Having a beautiful smile and white teeth – not only improve your appearance but also knock up your self-esteem as well – which is especially very important during professional gatherings and business meetings.
Due to several lifestyle habits and several other reasons, our teeth become yellowish or discolored – which can make us more self-conscious to smile. Often several kinds of toothpaste claim to whiten the teeth but unfortunately, these efforts fall short of expectations.
So, how exactly can whiten our teeth…?
Simple… by visiting a dental hospital. And moreover, if you are looking for a professional and qualified service, GA Dental is the right destination for this service.
If you are wondering what teeth whitening, how it works and several other information… then read on to know…
What is Teeth Whitening Treatment?
Teeth whitening is a process that involves removing stains and discoloration without damaging/removing the tooth surface. It is one of the effective ways of restoring the natural color of the tooth. Most of the dentists will provide teeth whitening service using safe and reliable methods. With professional whitening service, the result will last very long. As an expert in the medical profession, a dentist will ensure the whitening process method and results are appropriate for your teeth.
What is the Reason for Discoloration of My Teeth?
Actually, baby teeth are much whiter than adult teeth because of several reasons that include lifestyle, food and many others. We have mentioned some of the common reasons below…
- Foods and Beverages
Some of the most common of food culprits that relate to tooth staining are coffee, red wine, and tea. All these foods have one common thing – intense color pigments known as chromogens. These pigments attach themselves to the enamel (outer part) of the tooth.
- Use of Tobacco
Tobacco contains two main ingredients – tar and nicotine. These chemicals will lead to teeth staining and discoloration. Tar is naturally dark in color so as soon as it contacts the teeth then it will stain. And nicotine is actually colorless until it gets in contact with oxygen. In contact with oxygen, it will turn yellowish which will ultimately stain the teeth surface.
Enamel is the outermost part of the teeth. Underneath it, a soft area called dentin is present. Over the time due to aging factors, the enamel gets thinner, revealing the dentin which is yellowish in color.
If had been through any accidents that have damaged teeth then color discoloration is common. Because of the trauma or injury, the tooth has been through. This happens because of more dentin production in the teeth leading to darker enamel color.
Antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, antipsychotics, and other similar medications have a similar side effect and tooth darkening is one of them. Young adults and children who take antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline will experience tooth discoloration later in their lives. Radiation and chemotherapy are some of the other issues that lead to teeth darkening.
Different Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments
As per the medical industry, there are three types of teeth whitening processes – in-office whitening, take-home kits, and over-the-counter products. All these options are different based on the concentration of whitening and methodology.
Which method suits you will depend on the level of whitening required and amount of tooth damage occurred. This information will be accurately provided by a dentist.
Now, let’s have a look at each different type of whitening method…
Since two decades, bleaching is one of the common whitening dental treatments. This process is actually an oxidation reaction. Through tooth bleaching, discoloration will be removed using a combination of chemicals and auxiliary methods. Usually, the bleaching method can be availed in different ways – applied professionally by a dentist, whitening strips, over the counter solutions and others.
- In Office Whitening
This is the most popular teeth whitening process. In this method, the dentist will apply a high concentration of peroxide gel on the teeth. But don’t worry, protective arrangements will be made for gum area. The application will stay for around 15 – 20 minutes for achieving the desired color. When it comes to cost, this one is a bit pricey. This method is preferred or recommended for people who have very stubborn staining. Based on the condition of the teeth, this can take multiple sitting to get desired results.
- Take Home Kits
These kits are dentist approved solutions which provide long-term results. Usually, these kits have less concentrated peroxide gel than other options. As the concentration is much lesser, this option is very safe to use for people who want to whiten their teeth at home. This option is quite affordable when compared to in-office methods.
Over the counter or store brought product may be less in terms of cost than others, but the results are much less effective than professional service. Whichever method you choose, it is very important to follow proper oral health care before whitening the teeth. And make sure to discuss with your dentist for proper knowledge, requirement, and safety of different whitening methods.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Before learning how teeth lightening process works, first let’s understand the tooth structure and main part of it – enamel which is responsible for the sparkling white color.
