Has something seemed a little off about your smile lately? Have your teeth been looking a little more yellow than you would like them to? Maybe you’ve tried over-the-counter teeth whitening strips before, but they didn’t quite deliver the results you wanted. Are you destined to suffer through having stained teeth forever? Not at all, thanks to professional teeth whitening from your dentist. Dental-grade whitening treatment has helped unleash the potential of countless smiles, but will it work for you? Keep reading to find out.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
First, your dentist will take impressions of your pearly whites and use them to create trays that perfectly fit your unique bite. You will then be instructed to wear these trays, along with a bleaching gel that is several times more potent than anything you can find online or in drugstores, for about half an hour each day. The main ingredient of this gel is usually either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. When the gel is pressed against your teeth, the active ingredient permeates your enamel (the outermost layer of your teeth that gives them their color) to remove stains both above and below the teeth’s surface. Most of the time, you can expect to see the best results after two weeks or so of daily treatment.
What Factors Can Affect Teeth Whitening?
Unfortunately, not even professional teeth whitening will work on every tooth in every mouth. There are a few factors to consider in whether you can benefit from whitening treatment, such as:
Existing dental work like crowns, veneers, or fillings is not affected by teeth whitening, no matter how many times they’re exposed to the bleaching gel. As a result, these restorations will stand out in your smile if you get the rest of your teeth whitened. If you invest in professional teeth whitening, you may have to get any restorations replaced to reflect the new shade of your teeth.
The shade of your tooth enamel is actually decided from the moment you’re born. Some people simply have naturally whiter teeth than others. Their teeth may become brighter right after treatment, but their teeth will soon darken to their natural color.
Cause of Discoloration
If a stain in your tooth was the result of medication, there’s a chance that it won’t respond well to even professional teeth whitening. The same goes for if your tooth was discolored by trauma or injury, as those stains often occur deep within the tooth, farther than the bleaching gel can penetrate.
Ultimately, your dentist would be the best one to ask if teeth whitening would work for you personally. They can evaluate your oral health and general medical history to determine whether you would benefit from this cosmetic treatment. Still, if you feel like your smile has been lacking some of its luster lately, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist if teeth whitening is right for you.
About the Author
Dr. L. King Scott is a Master of the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry, demonstrating his lifelong dedication to clinical excellence and keeping up with the latest dentistry techniques. His West Monroe, LA practice offers take-home whitening kits to help you revitalize your smile. In fact, his practice even currently offers a whitening special so you can improve your smile without breaking the bank. To learn more, visit Dr. Scott’s website.