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Science
CHECK UP
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PROGRAMME INFO
Thursday 15:00-15:30
Check Up is your chance to talk to doctors about the health issues that most concern you and your family. Each week Barbara Myers is joined by a medical expert to take your calls and emails on a particular topic and give you the most up to date advice. No appointment necessary.
Call 0870 010 0444
Contact Check Up
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 19 June
PRESENTER
BARBARA MYERS
Barbara Myers
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 19 June 2008
A smiling couple, showing perfect teeth.

Full programme transcript >>

Cosmetic Dentistry

How important is the perfect smile to you?

With everything from whitening treatments to top-of-the-range porcelain veneers, this week’s Check Up focuses on the fast-growing area of cosmetic dentistry.

Whitening

Teeth whitening has grown in popularity over the past ten years, and the procedure is available on the high street as well as in the dental surgery.

The process enhances whiteness by bleaching the collagen that was left in the tooth when it was formed. The procedure is harmless to the structure of the tooth enamel, and should be completely safe if performed by a dentist.

Veneers

Popular among celebrities, veneers are thin shells of porcelain or glass which can be bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their shape and colour.

Sometimes the dentist will shave a small amount off the existing tooth before fitting the veneer, which is custom-made for the individual.

Unlike caps or crowns, veneers only cover the front surface of the tooth. 

Crowns

Crowns, or caps, are made of porcelain and surround the whole tooth. 

They are used to strengthen and improve the appearance of cracked or damaged teeth.

Like veneers, crowns are custom-made, and can be fashioned from gold or porcelain.

Bonding

A cheaper alternative to crowns or veneers is dental bonding.

Imperfections in the teeth are filled in by building up layers dental composite, which smooths the appearance and improves the colour of the tooth, and fills in gaps and chips.

While bonding is costs less, the effects won't last as long as a porcelain veneer or crown.

Bridges and Implants

When a tooth is missing altogether, there are two ways to replace it.

Bridging involves fixing an artificial tooth in position by anchoring it to its two neighbours by crowns or adhesive wings.

An implant is an artificial replacement for the root portion of the tooth which is fixed into the jaw bone.  A crown is then fixed on top.  Implants are often used when more than one tooth is missing.

Barbara Myers and her guest, dentist Martin Fallowfield, offer advice on the latest treatments and the truth behind the headlines about that perfect Hollywood smile.

Contact the programme:

Please contact the programme with your questions or comments on 08700-100-444 on the day of broadcast or e-mail using the Contact Check Up link.

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