Tooth whitening is extremely popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that delivers beautiful results quickly and easily. With the latest advanced whitening techniques, our team at Timberlake Family Dentistry can give you a dazzling, long-lasting white smile in almost no time.
How does it work?
Whitening is a safe and effective way to quickly deliver a dramatic change to your smile. As we age, minerals penetrate the enamel of our teeth and darken them. Certain factors also affect the whiteness of our teeth.
Generally teeth whitening it is accomplished by applying a bleaching gel directly to the teeth. The active ingredient in this gel, usually hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, breaks down and forces oxygen into the enamel and dentin of your tooth structure. The oxygen breaks down the stains and makes teeth whiter, without hurting the structure of the teeth.
Factors that affect the whiteness of your teeth include:
Some staining and discoloration is natural as we age since we accumulate stains from foods and beverages and other elements over the years.
- Tobacco Use
Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco all stain teeth, especially after long-term repeated exposure. These stains can be minimized and often virtually eliminated by professional dental whitening. However, continued use after the whitening process will affect how long the whitening lasts.
- Food and Beverages
Some foods, like colas, red wine, tea and coffee, stain teeth, especially after long-term repeated exposure. These stains can be minimized and often virtually eliminated by professional dental whitening. However, continued use after the whitening process will affect how long the whitening lasts.
In some cases, medication can cause stains or tooth darkening. These stains can be some of the most stubborn and difficult to remove. Fluorosis, a condition caused by too much fluoride, can cause discoloration, as can tetracycline and some antibiotics used during childhood years. Dr. Smith can explain how professional whitening can help in these situations.
How long does it take?
The length of time the bleaching process takes depends on the method used and the type of stains being removed. With take-home whitening procedures, results can typically be seen in as little as three to four days, with the final result commonly taking about two weeks. Of course the degree of staining and the level of desired whiteness are factors in the total time.
Is whitening for me?
Whitening produces results in over ninety percent of patients, and it doesn’t hurt teeth. Different factors will affect the process, and some people are better candidates than others. In general, yellow and light brown teeth, stained over a period of years make excellent candidates, while darker brown or grayish stains require special techniques. Whitening will not lighten artificial material in your mouth like bonding, fillings and veneers. Those with sensitive teeth, damaged teeth, gum disease, and pregnant women are encouraged to discuss their conditions with us.
What is the whitening option we offer here at Timberlake Family Dentistry?
Our office offers take-home whitening kits. It offers excellent results.
Take-home whitening kits are an affordable and effective way for many people to achieve excellent whitening results. After preparing your teeth for whitening, Dr. Smith will take impressions of your teeth and fabricate plastic trays molded specifically to fit your mouth. At home, you fill the trays with the whitening gel and fit them over your teeth. The trays hold the gel in contact with the teeth and are worn for a specified period of time. Some treatments are specifically designed to be worn overnight while you sleep. The trays are typically worn daily for ten to fourteen days (or nights), or until the desired whiteness is achieved.
Why is whitening from our office better than using an over-the-counter product?
Over the counter products are not as effective or long lasting as the techniques offered by us. Additionally the trays that hold the whitening gel are not custom fitted, and could allow leakage that irritates gums.
What preparation do we do before whitening the teeth?
We will thoroughly examine your teeth to determine if you are a good candidate for whitening, and what is the best method for your needs. A dental cleaning is always a good idea to make sure that the whitening gel can easily contact the clean, prepared surfaces of your teeth. We will also repair any damaged or sensitive teeth and address any cavity or gum problems before proceeding with the whitening procedure.
What results can I expect?
Whitening produces results in over ninety percent of patients, and it doesn’t hurt teeth. Typical results can produce a change of several shades of whiteness, lasting three to five years. Different factors affect how long the process takes, what method is used and how long the whitening lasts.
Is whitening safe?
The American Dental Association has approved whitening products, and clinical trials and studies have found them to be safe and effective. Most people suffer no side effects from whitening procedures, but some sensitivity to hot and cold foods is possible. This typically lasts for less than 48 hours.