What are Teeth Whitening ?
Whether it’s an individual tooth, or many teeth, discoloration can be caused by many different factors. Caffeine use, food, age, and tobacco products are common causes of stains and discoloration on teeth. People with stained or dull teeth usually benefit from professional teeth whitening. This is a safe procedure that effectively brightens and improves your smile.
Teeth Whitening Methods:
In general, teeth bleaching products are the most effective way to whiten your teeth. The bleaching products contain peroxides which change the colour of your natural tooth anywhere from five to seven shades brighter. In some instances, the tooth can be whitened up to twelve shades brighter with professional whitening services.
Professional Teeth Whitening Process
This process, known as chair side bleaching, is an effective way to brighten your smile in a healthy and safe setting. Your dentist will perform an evaluation to ensure teeth bleaching products are the best fit. An x-ray of your teeth may be needed to accurately give an assessment of your teeth. In some cases of serious discoloration and pitted teeth, veneers may be more appropriate than bleaching. Crowns, bridges, and fillings do not bleach. It may be necessary to replace dental work to make it blend naturally with the new color of your bleached teeth.
During a professional tooth whitening session, a protective gel or rubber shield will be applied to protect the soft tissues in the mouth. A bleaching agent will then be applied to the teeth. A special light is used to enhance the chemical action.
If your teeth aren’t very dark and have minimal staining, only one bleach session may be needed to get the desired results. Your dentist will give you a treatment plan based on the amount of sessions needed.
How Long Does it Last?
Based on the care and treatment of your teeth, results from professional teeth whitening may last up to a year before a touch-up is needed. Certain activities can lead to discoloration such as tobacco use, caffeine, and foods. Once the initial treatment is applied, results can be maintained with regular touch-ups.
In general, bleaching works for most people. Tooth bleaching is most effective if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluoroscopic, smoking or tetracycline can be lightened, but with less-than- satisfactory results.
Benefits of Professional Whitening
• Getting your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist can provide customized treatments. Whitening is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You may have a preference or specific areas that need treatment the most.
• Teeth whitening in the dentist office can give you whiter teeth in about an hour. This is a faster alternative to at home treatments over multiple sessions.
• Professional whitening is a safer alternative. Over-the-counter whitening treatments can harm your gum tissue or cause sensitivity. A professional treatment offers a safer and more comfortable treatment.
• Professional teeth whitening can provide a stronger and more thorough whitening. Tough stains may need a professional treatment to be removed.
Teeth Whitening (Bleaching)
One of the most common topics of discussion at dental offices in recent decades pertains to teeth whitening (often referred to as bleaching). Technological advances, social media popularity and ever-growing dental awareness in society, are some of the reasons why bleaching is also now one of the most commonly performed procedures in dental settings. Coffee, tea, hard beverages, age, red meat and other dark staining foods are some of the factors that can lead to intrinsic staining, and in-turn lead us to require bleaching in order to restore their former shade. At First Point Dental we offer a few different options to cater to your bleaching needs, including custom fabricated whitening trays for at home use in addition to in office whitening. One size does not fit all! Many “strips” on the market nowadays can cause harm and pain to the soft tissues (gums) because they are often not the right fit. Excess material has notoriously been known to overflow and cause tissue burns and pain! With our custom designed trays, these issues are dramatically reduced, if not eliminated altogether. These custom fabricated trays are built to your size and tooth structure, ensuring the material stays where it’s supposed to, on the hard tissues of the teeth.
Express Vs Boost Bleaching: What you need to know
- For mild to moderate stains
- Same materials used as in the boost package
- Quick (express) 20 min procedure
- Expect 2-3 shades lighter (in most patients)
Boost (Custom fabricated trays in addition to In-Office Whitening)
- For moderate to severe staining
- At least twice the number of sessions as the express package (if not more)
- Usually an hour-long procedure (Varies from patient to patient)
- Expect 4-6 shades lighter (in most patients)
- **Additional take home whitening trays for enhanced results! (custom made to your size)
Frequently Asked Questions
Will teeth whitening work for me?
Results can be varied from person to person. In general, professional teeth whitening sessions see better results than over the counter treatments.
Does teeth whitening hurt?
The dentist will use a protective film over your gums to prevent any sensitivities. Most patients experience no sensitivities or pain.
How long does professional teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening lasts the longest when patients maintain their dental hygiene. It is best to avoid tobacco use, teeth staining food and drinks, and continue regular dental cleanings. In-office results can last several months to a year.
Who is a good candidate for bleaching?
Anyone! Bleaching has been performed on patients in their teenage years to people in their 90’s. It varies patient to patient and the factors the teeth were exposed to over time.
What is the difference between polishing and bleaching?
Polishing is a procedure in which only Extrinsic stains (stains on the outer surface of the teeth) are focused and worked on. Intrinsic stains (stains on the inside of the teeth) however, can only be managed by bleaching.
Does the bleaching system work on crowns, veneers?
No. The bleaching system was designed to permeate enamel surfaces. Unfortunately, restorations like crowns, fillings, veneers or existing dentures will not change shade after the procedure. This is an important consideration before deciding to bleach your teeth!
Does bleaching cause sensitivity?
In short, yes. Bleaching has been known to cause mild sensitivity for the first 24-48 hours following the procedure, but with technological advances in materials and our experienced team, we assure you that this sensitivity will be at its bare minimum! Furthermore, our state-of-the-art isolation steps and sensitivity management guidelines will ensure you have a comfortable experience.
How white will my teeth get?
Results vary from patient to patient. In general, almost everyone sees a noticeable difference! However, a person who’s an avid coffee drinker, smoker or has never had bleaching done will likely see a bigger difference on the shade guide than a patient who doesn’t drink or smoke at all. Ask your doctor about the results you can expect after the procedure.
How can I make my results last longer?
Because of our diet and other daily extrinsic factors our teeth are exposed to, staining is almost unavoidable. However, we can luckily limit these factors and the amount of staining that they may cause. Limit Red meats and other dark foods, try to minimize your coffee and tea intake, avoid red wine and other dark stained beverages and finally, try to brush your teeth after every meal.