Young woman smiling in mirror

Cosmetic dental treatments to give you a smile makeover

Whether it’s a chipped tooth, stained teeth, gap or a crooked smile, some of the smallest niggles with your teeth can have a knock-on effect to confidence. Cosmetic dental treatments can be an easy, aesthetic fix for amending minor problems that you’re self-conscious about, including chips, gaps or discolouration.

Composite bonding

Composite bonding is a discreet solution for fixing gaps between teeth or minor damage such as chips. Composite resin is bonded to your tooth, which helps restore its original shape and appearance. The resin colour is matched to your natural teeth, so it blends in with the rest of your smile.

Composite bonding is popular because it’s minimally-invasive and can usually be carried out in one visit. It can also be a cheaper option to having veneers or crowns and can last for years if you keep up good oral hygiene.

Dentist Karim Abdel-Khalek at Bupa Dental Care Clifton, Bristol, used composite bonding and teeth whitening to create this result.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a common treatment which involves bleaching your teeth to make them whiter. It’s not unusual to have stains on your teeth from ageing or from food and drink such as tea, coffee and red wine.

There are two options you can choose from when you’re having your teeth whitened.

  • Teeth whitening in practice: your dentist can whiten your teeth for you while you’re in the chair. They’ll apply a gel to your teeth and use a blue light to speed up the whitening process, which means you’ll see results in a matter of hours.
  • Teeth whitening at home: your dentist can give you an at-home teeth whitening kit, which includes trays and gel to take away with you. They’ll show you how to use it and then you’ll need to apply the gel every day for a couple of weeks to get your finished result.

Both in-practice teeth whitening and at-home whitening will achieve the same end result. Your dentist will show you a chart which shows you the result you can expect to receive after treatment.

Teeth whitening can last for up to a few years, but it differs per person. The length of time it lasts can be helped by avoiding food and drinks which stain your teeth after treatment and regularly seeing the hygienist. Most people have top-ups every six months to a year, which you can carry out at home, to maintain the brightness.

Before Invisalign and whitening treatment: crooked, stained teeth
After Invisalign and whitening treatment: Full, straight, white smile

Dentist, Suchita Patel, at Bupa Dental Care Stamford used Invisalign treatment, composite bonding and at-home teeth whitening to achieve this result.

Internal teeth whitening

Sometimes your teeth can become dark if your tooth has died and you’ve had a root canal treatment. This can be fixed with internal teeth whitening, also called internal bleaching, which whitens the teeth from the inside out.

Internal bleaching involves re-opening the hole that was originally made in your tooth for your root canal treatment and putting bleaching product inside. The hole is then closed with a temporary filling. This might need to be repeated a few times over a few weeks before the hole is permanently closed with a tooth-coloured filling.

Internal whitening is more invasive than traditional teeth whitening, but results are long-lasting as long as you keep up good oral hygiene after treatment.

Before internal whitening: Blackened, grey front tooth after root canal
After internal teeth whitening: Bright, white smile

Dentist Adam Franks at Malt House Specialist Dental Centre, Part of Bupa, used internal bleaching, teeth whitening and a composite filling to create this result.

Cosmetic teeth straightening

Cosmetic teeth straightening, sometimes known as short-term orthodontics, focuses on straightening your six to eight front teeth, which are sometimes referred to as your ‘social smile’.

It’s ideal if you’re seeking a cosmetic straightening fix in a short time. Cosmetic straightening can take as little as six months depending on your individual needs.

You can either have removable aligners such as Invisalign, or fixed cosmetic braces which use a tooth-coloured wire and are a discreet alternative to traditional fixed braces. You’ll need a consultation with your dentist before starting orthodontic treatment, where your dentist will check your suitability and talk you through your options.

Before treatment: Stained, crooked teeth
After treatment: straight, white smile following whitening and orthodontics

Dr Chris Rutter at Bupa Dental Care Wessington, Sunderland, used a combination of an upper fixed-teeth brace followed by at-home teeth whitening to achieve this result.

Interested in cosmetic dental treatment?

Bupa Dental Care is the number one private dental provider in the UK1 and has over 350 practices nationwide. Most of our practices across the UK offer cosmetic dental treatments. If you’re looking to find out more, simply use the search bar below to find your local practice and get in touch.

1- Source: LaingBuisson, Dentistry UK Market Report, 5th ed. If you require verification, please email [email protected].

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