Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that involves removing surface stains and discolorations from teeth to make them appear brighter and whiter. While there are many over-the-counter whitening products available, the most effective and long-lasting results are achieved through professional teeth whitening procedures performed by a dentist. In this article, we’ll explore how a dentist whitens teeth and the different methods used to achieve a brighter smile.
Before beginning any whitening procedure, a dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s teeth to ensure they are healthy enough for treatment. This may involve taking x-rays to check for underlying dental issues, such as cavities or gum disease, that could affect the outcome of the whitening process. Once the dentist has determined that the patient is a good candidate for teeth whitening, they will discuss the available options and determine which method is best suited for the individual’s needs.
One of the most common methods used to whiten teeth is in-office whitening. During this procedure, the dentist applies a highly concentrated bleaching agent directly to the teeth, which is activated by a special light or laser. The entire process usually takes less than an hour and can lighten teeth by up to eight shades. This method is highly effective and can produce immediate results, making it a popular choice for patients looking for a quick and easy way to whiten their teeth.
Another option is take-home whitening kits, which are customized to fit the patient’s teeth and contain a lower concentration of bleaching agent than in-office treatments. The patient wears the trays for a specified amount of time each day, usually for several weeks, until the desired level of whitening is achieved. This method is less expensive than in-office whitening and can be done in the comfort of the patient’s own home, but it may take longer to see results.
A less commonly used method is internal bleaching, which is used to whiten teeth that have been discolored from the inside, such as those that have undergone a root canal. This procedure involves placing a bleaching agent inside the tooth and sealing it with a temporary filling. The patient must then return to the dentist after a few days to have the filling removed and the tooth examined for color improvement. Internal bleaching is a more invasive procedure than other whitening methods and is typically reserved for more severe cases.
Regardless of the method used, teeth whitening is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified dental professional. However, some patients may experience temporary sensitivity or discomfort during or after the procedure. It’s important to follow the dentist’s instructions carefully and to report any unusual symptoms immediately.
In addition to professional teeth whitening, there are many things patients can do to maintain a bright, white smile. These include practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding foods and drinks that can stain teeth, such as coffee and red wine, and quitting smoking, which is one of the biggest culprits of tooth discoloration. Patients should also visit their dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups to help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can make teeth appear dull and discolored.
In conclusion, teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can be performed safely and effectively by a qualified dentist. Whether through in-office treatments or take-home kits, whitening can provide patients with a brighter, more confident smile. By following good oral hygiene practices and avoiding habits that can stain teeth, patients can help maintain their whitening results for months or even years to come. Visit here to learn about how Dr. Perry Sugar does teeth whitening in his dental office.