A bright, spotless smile is a sign of health and beauty, and a goal that most people strive to achieve. It may seem difficult, given the many sources of discoloration our teeth are exposed to on a daily basis, but with the right professional and at-home care, that ideal smile is within your reach. While deeper stains may require concealment through porcelain veneers or similar treatment, most stains are more simply removed through a teeth whitening procedure. Given its immediate benefits and ease of treatment, it’s no wonder why teeth whitening is the most sought-after cosmetic procedure among American dental patients. If you are looking for a way to achieve a more radiant smile, you may also be a good candidate for whitening.
When you come in for a consultation regarding tooth discoloration, one of the first details that must be determined is the type of discoloration that is present. There are generally two types of stains that affect teeth, which inform the treatment options that will follow.
Although not all stains are affected by teeth whitening, extrinsic discoloration is by far the most common type of staining, making whitening an effective and worthwhile procedure for most patients.
Professional teeth whitening is a remarkably safe procedure, posing virtually no risk to a patient’s health and resulting in very few, short-lived side effects. Even patients who normally cannot undergo certain procedures, such as oral surgery, will likely be able to have their teeth whitened without worry. This is because whitening gel is topically applied and does not get absorbed beyond a tooth’s enamel, thereby leaving the rest of the tooth perfectly healthy. Still, a few factors must be considered before proceeding with whitening. Namely, patients must have:
If you are deemed a good candidate for teeth whitening, it is important to form accurate expectations regarding treatment. Professional whitening treatment often brightens patients’ smiles by eight shades, but individual results depend on the type of discoloration within teeth, the degree of discoloration, and how deeply it is embedded within enamel. Additionally, remember that whitening is not a way to prevent future stains, and therefore the results of whitening cannot be expected to last indefinitely. Finally, whitening gel is only able to remove stains from natural enamel, meaning any restorations will not be altered in shade. If your teeth become a noticeably brighter shade than visible restorations at the front of your mouth, you may want to also consider replacing said restorations for a more evenly colored smile.
If your teeth are strong and healthy, why not let your smile reflect that? Schedule an exam or consultation at our office to learn more about our cosmetic treatments and whether teeth whitening is a good option for you.