If you’re nervous about smiling in social or business situations because you’re concerned that the appearance of your teeth may cause a bad impression, it’s time to talk with your dentist about a teeth whitening program. Before you proceed, however, there are several things about the process that you need to know.
There Are Two Types of Tooth Discolouration
There are two separates types of tooth discoloration’s – intrinsic and extrinsic yellowing. The latter is is caused by stains from coffee, tea red wine, blueberries and other dark fruits, black tea, and nicotine use. This type can commonly be dealt with by a good cleaning and by using at-home whitening products. However, your dentist may prescribe an in-office treatment for teeth that have been neglected for a period of time or have become deeply stained.
Intrinsic discoloration, on the other hand, is caused by issues on the inside of the teeth and does not respond well to whitening toothpastes. Your dentist can successfully treat this condition with a series of in-office visits using bleaching products designed to lighten the inner tissues of your teeth. Here’s what you need to know about intrinsic discoloration.
Your teeth should be in relatively good condition for this procedure to have maximum effect. If you’ve got cavities or other dental issues, your dentist will fix these problems before proceeding with the teeth whitening process.
You may experience some sensitivity as a result of the process. This generally doesn’t last more than 24 hours and can be alleviated using over-the-counter pain relievers.
The results will last anywhere from six months to two years, so you should be prepared for having whitening treatments as a semi-regular part of your dental care.
Who Should Get Teeth Whitening?
Many teeth whitening services are safe when performed in a professional dentists office. Over-the-counter products are usually less effective, time consuming, and often very costly. We generally do not recommend them.
Teeth whitening is not a replacement for properly cleaning your teeth. The first step will always be to ensure you have a proper cleaning and oral exam to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for the treatment. And, we may recommend steps to take to reduce the risk of further discoloration or plaque buildup on your teeth.
Some people may not be able to have teeth whitening without further dental care as a first step. This may include those with:
- Tooth decay
- White spots on the teeth
- Gum infections
- Discoloration for other reasons
- Crowns and bridges