One of the most common desires patients have is whiter teeth. When considering your options it is important to consult your dentist to make sure you have all the facts and understand how they may affect your teeth and mouth.
Many people think the coloring of teeth is due to plaque or dirt. But a variety of factors can affect the color of your teeth including food, drink, tobacco, age, injury, and medications. Understanding what is causing the discoloration is important to properly whiten your teeth.
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. Our office offers two methods of whitening: at home using custom or stock trays for whitening.
Impressions of your mouth are made to create customized clear whitening trays for you to wear. Within a few days your trays will be ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. Stock whitening trays are also available at a considerable saving. In both cases the whitening gel trays should be worn 30-60 minutes normally once a day. Your progress will be monitored every 2 weeks. At the end of this period, you will see the whitening results that are very pleasing. Bleaching is permanent and rarely requires additional treatment to maintain your new smile.
Teeth whitening products do not work on all teeth, so it is important to consult your dentist before any treatment. Whitening will not be effective on caps, veneers, crowns, fillings or limited discolorations caused by medications or injury.
The bleaching agent in a whitening product penetrates through the enamel to the dentin layer your teeth and can irritate the nerves and cause tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity is usually temporary, but overuse of whiteners can cause lasting damage loss of color and translucency. If you are experiencing prolonged side effects from teeth whitening, contact us right away and we can provide corrective measures to overcome the sensitivity.
Of course effectiveness, safety, and results vary greatly between products, so consult with your dentist if you are considering these choices.