Teeth yellow with age and can become stained on the surface through daily exposure to foods and drinks such as tea, coffee and blackcurrants. Calculus or tartar can also affect the coloration of the teeth. Some people may have internal staining which can be caused by certain antibiotics or minute cracks in the teeth.
Naturally, prior to any treatment, a thorough examination and diagnosis should be performed, evaluating the potential benefits the technique may offer you. Teeth that have become stained from age, coffee, tea or smoking are ideal candidates. Patients with healthy, natural, and unfilled teeth often achieve dazzling results. Teeth darkened with extrinsic, or surface stains, respond better to bleaching than deep, intrinsic discoloration caused by fluoride or tetracycline. These types of stain are less likely to produce dramatic results. Bleaching is generally not indicated for sensitive or worn teeth; those with large fillings or crowns; and teeth affected by gum disease.
Over-the-counter kits are not recommended as they contain only a small concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which reduces the effectiveness of the product. Some also contain mild acids, while others are abrasive.
Although these products are cheaper, whitening is a complicated treatment procedure and should only be carried out by a dentist after a thorough examination and assessment of your teeth. It is very important to follow the instructions issued by your dentist and to ensure that you attend any follow-up appointments recommended.
Teeth whitening is a procedure to lighten the natural color of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces.
The two most common whitening are in-office whitening and using teeth whitening trays and gels.
Teeth whitening kits from the dentist produce faster and more effective results because they contain a stronger peroxide-bleaching agent than whitening kits purchased over the counter.
Another benefit of trays and gels from the dentist is that the trays are custom made and fit your teeth exactly so that the gums are protected from the tooth whitening gels.
To our knowledge, nothing detrimental has been documented and microscopic research shows no changes to the tooth surface with use of 10% bleaching solution. There is no study that we have come across showing any irreversible damage to the tooth structure.
Toothpaste containing potassium nitrate or a prescription level of fluoride can help seal the microscopic tubules (dentin pores) to prevent nerve irritation and sensitivity. There are also professional products available that your dentist can apply to the affected area.
Generally, immediately after whitening, the color will fade slightly and then remain stable for approximately 2 years, sometimes longer.
Touch ups every 4-6 months with 1-2 applications are recommended to maintain your desired shade.
Success of Tooth Whitening Depends on Several Factors…