Over time, our teeth can become discolored and stained. Tooth discoloration can be caused by a combination of factors,. Professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to remove stains from your teeth and to brighten your smile. In fact, teeth whitening when performed by a dental professional carries very few risks and side effects. If you are considering teeth whitening, here’s some more things you can expect in addition to a great smile.
Those that will benefit most from tooth whitening include; tea and coffee drinkers, tobacco users, and those with stains acquired by dietary habits. These stains appear more yellow, sometimes yellow/brown. These stains occur on the outermost surface of the tooth and are easiest to lighten and remove. However, heavy smokers, frequent coffee, and tea drinkers are less likely to achieve good results unless they are willing to discontinue the habit while enduring the whitening process. If discontinuing use of these substances is not something you can commit to the desensitizing gel can be used post whitening to act as a temporary sealant blocking the pores of the tooth. However, there is still a slight risk of the substances seeping in and restaining the tooth.
Those with intrinsic stains will require more applications than the average person. Intrinsic stains are those stains that rest below the surface of the enamel. Intrinsic stains appear grayish or grey-brown and require more applications because that the gel must pass through the pores of the enamel and into the dentin. Gray is the most difficult color to remove from tooth tissue. Satisfactory results from whitening are not unreachable, but it will require more dedication and patience.
Whitening involves applying bleach solutions to the teeth. The bleach attacks the highly colored organic molecules that lodge between the crystals of tooth enamel (the outermost tooth covering) or in the dentin (the tooth material under the enamel). It’s these organic particles that give the teeth a stained appearance. For surface stains, the solution is left on the teeth usually for 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the method used. For internal stains on non-living teeth that have had root canal work, the bleach might be sealed inside the tooth. The bleaching process continues until these organic particles are rendered colorless. Bleaching works best on yellowish stains and even some brown stains, but may not work at all on gray discoloration. It’s important to keep in mind that bonding material and fillings cannot be whitened with bleach. If you have these restorations in your mouth, you should consider how your teeth will look if the natural parts become whiter and the bonding stays the same.
Whitening methods range from powerful gels that can only be applied by a professional to lower-dose products you can use at home. In general, professional treatments will achieve quicker results but will also be more expensive.
You may experience increased sensitivity for 1-2 days following your whitening procedure. This discomfort is due to the active ingredient in teeth whitening, hydrogen peroxide; and is mild and temporary. For most patients, this sensitivity is easily managed by avoiding hot or cold food and drinks, or by taking over-the-counter pain medication. If you have sensitive teeth prior to treatment, you are more likely to experience discomfort after the procedure. If you’re concerned about discomfort, you may consider your dentist’s take-home whitening treatment, as it contains less hydrogen peroxide.
Additionally, your gums may appear slightly discolored or may sting for a few hours after treatment, but there is no need for alarm. This discomfort will dissipate shortly and you should be fully healed in 1-2 days following treatment.
The effects of whitened teeth can last for anywhere from 4 months to 1 year. It depends on the consumption of food, drinks and tobacco as well as the condition of your teeth. Consuming too much coffee and tea also hasten the discoloration process. When undergoing teeth whitening treatment, practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. There are a few important things you can do to guarantee long lasting whitening results. Even though these may vary from case to case, a conscientious routine of flossing and brushing has to be practiced on a daily basis.
Whitening is not recommended for people who experience chronic sensitivity, periodontal disease, oral cancer, or excessively worn and damaged enamel. Teeth that appear translucent may worsen with each whitening application and should be discontinued upon notice.
It is recommended that cavities be treated, and gums are healthy before any whitening procedure is considered.
The total cost of teeth whitening treatment varies depending on the following factors: the duration of your whitening treatment, the dentist chosen for the treatment, the type of whitening procedure chosen, etc. However, the type of whitening procedure chosen is the major factor that determines the cost of the whitening treatment
We are dedicated to providing comprehensive oral health treatment to all our patients. Our team, led by Dr. Tafreshi, believes that a solid doctor-patient relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. We work closely with each patient to establish a lifelong partnership and provide personalized treatment plans. We want you to feel empowered in making decisions about your oral health. Don't let dental care be a luxury out of reach; we believe a beautiful smile is easily achievable for everyone. Schedule an appointment today, and let us help you achieve your dental goals.
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