Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

If you want to improve your smile, teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to do so.  This is an affordable procedure that can produce dramatic results without causing any pain or discomfort.  Many of our patients are so pleased with how their smile looks that they don’t need any other cosmetic procedures when they are done.  For example, people considering veneers are often happy enough with the results of teeth whitening that they no longer need the additional procedure. 

Our professional system produces more dramatic results than anything you can buy over the counter.  Teeth can be whitened by up to eight shades where most over-the-counter systems only whiten teeth by two.  
Here is how the process works:
  • Whitening solution.  The majority of teeth whitening solutions contain peroxide.  Peroxide can penetrate the enamel and oxidize the compounds inside of the enamel that are responsible for creating color.  After being oxidized, the molecules become colorless and whiter teeth are created.  There are two main types of peroxide that are used – hydrogen and carbamide with the latter producing more controlled results. 
  • Sensitivity.  Many of our patients want to know if their teeth will be sensitive after using these products.  If using a professional solution (given by the dentist) there should be no sensitivity or very little sensitivity because the fit will be perfect, and the solution will be applied in the correct dosage.  However, there have been reports of sensitivity and discomfort from people that have purchased over-the-counter kits or gone to a non-dentist in order to have their teeth whitened.  By visiting a dentist, the procedure will be done by a licensed doctor, rather than someone who has had no medical training.  The more experienced a dentist has, the better the results. 
  • Types of whitening.  There are several types of teeth whitening procedures that are available for you to try.  Over-the-counter whitening strips and trays are common, but they can slide off, are not a custom fit, and produce limited results.  Professional solutions can be administered in-office or in a tray that you wear at home.  If you buy the trays, they can be used at any time and will be made to fit your mouth perfectly so that there is no leakage.  Both work well so the procedure you select should be based on your schedule and needs. 
  • How white will they get?  The solution that you use will greatly impact how white your teeth become.  One of the reasons people like the trays created by a dentist is that they can control the whitening process.  Teeth become whiter over time so once you have reached the desired shade; you can stop wearing the trays.  If your teeth start to look yellow, simply wear them again. The in-office procedure produces stunning results in one sitting, so there is less control over slowing down the process. 

If you are considering having your teeth whitened, get them cleaned first. Schedule an appointment with our office so that we can remove bacteria and plaque from your teeth.  This way they will be clean and prepared for your whitening procedure.