Going to the dentist has never been on anyone’s fun to-do list, and dental fillings have always been associated with needles and pain, and in today’s world, those ideas can not be further from the truth. The medical world has changed dramatically over the years, and going to the dentist is nothing now compared to what…
Is Teeth Whitening Right for Everyone?
Teeth whitening treatments effectively eliminate most types of stains and discoloration, but they are not the right solution for everyone. People with stains caused by tetracycline antibiotics, tooth decay or fluorosis do not respond well to whitening treatments. Covering such stains up with dental cosmetics like composite bonding, veneers and crowns can be a better way to deal with such flaws.
Factors that lead to a person's teeth become discolored and stained over time include:
- Using tobacco products
- Trauma to a tooth
- Poor oral hygiene
- Overexposure to fluoride
- Tooth decay
- Taking tetracycline antibiotics
Teeth enamel wears down as a person ages, leaving more of the yellow inner layer of a tooth called the dentin exposed. That creates the appearance of yellow teeth.
How teeth whitening works
There are several options for you to choose from when it comes to whitening teeth. The fastest way to get whiter teeth is to get professional whitening treatments performed by a dentist. This involves using highly-concentrated bleaching products that are only sold to qualified oral professionals. It can improve the color of a person's teeth by up to eight shades after an hour-long session.
These treatments are often done using custom mouth trays to evenly coat the patient's teeth with the bleaching agent. The custom mouth tray also protects soft tissues in the mouth, like the gums. Each whitening session lasts 60-90 minutes and most patients need multiple treatments to reach the desired shade of white.
LED lights or ultraviolet light can be used to speed up the reaction of the bleaching agent and stain molecules. Such treatments often involve the dentist applying the whitening product directly to the patient's teeth.
Dentists also provide at-home whitening kits that patients can use at home. This provides a more convenient option, especially for those with busy schedules. The solutions used for at-home teeth whitening are not as concentrated as those used in-office since the dentist will not be there to supervise the patient.
These products take longer to achieve the same results at in-office treatments, but they are just as effective over time.
People with stains and discoloration that are not responsive to whitening treatments can improve the appearance of their teeth with the following treatments:
- Composite bonding: This involves covering the stains on the patient's teeth with a composite resin made out of plastics and glass. The composite is color-matched with the patient's teeth so any teeth whitened with composites blend right in with the others.
- Veneers: These are thin, restorations that cover the front part of teeth. They look like real teeth and they hide stains and discoloration.
- Crowns: Crowns are a great way to create the appearance of white teeth when the stains affect multiple sides of teeth. A crown covers up the entire visible part of a tooth, hiding its flaws and protecting it from bite forces.
Start your journey towards whiter teeth
Call or visit our Mableton clinic to learn more about how we can whiten your teeth or cover up stains on them.
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