Over 45 million Americans have had tooth whitening procedures. Dental whitening is one of the most popular dental cosmetic procedures because it is painless, non-invasive, and makes your teeth look whiter than ever.
At JP Dental & Implant Center, we provide you with tooth whitening procedures that can make you regain your pearly whites.
Why Do You Need Teeth Whitening?
You may need whitening because of several reasons:
Nature of the EnamelThe outer layer of our teeth is made up of enamel. Strong and healthy enamel is translucent and reflects light, which makes your teeth appear bright white. Beneath the enamel is a layer of softer tissue called dentin, which may be grayish or yellow-brown in color. Your genes dictate how thick and smooth your enamel is. Thin enamel allows the yellow color of the dentin to show through. Rough enamel may also not properly scatter the light off of the enamel, making it seem dull and less white.
Age can also lead to thinner enamel and darker dentin which can make your teeth look discolored.
Sweet, acidic food and gum disease can also erode the enamel, making your teeth appear darker.
TraumaIf you have been hit in the mouth hard enough, your tooth nerve may get severed. Your tooth will also react to the injury by overproducing dentin, which may make your tooth look darker.
MedicationTooth darkening can also be a result of certain medication, like blood pressure control drugs, antipsychotics, and antihistamines. Young children who have been exposed to tetracycline may have bluish-grey discoloration to their teeth later in their adult life. This type of discoloration is quite difficult to lighten. Chemotherapy and radiation to the head and neck region can also darken teeth.
StainsConsumption of darkly-pigmented foods like coffee, cola, and red wine can lead to extrinsic or surface tooth stains. Some food stains may also wear down the enamel making your teeth permanently discolored. Smoking and chewing tobacco can also darken teeth.
Extrinsic stains can be removed easily at JP Dental & Implant Center.
Intrinsic stains or stains appearing from within the teeth are also common. These stains can develop as a result of overexposure to fluoride as a child. Tetracycline antibiotics, as mentioned above, can also darken teeth if the medication is taken by an expecting mother or a young child.
Sometimes teeth can darken from the inside out after a root canal filling. This type of stain can be treated by reopening the tooth chamber and applying whitening agents from the inside to bleach the tooth.
What Does Tooth Whitening Involve?
Tooth whitening procedures involve applying hydrogen carbamide or hydrogen peroxide to your teeth. Typically, we use bleaching gels that have a concentration of 15 to 43 percent peroxide. The longer the product is applied to the teeth, the whiter they become. However, bleaching agents with strong concentrations should be applied for shorter duration as they can lead to tooth dehydration and sensitivity.
Tooth whitening treatment can be done in several 30- to 60-minute visits and can make your teeth three to eight shades whiter. However, there are some techniques that can whiten your teeth in a single 2-hour session. Sometimes, laser light can be used to “cure” the bleaching agent and make your teeth whiter more quickly.
How Long Do Teeth Stay White After A Whitening Procedure?
Whitening is not a permanent procedure, and over time your teeth may become discolored again. Typically, a single whitening procedure can last you from one to three years, depending on your oral hygiene and dietary habits. However, if you drink, smoke or consume foods that are highly pigmented, you may require dental whitening every few months.
Before you start your treatment, consult Dr. John P. Poovey and Dr. Wilcox. Call us at (970) 822-7622 to schedule an appointment today.