Most of us often desire to enhance the appearance of our smile with smile makeovers. One of the simplest and most economical ways to do so is through cosmetic teeth whitening. Teeth whitening can work wonders for those who suffer from surface stains of the teeth. These may be caused due to certain foods and drinks, smoking or specific medications. People those who suffer from general yellowing of the teeth also benefit greatly from cosmetic teeth whitening.
Cosmetic Teeth Whitening Procedure
Professional teeth whitening, also known as in-office teeth whitening, is usually the preferred and more effective means of cosmetic whitening. It is done by a skilled and qualified dentist who will begin the procedure by first performing an initial assessment of your teeth and oral health. Since most people are good candidates for cosmetic teeth whitening, there is usually no need for any type of prior preparations.
- Most dentists begin by first taking photographs of your teeth. These can be used to show you the ‘before and after’ effects and improvements of cosmetic teeth whitening on your smile. Such pictures also serve as guides for other potential patients.
- Your dentist or a dental hygienist will then clean your teeth. This is done to remove any plaque, bacteria or food particles from the surfaces of your teeth as they can hamper with the teeth whitening process.
- Next, the whitening gel is placed on the front surfaces of the teeth. A curing light like UV or laser light is used to activate the gel, which speeds up the whitening process.
- A single teeth whitening appointment can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes. Around 3 to 5 appointments over a span of a few weeks may be required to achieve the desired level of teeth whitening.
- For severe stains or discolouration, your dentist may fabricate a custom-made bleaching tray for you to continue the whitening process at home, in addition to the in-office treatment. The bleaching tray is made by taking impressions of the upper and lower jaw. The tray fits tightly into the patient’s mouth and is filled with the bleaching gel provided by the dentist. The patient is required to wear the tray for several hours a day at home for a recommended period of time.
If the teeth whitening procedure has to be done on non-vital teeth, such as those that have had root canal treatment done on them, the teeth whitening method is slightly different from the one mentioned above. Stains on such teeth are removed by placing a whitening agent inside the tooth and then covering it up with a temporary filling. The whitening agent is left inside until the desired shade of the tooth is achieved.
Professional Teeth Whitening VS At-Home Teeth Whitening
There are a variety of over-the-counter teeth whitening products available in the market these days. However, they are not as effective as teeth whitening done professionally by dentists and can take much longer before any form of significant changes can be visible on the teeth.
- Whitening toothpastes are one of the most commonly used products used at home for improving the shade of your teeth. They contain chemical agents that help remove stains and yellowing more effectively than conventional toothpastes.
- Whitening strips and gels available over the counter are more effective than whitening toothpastes. The strips are applied on the teeth according to the instructions given on the packet. The results may take a few days before they become evident, and the results usually last around three to four months.
- It should be kept in mind that while at-home, teeth whitening products may not result considerably valuable in comparison to professional whitening, but it is also a fact that the cost of at-home teeth whitening is markedly lower than that done by a licensed dentist.
Visit Glen Lake Family Dentistry to know more about the cosmetic teeth whitening procedure, and how we can assist in giving you a smile that you have always dreamed of.