The cosmetic dentistry procedure known as teeth whitening is performed to whiten the teeth and give patients a brighter smile. If the teeth whitening procedure is performed in the office of a dentist, the dentist will place a bleaching gel on the teeth and then a light or laser will active the bleaching process. Following the activation of the bleaching process, oxygen emerges into the enamel and the color of the teeth starts to lighten. If the procedure is performed at the home of a patient, the dentist will make a mouth guard that fits over the teeth. The whitening gel is applied to the mouth guard and placed in the mouth over the teeth. The patient wears the mouth guard for about 30 minutes each day for 2-4 weeks. Over the counter whitening gels are applied to the teeth twice per day. These are thin, plastic strips that are coated with a gel.
Besides the techniques listed above, teeth whitening can be performed using a number of techniques that brighten the smile. Take a look below to discover the multiple methods of whitening the teeth.
The shade of the teeth helps to determine the brightness of the smile. Here are some of the most popular teeth whitening techniques currently being performed:
Teeth whitening can be enjoyed by almost any patient. Patients need to decide if they want to see immediate results by visiting a dentist or if they don’t mind seeing the results at a slower pace by performing treatments at home. In addition, the amount of whitening desired by a person can decide the best treatment option. Patients that only want to brighten their smile by a shade or two can achieve these results using over the counter products. Patients that want results that are more than one or two shades will need to visit the dentist for their teeth whitening needs.
No matter what type of teeth whitening is performed by the dentist, there are some limitations to the amount of whitening that can be achieved. A person that starts with darker stains on the teeth will require multiple visits to get a much brighter smile. Due to the darker shade of the teeth, they might not be able to achieve a good amount of brightness to the smile. Patients need to have realistic expectations about the results that can be achieved with teeth whitening.
There are a few risks patients should be aware of when undergoing a teeth whitening treatment. If the treatment is not performed correctly, there could be some discoloration of the teeth as well as uneven stripes or markings on the teeth. In addition, the teeth might be sensitive after the teeth whitening treatment. The roots of the teeth can be damaged if the teeth whitening technique is performed improperly.
In order to maintain the results of teeth whitening, patients are encouraged to avoid food and drink that is dark colored since they can stain the teeth. Patients should get a touch-up treatment every six months to maintain the results and to enjoy teeth that are whiter and brighter.