If you are dissatisfied with the brightness of your smile, you are not alone. Teeth whitening treatment is one of the most common cosmetic procedures we perform here at South Reno Dental. This is because professional whitening treatment is safer and more effective than store-bought alternatives. You, too, can experience the wonderful benefits of in-office whitening treatment!
There are two types of staining: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic stains occur when the inner structure of the tooth, called dentin, darkens or yellows over time. Often, this type of stain is the result of excessive fluoride exposure as a child, tetracycline antibiotics, or facial trauma. Unfortunately, intrinsic stains do not respond to whitening or bleaching solution.
Extrinsic stains, on the other hand, are the result of pigment-heavy foods and beverages, such as tea, coffee, and wine. Tobacco use is also a big contributor to extrinsic stains. The outer layer of our teeth, the enamel, is porous and picks up these types of stains as we age. During your initial appointment, we will be able to determine if your stains qualify for a professional whitening treatment.
During your appointment, we first place a rubber sheet over your gums to protect them during the whitening process. Next, we apply a high-concentration bleaching gel directly to the surfaces of your teeth. The gel is usually left on the teeth for about 20 to 30 minutes. In some cases, we may aim a LED light at the teeth to activate the gel and improve your results. Once your time is up, we may reapply a new coat of bleaching gel. This process is repeated until we achieve the desired results. In-office treatment may also take several appointments.
Before we begin treatment, we may take photographs of your teeth to establish a baseline and monitor your progress. By the end of your treatment, your teeth could be up to eight shades whiter than your baseline! Whitening treatment may lead to tooth sensitivity. For this reason, we may ask that your brush with a desensitizing toothpaste in the days or weeks following your appointment.
Unfortunately, the whitening process is an ongoing one. Your teeth may recollect stains, depending on your diet and personal habits. As a part of your ongoing treatment, we may recommend an at-home system. This involves the use of milder whitening gel and a bleaching tray. We will take an impression of your teeth to ensure your tray is custom-fit to your mouth. A custom-fit tray provides more effective results than stock or boil-and-bite tray.
Although the gel may be milder than the high-concentration solution we offer, it will still be stronger than store-bought products. Many people try whitening toothpaste, strips, rinses, and gels before they move forward with professional treatment. Many people also find that these store-bought alternatives do not provide satisfactory results.