Veneers & Teeth Whitening

Veneers & Teeth Whitening

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs: Teeth Whitening & veneers in Manchester


What is a veneer?

A method of treating discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks, veneers are thin slices of porcelain which are made to fit precisely over the visible surface


How are veneers made?

We remove a small amount of enamel from the tooth, usually the same thickness as the veneers will be. We then take an impression which is sent to a dental technician for the veneers to be made in the laboratory. After this, we bond the veneers to your tooth to form a strong and natural-looking repair. Sometimes we use a natural colour ‘composite’ material instead of porcelain. Alternatively, Composite veneers can be completed in one visit. These involve bonding tooth-coloured filling material to the front of the tooth. They are slightly more prone to staining and have a shorter life, but are easily replaced.


Teeth whitening - can I lighten the colour of my teeth?

Whitening teeth is a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it will lighten the existing shade. 


What does tooth whitening involve?

We will take moulds of your teeth and from the resulting models some thin flexible trays will be made which fit closely over your teeth like a gum-shield. You will then be provided with a kit containing tooth whitening gel. The ‘active ingredient’ in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As this active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter. Once we have started this treatment you will need to continue it at home.


What other tooth whitening procedures are there?

There are now laser tooth whitening or ‘power whitening’ treatments. During these a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The efficacy of these systems is unproven and very strong gels are used. The procedure is also more costly than home tooth whitening. In addition to this, patients are usually presented with a home kit to ‘top up’ the tooth whitening effect. In reality it is this which performs the long term tooth whitening. For all these reasons we choose not to provide power whitening for whitening teeth at The Dental Lounge.


Can I have white fillings?

For over 150 years fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called ‘amalgam’, which is still one of the strongest and longest-lasting materials available. However, many people find it unattractive or are concerned about possible health risks. White fillings are a popular alternative for whitening teeth and modern materials mean it is easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling. Sometimes white filling material can be used for whitening teeth by covering unsightly marks on the teeth, in a similar way to veneers.