The Modern Way of Getting A Pearly White Smile

Professional tips from teeth whitening experts, and a look into the process of getting veneers.

While the color of your teeth is not really an indication of their health, it’s undeniable that along with perfectly aligned teeth, pearly whites make for the best smile. With the advancements in dental treatments and aesthetic dentistry over the past decade, practically every dental problem has a solution. Today’s most popular quick fix for getting the perfect smile? Veneers.

Veneers are permanent, stain proof, very strong but lightweight tooth coverings, simply put. They are used to correct misaligned, discolored, fractured, abraded, broken, and badly stained teeth. As a veneer is a facing bonded to the tooth, the process necessarily involves shaving a certain amount of enamel off the front of a tooth. If the veneer is half a millimeter thick, the same amount will be removed from the tooth surface so it may be attached. That’s the downside.

Today’s improved technology, however, already allows minimal tooth invasion, says Dr. Sonny Burias. “Nowadays veneers can be as thin as 0.1 to 0.2 millimeters—that’s five to seven times thinner than those used a decade ago. The advantage of thin veneers, as opposed to previous ones, is less tooth reduction, of course, without compromising the strength and longevity of the veneers."

The techniques of veneer application haven’t changed much, but the materials used in making them and the manner in which they are bonded to each tooth have improved by leaps and bounds, according to Dr. Oliver Cailles. “We now have materials harder than ceramics, making the veneers more resistant to fractures. These are called Zirconias, which aren’t made of porcelains but hard minerals. Also, the bonding cement now makes use of nanotechnologies that make the veneers most resistant to unwanted de-bonding.”


Dr. Steve Mark Gan

The Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center in Greenbelt Makati has its own laboratory that creates onsite laminates and other dental materials, where veneers may be delivered in as quick two dental visits, unlike most clinics that outsource their labs and may take longer.

While veneers may be fitted to close small tooth gaps and align teeth that are slightly out of position, take note that they aren’t meant to entirely replace braces if that is more suitable for one’s dental condition, says Dr. Steve Mark Gan, GAOC founder. “It can never substitute functional changes for, say, the proper bite. Orthodontic procedures are required to address more complicated problems such as alignment of the jaw to correct over-bites or under-bites,” stresses Gan.

The most common concern for patients considering getting veneers is their durability. “Because of the cost, they want to make sure they last,” shares Cailles. Priced between P20,000 to P28,000 per tooth, veneers can last for over 10 years if well maintained.

As with many other medical treatments, it is important to go to qualified and highly trained dentists for this procedure. “Veneers are very technique sensitive. A dentist has to really know how to do veneers and when and when not to do proceed even if the patient insists," says Cailles. "My advice is to look for a qualified and trustworthy dentist to do it."

Teeth Whitening

Is teeth bleaching for you? Dr. Steve Mark Gan enumerates some circumstances that may prevent the use of teeth whitening products.


• Teeth that have restorations, such as veneers, crowns, or have been bonded with white/tooth colored fillings, cannot be whitened with hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. The colors of these types of restorations are determined by the surrounding teeth. If the surrounding teeth are whitened, the restorations will stand out and look artificial.

• Teeth that have internal staining, discoloration from developmental conditions, or have been root canal treated may not be affected by the typical whitening process. Internal tooth whitening or permanent restorations may be an option to consider.

• Natural tooth colors that are brown or gray in hue may not produce
desired results. Typically, teeth with a yellow hue will produce the
best results.

• Pregnant or nursing mothers should avoid whitening their teeth as there is not enough research to determine the safety of tooth whitening products during pregnancy or lactation.

• People with hypersensitive teeth should avoid tooth whitening, because this process may enhance the level of sensitivity they experience.

About The Author
Nicole Limos Morales
Managing Editor
Nicole’s career in publishing began in 2006. Before becoming Town & Country online’s managing editor, she moved from features editor to beauty editor of the title’s print edition. “The lessons in publishing are countless,” she says. “The most crucial ones for me? That to write best about life, you need to live your life. And another I still struggle to live by: ‘Brevity is a virtue; verbosity is a vice.’”
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