Everyone wants a whiter and brighter smile and this procedure can help you achieve just that. There are a number of different teeth whitening options available — some use whitening strips at home, some use teeth bleaching products, some use laser therapy. All of these different methods yield different types of results. Please continue reading for a detailed discussion of the best whitening procedures.
Causes of Teeth Staining
The color of your teeth depends on the quality of your enamel. Some of the factors that determine the color of your teeth are beyond your control and some factors are completely within your control. The following are some factors that determine the external color of your teeth.
- Thickness of the Enamel: Thicker enamel appears to be brighter because they hide the color of the dentin layer underneath. But this is something you can’t control. Furthermore, as you age, your enamel would continue wearing away, which will make your teeth appear yellower.
- Color of the Dentin: The enamel is translucent, which is why the color of the underlying dentin layer often becomes visible through the enamel. This is also beyond your control.
- Porousness of the Enamel: The more porous your enamel is, the more stains it will retain.
Out of these factors, the only thing you can control is the stains on the enamel. Over time, various factors stain your enamel, making your teeth appear yellow. The following are some of the primary culprits of yellowed teeth:
- Smoking and tobacco consumption in any form.
- Beverages with tannic acid such as red wine.
- Tea and coffee.
- Excess alcohol consumption.
- Poor oral hygiene, which causes your teeth to retain stains longer.
These are all factors that affect the surface stains on your teeth. However, your teeth can also get stained due to intrinsic factors. This usually occurs when you’re exposed to fluoride as a child or perhaps because your mother consumed tetracycline antibiotics during pregnancy. In this case, teeth whitening won’t yield any results because the staining is intrinsic.
Is it Worth it to Get Teeth Professionally Whitened?
Getting your teeth professionally whitened is worth it if you suffer from surface stains. Do you want a brighter smile but your teeth stay yellowed no matter how well you brush your teeth? This may happen because your enamel has gotten seriously stained. In this case, professional teeth whitening can remove all of those surface stains and restore your bright smile.
However, if you suffer from intrinsic stains, then teeth whitening isn’t suitable for you. In that case, professional teeth whitening may brighten your smile a little, but your teeth will still appear discolored. If that’s the case, you should opt for other procedures like dental veneers. You should consult your dentist to discuss your best options.
Best Teeth Whitening Procedures
Your teeth whitening procedure begins with your dental consultation. During your first visit, the dentist will photograph your teeth and take an accurate shade test so they can monitor the progress. They’ll also determine what type of stains you have and what’s the root cause of your stains — whether it’s the quality of the enamel, surface stains, or intrinsic stains. This will allow them to determine what’s the best treatment procedure for you.
Once they’ve discussed your options, the dentist will clean your mouth and remove all bacteria. Following, that they’ll proceed with the teeth whitening procedure, be it vital whitening, non-vital whitening, or home teeth whitening.
Vital whitening is the type of dentist teeth whitening performed on live nerves, i.e., your original teeth. The dentist will apply a gel with hydrogen peroxide on your teeth and then use a special light or laser to harden and catalyze the gel. The procedure may continue for a period of 30 minutes to 90 minutes and you may also need several teeth whitening sessions to see results.
Non-vital whitening is the type of dentist teeth whitening performed on teeth without live nerves, i.e., teeth that have gone through a root canal procedure. It’s possible that the discoloration may be stemming from within your teeth instead of outside, which is why the dentist will place the bleaching get pithing the affected tooth and then close it with a temporary filling. The dentist will remove the filling after a few days and may repeat the procedure a few times till your teeth have achieved the desired shade.
Home Teeth Whitening Products
Some people also prefer home teeth whitening. If you’re one of them, you should still consult a dentist so they can recommend an effective teeth whitening product since the market is saturated with ineffective or even dangerous over-the-counter products. The dentist will design a custom whitening strip based on your dental mold and give you a whitening gel. You have to apply the gel on the whitening strip and then wear it for a few hours every day. You’ll see the effects within two to three weeks.
Is Laser Teeth Whitening the Same as Bleaching your Teeth?
Laser teeth whitening is not the same thing as regular bleaching. During regular teeth bleaching, you simply apply a whitening gel or hydrogen peroxide solution on your teeth and you let it stay. However, this is rarely effective because your saliva inevitably interferes with the treatment and renders it almost useless.
Laser teeth whitening, in comparison, is a procedure in which the whitening gel is applied on your teeth and then a laser light is used to activate that gel so that it works more effectively and quickly. That makes it far more effective than bleaching. Furthermore, laser whitening can go a little beyond simple surface stains to truly whiten your teeth.
While a regular home bleaching technique may offer marginal results in two weeks, laser teeth whitening can offer far greater results within 30 minutes.
Best Dentist Whitening Treatment
At Richmond Dental PLLC, we examine your teeth and enamel to decide which type of teeth whitening procedure will be most useful and effective on your teeth. Once we’ve decided, we use the latest and most effective methods to whiten your teeth as fast as possible. For more information on the best dentist whitening treatment, please schedule an appointment.