Teeth Whitening Services of Heritage Dental
Family Dentist in Pottstown PA
When it comes to whiter teeth, even those with an impeccable oral hygiene routine will suffer from some level of discolouration eventually. Conveniently, there are a number of quick and easy teeth whitening methods to lighten the colour of your teeth without causing any damage to the tooth health. Most teeth whitening kits work using a bleaching agent, normally containing peroxide. This, when used at safe levels, is an effective way of removing the stains from within the tooth that cause discolouration.
There are a number of ways you can have a tooth whitening treatment administered:
Dentist- supervised home whitening
This method will take a couple of weeks. After a consultation, your first appointment will involve having a mould of your teeth cast. Over the next 5-10 days a technician will use this mould to create a custom-made tooth whitening tray for you. Once the tray is ready, you'll go back to the dentist who will instruct you how to perform the whitening treatment in your home. The tooth whitening tray is filled with a bleaching agent and worn like a mouth guard. The agent will oxidize stains and get into the enamel and dentin of the teeth, lightening their shade. You will wear tray for 2 to 3 hours per day for 2 to 3 weeks.
Laser teeth whitening, sometimes known as 'power whitening', is a quicker, if more expensive treatment. Like other whitening methods, the teeth are bleached so as to appear whiter. However, in the case of laser treatment, this is achieved by applying a teeth whitening gel and then shining a powerful light on your teeth to accelerate the process of removing the internal tooth stains. The bleaching solution used for a laser whitening treatment usually contains a higher concentration of peroxide than would be used in other methods, so a protective gel will be applied to your lips and gums. In addition, the gums will be covered with rolls of cotton wool and a retractor will be used to keep your lips and cheeks a safe distance from your teeth. The whole process is very quick and you can be in and out of the dentist's practice within the space of two hours. Some patients may experience an instant improvement but require dentist-supervised home whitening in addition, particularly when the level of staining is advanced.
Who is whitening appropriate for?
Anyone with a healthy mouth should benefit from a teeth whitening treatment. However, if you have gum disease or other dental problems, your dentist may decide that teeth whitening will not be suitable, until successfully treated. You should also be aware that whitening will only work on natural teeth; false teeth, crowns, bridges, fillings and veneers will be unresponsive to the process. This could potentially leave your with teeth with uneven coloration. If you have de-calcifications (white spots) on your teeth, these might actually become more noticeable after bleaching. It's important that during the pre-treatment consultation you understand the need and cost for additional treatment to replace crowns, veneers and fillings. Treatment has been successfully carried out by professionals for decades and millions of people worldwide have benefited from this treatment.
Is teeth whitening painful?
Most people find that their teeth are much more sensitive for the next couple of days following treatment. This is not usually experienced as a constant pain, but intermittent bursts of discomfort. It's recommended that you avoid especially hot or cold food or drink for around 24-48 hours after treatment. Your dentist will provide advice on how to manage the short-term pain after treatment.
Why go to a dentist when home whitening kits are available?
When dealing with a bleaching agent such as peroxide, it is possible to burn yourself. As a result, DIY home kits, including teeth whitening strips, cannot be sold at the same strength as professionals would use. This means they will be less effective, or require a more frequent use to achieve the same results. This, in turn, could lead to gum irritation and sensitive teeth. Incorrect use or overuse of bleach could also damage the enamel, which is why these treatments should be avoided, even if they appear cheaper than professional treatment.
Will the effects be permanent?
No. Your teeth will still be susceptible to staining after the treatment. This means the effect will fade, particularly if you drink tea, coffee, and red wine or are a smoker. The whitening offered by bleaching kits tends to offer more enduring results than laser treatment effects but takes longer to achieve.