Your smile is usually one of the features that people notice first when meeting you. But many people feel self-conscious about how healthy and bright their smile appears. Teeth can become discolored due to diet, medications, genetics, or even age. As we age our teeth can become darker, yellow, and stained. Radiant and white teeth are associated with a youthful appearance partially for this reason.
It is possible to get rid of discoloration with teeth whitening. One of the most popular methods of getting whiter teeth is in office teeth whitening. This option is so popular because you receive immediate and professional results that last. Some patients say their teeth have become eight shades whiter in just one session. If quickly achieving a bright, radiant smile sounds appealing, this treatment may be perfect for you. This is your guide for everything you need to know about in office teeth whitening.
Are You a Good Candidate?
If you find yourself criticizing the shade of your smile in your reflection or in pictures, you may want to consider an in office whitening treatment. Although most of us wish for brighter teeth, whitening is not meant for everyone. Patients who have had dental restoration that is visible when smiling may not be satisfied with teeth whitening because tooth colored crowns and fillings are not affected by whitening treatments. It is also important to consider that if you already have sensitive teeth, a whitening treatment could temporarily increase this sensitivity. Consulting with a qualified dentist about any previous or current issues will help them determine if in office teeth whitening is best for you.
The Process of In Office Whitening
In office teeth whitening is a quick process that usually takes around an hour. Your doctor will make sure you are settled and comfortable when you arrive for your visit. Then a barrier will be placed around your gums to ensure they are protected. The whitening gel is then applied to your teeth and sits for around fifty minutes. The gel is then rinsed off and the protective barrier is removed. Then you can see the difference that the treatment has made in the shade of your teeth. They will be noticeably brighter and more radiant. These results can last for a year and sometimes longer, depending on how you care for your teeth. At home whitening can be done for touch ups or to gradually get you to a brighter shade.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Whitening products usually contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Teeth whitening works by these chemicals breaking down stains. Once the stains are broken down the color is less concentrated and the teeth appear more radiant. Although these work well to whiten teeth they cannot whiten all teeth or discoloration. Above we spoke about different types of dental restoration that will not become whiter with treatment. Stains that are more brown or gray may not respond as well to whitening products. This is why it is essential that your dentist evaluates if in office teeth whitening is the right choice for you.
The Difference Between In Office and At Home Whitening
It is possible to use professional products at home to whiten. This is done with a take home whitening tray that has been custom fit by your doctor. The tray is filled with whitening gel and sits on your teeth for forty to sixty minutes, as recommended by your doctor. This form of treatment provides gradual results. Your brightest smile will appear over the course of many weeks.
In office teeth whitening is popular because of how fast results are seen. This is because a stronger whitening agent is applied directly to the teeth. This can cause sensitivity, but any sensitivity felt after treatment can easily be managed by your doctor. Another difference between the two methods of whitening is the cost. In office whitening treatments are usually more expensive when compared to a take home whitening tray.
Types of In Office Whitening
There are many different whitening brands that are used for in office whitening treatments. Some use lamps, also known as lasers, and others depend on chemistry. For example, Zoom! uses a whitening gel that is twenty five percent hydrogen peroxide and a specialty lamp. The whitening gel is applied three times in fifteen minute intervals. Once the treatment is complete a fluoride paste is applied to help reduce sensitivity.
Opalescence Boost does not need a special activator light to achieve amazing results. The whitening gel is comprised of thirty eight percent hydrogen peroxide and a patented component, PF. PF contains fluoride, which helps to strengthen enamel and reduce cavities, and potassium nitrate, that helps to diminish sensitivity.
Although many in office whitening treatments require a light, there are numerous studies that show that there is no benefit in using a specialty lamp. At Sarasota Smile Design we use the most innovative products that have diminished the outdated use of lamps. Other popular brands that do not need this extra equipment are Niveous, Lumibrite, and NUPRO White Gold.
How you care for your teeth after a whitening treatment is an important factor in how long the whitening results will last. Your teeth will be more vulnerable to stains during the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours following a whitening treatment. During this time you should avoid food and drinks with colors that could stain your teeth, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and spaghetti sauce. It is also best to avoid drinking wine and smoking. Tannins from wine and nicotine from tobacco can stain your newly radiant smile.
Are There Any Risks?
In office teeth whitening is considered a safe treatment, but there are some possible side effects. The most common side effects that patients have after in office teeth whitening are irritation and sensitivity. This can occur when using any whitening product, but because in office whitening treatments are more concentrated the risk of sensitivity is often increased. There are many steps that doctors take to help avoid this risk. A protective barrier applied to the gums reduces the risk of sensitivity. The aftercare instructions that the doctor gives you will also help you manage or reduce any discomfort you may experience.
If in office teeth whitening sounds like a treatment that interests you, give our office a call today!