Why do celebrities have such great smiles?

By Dr. Thomas Connelly, Cosmetic Dentistry New York, NY

To answer the question, why do celebrities have such great smiles - because it is their business! They have pretty short list of tasks in their career - and a great smile is number one. Some are born with a great smile, and others a built by cosmetic dentists. In this article I will discuss the different ways of improving your smile, from the various forms of teeth whitening available, to porcelain veneers.

In-Office Whitening (any type of laser assisted procedure, high intensity light, blue light)

This is the most commonly marketed form of tooth whitening. Significant color change in a short period of time is the major benefit of in-office whitening. This protocol involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by a trained technician after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam. Generally, the peroxide remains on the teeth for several 15 to 20 minute intervals that add up to an hour (at most). Those with particularly stubborn staining may be advised to return for one or more additional bleaching sessions, or may be asked to continue with a home-use whitening system. In-office teeth whitening costs about 00. This method seldom works as planned or written about. We just do not see the results as we do with other methods. Patients in their early 20s or younger often have severe bouts of shooting pain that last for 1 to 2 days. I no longer use this method. I find it cumbersome, painful, expensive and unable to deliver predictable white teeth on a regular basis.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home WhiteningKits

Take-home kits incorporate an easy-to-use lower-concentration peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. The gel is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays that resemble mouth guards. Take-home teeth whitening costs about 0 to 0. This is the best method to whiten teeth - no doubt about it. If this is done properly over the course of 4-6 weeks, 95% of people can achieve bleached, beautiful white teeth. Unfortunately about 5% of the people I see are resistant to any form of whitening. Typically a dentist will hand you a kit with 2-4 syringes of whitening gel, and than you are on your own - this is marginally effective.

I have devised a method where I see the patient (not my assistant) every 2 to 3 weeks for about 5 minutes. I assess the patient's progress and sensitivity - and change the solutions accordingly. On average I start people with a 15% carbamide peroxide solution, than 22% carbamide peroxide solution, than a 6% Hydrogen peroxide solution. These are all work 4-6 hours while sleeping. What makes this method effective is the "sleeping" part. At night, while sleeping, your salivary glands shut down. This lack of salivary flow permits the solution to work on a dry tooth structure without the saliva buffering and rinsing the solution form the teeth.

Over-the-Counter Whitening

The cheapest and most convenient of the teeth whitening options, over-the-counter bleaching involves the use of a store-bought whitening kit, featuring a bleaching gel with a concentration lower than that of the professionally dispensed take-home whiteners. The gel is applied to the teeth via one-size-fits-all trays, whitening strips or paint-on applicators. In many cases this may only whiten a few of the front teeth unlike custom trays that can whiten the entire smile. Over-the-counter teeth whitening costs around . This method works on about 50% of the people that try it. If you only have minor discoloration, and no crowns or filling in/on your front teeth, this is the easiest and least expensive way to get whiter teeth. You will not achieve the same results as a dentist dispensed take home kit, but your will see some improvements !

Porcelain Veneers

The Rolls Royce of smile makeovers - porcelain veneers give the cosmetic dentist complete control over every aspect of the smile: color, size, shape, length, and width of the teeth. There are no shortfalls to this procedure if done properly. My suggestions is to make sure the dentist doing your veneers has done MANY, MANY veneers in his or her career. You will most likely need to travel to New York or Los Angeles to get the best ! This procedure can easily cost ,000 plus.

About Dr. Connelly

Bringing over a decade of experience to his cosmetic practices spanning the Northeast, Dr. Connelly recently opened his practice in Manhattan at the office of Dr. Torrado on Central Park South while his new luxurious office is under construction in Mid-town Manhattan. Dr.Connelly's work spans many generations and walks of life. Moms, corporate executives, celebrities, professional athletes, runway models - Dr. Connelly has built his reputation by inviting everyone into his practices.

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