Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure. The appearance of a bright smile is a sign of good dental health. In-office whitening treatments are quick and effective. Understanding the process better can help you prepare for your appointment. If you want to know what to ask your dentist about your teeth whitening procedure, here…
What to Expect From a Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure
Teeth whitening treatments are non-invasive ways to significantly improve the way that your teeth look. These treatments involve using bleaching agents, like hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen carbamide, to oxidate and remove stains from teeth surfaces. These chemicals remove stains from the inner and outer layers of teeth.
Professional teeth whitening treatments can lead to significantly whiter teeth because dentists use much stronger whitening products that are not sold directly to the public. These products have to be used under the supervision of a trained oral professional.
What to expect when getting teeth whitening treatments
Teeth whitening treatments successfully eliminate most types of stains, like those caused by the tannings in foods and beverages, those caused by aging, and those caused by using tobacco products. Other types of stains, like those caused by tetracycline antibiotics, might require a different solution, like composite bonding.
Before any whitening treatments are performed, the patient’s mouth is examined, with the dentist looking for signs of damaged teeth or gum disease. Teeth whitening treatments temporarily weaken enamel, which is not an issue when teeth are healthy. If the patient’s teeth have already been damaged by issues like gum disease or tooth decay, however, whitening products can lead to major discomfort and permanent damage to teeth structures. Any issues detected should be fixed before whitening treatments, to prevent any damage to teeth structures.
Once the patient has been cleared for teeth whitening, the dentist might order a customized mouth guard. The patient is asked to bite down on a mold that leaves an impression of their mouth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where oral appliances like mouth trays are made. It takes about two weeks for the finished mouth tray to get back to the dentist.
While the patient waits for the mouth tray, the dentist might recommend cleaning the patient’s teeth. Regardless of how well a person takes care of their teeth, tartar eventually builds up on their surfaces. Tartar promotes tooth decay and gum disease. It also gives teeth a yellow color and picks up stains easier than teeth enamel. Removing tartar from teeth surfaces gives them a whiter color and leads to more effective teeth whitening treatments.
During the day of the patient’s whitening treatment, the dentist will fill up the customized mouth tray with a bleaching agent. Potassium nitrate might be added to the product to help minimize teeth sensitivity afterward.
The patient is asked to bite down on the mouth tray and keep it in their mouth for 60 to 90 minutes. Afterward, the patient’s mouth is rinsed out, and a fluoride treatment might be performed to strengthen teeth enamel. The patient’s teeth should become at least eight shades whiter after this point. For some patients, this is enough to get their teeth to the desired shade of white, while others might need a few more treatments.
Get whiter teeth
Ready for pearly white teeth? Call or visit our Tavares clinic to learn more about how teeth whitening can improve the way that your smile looks.
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