There are multiple areas in which the relatively new technique of laser dentistry has been applied. One of these is endodontics, which involves treating infections inside the tooth. This is accomplished with a procedure called a root canal. It involves drilling into a tooth to remove the infected pulp inside of it, replacing it with…
An Overview of Professional Teeth Whitening Procedures
Professional teeth whitening procedures are treatments provided by the dentist to improve the color of the teeth. The treatment is often recommended if your smile looks less appealing due to teeth discoloration or stains. This article explains how dentists perform professional teeth whitening and what you can expect.
Professional teeth whitening procedures
There are many methods that dentists use for teeth whitening. First, one must understand how teeth whitening works to get an overview of what happens when the dentist performs the procedure.
Regardless of the treatment option, teeth whitening or bleaching entails the application of a bleaching agent, usually hydrogen peroxide, to eliminate stains and whiten the teeth. Dental professionals are skilled in the application of stronger concentrations of peroxide than those found in over-the-counter whitening kits. The results achievable with professional teeth bleaching are far more dramatic and long-lasting.
Although the results of professional treatment are immediately obvious, the dentist may suggest repeating the procedure to obtain the desired results. Since the procedure is rather intensive, there is a chance of developing sensitive teeth after treatment. The sensitivity should disappear quickly after the treatment, but the degree of pain may vary depending on the patient. Those with a history of sensitive teeth should be cautious about undergoing whitening procedures.
The shade achievable with professional whitening depends on the original color of the teeth, the whitening method used and the patient’s oral care routine. Teeth can remain white for two to three years after professional whitening. However, the results may fade faster if patients consume teeth-staining drinks and fail to care for their teeth.
External teeth whitening
Typically, the whitening agent is applied to the surface of the tooth. The enamel is naturally translucent – its yellowish color is from the yellow dentin under the layer. The whitening agent penetrates the pores of the enamel to lighten the dentin to give the teeth a brighter appearance. The dentist may use lasers, LED lights or other dental products on the teeth to catalyze the whitening agent. Patients can get immediate results from this procedure.
Internal teeth whitening
Whitening agents can be used inside a tooth to whiten a discolored tooth probably caused by root canal therapy. During the procedure, the dentist will create a small hole on the tooth and apply the bleaching agent through it. The hole is covered with a temporary filling, and the bleach is left in the tooth for some time. The dentist will repeat the process until the tooth becomes whiter.
Benefits of choosing professional teeth whitening treatments
Some of the benefits of getting teeth whitening from a dental professional include:
- The dentist will perform a dental examination to ensure the patient is eligible for teeth whitening. They will not recommend the procedure for those who have gum inflammation or tooth cavities.
- During the procedure, the gums and other soft tissues will be shielded from the whitening agents
- There is a time advantage – professional treatments can make the teeth up to eight shades whiter in a single dental appointment.
To learn more about professional teeth whitening procedures, book an appointment with your dentist for a consultation.
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