Today's whitening options allow people to change the colour of their natural teeth easily. There are 3 ways to whiten teeth: over the counter products, dentist supervised home treatments and in-office whitening. There are some over the counter products that will lighten your teeth a couple of shades. These are generally in the form of a strip you apply to your teeth. Whitening toothpastes do not whiten teeth. They generally just remove external staining and can be quite abrasive for daily use.
Supervised whitening is done with first taking molds of your teeth and making a thin custom fitted tray. Whitening gel is dispensed from the office and well as instructions on how to use it. The trays are worn at night or during the day for a specified time period. This process generally takes 2 weeks to get the desired result. This is the most popular method of tooth whitening. The third way to whiten is an in-office procedure. Because the concentration of the product is a lot stronger it must be done in a controlled setting and tissue isolation. This method general takes 2hours with some follow up at home.
The material used in tooth whitening is generally a peroxide based gel. These materials have been around for over 15 years and are well tested for safety. The only temporary side effect that can result from whitening is tooth sensitivity. Most of the products are now formulated to help minimize this. There are also specific products that we will recommend patients use before and after whitening to help minimize sensitivity. Although your teeth will probably not regress back to the colour you started with, teeth do continue to darken with age and certain habits such as coffee, tea and smoking. Every now and then touching up can be done by wearing the trays with some gel in them for a couple of days to keep the colour where you want it.
Any white crowns, fillings etc in the mouth will not change colour with whitening. It is recommended that if any work is being done to the front teeth, to consider whitening first. Then the colour can be matched to the crowns, veneers etc. because they will not change colour once done. Overall whitening can improve the appearance of your smile and how you feel about yourself.
Dr. Kelly Rodgers and her team of dedicated dental professionals are always excited to meet new clients and to catch up with old ones. Contact the Carlisle Dentistry team today and start experiencing what modern dentistry has to offer!