When is in-office tooth whitening required?
In-office teeth whitening is also called tooth bleaching as it requires the use of a bleaching product. The agent uses an oxidizing process to increase the white shade of your teeth.
This process of showcasing the natural shade of the tooth can be achieved through removing of the surface stains which is caused by the extrinsic factors like tobacco, red wine, coffee and tea. The buildup of the tartar and calculus also can increase teeth staining which is why a dental cleaning is always recommended first. The restoration of natural tooth shade may be achieved through having the teeth cleaned in the dental office which is also called polishing and scaling. The tartar and calculus can be removed easily with the help of the professional dental cleaning.
In order to whiten a natural shade bleaching is recommended. It is common procedure with cosmetic dentistry. A number of many techniques are used by the dental professionals. There is a plethora of the products which are marketed to use at home. The technique used will also include the use of the bleaching pens, bleaching strips, laser tooth whitening and bleaching gels. Bleaching method may use carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This will break down the hydrogen peroxide. There are some side effects which are associated with the bleaching and they do include the increased sensitivity for the teeth and possible irritation of the adjacent gums.
Tooth discoloration and tooth staining
The teeth can turn dark if there is too much build up on its surface and this will hide natural tooth color or the tooth itself can discolor which is called intrinsic staining.
The extrinsic stains may be internalized because of cracks or enamel defects. It can also be the results of the dentine which is exposed to extrinsic stains which is deposited in or on dental pellicle. The cause of the extrinsic staining may include:
- Dental plaque: even if it is not visible when it is at the tooth surface, the plaque can be stained through chromogenic bacteria like actinomyces species.
- Calculus or tartar: if there is neglected plaque, it can calcify afterwards and it can lead on the formation of the hard deposit at the teeth and mostly on the gumline. The calculus color may vary and it can be brown, black, yellow or grey.
- Tobacco: tobacco products produce tar and it is also found in the smokeless tobacco. The tar tends to form yellow, black or brown stains on the neck of a tooth, just over the gumline.
- Chewing of betel
- Some drinks and foods such as vegetables and other food products are rich in the xanthonoids and carotenoids which stain the teeth. The liquids that are colored such as red wine, tea, coffee and cola also can cause the discoloration.
- Some medication such as antiseptic mouthwash will bind to the tannins which mean that it can stain the teeth with a prolonged use.
When there is a change in thickness of the dental hard tissue, it may result in the intrinsic discoloration. Some factors behind this problem, they may act systematically or locally and it can affect single tooth and all the teeth which may lead to the discoloration like a result. There are different diseases which had been known to affect developing dentition, mostly during the enamel or dentin formation and it may lead to the discoloration. This may cause the intrinsic staining.
The causes behind the intrinsic staining are:
- Enamel hypoplasia
- Dental trauma
- Dental caries
- Amelogenesis imperfecta
- Dentinogenesis imperfecta
- Minocycline and tetracycline
- Root resorption
- Hemolytic disease in a newborn baby
Advantages of in-office tooth whitening
The advantages of using tooth whitening are to get to the results faster and it is safest method that people can use to bleach their teeth. The tooth sensitivity that had been recorded before, it can now be controlled easily since the dentist uses peroxide gels which will not soak in the teeth too much as it happened with the old gels.
The disadvantages of in-office tooth whitening are:
- It costs more compared to home options such as bleaching strips and trays.
- The results sometime are not predictable according to heredity and age or staining type on the tooth.
- In-office tooth whitening cannot last forever. After the procedure, then the teeth will start accumulating the stains again. Some dentists will recommend the home maintenance follow up with lower percentage bleach that may be kept over the teeth for longer period.
The right stains to be removed by a professional cleaning
- Aging: as the time passes, teeth can be darkened because of grey, green, brown, yellow cast. The yellowed teeth are capable to whiten at once.
- Consumption of some foods like dark colored fruits and vegetables, soda, red wine or coffee.
- Tobacco use
The stains that can resist in-office whitening
- Teeth that have stain especially these which are not organic. They may fail to respond well to the treatment. Such teeth can look darker if the surrounding teeth are whitened
- Trauma that had caused dentin to become dark
- Using the tetracycline antibiotics which is ingested when the tooth are growing. The drug may bind chemically on crystalline structure on the underlying dentin or the enamel of the tooth
- The overexposure of fluoride that may lead to fluorosis and this can discolor the tooth.
The options of in-office tooth whitening
The dentist will start by examining a patient and will take his dental and health history which include sensitivities and allergies. He should take time to observe soft and hard tissues, the condition or placement restoration. Sometime the doctor may require the use of x-rays in order to determine the depth and the nature of irregularities.
Whitening shade guide will be used in order to measure the tooth color. Such shades will determine how effective the procedure will be and the shade are in 7 colors. The procedure will require the use of light cured protective layer and it is painted careful on the papilla or gums which will reduce the risk of suffering soft tissues and chemical burns. Your dentist at URBN Dental will evaluate your smile first and make the best recommendation that is best for you.