At our clinic here at Star City Dental, we have found that teeth whitening is the most sought-after cosmetic dental procedure. Having a white bright smile is the aspiration of many, but can be difficult to achieve naturally. Given the variety of foods and drinks that we consume that can stain teeth and contribute towards plaque deposits, it is an uphill task to try to keep teeth white.
There are different ways you can pursue whitening, but the most effective is the professional route. Let us look at the options available to you.
Teeth Whitening Options
The most accessible and cheapest option is over the counter treatment. You will have certainly seen advertisements for a variety of whitening toothpastes and gels. These products tend to target surface stains and use abrasive ingredients and the chemical blue covarine to brighten your smile. You can also get whitening strips at most drug stores that may contain a small amount of hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent. The concentration may vary from product to product.
The second option is at-home treatments provided by our dentist. We can make you custom fit trays that fit snugly over your teeth. You will be advised on how to use them together with a provided whitening gel. The gel is applied to the interior of the tray, which you then wear over your teeth for between half an hour to an hour per day. It can take several weeks before the desired results are achieved.
Professional in-office treatments offer the quickest and most evident results. Your teeth can improve by as much as six shades with a single application. Although it is the most expensive option, this treatment is also the most long-lasting as it treats both surface and intrinsic stains. We may also recommend it if you are suffering other oral health issues like receding gumlines.
Once you have been examined and our dentist gives the go-ahead, a rubber dam is placed over the gums to protect them. We will then apply a whitening product to your teeth using a custom fit tray. This product will have either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active bleaching agent. We then use a laser light to activate the whitening agent. Depending on the severity of the staining, you may need to return for a few more sessions, or we will send you home with a customized kit.
Types of Tooth Stains
Surface stains refer to discoloration that occurs on a tooth’s enamel. Teeth enamel contains pores that can carry stains. When you smoke, drink dark liquids like coffee and wine, and fail to practice good oral hygiene, these colors can adhere to the enamel, causing surface stains. They most commonly present as yellowing or brown stains.
Intrinsic stains come from within the tooth. They can be caused by certain medications, too much exposure to fluoride as a child, aging, and even trauma. Over-the-counter products can work on surface stains, but only professional treatments offer a chance to improve on both surface and intrinsic stains.
To get the best possible teeth whitening results book an appointment with us today. Call Star City Dental at (402) 858-0525 to find out your options to achieve the perfect white smile.