What is Teeth Whitening?
Tooth whitening or tooth bleaching is the process of lightening the color of teeth. Whitening is often desirable when teeth become yellowed over time for a number of reasons, and can be achieved by changing the intrinsic or extrinsic color of the tooth enamel. The chemical degradation of the chromogens within or on the tooth is termed bleaching.
Laser Whitening is done at Dentist Near Me
How Is Teeth Whitening Performed?
In-office teeth whitening is the most frequently performed cosmetic dental procedure. Most procedures follow the proceeding steps:
Before whitening the teeth, a dentist will clean the teeth to remove debris and tartar. Teeth are then rubbed with a polishing paste to remove remaining debris.
A cheek retractor, a device that separates the cheeks, is placed to expose the teeth for the duration of the procedure. The patient’s teeth color is then compared to a panel of different shades of white to find the most suitable color as per the client’s request.
A dam is made around the teeth, either using a liquid gel or rubber. This protects the gum and other tissue within the mouth from the peroxide whiteners. A bleaching agent, which contains hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth and kept, to act on the stains for around 15 to 30 minutes.
The bleaching gel is then washed or suctioned off and another layer of gel is applied. This is also left to work for about half an hour. After the cycles of bleaching, the patient rinses his/her mouth and the post-procedure shade of teeth is evaluated. If the color is not aesthetically pleasing enough for the patient, a dentist may recommend follow-up visits to bleach the teeth again.
How long do the results from a teeth whitening procedure last?
The results of teeth whitening depend on the bleaching procedure used by the dentist. Stronger bleaching agents provide results that last longer. A patient’s lifestyle also determines results. People who smoke or chew tobacco often, as well as, coffee drinkers will have to go in for another procedure in a year or so.
What are the advantages of teeth whitening?
This procedure produces the quickest and safest results for whitening teeth. With the presence of thick peroxide gels and desensitizers in the whitening gel, gum and tooth sensitivity is minimal.
What are the disadvantages of teeth whitening?
In-office procedures are more expensive than at-home bleaching procedures. However, the results are long-lasting versus the several bleaching attempts a procedure conducted at home might take. Desired results also vary depending on age and the toughness of the stains present on the teeth. Finally, it is important to note that these changes are not permanent and touch-ups will be required every few years.
What are the Pros/Cons?
- Your confidence will increase
- Teeth whitening gives a better and brighter smile and boosts the self-esteem of the patient.
- The procedure leads to a lighter and even color of teeth by removal of stains; though it doesn’t make the teeth brilliant white, it can lighten the existing color by several shades.
- Teeth whitening provides a more youthful look to the patient’s face.
- With today’s dentist-supervised systems, even people with sensitive teeth can benefit from the procedure.
- An increase in sensitivity
- Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Be sure to discuss your clinical options thoroughly with your dentist before having the procedure done.
- Other dental problems like cavities and gum recession need to be treated before teeth are whitened. Whitening solution can pass through decayed areas and reach the inner parts of the tooth. If your gums have receded, the exposed roots of your teeth may appear yellow or discolored. Whitening products will not make them whiter.
What Are the Temporary Side-effects Of Teeth Whitening?
Whitening is unlikely to cause serious complications. Some minor side effects that can occur are:
Sensitivity: Teeth may become more sensitive for a short while. This happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases, the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment until this subsides, and then try again.
Gum irritation: Improperly fitting trays may cause the tooth whitening gel to leak, causing gum irritation. Consult your doctor if you notice any discomfort.
Overuse of whiteners carries the risk of damaging the tooth enamel or gums, so talk to your dentist before the procedure, about the permissible extent of whitening.
Will stains return after a whitening procedure?
In the few days following teeth whitening, the teeth are most susceptible to stains. Therefore it is recommended to avoid food and beverages that could stain the teeth, for up to 48 hours after the procedure. Following this time period, patients are advised to practice good dental hygiene and make lifestyle changes that will favor the outcomes of the procedure.
Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Teeth Whitening?
This procedure provides dramatic effects based on the type of bleaching process opted for. (Laser Whitening done at Dentist Near Me)
A patient who has had teeth stained with tobacco and food colorants generally has good results.
Patients with tougher stains might require deep bleaching as well as more frequent appointments to receive the required results.
In general, anyone with stained teeth can opt for this procedure.
What To Do Before A Tooth Whitening Procedure?
- A full dental examination is conducted prior to the procedure to find out tooth decay or any other oral problems that can increase the sensitivity of the whitening procedure.
- Teeth have to be brushed and the mouth rinsed with mouthwash before the procedure. This removes any debris in the mouth.
- Over-the-counter pain medications can be started before the procedure, for patients who have highly sensitive teeth.
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