Whether you are self-conscious because you have yellowed teeth from smoking or drinking coffee, or if you just want to look your best, tooth whitening is a sure way to brighten your smile and gain increased confidence in your appearance. Learn more about teeth whitening techniques and methods as well as the cost of teeth whitening by reading the sections below.
What is Tooth Whitening? Tooth whitening falls under the category of cosmetic dentistry. The tooth whitening process eliminates discoloration and stains on the teeth, and can also brighten the natural pigmentation of the teeth. The degree of improvement will depend upon how severely the teeth are stained or discolored as well as the nature of the stains. When teeth are brown or yellow due to coffee, tea, or smoking, stains will generally lighten four to five shades. Teeth that are gray due to natural pigmentation or antibiotics use will lighten two to three shades. Regardless, your teeth will be noticeably brighter after teeth whitening. While there are a number of over-the-counter teeth whitening methods that make various claims, only a dental professional can recommend the most effective teeth whitening treatment for you.
Teeth Whitening Techniques The most effective teeth whitening techniques available today are in-office light activated teeth whitening and at-home teeth whitening with custom-fit trays. Both teeth whitening techniques are best performed under your dentist's supervision to ensure the safest results.
In-Office light Activated Tooth Whitening In-office teeth whitening methods are performed with bleaching gel and light. This is a good method of teeth whitening for sensitive teeth, as the process may be closely monitored by the cosmetic dentist. The teeth are carefully isolated from the lips and gums, and then a bleaching gel is applied to them. A light is used in conjunction with the gel to accelerate and amplify the tooth whitening process.
At-Home Tooth Whitening There are several choices for those who are interested in at-home teeth whitening methods. Your cosmetic dentist can take imprints of your teeth and then make custom-fitted trays for you to take home to complete the tooth whitening process. There are also teeth bleaching kits and other over-the-counter teeth whitening products available to brighten your smile. Some over-the-counter products may wear down the enamel of the teeth if used overzealously. For this reason, and because in-office treatments are more effective, it is best to seek teeth whitening treatment under the supervision of a cosmetic dentist.