Periodontal disease is a condition that affects the gum and the bone tissues supporting the teeth. The gum infection that causes the condition starts from the accumulation of plaque, a sticky bacteria film. When plaque is not cleaned off the teeth, it hardens into tartar, which could cause a gum infection. If a gum infection…
Professional Teeth Whitening for Stained Teeth
Teeth whitening treatments are a non-invasive way to go about improving the appearance of your teeth. It is an effective way to eliminate stains caused by smoking, aging, and consuming foods/beverages with strong tannins like pasta sauce and coffee.
Teeth whitening treatments do have their limitations, though. These treatments generally do not produce great results when a person has stains caused by fluorosis, tooth decay, or medications like tetracycline antibiotics.
A single whitening treatment improves the color of a person's teeth by up to eight shades. Patients should have good dental health before whitening their teeth.
How teeth whitening treatments work
Teeth whitening treatments often involve the use of customized mouth trays that are used to evenly coat the patient's teeth with the whitening product. The active ingredient in these solutions/gels is typically hydrogen peroxide or hydrogen carbamide. The chemical penetrates teeth enamel and gets into the inner layers of teeth.
The dentist makes the mouth tray by having the patient bite down on a mold. This leaves an impression that is used to design the patient's customized mouth tray. The impression is sent to a lab where technicians craft the mouth tray. It takes about two weeks to get the finished mouth tray back to the dentist.
Some dentists opt to perform teeth cleanings prior to whitening treatments. Teeth cleanings are done to remove tartar and plaque from teeth surfaces. Tartar is calcified plaque, and brushing or flossing cannot get rid of it. Tartar stains more easily than enamel and builds up on teeth over time, regardless of how well a person takes care of their teeth.
The process of whitening a patient's teeth starts with a dentist dispensing the whitening product on the customized mouth guard. The patient then bites down on the mouthpiece and keeps it in place for 60 to 90 minutes. The process can be sped up by using a laser to set up as a catalyst. This can shave up to 30 minutes off the time that the patient needs to sit in a dental chair.
Once the whitening product has been on the patient's teeth for the maximum time allowed, the dentist will remove the mouth tray and rinse out the patient's mouth. A fluoride treatment might be performed afterward to help prevent increased teeth sensitivity as a result of the treatment.
Whitening treatments lead to noticeable results, and most people are able to reach their desired shade of white after a few treatments. Some patients end up with teeth that look unrealistically white after their treatments, which is caused by their teeth being dehydrated. The teeth should return to a more natural shade of white once they have been rehydrated.
The results of whitening treatments do not last forever because the patient's teeth will still be exposed to things that can stain them, like the coloring agents in foods/beverages.
Get whiter teeth
Ready for a whiter smile? Call or visit our St. George clinic to start the process.
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