Enamel is the outermost part of the tooth which is designed in a specific way to protect the tooth from several effects like gnashing, chewing, and several others. Due to aging, foods or several other factors, the enamel will wear down exposing dentin (layer beneath the enamel which has yellow color). In some cases, microcracks can be caused to enamel which gets filled up with debris leading to discoloration eventually.
Now, let’s see how teeth whitening treatment changes the color of enamel back to white…
This treatment has a very simple process. A solution is applied to teeth which is stay for 20 – certain hours depending on the type of treatment. Usually, this solution contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These ingredients will break down the stains into micro pieces making them colorless. So ultimately, the enamel will look whiter and brighter.
How Much Duration Does Teeth Whitening Treatment Take?
It usually depends on the type of treatment you are getting done. Teeth whitening treatment will take more than just one sitting depending on your requirements. On an average, teeth whitening treatment may take at least 3 to 4 weeks depending on the discoloration. In the initial sitting, your dentist will take the impression to make a mouth guard. In the later sittings, the whitening solution is applied to the teeth. Usually, the application will stay for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Some solutions may require at least 8 hours at a time.
How Long Does it Take for My Teeth to Whiten?
In the initial 2 weeks of treatment, you will achieve 90% of the whitening effect that you will achieve. The end results (after which you will not see any further lightening) is typically achieved after 6 weeks. This states that within 2 – 6 weeks of treatment you will achieve the lightening you desired for.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Teeth Whitening Treatment?
The cost of teeth whitening may vary significantly depending on product, procedure, and requirement. Professional or in-office treatment is actually the most expensive option than other treatments. However, this treatment is performed by a medical professional which take care of the results and safety. If you are looking for a cheaper option of all treatments then go for store brought strips or solutions. However, they are not professionally administered. And the results and effect can vary as they contain a low concentration of the whitening solution. If you are looking for middle-ground solutions then professionally dispensed whitening kits.
How Long Does the Whitening Effect Last?
Actually, teeth whitening results are not permanent. As the teeth are exposed to beverages and foods, the staining may fade away the whitening effect. The time duration may of discoloration depend on the lifestyle of the person. If you want the results to stay for a longer period of time then we recommend avoiding certain foods and beverages will stain. In this way, you can at least maintain the color for 1 year or more before you get another whitening treatment or touch-up.
Which Whitening Method is Right for Me?
There are several types of methods available to achieve white and bright teeth. Choosing the right one depends on the type of tooth stain, requirement and amount of tooth damage.
Usually, tooth stains are differentiated in two types – intrinsic and extrinsic stains.
- Intrinsic stains: As the name implies, the stain is present within the tooth. This type of stains cannot be removed through flossing and brushing. And moreover, in some cases, bleaching is not also not effective. Injury, trauma, medications like tetracycline (taken during young age), or excess fluoride can lead to intrinsic stains.
- Extrinsic stains: This type of stain usually occurs on the tooth surface. Cigarettes, alcohol consumption, paan masala, tea, cigars, coffee, spices, and certain foods are responsible for this type of discoloration. This type of staining can be removed with good oral hygiene practices or scaling (cleaning) by a medical professional.
So based on this analysis, you will have to choose the teeth whitening procedure. If you are unable to analyze then a dentist would of a great help.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
The main benefit of getting teeth whitened – to achieve bright smile – which will enhance your appearance and boosts self-confidence. And getting it done by a professional has even more benefits…
- Thorough Whitening – Sometimes, over the counter and store-bought products will not provide overall results. If the instructions are not properly followed then it may lead to improper lightening. However, if you let the professionals do the work then you can expect a thorough whitening as per your desire.
- Reliability – The result achieved from a professional teeth whitening service is much reliable than at-home ones.
