How Professional Teeth Whitening Works
Professional whitening removes stains from the outer layer of tooth enamel and the middle layer of your teeth, setting it apart from over-the-counter whitening treatments which can only impact the surface of the teeth.
There are several steps to the whitening process and each is important to ensure the very best results from the treatment:
- Cleaning: Plaque, tartar, and debris are removed from the teeth to ensure a smooth, even application of the whitening agents.
- Preparation: Lips and gums are isolated from the bleaching agents so they do not suffer any irritation during the whitening procedure.
- Application: Whitening bleach – comprised of concentrations of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide – is applied to the surface of each tooth and left in place for 30 to 60 minutes. In some whitening treatments, a special light is used to activate the ingredients.
- Finishing: Teeth are rinsed with water and then polished.
The entire whitening procedure is fast, simple, and non-invasive and teeth can be made up to 10 shades whiter. In just one office visit your entire smile can be transformed and the results can last for up to three years with proper dental care.
Causes of Stained or Discolored Teeth
Our teeth work hard every day. Even though we brush, floss, and visit the dentist, time has its way and eventually the wear and tear will appear:
- Constant use contributes to a change in tooth color
- Tiny amounts of food and drink get stuck in the tiny grooves of the teeth
- Stains build up over time and darken teeth
- Coffee, wine, and tea are beverages that contribute to stained teeth
- Tobacco users are at a far greater risk of developing discolored teeth
- Certain medications can cause teeth discoloration
Are You a Good Candidate for Professional Teeth Whitening?
Many people are good candidates for professional whitening, especially if you are simply looking for a way to brighten your smile and remove discoloration and stains without altering your teeth in any other way. There are some circumstances where this procedure is not an option, however:
- Natural tooth color: If your teeth naturally have a yellowish tint or are not super white, a whitening treatment cannot change this inherent characteristic.
- Gum disease: Any patient suffering from any stage of gum disease must first have this condition completely cleared up before any cosmetic dentistry procedures like whitening can even be considered.
- Sensitivity: The bleaching agents used in whitening are incredibly strong. Patients who have sensitivity may not be able to tolerate the whitening treatment.
- Existing restorations: Patients who have fillings or crowns cannot have those particular teeth whitened. They will not react to the whitening agents the same way as your natural teeth and will stand out because of the difference in color.
In circumstances where a patient is not a good candidate for professional whitening, there is no need to despair. There is always a cosmetic dentistry treatment that can deliver an amazing, bright smile, like porcelain veneers or dental crowns.
Get Teeth Whitening in Bethesda
At Bethesda Family Dental’s two offices in Bethesda and North Bethesda, we offer professional treatments to qualified candidates who want an easy, fast smile makeover and whiter teeth. Contact us to schedule a consultation and find out if this procedure is right for you.