Having a beautiful smile may be even easier than you think. Many people achieve the look they’ve been dreaming of with our simple “bleaching” procedure.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is the removal of staining and discolourations from the enamel and dentin. The outer layer of the tooth is enamel, and beneath the enamel is dentin. Enamel is thin and typically much lighter in colour, while the dentin is darker and makes up the bulk of the tooth. Enamel can be discoloured over time, simply from age, but also from outside sources like coffee, tea, tobacco, and other foods and beverages. Also, as we age, our enamel thins, causing more dentin to show through, making the overall appearance of the tooth look darker. Whitening your teeth removes these stains and discolourations, giving you a whiter, brighter smile.
Key Benefits of Teeth Whitening
- Corrects brown, yellow and spotted tooth staining
- Works on people of any age
- Is a near-permanent solution for a “dull” smile, restoring brightness and brings a smile alive
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Stains on teeth can be classified in one of two ways: extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of your teeth. Intrinsic stains live between the microcracks in your enamel and deep within your dentin (the layer of your tooth underneath your enamel). Whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses may be able to remove some of the extrinsic stains on your teeth. But only teeth whitening agents can remove the stubborn extrinsic stains and the unsightly intrinsic stains that cause your teeth to look discoloured.An impression is taken to make a specialized “mouthguard” or “stent” to hold the bleach against the teeth. Our office uses Opalescence gels that contain an active whitening ingredient (either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) that penetrates your enamel to get to discoloured molecules. Oxygen molecules from the whitening agents react with the discoloured molecules in your teeth, breaking the bonds that hold them together. The oxygen molecules spread, whitening the entire tooth. As a result, you are left with a brighter, whiter smile.
Why choose professional whitening instead of over-the-counter products?
Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available for purchase at drug stores and pharmacies. However, since these products can cause harm to the gums and teeth, it’s better to use products that our practice recommends. Teaming up with your dentist is the best way to get the whitening results you want. Your dentist knows your oral health and can make recommendations that will allow you to get the best results in a time frame that works for you. Your dentist can also help you understand how the whitening process works, monitor your progress, and treat any sensitivity issues that may arise.
Alternative Whitening Treatments
There are options to fit any lifestyle: 1. In house whitening, 2. Take-home whitening with custom form fitted trays, and 3. Take home whitening with standard trays.
1. in House Whitening
In house whitening is a procedure carried out by a trained registered dental hygiene professional following two at home applications of a desensitizer on the two nights prior to the whitening appointment. At the start of the whitening appointment, the hygienist applies a protective material along the gum line. Only after the protective material is applied is the whitening material applied to each tooth one at a time. It is ideal for people who want instant whitening gratification or those who have that special event coming up that requires a bright, white smile. Opalescence tooth whitening gel contains PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride). Chemically activated, so no hot, uncomfortable light is needed.
2. Custom Take-Home
A second option is whitening using trays specifically designed for each patient. Impressions of your teeth are taken as part of the procedure for creating custom fitted trays that are designed to cover your teeth accurately while providing optimum comfort. Explanations are given to show how to correctly load the trays with the whitening gel from a number of syringes of Opalescence.
3. Take-Home in Pre-Filled Disposable Trays
The third option is to use a convenient pre-filled disposable tray for about 15 minutes up to 1 hour per day, for 5 to 10 days Your dentist will recommend the time and also the concentration that will work best for you. Trays can be worn in the shower, on your way to work, at the gym, or relaxing at home.
How long will whitening results last?
Teeth whitening results are very stable, leaving you with a stunning smile long after treatment is over. However, there are a few factors that can make teeth lose their ouster. Things like genetics, diet, age, some medications like tetracycline, and certain habits like smoking may affect the length of your whitening results. Fortunately touch-up treatments are quick and easy, helping get that white smile back.
Is Teeth Whitening for Everyone?
Teeth whitening is a safe, comfortable way to get a bright white smile. Results and treatment time may vary depending on the level of staining and whiteness desired. For very severely stained teeth, crowns or porcelain veneers may be more appropriate. Crowns, bridges, fillings and veneers will not whiten.
A pre-whitening consultation is recommended to help you choose the professional option that best fits your needs. Please contact our office today to arrange an appointment.