Can You Whiten Dental Restorations?

Dental restorations provide many benefits and help create beautiful, seamless smiles. In many ways, they act like natural teeth. However, restorations and natural teeth are not the same material. The difference in material means that traditional teeth whitening procedures cannot whiten dental restorations. Despite this, there are some strategies to improve the shade of your smile in other ways.

What Are Dental Restorations?

Dental restorations are procedures dentists use to correct the loss of tooth structure caused by decay or injury. They repair cracked, chipped, and broken teeth or teeth affected by cavities. 

A few types of dental restorations dentists use are:

  • Fillings are the most common restoration option, using a material to fill in small cavities in your teeth.
  • Inlays/Onlays also fix cavities. They are more prominent than fillings and smaller than crowns.
  • Crowns, or tooth caps, cover the tooth down to the gum line.
  • Bridges are three to four crowns that cover gaps left by missing teeth. A crown or implant anchors bridges on either side.
  • Implants are anchoring posts made of titanium that replace missing tooth roots.
  • Bonding takes care of gaps, staining, chips, and crooked or unappealing teeth.
  • Porcelain veneers are custom-made shells that cover the front surface of teeth to change their color, shape, size, or length.
  • Will Teeth Whitening Treatments Damage Dental Restorations?

While teeth whitening will not affect their shade, it is still possible to undergo a procedure without damaging your dental restorations. During these procedures, hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals penetrate the natural tooth enamel to break down stains. For restorations, dentists use durable, nonporous materials that the whitening products are not strong enough to infiltrate. This process can make your previous dental work appear darker, however.

Whitening Dental Restorations

Since traditional tooth whitening will not work on restorations, many patients combine the procedure with other methods to get a bright, seamless smile.

Here are some strategies to get your dream smile despite being unable to whiten dental restorations:

Make Mindful Shade Choices

Your smile will only be as white as your restorations. If possible, whiten your teeth before dental work to ensure an ideal shade match. Shade-matching before treatment is the best way to get optimal results.

Replace Old Restorations After Whitening

You can also replace old dental crowns and other restorations after a whitening treatment. This way, you can match your new restorations to the new shade of your smile. Whitening your teeth will not provide immediate results, so dentists recommend you wait at least two weeks before scheduling an appointment for cosmetic work.

Take Care of Your Dental Restorations

Practicing good dental hygiene will help your dental restorations stay bright. Changes to your lifestyle and eating habits, including avoiding tobacco and limiting your intake of dark foods and beverages, will ensure their strength and beauty are long-lasting.

Choose Smith Dentalworks for Your Dental Restorations

Everyone deserves to feel confident in their smile. At Smith Dentalworks, we offer comprehensive dentistry services to fit your individualized needs. From crowns to dental implants to porcelain veneers, we are your source for restorations in Oro Valley and the surrounding communities. We also offer multiple teeth whitening services.

Contact our cosmetic dental office today to arrange a convenient time for your next visit.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Getting quality sleep each night is essential to maintaining good mental and physical health. However, many Americans are lacking in this area. According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults are regularly not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep does more than just make you feel groggy and grumpy – the long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real. 

What is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is a general term that describes an inadequate amount of quality sleep. For most adults, this means getting less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every 24 hours. Sleep deprivation is categorized in different ways depending on the circumstances. Acute sleep deprivation describes a person experiencing a significant reduction in their sleep time for a few days or less, while chronic sleep deprivation is insufficient sleep that persists for three months or longer. 

What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is caused by a consistent lack of sleep or poor sleep quality. Several factors contribute to insufficient sleep. Voluntary choices like binge-watching a TV series can cause acute sleep deprivation. Work obligations, such as working multiple jobs, extended hours, or switching to a new shift, are another contributing factor. Certain habits like drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes close to bedtime can also inhibit sleep because they stimulate the nervous system.

Sleep deprivation may also occur due to sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. This disorder induces nightly awakenings that can hinder both sleep duration and quality. Other sleep disorders tied to sleep deprivation include narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and circadian rhythm disorders. Medical conditions or mental health problems like general anxiety disorder, depression, or cancer also cause sleep disturbances. 

Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is a time for your body to heal, restore chemical balance, and help memory retention. Low-quality sleep or disruptions to the sleep-wake cycle cause short and long-term health problems.

Short-Term Consequences

The short-term consequences of sleep deprivation can negatively affect day-to-day functioning. 

These negative effects include:

  • Lack of alertness
  • Impaired memory
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Shortened attention span
  • Loss of motivation 
  • Poorer memory 
  • Reduced work efficiency 
  • Relationship stress

A lack of sleep can also limit your ability to pay attention, react quickly, and make decisions, all of which can lead to consequences like a greater likelihood of car accidents. 

Long-Term Consequences

There are long-term health effects of sleep deprivation as well. It can affect several systems crucial to bodily function, such as the central nervous, respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems.

Too little sleep may increase the risk of:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease or heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Mental health disorders like depression or anxiety 
  • Psychosis 
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Chronic pain
  • Increase risk of injury 
  • Hormonal abnormalities 
  • Immunodeficiency 

Fight the Consequences of Sleep Apnea With the Vivos System

At Smith Dentalworks, we use the Vivos System to correct the deficiencies that lead to sleep apnea and prevent its consequences, such as sleep deprivation. This system is an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or surgical procedures. Most patients enjoy a vibrant, healthy life without further intervention after a treatment period of 12 to 24 months.

To learn more about the Vivos System, contact Smith Dentalworks today.