Teeth whitening procedures available today have now made getting brighter smiles a reality for many people. However, tooth whitening solutions are not for everybody - you should check first with your dentist who will determine this. If you have veneers or discolored restorations, the best solution would be to replace them, as they do not respond to tooth whiteners and would look out of place once your teeth get whitened. Gray and brown-stained teeth are also less likely to bleach to the desired effect as yellowed teeth would.
Teeth whitening procedures typically involve the use of carbamide peroxide in varying concentrations and are generally regarded as a safe. There's still concern over the long-term effects of using home bleaching and over-the counter whitening products, especially if they are to be used without the recommendation or supervision of a dentist. People with high tooth sensitivity are advised to avoid whiteners as they could aggravate the sensitivity, as well as pregnant women for whom the safety of these products is not guaranteed.
Once you are passed fit for teeth bleaching, there are three common options to go about it: in-office cleaning at the dentist's place, at-home bleaching or using over-the-counter whiteners.
In-office bleaching is a procedure done at the dentist's office; several periodical visits lasting at least half an hour are usually required for the treatment's effectiveness. The dentist will first remove the surface stains then protect the soft tissues of the gums with a gel or rubber shield. The bleaching agent, with the enhancement of laser lighting is then applied on the teeth.
At-home bleaching is done by the use of mouthguards containing carbamide peroxide, which breaks down to give smaller percentages of hydrogen-peroxide. The tray-applied gels are used once or twice daily for a period of about 2 weeks. Concerns raised over the health risks that may be associated with long-term usage of these peroxides have been suppressed by clinical studies that found no associated oral health risks for gels with 10% carbamide peroxide concentration (3.5% hydrogen-peroxide).
Over-the-counter whiteners, including special whitening toothpastes, do not have permanent whitening or color-altering effects though they do polish teeth and aid in stain removal.
If you have questions regarding the teeth whitening options that are available, please call us at 409-835-6257. We look forward to hearing from you!