What causes teeth to become discolored? What are the tooth whitening procedures available? Is professional whitening better than over-the-counter products? How white can teeth become? How long will it last? What causes teeth to become discolored? Staining, aging, or chemical damage can cause tooth enamel to become discolored. Some of the more common causes of teeth staining are medications (such as Tetracycline), coffee, tea, cigarettes, and cola drinks. There are other factors that can also affect the color of an individual’s teeth. One factor is genetics – some people have naturally brighter enamel than others. Another factor is disease. If you suspect that there is an underlying medical cause for your teeth discoloration, be sure to inform your cosmetic dentist.
What are the tooth whitening procedures available? There are two basic categories of teeth whitening procedures — in-office and at-home. Our method is a convenient at-home teeth whitening technique, which involves the creation of a custom-fitted tray. A small amount of whitening gel – available only through a cosmetic dentist – is then placed in the tray and worn for 30 minutes to 60 minutes once a day. This is to be done for 6 to 8 consecutive days. Once the initial whitening is completed you be the judge when you want to whiten and brighten your smile again. The whitening gel can always be purchased at the office when a new supply is needed.
Is professional whitening better than over-the-counter products? Yes. Professional whitening, done under the supervision of a cosmetic dentist, produces results which are tailored towards the individual patient. Professional teeth whitening can be done both in the dentist’s office and at home. The teeth are whitened according to specific desires, and use a highly concentrated whitening process which creates dramatic results. The in-home whitening products are not available over-the-counter, and are supervised for optimal results. Over-the-counter products will not produce the level of whitening or length of results that our treatment provides. Additionally, a cosmetic dental office will create molds of your teeth, so you will have applicator trays designed specifically for your mouth. This results in whitening which is much more even and natural-looking than over-the-counter treatments.
How white can teeth become? The goal is to achieve a brighter smile without forsaking a natural look. Typically, your front teeth are the whitest, your eye teeth are the darkest, and molars are a shade between the two. How white your teeth will become varies depending upon their current condition, structure and the type of procedure implemented. Only a qualified cosmetic dentist can help you determine which procedure – or combination of procedures – will work best for you. Over-the-counter products tend to whiten teeth to the point where they become unnatural looking. Also, over-the-counter products can increase tooth sensitivity. The preferred method of whitening involves a trained cosmetic dentist, who not only supervises the tooth health during the procedure but can also adjust the whitening process to achieve the most natural look possible.
How long will teeth whitening last? Generally, your teeth will be whitest immediately after bleaching, and will slowly fade over the course of about a year. After that, a visit to your dentist for maintenance – to touch up your smile – is recommended about once every six months, although individual results may vary greatly.
Teeth Whitening can make a huge difference in your life. Dr. Robert Beebe knows how to listen to your needs. Together you and Dr. Robert Beebe can create a whitening regime that will boost your confidence and enhance your life. Contact Dr. Robert Beebe, an LVI Clinical instructor, today for an initial consultation.