Healthy permanent teeth are naturally a bit yellowish in color. Age, diet, heredity, and other conditions can cause your teeth color to darken further. Professional Teeth Whitening or In-Office Teeth Whitening is a safe, fast, and effective way to brighten your smile. A take home kit are also available. Both options use peroxide-based bleaching agents to brighten teeth. The only difference is that professional teeth whitening has a higher percentage of peroxide, providing faster and more effective results compared to take home kits.
What causes discoloration or staining of teeth?
- Aging: over time, the enamel thins out exposing the yellow color of the dentin. the dentin also grows as you age, reducing the translucency of the tooth making them look darker
- Consumption of certain foods: colored foods like tomato based foods and drinks like coffee can cause discoloration of the tooth
- Smoking: smoking can result in brown stains called nicotine stains
- Trauma: necrotic teeth can turn grey
- Fast or instant results
- Safest form of bleaching
- Results are unpredictable and may not work for all
- Results are not permanent. Dentists may recommend take home kits for maintenance.
Extrinsic stains that teeth whitening can fix:
- Stains from colored drinks such as coffee, tea, wine, juice
- Stains from colored food such as curry, tomato-based products
- Nicotine stains
- Mild fluorosis
Stains resistant to teeth whitening:
- Discolored teeth due to trauma
- Tetracycline stains
- Moderate to severe fluorosis
- The dentist will make sure you are a candidate for teeth whitening. Patients with teeth and gum hypersensitivity, multiple restorations (bondings, veneers, and crowns), and decays are not candidates for teeth whitening.
- Oral prophylaxis will be performed before the procedure to remove any plaque build up.
- A cheek retractor will be placed to avoid the contact of bleach to your gums and to expose your teeth.
- Pre-operative photos may be taken.
- A gingival or gum barrier will be placed on all teeth to be whitened, to protect gums against the bleaching gel.
- Bleaching gel will be applied and left on to the tooth for about 15-30mins depending on the brand of the teeth whitening product.
- The existing gel will be suctioned. a new layer of gel will be applied for one or two more cycles depending on the brand.
- The shade of the teeth will be checked in between applications to check if additional application is needed.
- After the final cycle, the gel will be suctioned and washed off thoroughly.
- The dentist will remove the gum barrier and the cheek retractor.
- Fluoride may be applied to reduce post-operative sensitivity.
- Post-operative photos may be taken for before/after comparison.