Beautiful white teeth gives a great smile and enhances confidence and personality in general. Good dental care with regular dental cleaning and whitening can give you a well groomed and smart appearance.
At Beverly Heights Dental, we adopt a perfectionist approach by combining detailed professional teeth whitening with full and thorough oral cleaning to give you outstanding clean and white teeth.
During the consultation, we will provide you with all options including both laser-whitening and convenient home-whitening options and will also educate you on how to keep your teeth bright and stain free.
Professional-strength whitening systems like Opalescence, Zoom, BriteSmile, LaserSmile, LumaCool and others. They often use 25-40% (sometimes less, sometimes more) concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (much higher that those found in at-home systems, which usually have 3-10% concentrations).
However, the system used is not as important as the dentist himself. Moreover, there really has been no studies done showing one to be intrinsically better than others; any mentioning of it may be just a marketing ploy.
Teeth whitening is not about the product alone and a good dental practitioner can make a significant difference to the end result. A good dental practitioner is one who is enthusiastic about trying different whitening products and becomes very familiar with lot of them and also pays attention to detail during the bleaching treatment. Experience matters here as it teaches the practitioner why certain treatments did not give as good results with certain patients with specific conditions. All this ensures great long lasting results.
There are many products that may be used by the dentist, but in general the process of professional teeth whitening may be broken down into several steps:
To properly judge the teeth and their likely result, a shade guide is used. The patient could state their shade preference and the dentist can also make recommendations. These guides resemble teeth and are in various shades from white to yellow. A photo of the teeth may also be taken, to better judge the course of action.
Potential obstacles to the procedure are carefully evaluated. If there are cavities, they will have to be treated before being whitened. This is because the whitening products can seep into these cavities and affect the inside of the tooth.
There could be receding gums which would make the exposed roots of the teeth look yellow or discolored, or make the teeth sensitive if these teeth were whitened. Similarly, tooth decay can also result in very sensitive teeth if whitened. If there are crowns or veneers on the teeth then certain whitening systems will not work as well on them.
Additionally, a teeth that have had a root canal presents special problems. This is because the tooth no longer has a live nerve, and that discoloration could be originating from the inside of the tooth (as opposed to stains, plaque and tartar on the surface of the enamel). In such cases (called non-vital whitening), the whitening agent will be placed within the tooth, and a temporary filling will be placed over it, and left in this way for several days. This procedure sometimes needs to be repeated until the desired shade is achieved.
A thorough oral cleaning primes the teeth for the whitening and polishing process. This ensures that your teeth is as clean as it looks and is done to remove food, bacteria, tartar, plaque and other substances from the teet. It makes for better whitening results and also keeps the whitening for longer.
At the session for whitening the teeth, a polishing paste (sometimes containing pumice) will be used to buff the teeth, just as 5-star hotels use buffers to keep their floors clean and shiny.
Because of the caustic nature of the materials involved, the more sensitive areas of the mouth need to be covered and protected. This is done by the use of something called dams and there are two kinds.
The first option is a rubber dam. This is a thin sheet of latex which allows the teeth to come through while covering gums, cheeks and other areas. It is akin to a fingerless glove in which the fingers are exposed but the palm and back of the hand are covered.
The other option is to use a paint-on dam. A gel that is applied to the tooth, and a blue curing-light is shone on it until it hardens, preventing the whitening solution from seeping elsewhere. When this is used, cheek retractors which gently keep the lips and cheeks out of the way, or gauze and cotton rolls which further assist in keeping soft tissues out of the way and protecting them from the whitener, are used.
After the whitening procedure is done, these are removed and the paint-on dam is peeled off. The patient is further protected by the use of a bib and eye protection. When the bib and eye protection are worn, there is no need to become anxious. It is simply a part of taking all precautions even in a straightforward and simple procedure like teeth whitening
There are many whitening systems used by dentists. They do share many of the same characteristics. Some come separated as two individual components. These are combined at the time of use to ensure maximum freshness and effectiveness.
Others come pre-mixed and are usually stored in a refrigerator. They are usually at a neutral pH (much like drinking water, although, of course, you should not drink the whitening agent) because if the whitening agent was too acidic then mineralized tissue of enamel could be damaged over time.
The agent, usually containing hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth. With products such as BriteSmile, Zoom!, LaserSmile, LumaCool, Lumibrite and Beyond, a bleaching light (such as an LED–light-emitting diode–Biolase laser, plasma arc light, or halogen light) is needed.
Using others such as Opalescence Boost, Niveous, Lumibrite and NUPRO White Gold, it is not used. The latter are generally the types that are mixed just before application as there is then a chemical activation. The former do not have the chemical activation and need to be activated by light. Which activation is better? There have been no studies done to compare and contrast them but many dentists do consider light curing as more effective and definite.
Once the best shade has been achieved, the teeth are rinsed with water and fluoride or potassium nitrate may be applied. As with many other dental procedures, there can be an increased sensitivity of the teeth in teeth whitening. These products help minimize that, and these are sometimes incorporated into the teeth-whitening system itself.
You will be advised not to consume coffee, tomato sauce or juice, red wine and other food and drink items that have a great ability to stain the teeth for 24 hours, giving time for the enamel pores to close and prevent re-staining.