What Does Teeth Whitening Involve?

Apr 01, 2021
The professional teeth whitening treatment starts with a consultation appointment with your dentist in Calgary, SW. The dentist determines whether you are a good candidate for a tooth whitening treatment or not. Not everyone is a good candidate for the process, so it's essential to first consult with the dentist. If you have large tooth fillings or a crown, bleaching your teeth is not the best option. The chemicals used in the bleaching process will bleach your natural teeth but do not affect dental restorations. This can result in different shades of color on your teeth.

In-office Tooth Bleaching

When you opt for tooth whitening by an Image Dental tooth specialist, you get the results faster and better. The bleaching solution used in dental offices is significantly stronger than the one used in home whitening products. Also, the heat and UV light applied are contributing factors towards achieving better and faster results. During the actual appointment for tooth bleaching, the dentist issues a lip-retractor so that lips are cleared off to allow better access to the teeth. It's usually a plastic device. They then cover the front-teeth gums using a gel that is later hardened with UV light. This is called a gingival barrier that shields the gums from bleaching chemicals. Your dentist might also apply a special compound to your teeth that prevent tooth sensitivity. The tooth whitening treatment involves using a gel with a 15 to 35 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Hydroxide penetrates the porous tooth enamel into the dentine layer, breaking all stain compounds through the oxidation process. The Calgary dentist SW might apply a high-powered light on the teeth undergoing bleaching to speed up the process. Still, this depends on the whitening system in use. In most professional whitening systems, the dentist applies whitening gels multiple times through the whitening procedure. They then wipe off the gel and reapply another coat as many times as needed in 40 minutes. Tooth and gum sensitivity is expected after the treatment, but it goes away in about 48 hours.

Home Tooth Bleaching Options

There are several teeth whitening options for teeth at home, including:
  • Bleaching strips and gels. These gels are directly applied to the teeth using a small brush or strip. They are peroxide-based and need to be applied once or twice every day for 10 – 14 days. Their results last for about four months.
  • Bleaching Trays. Mouthguard-resembling trays are filled with the whitening gel then placed over the teeth for an hour or more every day for several weeks. Tray-based whitening systems can be bought over the counter or custom-fitted by your dentist.
  • Tooth Whitening Toothpaste. These are mildly abrasive toothpaste that helps to clear stained teeth. The toothpaste also contains some chemicals and polishing agents that help to scrub the stain off your teeth with no bleaching agent. They are relatively cheap and transform the teeth by one shade. Some whitening toothpastes also contain peroxide, but they aren't left long enough on the teeth to produce results.

Maintaining Your Bleached Teeth

Regardless of the bleaching option you took, it would help if you cared for your teeth to maintain the whiteness. After a tooth whitening near you, our dentists suggest that you follow good oral hygiene through brushing, flossing, and mouth rinsing daily. You also have to avoid foods and drinks rich in tannin and acids such as:
  • Black coffee and tea
  • Wine
  • Sports drinks
  • Highly carbonated soft drinks
  • Berries and intensely colored foods
  • Sauces – like tomato, curry, and soy sauce.

Other Tooth Whitening Procedures

An alternative option is a laser whitening process. It's also called power whitening. During the procedure, the dentist places a rubber dam to shield your gums then paints a bleaching agent on the whites. They later shine a strong laser to activate the chemical applied to the teeth. This light hastens the reaction of the bleaching product, so a color change is observed faster. Laser whitening gets your teeth up to six shades whiter.

How Long Does the Whitening Effects last?

Results of the whitening treatment last for about three years. This duration varies in different people. The bleaching effects won't last long for smokers or people who eat foods that stain the teeth. Consult your dental team for opinions before proceeding with the treatment.
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