Over time, teeth can become discolored or stained and for many different reasons. If you have ever considered having your teeth whitened, you should know that professional teeth whitening can offer excellent results. You may have also considered using at home teeth whitening products, which can be messy to use, and not as effective as a professional teeth whitening. If you suffer from dentist phobias or anxieties, getting your teeth whitened by a professional may seem overwhelming. So, it may ease your worries to know how dentists whiten teeth. Please continue reading as we go over the procedures for a professional teeth whitening.
What to Expect When You Have Your Teeth Professionally Whitened
Patients have been getting their teeth professionally whitened now for quite some time, as the procedure has gained in popularity in recent years. In- office teeth whitening is not a hard procedure for your dentist to do, the only tricky part is having enough skill to avoid injury to the gumline. The procedure will take about 60 to 90 minutes to complete, the time varies office to office. There are many steps that are standard for your dentist to follow in a professional teeth whitening. Read below as we discuss each one, so that you can fully understand the procedure.
-First, your dentist will evaluate and record your teeths current shade.
-Next, the dentist will polish your teeth with pumice. Pumice is a gritty material that removes plaque from the surface of your teeth.
-Gauze will be placed inside your mouth to keep your teeth dry during the procedure. To keep the inside of your cheeks, lips, and tongue away from the whitening solution, retractors are used.
– Your gum line will also be isolated from the whitening solution by a barrier.
-Then, your teeth will be covered with the whitening solution, but only on the front surface of the teeth. The whitening solution using either carbamide solution or hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent.
-A curing light, or laser light will be used to activate the whitening solution. The whitening solution stays on the teeth for 30 to 60 minutes. Depending on the brand of the solution, it may need to be reapplied during the procedure.
-When the maximum time has passed, your teeth will be rinsed. Some dentists then apply a fluoride treatment to help with tooth sensitivity. This is a common side effect of having your teeth whitened.
-If the desired shade was not reached, you may schedule another appointment, but that is optional.
When the dentist is finished with the procedure, you will be advised about aftercare. Aftercare for a teeth whitening procedure is to avoid foods and beverages with a high level of pigment that may restrain the enamel of your teeth. These might include coffee and tea, tomato juice or sauce, yellow mustard, beets, red wine, and cherries. You will also be advised to avoid smoking, or any other tobacco products.
Side Effects to Look Out For
As mentioned above, teeth whitening is considered a safe procedure to have done. There are some side effects to be aware though, so please be on the lookout for any of the following symptoms…
-Teeth sensitivity is a common side effect. Your dentist may give you a fluoride treatment to help with the sensitivity. The good news about teeth sensitivity after a professional teeth whitening is that your tolerance for the process increases with the second or third treatment. So, the sensitivity decreases.
-Irritated gums is another side effect to be aware of, this is when your gums become irritated by the contact to the whitening solution. This side effect does not last long after the treatment.
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Discoloration
So we know that a person can’t whiten their teeth permanently. So, a patient typically schedules whitening appointments every now and then to target extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. If you are uncertain about the difference between the two, take a look at our explanation…
Extrinsic discoloration occurs when food, beverages, or tobacco products stain your teeth. These stains affect the outside surface of your teeth. Red wine, tobacco, foods with colored dyes, and coffee or tea all contribute to the discoloration of your teeth. Extrinsic discoloration can often be treated with whitening toothpastes first, to target the surface stains.
Intrinsic discoloration comes from within the tooth. Causes of intrinsic discoloration include tooth trauma, infection, childhood illnesses, medication use, and aging. To treat intrinsic discoloration you may need to visit a professional for your teeth whitening.