Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished you had a whiter smile? Science Daily estimates that Americans spend approximately one billion dollars a year on teeth whitening products.
The rise of social media and the demand for selfie-ready smiles has made teeth whitening one of the most requested cosmetic dental treatments. While many over-the-counter products are available, the safest and most effective way to get whiter teeth is at your dentist’s office.
Causes of Tooth Discoloration
Intrinsic and extrinsic factors can cause tooth discoloration. Intrinsic tooth discoloration occurs within the tooth when the inner layer of your tooth called the dentin yellows or darkens, making it appear like you have yellow teeth.
Unfortunately, as we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears thin, so the layer of dentin below becomes visible. With a natural yellow tinge, dentin is often what patients see when their teeth become discolored.
Intrinsic staining can also be caused by trauma, making it look like you have grey teeth. Certain medications like tetracycline antibiotics and overexposure to fluoride can also cause this type of discoloration.
Since intrinsic staining is more permanent, your dentist may recommend other cosmetic dental services like dental bonding, veneers, or dental crowns to whiten your teeth.
Your dentist may also suggest these treatments if you have restorations since teeth whitening only works on your natural teeth. Restorations like dental crowns are made of inorganic material, and after a teeth whitening treatment, your natural teeth and restored teeth may not match.
Extrinsic discoloration is more common. Pigmented foods and drinks and smoking typically cause surface stains. Other reasons your teeth may become stained include illness, genetics, and poor oral hygiene.
Extrinsic staining can usually be managed with regular brushing, flossing, and routine professional dental cleanings. But if you are unhappy with the brightness of your smile, a professional teeth whitening treatment can instantly and dramatically transform your discolored teeth into the perfect smile you’ve always desired.
Who is a Candidate for Teeth Whitening Services?
The best candidates for professional teeth whitening treatment have healthy gums and teeth without fillings and restorations. Unfortunately, not everyone can have a tooth whitening treatment safely and effectively. You may not be a good candidate for the procedure if you:
- Experience tooth sensitivity
- Are pregnant or lactating
- Have gum disease, tooth decay, or exposed tooth roots
- Have restorations such as fillings, dental crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants
- Are allergic to bleaching agents like peroxide
- Are younger than 16 years old
In-Office Teeth Whitening
At Owens Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we can reverse the effects of staining, giving you a brighter smile in less than an hour. Dr. Owens uses ZOOM! Whitening to brighten your teeth by eight shades for a white smile. ZOOM! Whitening is a popular and effective whitening technique for mild to moderate stains and yellowing.
Whether you choose in-office whitening or a professional at-home customized kit, we recommend getting your teeth professionally cleaned about two weeks before your teeth whitening procedure.
Your dentist begins the procedure by covering your lips and gums to protect them from the bleaching agent, leaving your teeth exposed. Your dentist then paints the hydrogen peroxide gel onto your teeth before exposing them to a UV light to accelerate the whitening process.
The whitening gel remains on your teeth for 15 minutes before being rinsed off. This process is repeated up to three times so you can achieve your perfect shade of white teeth.
Immediately afterward, a fluoride paste is applied to your teeth to reduce post-treatment sensitivity.
At-Home Whitening Trays
We also offer at-home teeth whitening trays so you can conveniently whiten your teeth on your schedule. These custom-made trays use a lower concentration of teeth whitening gel and produce noticeably whiter teeth in about 14 days.
Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create your custom-made whitening trays. They also provide you with instructions on how to use and how long you should wear your trays.
The length of time will depend on whether you use DayWhite or NiteWhite and the concentration of the gel. Lower concentrations of DayWhite can be worn for longer, but the typical time is 30-90 minutes. NiteWhite can be worn for 2-4 hours during the day or overnight. To use your custom-made whitening trays correctly, follow these steps:
- Brush and floss your teeth
- Twist off the clear plastic cap from the syringe and replace it with the mixing nozzle (if this is the first time using the syringe)
- Place a teardrop amount of gel in each cavity of the custom-made whitening tray
- Place the tray in your mouth
- Remove the excess gel from your gums with your finger
- Wear for the times prescribed by your dentist
- After whitening, remove and rinse in tepid water and place in your storage case
- Rinse and brush excess gel from your teeth
Why Choose Professional Teeth Whitening?
If you are unhappy with your smile and want brighter teeth, you may consider a professional teeth whitening treatment. This cosmetic dental treatment can give you a beautiful smile in just one appointment. However, with so many over-the-counter products like whitening strips available, you may be wondering why you should choose teeth whitening services.
There are several great reasons teeth whitening by your dentist is better than over-the-counter treatments.
- Professional tooth whitening is faster, and you’ll see instant results
- Professional whitening is tailored to your needs because your dental professional can treat dark stains more effectively and protect your sensitive teeth
- Professional whitening procedures allow you to enjoy your results for longer because they can last up to three years
- Professional whitening options are safer because your experienced dentist is skilled in using strong whitening agents and addresses your oral health concerns before administering the treatment
Schedule Your Appointment for Teeth Whitening Today
As a leading Farmington Hills cosmetic dentist, we recommend an initial consultation before undergoing any type of cosmetic dentistry. This allows us to evaluate your oral health and determine if you are a candidate for the procedure.
Contact us at Owens Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today at (248) 626-0772 or complete our online consultation form to arrange an appointment.