Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that effectively lightens and brightens the natural color of your teeth without damaging the enamel. Teeth whitening is the most popular type of cosmetic dental treatment as it can make your smile whiter without the need for invasive procedures.
Why Would I Need Teeth Whitening?
The color of our natural teeth is formed by the reflection of light on our enamel, combined with the darker color of the dentin below. The thickness of the enamel is affected by your genes, age, lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol use, and your oral hygiene habits. Using dark-colored foods like coffee, red wine, or cola can stain your teeth as well.
When your enamel grows thin, it allows the darker yellow or grayish enamel to show through. Enamel is also porous so it retains stains.
It is also possible to have intrinsic stains or stains that come from inside your teeth. These stains may be due to fluoride or tetracycline exposure during early childhood. Injury to the tooth can cause nerve death and can darken your tooth as well.
Teeth whitening is most effective on external or extrinsic stains.
Things to Consider Before a Teeth Whitening Procedure
At West 14 Dental, a teeth whitening procedure involves the application of a bleaching agent. Typically, the active ingredient is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, ranging in concentrations of 15% to 43%.
Before getting your teeth whitened, make sure you first treat any cavities or decayed part of the tooth. Otherwise, the bleaching agent will find its way inside the cracked or broken tooth.
If your gums have receded due to periodontal disease or some other condition and your tooth roots are exposed, it is best to cover them with the help of gum flap surgery. The tooth root is yellow in color and does not respond to whitening agents.
Additionally, getting your teeth whitening while you still have exposed tooth root or cavities can be quite painful.
Whitening is also only effective on the natural tooth. Restorative works like fillings, crowns and dental bridges which have become stained due to inadequate oral hygiene may not become whiter through whitening treatments. Therefore, you should get them replaced with newer restorations if you can, otherwise you will have an uneven colored smile.
Keeping the bleaching agent longer on your teeth can help make your teeth whiter. However, if the gel has a strong concentration of the active ingredients, it is recommended that you apply it to your teeth for a shorter period of time. Keeping it too long on your teeth can dehydrate them.
Always remember that teeth whitening procedures can only whiten your teeth; they cannot change their natural color.
What Does a Teeth Whitening Procedure Involve
West 14 Dental offers teeth whitening in Saskatoon. It involves placing a rubber shield or dam on your gums to protect them from the active ingredients which can irritate them. Our dentists will then apply the whitening gel to the surface of your teeth, using a special tray that resembles a mouthguard.
We may also use a curing laser light to accelerate the bleaching process and intensify the whitening. A single teeth whitening session may require 30 to 60 minutes of your time. Once your teeth whitening is completed, you can get a smile that is three to eight shades brighter.
Teeth whitening is not a permanent solution. If you smoke or consume dark beverages, your teeth will become stained and dull again. To ensure your teeth whitening lasts a long time, avoid these, and ensure that you never miss your dental appointments at West 14 Dental.
To schedule a visit with us, call us at +1-306-933-2114 today.