Dental Care

About Teeth Whitening

Why using teeth whitening? As you get older, the enamel on your teeth will always tend to get darker. Some of this darkening occurs because the minerals found in the tooth begin to change.

While tooth stains pose no threat to your oral health, they can easily disfigure an otherwise perfect smile.

Your teeth will also become stained if you use tobacco products and consume certain foods that are well known for getting into the enamel pores.

For example, coffee and tea are the two most common culprits when it comes to altering enamel color. Today, there are a number of dental procedures that will whiten and brighten your teeth.

Many of these options are much cheaper than you might have realized.

Therefore, if your teeth have become discolored over the years, you can enjoy having beautiful teeth without having to install crowns or undergo other invasive procedures.

Where Can Teeth Bleaching Procedures be Performed?

In most cases, whitening your teeth can be done in a dental office or at home.

When bleaching procedures are done in a dental office, it is usually called a chair side procedure. If your teeth are badly discolored, it is best to have these procedures carried out by your dentist.

That said, if you only have mild stains, it may be suitable for you to carry out bleaching, using homemade whitening for teeth.

It is important to realize that tooth whitening must be carried out over several visits. You will also find that you have to repeat the process a number of times if you are using teeth bleaching agents that are safe for home use.

How Does Chair Side Teeth Whitening Work?

Basically, your dentist will use solution of concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide to bleach your teeth.

As this agent seeps into enamel pores, it will remedy stain deposits. When the stains are treated with the peroxide agent, they will turn white.

Once your teeth have reached the right color, the dentist will apply a second agent to neutralize the hydrogen peroxide.

Are There Alternatives to Teeth Bleaching?

As a general rule of thumb, bleaching is one of the least invasive methods for whitening teeth. That said, if you cannot tolerate this method, your dentist can drill a small hole in your tooth, and place a whitening agent within. This will usually take from 60 - 90 minutes.

Once your teeth are the right color, your dentist will remove the temporary filling as well as the whitening agent. In most cases, this method works on the first try.

You may also be interested in laser whitening. This process starts out with conventional bleaching agents. Typically, the dentist can use a milder solution. When a laser is aimed at the whitening agent, its effectiveness is increased.

In most cases, this method is a good bit faster, and causes less damage to the enamel on your teeth. Unfortunately, it is also more expensive. Since tooth whitening by laser is a fairly new procedure, it has not yet gained the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Does it Matter if I've had Root Canals?

If you've had root canals, you will need to have a modified whitening procedure. Typically, Vital Teeth Whitening is only used on teeth that no longer have live nerves in them.

If you have not had a root canal, then your dentist can use regular bleaching methods to eliminate tooth stains. Unfortunately, Vital Teeth Whitening will not work on teeth that have not been treated with a root canal.

How do I get Started with Chair Side Tooth Whitening?

Typically, your dentist will start by examining your teeth in order to determine which whitening method will be safest and most effective.

This examination will include a study of your gums in order to determine if they will need special shielding from bleaching agents. Even if your gums are not in perfect health, your dentist can use a rubber or gel shield to protect the gums.

You will also be given detailed information about potential oral side effects that may come with each procedure.

If you want to know more about teeth whitening methods, you can find more information in our articles about whitening procedures, cheap whitening and whitening strips in this series.

Finally, the cost of whitening is an important aspect that we address as well.

We hope that the information provided in this series will help you consider whether or not you want to go for these procedures.

At the very least, we hope that you will take up this subject with your dentist the next time you visit.

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