is best to cut these things out completely from your diet. If you really can’t refrain or cut down on your intake, you’ll probably find that your smile will still need another freshen up after a while, which is very easy with a take home kit. As long as your custom bleach trays still fit, you’ll just need some extra whitening gel and away you go!
Have you left your smile til last on your wedding checklist? Don’t worry, we see it happen all the time. We offer an in-chair whitening treatment with stronger whitening gel to kick start that whitening process. This ensures much quicker results, in time for your all important event.
This professional teeth whitening option works best for short term improvement, however we still like to be sure you’re going to achieve a sustainable result. With all in chair whitening, we include a take-home teeth whitening kit as well. We want to make sure your smile keeps shining bright after leaving our clinic.
Smile, it lets your teeth breathe!
At Gisborne Family Dental, we have created many healthy and beautiful smiles using the world-renowned Invisalign system.
Do you want to improve your smile without wires or braces? Or maybe you have had braces in the past, and recently noticed your teeth are no longer as straight as they used to be.
For millions of people around the world, Invisalign has made it possible to achieve a beautiful smile without braces or wires, and we have chosen Invisalign as our trusted partner in providing clear aligner treatment.
The Invisalign system is a virtually invisible treatment that uses an innovative approach to gently, yet effectively, straighten your teeth.
Through a series of custom-made removable aligners made with unique technology, the Invisalign system gradually and predictably moves your teeth to your desired position.
At Gisborne Family Dental, we understand the interest you may have in braces and orthodontics for your young children.
Some factors such as genetic predisposition and early childhood health issues can cause underdevelopment of jaw bones, and hence showing the signs of your child’s permanent teeth coming in crooked at a fairly young age.
Like most conditions, underdeveloped jaws and crooked teeth may not affect function or cause any noticeable problems when it’s early and in milder forms. However, if allowed to progress, they can often lead to much bigger issues such as misalignment of upper and lower jaws, jaw pain, and uneven wear and tear of teeth.
There are some conditions where earlier treatment can prevent much bigger problems down the track, for example, a crossbite. If you suspect your child has jaw underdevelopment or crooked teeth, we encourage you to visit us for an orthodontic screening consultation at our Gisborne clinic.
Our dentists in Gisborne will assess and advise accordingly on whether there are reasons for concern, and if any orthodontic treatment such as braces or plates for your child may be required.
Nasal breathing disturbance is linked to poor sleep and can happen to adults or children. It is more dangerous in children as their brain development is affected, and it’s harder to detect because children don’t tend to snore audibly.
How can dentists detect it? When nasal breathing is inefficient, the patient becomes a mouth breather. Because of the mouth breathing, jaw bones don’t develop normally and teeth continue to come through into the smaller jaw that lacks space. This is what often creates the appearance of crooked teeth.
Traditional orthodontics sometimes took the “shortcut” of removing healthy adult teeth in order to straighten teeth with braces, leaving a compromised result and more traumatic patient experience.
At Gisborne Family Dental, we avoid this by intervening early enough, when there’s still natural growth potential to harness.
We use devices that gently guide and promote growth of jaw bones, with the help of a compliant patient. This way the jaw bone is grown to accommodate all the teeth, the way nature meant for it to be.
We avoid the need to remove healthy adult teeth, therefore less trauma for you and your children. Other benefits of this orthodontic and braces method include a general health improvement due to a larger jaw, maintaining healthy airways, and better facial features – think nice wide smiles and high cheekbones!
When we’re able to identify underdevelopment issues earlier, we’re not only able to create healthy jaws and straight teeth. You and your family will also benefit from better general health, improved facial features, as well as performing better in everyday activities.
The different parts of the human body work in sync with each other, and therefore we may recommend you to seek care from other health professionals, such as a medical GP, an ENT specialist, a sleep physician, an osteopath or a myotherapist.
At Gisborne Family dental, our dentists can advise whether braces or plates are the best option.
Through the invention and development of dental material technology and techniques, At Gisborne Family Dental we are able to handcraft tailored, natural-looking dental veneers including composite and porcelain veneers that attach to your teeth.
“I’m embarrassed by my smile.”
“My grandchildren say I have dirty teeth.”
“I’ve never liked my teeth.”
These are some of the statements that people have told us over the years… and it’s heartbreaking to hear every time.
Your teeth help you eat well, enjoy food, and maintain good nutrition. Just as importantly, they give you immense confidence when you are proudly displaying your smile. Unfortunately there are some people who have misshapen or discoloured teeth, and it may really embarrass you.
Sometimes it can be to the point where you never speak or smile with your teeth showing. In our opinion, this is no way to live.
Our dental veneers are designed to improve your smile by creating beautifully proportioned teeth shapes, and creatively mask any misalignment issues. They can be made from ceramic or composite resin, and can be tailored to create a uniform, natural bright colour to suit you perfectly.
The end result we aim to create together is an improved natural-looking beautiful smile, that you’ll be proud to show off as you live and laugh, and that has minimal maintenance over the years if you give your composite veneers the right care.