​Making teeth look good

People who would like their unsightly teeth corrected by dental aesthetics will be grateful that most procedures are virtually pain-free. Here’s what aesthetics can do for your teeth.


Over time, teeth enamel can get discoloured from certain staining foods such as coffee, and from smoking. Age is also a culprit. With whitening, your teeth can go up to three shades lighter. Have it done by laser at the dental clinic, or use a home kit.


Ceramic fillings, which resemble tooth enamel, are today’s alternative to silver amalgam. Using the modern technology of Computer Aided Design-Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD-CAM), ceramic fillings take a few days to produce before they are cemented onto your teeth. They may be more costly and sometimes not as long lasting as amalgam fillings, but they look more natural.

Contouring and reshaping

Minor changes such as filing can vastly improve the look of your teeth.


Porcelain or plastic veneers act as covers over teeth that are discoloured or misshapen. They work best for front teeth.


Used as restorative caps over teeth that are badly worn-out, fractured or have large fillings. They can also be used to correct minor problems such as uneven spacing between teeth, or teeth that are discoloured or irregular-shaped.


All the above treatments work well if you still have your teeth. But what if you don’t? Then your option is implants, which like all the other treatments, are available at the National Dental Centre of Singapore (NDCS), a member of the SingHealth group.

Each implant restoration looks like a tooth but with a screw to function as the root. Almost always made from titanium or titanium alloy, the implant is inserted into the gap left by the missing tooth. It has the look and feel of a real tooth, and is as good as being permanent, giving it an edge over removable dentures.

"Implants are increasingly popular. People request for implants for practical reasons, like being able to chew properly, and also for aesthetic reasons," said Cl A/Prof Teoh Khim Hean, Senior Consultant and Director, Department of Restorative Dentistry, NDCS.

Not everyone is a suitable candidate, though. For example, your gum health may not be up to par, so your dental surgeon has to advise you. At NDCS, surgeons have access to 3D imaging and treatment planning systems that will help them assess and treat each case more accurately.

Says Dr Teoh: "Successful implant treatment requires a thorough understanding of the individual oral condition of each patient, careful evaluation of the patients’ desires, meticulous planning from the assessment of the implant site to the selection of the implant system, and finally the design of the replacement tooth."

"Patients should be aware that there are alternatives to implant therapy and they should discuss and explore these adequately with the dental surgeon before making a final decision. Implant systems with a good track record of long-term outcomes are important too," adds Dr Teoh.

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