Teeth Whitening

Dentist in Warren, NJ

Teeth Whitening

A teeth whitening procedure or bleaching simply refers to any process that will make the teeth  appear whiter. It is considered a non-invasive procedure that is  designed to whiten and brighten teeth that are stained, discolored,  darkened, or yellowed. First introduced to the public in the 1980’s, the  popularity of teeth whitening products and procedures has soared.  According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic  Dentistry, when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve  most about your smile?” The most common response was: whiter and  brighter teeth.

How white can I get my teeth with teeth whitening?

How white a  tooth appears depends upon how light is reflected and scattered off the  enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth. Teeth can look dark or  discolored for a variety of reasons, with an imperfect appearance the  result of outer surface stains or discoloration from within the tooth.  While external tooth stains are typically due to certain foods and  tobacco, internal tooth discoloration is mainly the result of hereditary  factors, certain medications, tooth decay,  restorations, or trauma. Additionally, the aging process can influence  the color of a tooth. This is because over time the outer layer of  enamel becomes thinner showing more yellowish tones from the underlying  layer of dentin.

What are the advantages of a professional teeth whitening procedure performed by a dentist?

Although over  the counter teeth whitening systems purchased in stores or online have  become popular, there are health concerns and limitations with these  products. If the manufacturers protocol is not correctly followed,  certain products can damage the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth, and  may not deliver the results as promised. Teeth whitening systems  contain varying concentration of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide  peroxide, which act as the bleaching agents. When sensitive teeth,  exposed roots, cavities,  broken fillings, cracked teeth, or loose dental work are present, a  teeth whitening procedure may be contraindicated. Also, since whitening  systems do not have an effect on the color of dental fillings, crowns or bridges the presence of restorations is an important cosmetic consideration in treatment planning.

In general,  individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best to teeth  whitening procedures. Brown and grayish tinted teeth bleach respond less  well and may require significantly longer dentist supervised tooth  whitening regimens or alternative cosmetic treatments. Finally, teeth whitening may not be recommended in the presence of sensitive teeth, worn enamel and significant gum disease.

As a rule the  healthiest and most effective methods of teeth whitening are the ones  managed and supervised by the dentist. An in-office teeth whitening  procedure as performed by the dentist is the most reliable and safest  way to get the maximum results quickly. In as little as one hour a  prescription-strength, in-office whitening procedure can dramatically  whiten and brighten the natural teeth by several shades, while the  surrounding tissues and any sensitive areas of the teeth are carefully  isolated and protected from the bleaching agents.

A home whitening system from the dentist along with custom trays that have been fitted to the  teeth is also an excellent option. Custom trays keep the bleaching agent  in maximum contact with the teeth and away from the other areas of the  mouth. With a take-home teeth whitening system, maximum results are less  rapid than an in office procedure and are typically achieved over a  longer period of time. A home whitening system can be used by itself or  as recommended by the dentist as a follow up to an in office procedure  in order to perfect or maintain the results.