Three Ways to Improve Your Smile in an Afternoon

Health & Medical Blog

If you're a busy and social person with a lot of irons in the fire, you also realize how important your appearance is and what a difference a nice smile makes. You'll be glad to know there are three ways to greatly improve the appearance of your teeth in one or two dentist visits. You'll also appreciate the fact that none of these methods require an anesthetic.

Laser Whitening

The procedure dentists use to whiten your teeth involves painting on special bleach on the teeth and then using a laser light to activate the bleach. In a 30 to 60 minute appointment you could walk out of the dentist office with teeth that are between 3 to 8 times whiter than they were before. Having a dentist whiten your teeth in this way is easier on your tooth enamel than at home methods, also.

Teeth whitening can last up to three years if you follow your dentist's instructions on maintenance.

If you have teeth that have been discolored due to tetracycline or other antibiotic use as a child, this method may not do much for them so you may want to consider bonding.


Tooth bonding is popular because it can be done relatively quickly (30 to 60 minutes per tooth), and the procedure removes less teeth enamel than other techniques like veneers or caps. It can be done in one office visit since there is no need to have anything made in a lab.

The way it works is: First your dentist will rough up the tooth surface where the bonding will be done and apply a conditioning substance. Then he/she will apply a resin that has been color matched to your other teeth and it will be molded to shape. Your dentist will use a laser to harden the bonding. Finally the bonded area will be trimmed, shaped, and polished.

Bonding can be used to repair a chipped or cracked tooth, cover over discoloration, close a gap between two teeth, and lengthen teeth. The resin can also be used in place of amalgam fillings where there is tooth decay.

If you take care of your teeth, the bonding treatment can last for 3 to 10 years.

Enamel Shaping

To fix minor imperfections or some unevenness your dentist may also recommend enamel shaping or dental re-contouring. This involves using fine diamond burs or a sanding disk to tiny amounts of tooth enamel on certain areas of the teeth. The dentist could also use a sandpaper strip to smooth and shape the sides of the teeth that need it. Then your teeth will be polished to finish the procedure.

Enamel shaping can even out your front teeth, correct minor flaws, improve the shape and length of canine teeth, and fix minor overcrowding problems. It can also improve the health of your teeth by eliminating chips and crevices where plaque can build up.

You will need to talk to your dentist, one like Ahwatukee Foothills Dental, to see what procedures will provide the best results for your teeth.


15 October 2014