Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Whitening
Laser Teeth Whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure performed in a dental office. Teeth appearance is an important part of your smile and the way you look in general, that’s why many people turn to teeth whitening to improve the look of their teeth. Laser teeth whitening has become one of the most popular options for tooth bleaching, because it’s very effective and produces immediate results.
Laser teeth whitening is usually done in a single visit to a dental office. The laser whitening starts with a clean up of the patient’s teeth, followed by applying special teeth whitening gel to the teeth. This whitening gel contains stronger bleaching agent compared to the gel used in over-the-counter tooth bleaching products, which ensures better results. After the whitening gel has been applied, the dentist uses special laser light, which facilitates better gel penetration through the teeth enamel. The teeth whitening procedure usually last about an hour and the results can be seen immediately after.
Laser teeth whitening is very effective, and produces better and faster results compared to other teeth whitening methods.
The majority of the treatments available for teeth whitening are suitable only for natural teeth. Most bleaching agents only work on natural tooth enamel and not on artificial materials. In fact, teeth bleaching chemicals can damage bonding, veneers or crowns. However, in some cases it is possible to make a veneer look whiter. Since a veneer only covers the front of a tooth, bleaching agents can access the natural tooth structure from behind. By whitening the underlying dentin, the veneer may show more brightness. Today, new methods of bleaching, like deep bleaching, are making progress in the ability to whiten underlying dentin.
You should treat your gums first and talk to your dentist about the bleaching process. The bleach may make your roots sensitive and hurt your gums further.
There’s no evidence to date that the teeth whitening process has a harmful effect on the health of a tooth’s nerve. One study reported that at both a 4.5- and 7-year follow up, no individual who used a teeth whitening system needed a root canal procedure on any teeth that had been whitened.
The teeth whitening procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete. It is one of the fastest In-office whitening procedures.
Each patient is different. There is not a way to determine before the procedure what type of shade change will result. Each patient should be informed of this before treatment begins.
When peroxide breaks down (either on its own, or accelerated with a light) it forms oxygen bubbles that get down into the microscopic pores of the tooth to clean out stains.
Intrinsic stains (stains inside the tooth, often caused by medications) are more difficult to whiten than extrinsic stains (surface stains, generally caused by smoking, coffee, red wine, etc.). However, good whitening results can be achieved with either system. Lengthier whitening sessions, higher concentrations of peroxide, or multiple treatments will help to achieve better results. Each patient is different and results will vary. If whitening does not produce the desired results, porcelain veneers may be a better option.
After your teeth whitening treatment, please follow a few guidelines to help maintain the look of your new smile. Everyone’s teeth have a protective layer called the protein pellicle. This layer contains the surface dental stains and is removed during chairside treatments. It takes twelve to twenty-four hours for the barrier to fully develop again. During this period we ask you to avoid the following items: Red Wine, Dark Colas, Coffee or Tea, Red Sauces, Mustard or Ketchup, Soy sauce, A-1 sauce, Tobacco products, Lipstick, Anything that would stain a white shirt.
Choosing a dentist to help you select the proper method for teeth whitening is a smart move. As with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved and some possible complications related to any whitening treatment. A dentist can guide you to the best possible methods based on your specific requirements and requests (overall oral health, aesthetic wishes and budget) and help in preventing the possible side effects associated with whiten.
If your discoloration is due to over-consumption of tea, coffee, wine or tobacco products etc. – and you do not change your behavior, then it is likely that the whitening effect will not last as long. Additionally, teeth may require touch-ups from time to time.
The answer is both yes and no. Yes, if you use them the way they are supposed to be used, and no, if you use them in excess or don’t follow the instructions. The ingredients used in teeth whitening are known to be safe, if used in proper quantities and in the right amount of time. But, using these same products without proper supervision from a professional dentist can cause some people unnecessary harm. It’s therefore always advisable that teeth whitening products be used under proper supervision from professionals. Failure to see a dentist or consider your overall oral health can create side effects such as heightened sensitivity. With over a decade of accumulated data to support its position, the American Dental Association (ADA) has come to the conclusion that teeth whitening products with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are safe.
If you bleach often, there will be a point when your teeth cannot get any whiter. Usually your tooth shade colour will fall in the bluish-white spectrum when this happens. At some point it will not do you any good to continue bleaching because your teeth can’t get any whiter. This isn’t advised. Remember, teeth whitening is serious business and over-exposure to any chemical or chemical process can cause side effects or worse yet, damage.