Teeth whitening is a very popular and effective treatment in cosmetic dentistry. It can be used to correct a wide range of stains and discoloration. However, whitening does not work for all types of tooth staining. To determine if whitening will work for your teeth, consult your dentist.
How Teeth Whitening Works
During a teeth whitening procedure, your dentist paints your teeth with a professional-strength bleaching agent. This bleaching agent works to remove stains from the surfaces of your teeth. Typically, your dentist applies the whitener and lets it sit for about twenty minutes, then removes it and applies it again. A tooth whitening treatment usually involves three applications, and thus takes about an hour to complete. You might also benefit from teeth whitening such as Philips Zoom! Nite White, which whitens your teeth overnight.
Teeth whitening works best when the staining is on the surfaces of your teeth. This is called extrinsic staining. Surface staining generally responds very well to whitening treatment. Other types of staining, however, may have to be addressed with a different cosmetic treatment such as veneers.
Causes Of Discoloration in the Teeth
The most common type of staining is extrinsic staining, which affects the surfaces of the teeth. This type of staining usually occurs as a result of exposure to dark-colored fruits and vegetables, dark beverages such as coffee and tea, or habitual nicotine use. A teeth whitener can effectively remove these surface stains, making your teeth bright and white again.
However, some teeth suffer from discoloration that is actually a part of the tooth, affecting the tooth’s deeper layers, called intrinsic discoloration. Usually, intrinsic discoloration occurs because of exposure to fluoride or to certain types of antibiotics while the teeth are developing.
Because the deeper layers of the tooth are affected, teeth whitening generally does not produce good results with this type of staining. If your teeth are affected by intrinsic staining, the best treatment to restore their natural color might be dental veneers or another treatment recommended by our cosmetic dentist.
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