One of the first things you notice about people is their smile. When you meet someone with a bright, natural smile, it catches your attention. However, over time, nature’s aging process and your lifestyle can stain or make your teeth lackluster.A brilliant, attractive smile conveys confidence and vitality.
Why Teeth Stain
As we age, our teeth can tend to darken to several causes. Tooth stains fall into two categories – external and internal stains. The external stains only impact the surface of the teeth, and are usually caused by certain food and drinks. Internal stains are present inside the teeth and are harder to remove than external stains. Usually, external stains look yellow or brown, while internal stains are typically gray or blue in color.
You can develop teeth staining from a variety of causes including:
- Beverages such as coffee, teas, wine
- Loss of enamel due to aging
- Medication (antibiotic) staining
- Excessive fluoride
- Nerve degeneration
Taking the First Step
The tooth whitening process eliminates discoloration and stains on the teeth, and helps brighten the natural shade of your teeth. The degree of improvement will depend upon how severely the teeth are stained or discolored as well as the nature of the stains. When teeth are brown or yellow due to coffee, tea, or smoking, we will typically see very good results. Teeth that are gray due to natural pigmentation or a loss of enamel will have less predictable whitening outcomes, but can still become noticeably brighter after teeth whitening. In cases where we don’t feel that whitening would provide good results, we can discuss alternative options, such as ceramic veneers, that will more predictably restore the shape and white color to your teeth.
What to expect
- Custom-fitted trays – Teeth whitening using custom-fitted trays is our preferred method to help their patients achieve a whiter smile. This type of teeth bleaching system makes use of a plastic bleaching tray, fitted for your teeth, into which a whitening gel is placed. The loaded tray is then seated over your teeth and worn at home daily for a period of a weeks. Because these whitening trays are individually fabricated and fitted for your teeth, they allow more immediate contact of the whitening agent with your teeth for a longer period of time, which increases the effectiveness. Since whitening can tend to cause temporary teeth sensitivity, desensitizing agents can also be placed in the trays and applied to your teeth.
- The pre-bleaching dental examination – Before bleaching treatments are begun, we will perform a thorough dental examination and cleaning. We will also inquire about aspects of your health history, life events, and consumption habits as they might relate to the current coloration of your teeth. Collecting this information will help us to identify the nature of your tooth discoloration as well as assist us in determining if tray teeth whitening is the most appropriate solution for you. We will be able to provide you with an idea regarding what degree of whitening you might be able to expect, how long the bleaching process might take, and whether to whiten your upper teeth, lower teeth, or both.
FAQs about Teeth Whitening
What if teeth whitening won’t work?
In some cases, especially where deep, internal stains exist, teeth whitening may not be the best option. We will review your case and may recommend other alternatives, such as veneers or cosmetic crowns.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Many dentists consider teeth bleaching the safest cosmetic procedure available today. The products that our office uses do not harm your teeth.
What about side effects?
Some patients develop mild sensitivity after whitening. Luckily, this is sensitivity is only temporary! We will recommend some anti-sensitivity products that can be used before, during and after the whitening process to help with this.
If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your teeth whitening options, contact us today or call our Groton dental office at 978-448-5241.