Good oral hygiene is always the first defense for protecting the appearance and health of your teeth. On occasion, however, even the healthiest teeth may benefit from cosmetic augmentation. Your Roseville dentist can help with this.
Tooth whitening is a safe, effective way to gain a brighter, more attractive smile. Natural tooth enamel can grow yellowish, but this non-invasive dental procedure will lighten and improve the color of your teeth. Other reasons for considering teeth whitening include staining from medications or comestibles, worn outer tooth layers, or fluorosis, which results from childhood exposure to excessive fluoridation. Whitening, also called bleaching, accounts for a good percentage of the brilliant white smiles shown by Hollywood stars. Many other people have added beauty to their smiles with this method.
A Roseville cosmetic dentist can help you decide how to best take advantage of this popular enhancement. Tooth whitening should be performed in the absence of serious dental problems. The following conditions should be discussed with your Roseville dentist:
- Infected or bleeding gums.
- Tooth decay or mysterious white spots.
- Sensitive or discolored teeth.
- The presence of a crown or bridge.
- Significant dental work, especially on your front teeth.
A repeat treatment may be required once every four to 12 months to refresh teeth whitening, depending on the specific treatment and the degree of exposure to coffee, tea, wine, blueberries and other fluids or foods that tend to cause significant staining. In particular, smoking tobacco may rapidly stain teeth and make frequent treatments necessary.
A Roseville esthetic dentist who specializes in evaluating and improving the appearance of teeth can offer treatment options that are faster and stronger than mass-market products. Once it is clear that you are a likely candidate for tooth whitening, you can choose either an in-office treatment or a dentist-supervised take-home kit.
In-Office: Teeth may be quickly whitened by 5 to ten shades within 45 minutes with a simple, painless office procedure that can be performed immediately
Dentist-Supervised: A professional take-home kit may be prescribed. Dentist-dispensed kits contain concentrated whitening agents that can yield impressive results with little effort.
If you opt for an in-office treatment, your cosmetic dentist will first thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and underlying bone structure. If no problems are found and you decide to proceed with whitening, the dentist will perform the following steps:
- Apply a sterile covering to your gums and lips, leaving only your teeth exposed.
- Paint a professional-grade whitening agent onto your teeth.
- Shine a special light on the treated teeth to accelerate the whitening effect.
- Repeat the previous steps twice to complete the treatment.
Before beginning, your dentist may offer to play relaxing music or provide an entertaining television program to watch. Making your visit comfortable is always a high priority.
If you decide upon supervised at-home treatment, the Roseville dentist will make impressions of your teeth from which to fabricate custom plastic trays. Manufacturing these personalized fittings will take a few days. In your second visit, the dentist will adjust the trays for optimum fit and explain how to use the system. You will be asked to use the trays with a special solution that will gradually whiten your teeth. You may wear the trays overnight or twice a day for 30 minutes. Depending on the desired degree of whitening, the full course of treatment may last two weeks.
You may experience temporary tooth sensitivity, but it will disappear after the treatment is completed. If sensitivity during treatment becomes uncomfortable, your dentist can apply a special sodium fluoride varnish. Over-the-counter remedies are available as well.
After completion, your dentist may discuss the possibility of replacing old fillings or crowns that no longer closely match the new, lighter color of your teeth. In any case, you can depart right away to enjoy your new appearance and to showcase your wonderful smile to the Roseville community.
If you have any questions regarding teeth whitening please contact your Roseville dentist today.