We live in a society that dictates having straight, pearly white teeth as the norm and various statistics reveal that we place a very high value on our smiles. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the demand for dental procedures which significantly improve the appearance of one’s dentition, has increased exponentially over the past few years.
One of the most commonly performed esthetic dental treatments for cosmetic enhancement of one’s teeth is Teeth Whitening; the process of artificially lightening the color of teeth. This inherent need to improve the overall look of one’s teeth stems from the fact that most of us are blessed with a sparkling set of pearly whites. It is over the years that the continued effect of various internal and external forces results in diminished, dull and discolored teeth.
Some of the more common causes of tooth discoloration include:
- Eating habits
- Smoking habits
- Use or abuse of drugs/chemicals/medications
- Excessive digestion of the mineral fluoride.
Generally, the terms teeth whitening and bleaching are more often than not, used interchangeably, however, in terms of technicality, they are very different. According to the American Dental Association, Whitening refers to the restoring the natural color of a tooth surface by removing dirt, debris and stains. Bleaching on the other hand, is the process of whitening the teeth beyond their natural color and is applied strictly to the products that contain bleaching elements such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Types of Teeth Whitening
Here at White Lily Dental, we use the three main types of teeth whitening or bleaching procedures, routinely used nowadays. They are:
OVER-THE COUNTER METHODS
The cheapest form of teeth whitening is accomplished by the use of various whitening products made available for the public which require no dental prescriptions. Toothpastes, whitening gels, whitening mouthwash rinses, strips, and pre-made teeth whitening trays are some of the most popular do-it-yourself whitening methods. However, not only are these methods largely ineffective, they are not always assessed for safety and tend to carry significant risks.
PROFESSIONALLY DISPENSED DIY HOME-WHITENING KITS
A much better alternative to cheap over-the-counter whitening products are the dentist prescribed home-whitening kits. The professionally dispensed kits offer a much more dramatic result than the mouthwashes and gels, and are at the same time, still quite affordable. The take-home-and-DIY kits incorporate easy-to-use low-concentration peroxide gels that are applied on custom-made whitening trays which resemble mouth guards, and are worn for few hours a day. This method takes precedence over the cheaper alternatives because the procedure poses little to no lasting risks.
IN-OFFICE TEETH WHITENING
For the brightest results, teeth whitening done by a trained professional has the greatest results. With in-office whitening procedures, patients can see the most significant amount of color change in the shortest period of time. This process involves the carefully controlled use of relatively high concentration levels of bleaching components, applied onto the teeth meticulously and carefully to provide maximum protection of the gums and oral mucosa.
Although teeth whitening is a low-risk procedure and is continually performed at home, it is a form of cosmetic dentistry which should only be performed ( execute)by or under strict supervision of a dentist. The dental procedures, in our clinic, are performed to exacting standards to prevent over-heating of the pulp during procedure, in order to protect pulp disintegration and avoid post-treatment pain. The professionally performed or supervised whitening systems are far safer for your enamel, and while they may cost more than their cheaper counterparts, a professional treatment is most certainly a worthwhile investment.
At White Lily Dental we strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients. Our dentists pay utmost attention to detail to ensure that the procedures used in our patient’s treatments are completely safe. Also the machine we use when it combines with the suitable whitening gel prevents the irritating pain in the teeth after the treatment that many patients feel.