Making Smiles Affordable
Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull, or discolored teeth. The darker tissue of your teeth, the dentin, can become exposed as the outer layer of enamel is worn away by the effects of aging or things like caffeine and tobacco.
Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth’s enamel by a certain protein. Products like coffee and tea, berries and soy sauce are notorious for staining teeth. Over time, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances.
One type of stain-caused by traumatic injuries, medications and fluorosis-actually begins inside the tooth; brushing and flossing don’t help. Another type of stain-one that can be more easily attacked by brushing, flossing and rinsing-is caused by external factors such as foods.
Remove Stains From Teeth
More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procedures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.
Some commercially available “whitening toothpastes” can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth a few shades brighter. However, many of these products have abrasive substances that can actually wear away your tooth’s enamel.
Whitening agents actually change the color of your teeth, but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, whitening agents have a difficult time removing brownish or grayish stains. These products also are not as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth, or on restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding and tooth-colored fillings (porcelain veneers or dental bonding may be more appropriate in this case).
Professional whitening performed by our office is considered to be the most effective and safest method; done properly, tooth whitening can last as long as five years. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely.
How Does Whitening Work?
Tooth whitening is a chemical process. The peroxide in the whitening agent breaks down into tiny molecules that move inside the tooth structure, where they break down any molecules that cause discoloration. Because of this process, the entire tooth is lightened, even if the entire tooth is not covered with bleach. However, the structure of the tooth is not altered; the internal tooth color is simply lightened. Enamel, dentin, and current fillings and cements are not affected or harmed by the peroxide.
How Long Does the Whitening Last?
Whitening results are very stable. However, depending on your nutrition and lifestyle habits, whitening may need to be re-done periodically. Due to the safety of the whitening agents, this should not cause any concerns.
Will Whitening Cause Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of whitening. This sensitivity is temporary, and should disappear after whitening is completed. Even so, Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems are available with Potassium Nitrate and Fluoride desensitizing agents. If you have lingering sensitivity, talk with your dentist about recommended desensitizing treatments.
Will Whitening Cause Problems by Weakening My Teeth?
Findings have confirmed that whitening with Opalescence PF products actually helps to reduce cavities, minimize sensitivity, increase enamel hardness, and improve the overall health of your teeth.
Important Whitening Information
Talk with your dentist about the best whitening treatment for your smile, budget, and lifestyle. Because teeth whiten at different rates, and your whitening experience will be unique, we recommend a dental consultation prior to whitening. Consulting with your dentist will help to establish reasonable expectations for your treatment and ensure that your whitening experience is as safe as possible. Dental supervision includes an initial diagnosis, professional teeth cleaning, a briefing on the selected whitening process, and monitoring throughout treatment. Whitening treatments should only be performed under dental supervision! If you’ve been noticing soreness, pain, or anything else making your teeth and mouth uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an appointment. Please contact one of our offices in Irwin, Greentree, West Mifflin, Monroeville, or Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania.