When whitening strips and other products don’t cut it, consider tooth whitening from Fraserview Dentist. Our in-office procedure offers superior results compared to any at-home treatment, drastically improving your smile in a short amount of time. Learn more about this popular cosmetic dental service and how a professional whitening can transform your smile and confidence in no time.
What Is Tooth Whitening?
Professional tooth whitening is a dental procedure that removes discolouration and stains. While on the pricey side, whitening is among the more affordable cosmetic dental procedures, which has only added to its popularity. In most cases, you will need multiple visits to achieve the desired shade or to maintain your smile’s brighter colour.
Fortunately, having your teeth professionally whitened is a simple, pain-free process. Your dentist uses a stronger hydrogen or carbamide peroxide solution than you’ll find in any at-home whitening strips. While effective, the maximum-strength treatments do come with risks if applied incorrectly or left on for too long, which is why they’re only available to professionals.
During the whitening treatment, the peroxide gel breaks up the stain and leaves you with a whiter, brighter smile.
What Causes Tooth Discolouration?
Teeth stain or yellow for various reasons. Over time, your tooth enamel thins and makes it easier for the yellowish dentin level underneath to show through. That’s why you may notice yellowing with age even if you avoid other common culprits.
Food and Drink
Many people experience staining from coffee, red wine, or tea. These beverages contain chromogens, which are intense colour pigments that attach to the tooth enamel. Foods like soy sauce, beets, tomato sauce, and blueberries can also stain teeth. Avoiding these foods and drinks can help reduce staining and discolouration when no other causes are present.
Tobacco users often experience tooth staining and discolouration. Tar and nicotine are notorious for staining both skin and teeth yellow. More than that, tobacco use is a major risk factor for other oral diseases.
Medications can also affect your teeth’s appearance. Certain types of high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and antipsychotic drugs can darken teeth, as can radiation and chemotherapy.
Trauma or injury to the mouth or gums can change the colour of your smile. Teeth react to trauma by creating more dentin, which is noticeably darker than the white enamel on top. This excess dentin can make a tooth look discoloured compared to the surrounding teeth.
Am I a Candidate for Tooth Whitening?
Whether or not you’re a good candidate for a professional whitening depends on a number of factors. The best candidates for the procedure have healthy teeth and gums without restorations or fillings. You’re also more likely to respond better to treatment if your teeth have experienced certain types of discolouration.
Not everyone is suited to a tooth whitening treatment. For example, your dentist may not approve a whitening in the following situations:
- You are pregnant or nursing.
- You are under 16 years old.
- You have sensitive teeth.
- You have tooth decay, periodontal disease, exposed roots, or cavities.
- You are allergic to the whitening agents.
- You have cosmetic restorations like crowns, bridges, or implants.
- You have unrealistic expectations.
At Fraserview Dentist, we will discuss beforehand whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment and the kind of results you can expect from the procedure.
Preparing for the Tooth Whitening Procedure
Before your dentist performs a tooth whitening on your smile, he or she will need to treat any cavities or other existing issues. Once those are addressed, the dentist will take photos of your teeth, examine them, and ask questions about your lifestyle habits. This process helps your dentist gauge what caused the discolouration and whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment.
After a dental hygienist cleans your teeth, the whitening procedure can begin. Your dentist will apply a substance to the gums around the teeth to protect them from the whitening agent. Using a powerful whitening gel, the dentist will then apply the treatment to your individual teeth and may use a specialized laser or UV light to speed up the activation process.
After applying the treatment, the dentist will inspect your teeth using a light that helps spot discolorations that may need additional treatment. In some cases, you may be fitted with a custom mouthpiece and sent home with a whitening treatment that’s safe to perform at home. Professional at-home treatments can take several weeks, and you might be required to wear the mouthpiece several hours per day.
When Tooth Whitening Isn’t Enough
If your teeth are discoloured due to trauma or a professional tooth whitening doesn’t achieve the results you’re hoping for, you do have other options. Veneers are more expensive than a tooth whitening treatment, but they can completely change your smile’s look in a single visit.
Learn more about your cosmetic dentistry options by speaking with one of our dentists. Here at Fraserview Dentist, we’re happy to discuss your concerns and go over your options for transforming your smile.