Teeth whitening is the easiest way to increase your teeth’ aesthetic, which is why it is the most requested in a dentist’s office. It delivers optimum results in a short period, especially when compared with over-the-counter options for teeth whitening.
Dentists usually carry out whitening when a patient experiences stains and discolorations on their teeth. These are usually of two types –
- Extrinsic stains: These are present on the surface of teeth. Colored foods and drinks like tea, coffee, red wine, etc. are usually the culprits for extrinsic stains. Smokers and people who chew tobacco also have extrinsic stains on their teeth. You can remove such stains can be easily.
- Intrinsic stains: These transpire in the interior structure of teeth. The usual causes are injury, aging, or certain medicines. Intrinsic stains can be a pain to get rid of but a combination of professional teeth whitening and take-home kits make it possible to achieve desired results.
But it has to be noted that a little bit of yellowing in the teeth is pretty normal. The yellow hue that is visible is due to the structure of the tooth itself. Dentin, which is yellow, soft and spongy, cushions the white enamel underneath it. If a tooth has less enamel deposition, it appears more yellow. The more enamel deposition, the whiter it will appear.
A survey done in 2018 revealed that about 40 million Americans spent their money on teeth whiteners. Similarly, a previous survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2015 showed that whitening was insanely popular in dental offices.
Teeth Whitening – Options
There are many over-the-counter options for teeth whitening. These consist of whitening toothpaste, strips, oral rinses, etc. These are usually pretty affordable but don’t offer instant and long-term results.
For better results, opting for professional teeth whitening is recommended. These are done either by dentists or under the supervision of one. Aside from getting the procedure done in the office, you can also take advantage of take-home kits given by dentists. These can be used in the comfort of your own home and give great results.
How Professional Teeth Whitening Is Done
Professional teeth whitening isn’t a complicated procedure but it does require expert skill to prevent injury to the gum tissues. Additionally, it requires the use of expensive equipment to prepare and finish the treatment. The entire sitting can take about 60 to 90 minutes.
- Before starting the whitening procedure, your dentist will take pictures of your teeth and record the current shade.
- In case they feel like you require professional cleaning before the whitening, they will do so. This takes care of any plaque and calculus buildup and also takes off some of the extrinsic stains.
- The dentist them polishes your teeth with a grainy material (pumice).
- To keep your teeth dry, the mouth is isolated with gauze and a retractor is used to protect your cheeks, tongue, and lips from the whitening solution.
- Your dentist will then place a barrier along the gum line to avoid injury.
- The dentist coats the front surfaces of the teeth with the whitening solution. This consists of a bleaching agent such as Carbamide or hydrogen peroxide.
- A lot of whitening products involve the use of a laser or curing light to activate it. The solution that is applied is left on the teeth for about half an hour or up to 60 minutes and might be reapplied.
- Once the dentist feels that the shade is satisfactory, he or she rinse your teeth. They might apply fluoride to prevent any tooth sensitivity (which is a pretty common side-effect).
- Your dentist might advise future visits to achieve the desired shade.
After finishing the teeth whitening procedure, the dentist advise the patients to avoid pigmented food and drink. Additionally, they should avoid tobacco or smoking.
Using The Take-Home Kits
The take-home kits given by dentists are a great alternative to the comparatively costlier in-office procedure.The dentist takes your dental impressions to make custom-fit trays for the kits. They take one to two weeks to make them. The dentist performs teeth whitening for about 2 weeks for an hour a day. It isn’t complicated and gives much better results than the over-the-counter options.
In cases where a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy has to be bleached, the procedure is different. The dentist place whitening agent inside the non-vital tooth and then top it off with a temporary filling. The dentist then takes out the whitening agent after obtaining the desired results
.Advantages Of Professional Teeth Whitening
- While the store-bought options for teeth whitening are convenient, they carry a higher risk of teeth sensitivity and damage. Whitening is much safer since the dentist perform it with all the necessary precautions and in a controlled environment.
- It may sound like whitening at the dentists’ office takes a lot of time, but it doesn’t. A typical session lasts about an hour-long, depending on the patient’s tooth status and the dentist’s assessment.
- The initial examination carried out by your dentist takes into account the extent of staining and the general oral health. This way, your dentist figures out the best way to give you the result you desire. They might recommend a cleaning session before the whitening itself to eliminate surface stains, plaque, and calculus. The dentists tailor the procedures according to each patient. Even take-home kits involve patient customization (custom trays).
- When using an OTC option, chances are you’ll miss a spot or two since all the surfaces aren’t visible or easy to reach. By opting for a dental whitening session, you forego the risk of getting a spotty result. Unless there are areas of misalignment, your dentist will ensure that the bleaching agent coats all your visible areas.
- The biggest reason to opt for a professional whitening treatment is getting a radiant smile. It also boosts your self-esteem and gives you the confidence you might’ve been missing.
For more information on teeth whitening at MPLS Dental, get in touch with our team today. Call (612) 332-1255 to schedule an appointment.