The Teeth Whitening Process
There are many things we do on a daily basis that can cause our teeth to become stained and discolored. Over time the problem can become worse. Foods and beverages like berries, coffee and red wines; tobacco; tooth decay, and tooth trauma, all can cause discoloration.
The whitening process is designed to enable the oxidizing agent to penetrate into the tooth to allow a chemical reaction to occur and dislodge the chromatic particles.
Tooth whitening is indicated for all types of intrinsic stains on vital and non-vital teeth. The causes of stain need to be carefully ascertained prior to tooth whitening for better predictability and to inform the patient about the prognosis of treatment. Treatment for stains due to aging, genetics, and stains caused by chromatogenic foods and drinks is highly successful.
There are three types of vital tooth-whitening treatment:
1.- At-home with Dentist-Prescribed Products: At home tooth-whitening treatment is dentist-prescribed and home-applied by the patient using a fitted tray. The 10% concentration of Carbamide Peroxide used in trays overnight has been considered the “gold standard”. Here at Sandia Heights Dental Care we offer our patients a 15% Carbamide Peroxide concentration.
2.- In-office: The in-office systems typically use a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Usually, color change results can be observed after a single visit. The high cost is a disadvantage, and patients usually desire to continue whitening at home.
3.- At-Home with OTC Products: This category includes whitening strips, paint-on brushes, rinses, toothpastes, chewing gums. The main advantage of OTC products is their low cost. There is strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of whitening strips for removing intrinsic stains.
Having a bright set of pearly whites makes a significant difference on a person’s self-esteem. If teeth whitening is something that you are considering, please call us and schedule your appointment. Dr. Monique Lee can evaluate your oral health and determine if you are good candidate for whitening.
Most of the information contained in this article was published in the November/December 2012 issue of Compendium.