As we age, our teeth tend to lose their natural white color. Enamel wears down, and plaque and calculus begin to build up on tooth surfaces. Drinks like coffee and soda start to discolor teeth, and teeth can lose their color due to all sorts of different causes.
Teeth whitening can be accomplished a few different ways:
- Off-the-shelf home teeth whitening kits usually use a solution of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to bleach the tooth enamel, changing it back to its natural color. The solution is applied directly to the teeth using a plastic strip or sometimes a gel.
- In-office teeth whitening can be done using a bleaching solution of carbamide peroxide, after the dentist takes a comprehensive dental history from the patient (including any sensitivities or allergies).
- Power or light-accelerated bleaching uses light energy to enhance the bleaching process. Plasma, LED or halogen high-intensity light is used to excite the peroxide molecules, after applying a barrier to the gums and soft tissues to protect them.
- For teeth that have been stained internally due to a root canal or other causes, an internal bleaching can be done by drilling a hole to the tooth’s pulp layer, then inserting a peroxide gel or other solution inside the tooth. This only works with teeth that are already dead and devitalized, brightening them from the inside out.
Some patients report that their teeth are more sensitive after whitening treatments, while others note that their teeth revert back to their original color over time. It’s advisable to consult with your dentist and arrive at a suitable “target shade” of whiteness that you’re happy with.
At Klooster Family Dentistry, we perform teeth whitening as one of our menu of services…there’s no reason to be self-conscious about your smile again.
Let’s talk about what we can do for you!