- Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Teeth Whitening and teeth bleaching are different terms referring to the same procedure. The treatment uses a safe concentration of peroxide gel which is applied to the teeth in order to remove stains that have accumulated in just 45 minutes!
The tooth’s surface is comprised of microscopic crystalline rods called tooth enamel (the porcelain-like surface of the tooth). Its primary purpose is to preserve the teeth from the damage of chewing, trauma and acids found in sugar etc. However, as we age, so does our enamel. As it begins to wear down, it becomes more transparent and allows the dentin (the material that makes up the core of the tooth which is yellow) to become more visible.
As we chew our food, millions of tiny cracks form in the enamel. These spaces are slowly fillled up with debris and stains which cause the tooth to dull in color and stain. When teeth are whitened, the debris and stains are removed from the teeth exposing the enamel cracks, many of which are then mineralized once again by saliva.
The two types of stains found in teeth known as extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains refer to discolorations on the tooth’s surface resulting from heavily colored beverages, tobacco, foods, and wear and tear. These stains are typically less stubborn and may be removed by brushing and regular dental cleanings.
The more stubborn stains in this category may be removed by bleaching the teeth. You should keep in mind that although extrinsic stains occur on the surface of the tooth, if not treated early enough they can actually penetrate the enamel and become ingrained in the dentin. Intrinsic stains are formed within the tooth interior as a result of trauma, age, mineral exposure such as tetracycline during the formation of the tooth, and/or large levels of fluoride ingestion. With today’s technology even some of the deeper intrinsic stains may be removed at home with professional take-home teeth whitening kits provided by name ( Dentist) if maintained within a couple of months to a year.
Causes of Tooth Staining
Age is a large contributing element to tooth staining. Stains accumulate over time as the enamel is worn down. That is one reason why patients who undergo professional teeth whitening appear more youthful.
Eating habits play a major role as darker colored beverages and foods such as coffee, red wine, tea, soda, carrots and even oranges cause substantial staining over time. The more acidic of which are the citrus fruits and foods containing vinegar which wear away at the tooth’s enamel making it more transparent and allowing the darker colored dentin to be more visible.
The nicotine in cigarettes leaves behind dark deposits ranging in color from brown to black which are slowly absorbed into the tooth’s enamel causing intrinsic staining among other health hazards. If you are a smoker, cut the habit and take back not only your health but your smile and oral hygiene as well.
Tetracycline when used during the formation of teeth creates brown or dark grey elongated stains which are troublesome to remove. Fluoride that is overly consumed will cause fluorosis and can be the source of white blotches than are sometimes seen on teeth.
Patients who grind their teeth can cause the tiny cracks to increase and worsen. Grinding also may cause the bite edges of the teeth to darken. Other causes for increasing and enlarging cracks in teeth are injuries such as falls causing trauma to the teeth. The more cracks there are in the enamel the more stains are enabled to reach the dentin. Likewise the larger the cracks are, the larger the stains.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of in office whitening is its ability to significantly change the color of your teeth within a short time period. name ( Dentist) will use a carefully controlled peroxide gel of the proper and safe concentration on your smile while protecting your gums at the same time. The whitening procedure takes place typically in 15 minute intervals with a maximum of four intervals per session. Patients with more persistent stains may return for another session after two weeks or can continue the effects with a take home kit provided by the office. The general cost of tooth whitening here at clinic is $ whitening.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Professional take-home whitening kits available at clinic are simple to use and contain a lower concentration of the peroxide gel which is used to bleach your teeth while in the dental chair yet is still muc higher than any over-the-counter whitening product.
Each take-home whitening kit contains customized dental tray and the peroxide whitening solution. Due the lower the concentration of the peroxide gel, it is able to remain safely on the teeth without harming the gumline.
Take-home teeth whitening kits are also a great way to maintain your professional in-office teeth whitening at home. You can easily enjoy the long lasting results of your whiter brighter smile at your own leisure.
Teeth Whitening Considerations
The teeth bleaching procedure can leave your teeth temporarily sensitive to touch, pressure and temperature. Sensitivity is most likely to occur in patients who have gum recession and larger cracks in their enamel. Typically this sensitivity is minor and lasts only a few days. name may recommend using toothpaste with potassium nitrate(such as Sensodyne) to help ease the discomfort.
Dental bonding restorations, veneers, crowns etc. remain unaffected by bleach while the color of the natural teeth will change. This factor should be discussed with name ( Dentist) as to whether your case will require replacing those restorations for a more consistent and ideal smile.
Patients can help to maintain their smile after whitening by performing an at-home whitening kit provided by name ( Dentist) at least once a year. Darker colored beverages, acidic foods, cigarettes, etc. should be avoided to prevent further staining or patients can simply use a straw while drinking staining beverages such as tea, coffee and soda. Of course proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing after meals and before bed) that is regularly practiced will not only help to maintain your smiles appearance, but your oral health as well.
It is important to understand that bleaching cannot produce teeth that are unnatural in appearance. The full results of the bleaching can be seen after about two weeks after treatment. Patients planning on having veneers or other such restorations must wait out this period to ensure that the color matches the teeth after the whitening process. Any tooth restorations previously performed will likely need replacement as they will not whiten with the bleaching process. The yellowish color of the root surface is revealed in patients with gum recession and is troublesome to bleach. Teeth whitening is not advised for women who are pregnant or nursing as the consequences of swallowing bleach on the fetus is still unknown.