- Customized Treatments – Store-bought solutions are actually designed for everyone – its product fits everyone. They cannot be customized as per your desire or requirement. On the other hand, a dentist can customize the solution as per your requirement.
- Comfortable – Over-the-counter teeth whitening remedies can damage the gum tissues which can make the problem worse. However, a professional whitening treatment is much safe and comfortable as you have an expert’s hands-on experience and monitoring. A dentist also provides tips and precautions for post-session care.
What are the Side Effects/Risks Associated with Teeth Whitening?
The most common side effects of teeth whitening are – temporary tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of gums/soft tissues. Usually, teeth sensitivity and happens during initial stages of bleaching/lightening treatment. This happens because the peroxide present in the whitener will get into the enamel through the soft dentin layer which further irritates the nerve endings. Usually, the discomfort is temporary. If you are not experiencing any relief after 3 days then it is better to delay the treatment.
Irritation in tissues is usually caused due to ill-fitted mouthpiece tray rather than from the treatment. Both these conditions usually reduce/disappear within 1 – 3 days after the treatment is completed.
If you are not able to deal with the discomfort caused by sensitivity or irritation then you can deal with it using the following tips…
- Wear the mouthpiece tray for only a few minutes (example: 60 minutes of the session can be reduced to 30 minutes of the session).
- Give a time off from one sitting to another (probably 2 – 3 days) to let the teeth adjust for the process.
- Talk to your dentist or pharmacist about the high fluoride-containing product as it helps to re-mineralize the teeth. Apply the fluoride solution on the tray and wear it for at least 4 minutes before and after the whitening treatment.
- Use only a toothpaste meant for sensitive teeth as it contains potassium nitrate. This ingredient helps in soothing the nerve endings present in the teeth.
Overuse of whiteners will damage the gum, soft tissues, and tooth enamel. So, it is always better to follow the instructions of the dentist prior to trying any method.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Tooth Whitening Effective for All?
A. No, lightening process is not suitable for everyone. This is the reason why you have to consult your dentist prior to starting or considered this treatment. Whiteners may not be the correct solution for all types of teeth discoloration. For example – yellow discoloration can be removed through bleaching but brown discoloration will not respond well for this treatment.
And moreover, gray discoloration will not get bleached at all. When it comes to crowns, fillings, veneers, and caps, whitening treatments have no effect at all. Discolorations caused by medications and tooth injury should be treated by only medical professionals.
Q. Who Should Choose Medical Whitening Treatment?
A. If you are dealing with any below issues then we recommend consulting your dentist for treatment.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding
- Under the age of 18
- Have fillings or crowns
- Sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide
- Gum recession
- GERD or acid erosion of teeth
- Teeth sensitivity
- White spot decalcification
Q. Is Teeth Whitening Medically Necessary for Any Conditions?
A. No, never. There is no specific health reason that required whitening of teeth. The discoloration can be caused due to many issues like aging, lifestyle factors, and other reasons. This condition is considered completely normal. Getting teeth whitening is a choice of an individual and medically it is considered a cosmetic solution.
Q. Can a Single Tooth (which has been root filled) be whitened?
A. Yes, it can be done. Often a dead tooth becomes discolored after a root filling. If the tooth has been treated with a root canal, the whitening product is applied from inside to whiten it.
Q. Are there any cases in which teeth whitening may not work?
A. Whitening treatment will only be helpful in lightening the existing color of the teeth. It only works on natural teeth. It will not work on veneers, dentures, and crowns. If your dentures or crowns are discolored then talk to your dentist for cleaning them or replacing them (if they are damaged completely).
Q. Is the White Color Achieved Through Teeth Whitening Permanent?
A. No, the color is not permanent. The stains will probably come back if the teeth are not properly maintained. If you smoke, consume tobacco or staining foods/drinks then the whiteness will fade very soon. If you maintain the oral hygiene properly and stay away from staining factors then the whiteness will stay for 6 – 12 months.
