Invisalign, Re-shaping, and Bleaching as an Alternative to Porcelain Veneers
A patient case study by Dr. Andrew Tonelli
Often times when patients are unhappy with their smile, they express interest in veneers like Hollywood actors and actresses. Boston’s own Ben Affleck famously was forced to have veneers placed before his role in Armageddon.
While veneers will deliver incredible transformations of patients’ smiles, other approaches and tools can often have very compelling results, while maintaining the integrity and unique character of your own teeth.
In this case, our patient Jenny (not her real name) presented to her first appointment with Dr. Andrew Tonelli with concerns about her smile, particularly that it was crooked and uneven and that a tooth on the right was considerably darker than the surrounding teeth.
We began as we begin with every patient at Dental Health Concepts, with a thorough evaluation and exam. We discussed options, including veneers, which would have been the most dramatic and the shortest treatment (with regard to time to completion). Ultimately, we settled on a plan that would involve Invisalign orthodontics, some localized re-shaping of teeth, and finally some targeted bleaching of the discolored tooth, to bring it in line with the other teeth, and then bleaching of all the teeth.
This plan allowed us to maintain the integrity of Jenny’s teeth, while addressing her primary concerns.
Step 1: Invisalign
Invisalign is a powerful orthodontic tool that we often use in for patients who have non-complex orthodontic needs, as well as often prior to, or as a part of comprehensive and/or esthetic treatment. Dr. Andrew Tonelli and Dr. Crowley have completed hundreds of Invisalign cases through the years, and provide Invisalign consults at no charge for all DHC patients.
Jenny’s treatment ultimately took just over six months to complete, with the following result.
Step 2: Tooth Re-shaping
At the end of the Invisalign treatment, and prior to placing the patient in appropriate retainers, we did some subtle re-shaping of the teeth utilizing specialized trimming and polishing diamonds that we use with our electric driven dental handpieces (the drill).
As you can see on the darkened canine, by lightly re-shaping the tooth (no bonding), we can make the impact of previous wear much less noticeable. Simple re-shaping is a powerful tool to minimally adjust teeth and in many cases, significantly improve esthetics.
Here is another example of a case where simple re-shaping of the teeth helps to remove jagged edges to make the teeth appear younger and healthier. This is an underutilized tool, which can serve as an alternative to bonding, is minimally invasive, and can yield impressive results.
Step 3: Bleaching
Because Jenny had a single darkened tooth, our bleaching expert Ali started her on a program that uniquely targeted that tooth. She then treated all of the teeth to brighten everything together.
We use two main whitening systems in the office, but our Kor Bleaching System is the surefire way to make your natural teeth brighter. With the bleaching treatment completed, Jenny was extremely pleased with her smile, completing a dramatic transformation with minimal drilling.
The Final Results
Jenny was able to complete this treatment in under eight months, got a smile she loved, and for about half the cost of placing veneers. She – and we — could not have been happier.
Here is the before and after photo:
If you would like to improve your smile, we will be happy to work through all the options to get you the best result possible.
Call us today to set up a consult!