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some facts you many want to know
tooth whitening / opalescence whitening
what is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures since it can greatly improve how your teeth look.
Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter colour.
what it is used for
The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. The colour of natural teeth is created by the reflection and scattering of light off the enamel, combined with the colour of the dentin under it. Your genes affect the thickness and smoothness of the enamel. Thinner enamel allows more of the colour of the dentin to show through. Having smoother or rougher enamel also affects the reflection of light and therefore the colour.
Every day, a thin coating (pellicle) forms on the enamel and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains.
the most common reasons for teeth to get yellow or stained are:
• Using tobacco
• Drinking dark-coloured liquids such as coffee, cola, tea and red wine
• Not taking good care of your teeth
• Aging also makes teeth less bright as the enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker.
It is also possible to have stains inside the tooth. These are called intrinsic stains. For example, intrinsic stains can be caused by exposure to too much fluoride as a child while teeth are developing. Other causes include tetracycline antibiotics. They can stain a child’s teeth if taken by a mother during the second half of pregnancy or by a child who is 8 years old or younger. Teeth are still developing during these years. Trauma may also darken a tooth.
Tooth whitening is most effective on surface (extrinsic) stains.
Other dental problems can affect the success of tooth whitening. For example, cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened. That’s because the whitening solution can pass through decayed areas, reaching the inner parts of the tooth. If your gums recede, the exposed roots of your teeth may appear yellow or discoloured. Whitening products will not make them whiter.
If you have tooth decay or receding gums, whitening may make your teeth sensitive. Whitening also does not work on ceramic or porcelain crowns or veneers.
Before any whitening can be done we will first need to clean your teeth. This will remove the film of bacteria, food and other substances that build up on your teeth and contribute to the staining. Once this is done, the whitening procedure begins.
Whitening can be done in the dental office or at home.
how it’s done
There are two main types of whitening procedures. Non-vital whitening is done on a tooth that has had root-canal treatment and no longer has a live nerve. Vital whitening is performed on teeth that have live nerves.
Vital whitening may not improve the appearance of a tooth that has had root-canal treatment because the stain is coming from the inside of the tooth. If this is the case, we will use a different procedure that whitens the tooth from the inside. We will place a whitening agent inside the tooth and put a temporary filling over it. The tooth is left this way for several days. You may need this done once, or it can be repeated until the tooth reaches the desired shade.
The most common type of vital tooth whitening uses a gel-like whitening solution that is applied directly to the tooth surface. This product contains some form of hydrogen peroxide.
Tooth whitening can be done in the dentist’s office or at home. In-office (chairside) whitening allows us to use a more powerful whitening gel.
In-office whitening usually takes 90 minutes. You will need one to three appointments. The number will depend upon the method used, how severe your stains are and how white you want your teeth to be. Different types of stains respond differently to the treatment.
First, we will apply a substance that covers and protects the gums around the teeth. Then, the whitening agent, usually hydrogen peroxide, will be placed on the teeth.
Some whitening agents are activated by a laser light, special lights or by the heat from these lights. After the whitening agent is applied, we will shine the light on your teeth. If your teeth are badly discoloured, we may suggest that you continue the bleaching process at home for a few days or weeks.
For in-home whitening, we will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth and will make custom mouthpieces to fit you. The mouthpiece needs to fit well. A close fit helps the whitening agent remain in contact with your teeth.
At home, you fill each mouthpiece with a whitening gel we provide. You will wear the mouthpiece for several hours every day. Many people achieve the amount of whitening they want within a week or two. However, you may need to wear the mouthpiece for four weeks or longer.
Whitening toothpastes are available as well. They contain abrasives that remove stains on the enamel. They do not actually change the overall colour of your teeth.
If you find that your gums are white or sore, follow up with us.
Whitening is not a permanent solution. The stains will come back. If you smoke or consume a lot of staining foods or drinks, you may see the whiteness fade in as little as one month. If you avoid these sources of staining, you may not need another whitening treatment for 1 to 2 years.
Re-whitening can be done in the dentist’s office or at home. If you have a custom-made mouthpiece and whitening agent, you can whiten your teeth as frequently as you need to.
Whitening is unlikely to cause serious side effects, although some people’s teeth may become more sensitive for a short while. You may get mild gum irritation as well. Women should not have their teeth whitened while pregnant. The effect of the whitening materials on the development of the foetus is not known. Since the procedure is cosmetic, it should be postponed until after delivery.
Reviewed by faculty of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
teeth whitening product that we use:
Opalescence whitening treatments provide long-lasting results. They safely and effectively whiten teeth while preventing cavities and improving the overall health of your enamel.
For a brighter, whiter smile without the wait, opt for Opalescence Boost, our in-office, chemically activated whitening treatment that offers results in about an hour.
Opalescence Boost features a unique, chemically activated formula that allows us to whiten your teeth without the bothersome heat or ultraviolet rays of a light. Opalescence Boost also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which help to improve oral health by strengthening enamel, decreasing sensitivity, and offering increased cavity prevention.
Immediate Opalescence Boost offers results in about an hour. The dentist-supervised, in-office procedure is safe and effective, and offers a brighter, whiter smile after just one appointment. Unique Opalescence Boosts features a unique syringe to syringe mixing system, which ensures its freshness and delivers an evenly mixed product. With its distinct red color, Opalescence Boost eases placement and removal.
Opalescence Trèswhite Supreme is a simple, fast, and great-tasting way to start whitening or brighten between in-office treatments.
Simple Opalescence Trèswhite Supreme features innovative, preloaded whitening trays that fit comfortably over your teeth. The trays are discrete and disposable, making it easy to whiten on the go. An affordable option, with a wear-time of just 30-60 minutes once a day, Opalescence Trèswhite Supreme is easy to adapt to your budget and lifestyle.
Fast Opalescence Treswhite Supreme contains 10% hydrogen peroxide and is stronger than supermarket teeth whiteners. Because of its prescription-strength formula, Opalescence Treswhite Supreme offers noticeable results in about a week.
Great Tasting Opalescence Treswhite Supreme is available in mint, melon, and peach flavors, making it effective and enjoyable to wear. It contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which help to improve oral health by strengthening enamel, decreasing sensitivity, and offering increased cavity prevention.