What is Bleaching
Bleaching is a painless, simple method of lightening your teeth. The process involves the use of a mild solution, placed in a custom-fitted tray, that is worn over your teeth. No natural tooth structure is lost, and no anesthetic is required.
Is tooth whitening for me?
If you are not pleased with the color of your teeth, then you may be a good candidate for bleaching. The coloration of teeth has always been an important feature of our smile. A number of factors can contribute to tooth discoloration. Tooth color is largely a matter of inherited tendencies. Some of us are born with the tendency for lighter (or darker) teeth.
External and Internal causes…
Tetracycline (antibiotic) discoloration
- The use of the powerful antibiotic, tetracycline for young children can cause permanent staining of teeth.
Excessive Fluoride Staining
- Is the result of ingesting large amounts of fluoride during the development of teeth.
Natural aging process
Pulp (nerve) degeneration
Trauma (injury) to the teeth
Uses of substances that can stain tooth enamel
- such as all types of tobacco products, coffee, cola’s, and tea
What are my options for bleaching?
Generally, there are two different types of tooth-whitening systems. Active, which takes place in the dental office, or passive, which would take place at your home; both under your dentist’s professional supervision. Regardless of which type of system is best for you, it is important to follow your dentist’s professional recommendations. Your dentist will offer you the best and safest treatment available.
This procedure is done in a series of appointments until the desired effect is achieved. During the visits, your dentist takes a number of steps:
1. A lubricant is applied to your gums.
2. A protective material (dental dam) is placed around the necks of your teeth to shield your gums, tongue and lips.
3. Your teeth are cleaned to remove excess lubricant.
4. Conditioner is applied to your teeth, and then your teeth are rinsed and dried.
5. The whitening solution is applied to your teeth, and left on for a period of time.
6. Your teeth are then rinsed and polished.
This procedure involves wearing a custom-fitted appliance (tray) containing a mild tooth-whitening solution. This appliance will be worn for a period of days or weeks as prescribed for your situation. Application alone is sufficient to achieve the results you desire. You will need to return to your dental office periodically. These appointments ensure that the whitening system is working effectively, and your teeth and gums remain healthy.
You should know:
- Your teeth may require periodic touchups, requiring you to wear your appliance with the whitening solution for a few days a week.
- Some patient’s teeth exhibit a chalky appearance for a short time due to a slight dehydration caused by the tooth-whitening solution.
- Occasionally, patients experience mild sensitivity to cold food and beverages for a day or two following the procedure.
The greatest things about bleaching are:
- Bleaching is a safe, effective procedure for some types of discoloration.
- It is usually painless for adults, requiring no anesthesia.
- Requires no removal of natural tooth tissue.
- It is considered a conservation method of lightening teeth.
- Bleaching is also relatively inexpensive when compared to other treatment options.
Above you can see the what a difference a proper whitening job makes. The image on the left is of teeth that a stained and the one on the right is after the whitening application.
The coloration of teeth has always been an important feature of one’s smile. If you are not pleased with the color of your teeth, then your may be a candidate for bleaching.