After this time period, you should probably get re-whitening done through a dentist or using at-home lightening solutions. You can also ask your dentist to provide a custom-made mouthpiece for whitening the teeth regularly at home. Also, ask your dentist how to maintain and which products to use for maintaining the whiteness.
Q. Does Teeth Whitening Procedure Damage the Teeth?
A. If proper instructions are followed or if the treatment is performed by a dentist then the teeth will not be damaged. However, if you overuse the whitening method and if you don’t follow the instructions properly then there is a chance of teeth damage.
Q. Is it Safe to Whiten Teeth?
A. If used properly or if you get it done by a medical professional then teeth whitening is considered safe. In the initial days, you may feel sensitivity and gum irritation which will usually diminish within 3 – 4 days.
Q. Is there a way to permanently whiten teeth?
A. Teeth whitening solutions like bleaching or other that use hydrogen peroxide don’t provide a permanent solution. Usually, the color will last for 6 – 3 years based upon how well they maintain. If you want a more permanent solution then you can try veneers. Veneers are actually thin sheets of porcelain which are attached to the natural teeth. This forms an external layer providing protection from stains and damage. Though veneers aren’t porous, dark beverages and plague will affect the shade. Usually, the color shade of the veneers will be determined at the time of placement.
Q. Is Teeth Whitening Painful?
A. No, neither the solution (used for treatment) nor the treatment method will cause any pain or discomfort. However, in the initial days (probably for 3 – 4 days) you may experience teeth sensitivity or gum irritation. But these discomforts will disappear in some time.
Q. Is laser teeth whitening safe?
A. Yes, it is safe – if it is performed in a dental office by a certified dentist. Laser whitening method is one of the most costly ways of lightening the teeth. In this process, a bleach solution is applied to each tooth, later heat generated by laser improves the color of teeth. The strong bleaching gel used by laser provides quick results. As per ADA, the bleach used in laser whitening is hydrogen peroxide gel (ranges from 25% – 40% in the concentration levels). As the concentration power is high, you have to take necessary precautions to decrease tooth sensitivity and protect the oral tissues (lips, gums, and others) from being damaged. Only a dentist is qualified and efficient enough to take these precautions and perform the procedure safely.
Q. Does teeth whitening damage your teeth?
A. No, teeth whitening method will not cause any damage to your teeth. But it is very important to follow the instructions. Because if they are not followed properly then you may experience discomforts like gum irritation, increase tooth sensitivity and others.
Q. How Often should I Whiten My Teeth?
A. If you are using over-the-counter whitening products then you have re-used it once every year. For professional teeth whitening service, a dentist will suggest the time period based on your teeth condition.
Q. What is the best treatment for whitening teeth?
A. We recommend getting it professionally done as they are experts in performing the treatment. However, if you are looking for budget-friendly options then try out take-home kits approved by dentists.
Q. Are whitening strips bad for your teeth?
A. Most of the teeth whitening strips are completely safe to use. However, if the strips have chlorine dioxide then it can damage the tooth enamel. Chlorine dioxide is an acid that is used for disinfecting the swimming pools. This can whiten the teeth but will eat away the surface (enamel) of the teeth leading to more damage.
Q. Which tooth whitening product works best?
A. If you are looking for store-bought products for teeth whitening then you can try at-home whitening devices. They are the best among for all the whitening products available in the market.
About GA Dental Clinics
If you are looking for a unique and satisfying experience then GA Dental Clinics is the right choice. They have been trusted and renowned for their quality service and best customer service. They are known for providing a multidisciplinary, integrated and compressive approach to all dental problems.
If you are still confused whether to opt for a teeth whitening service then book an appointment with GA Dental Clinics at Hyderabad. Our dentists will perform a thorough check-up and suggest you several solutions as per the requirement.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Want to know more about Teeth Whitening Treatments. Feel free to Call/book an Appointment or Chat with Dr.Gowtham