It is inevitable that over time the porcelain-coloured enamel we were born with will become stained and lose its luster, revealing the yellow dentin that lies below. This can be a major cause of embarrassment in both personal and professional lives. Luckily, a plethora of tooth whitening options are available to address both mild and severe cases of enamel discolouration.
No matter how perfect your oral hygiene may be, staining agents will slowly change enamel’s natural colour. Through tooth whitening procedures, the stains and discolourations that have gathered will be eliminated and your teeth brightened to a natural luster.
Common causes of enamel discolouration include:
Age – While those still in their twenties may be lucky enough to have relatively white teeth, by the time most reach their forties, enough cracks and stains have gathered along our tooth enamel to cast a yellow and brown hue to them
Eating habits – Consumption of coffee, tea, carrots, red wine, soda, oranges and other sugary foods substances stain our teeth
Smoking – Nicotine easily infiltrates tooth enamel
Teeth grinding – Additional stress cracks teeth and leaves them more susceptible to future staining
If your smile is bringing down your self-confidence, tooth whitening is a viable option to consider.
There are two ways that teeth can be stained:
Surface stains, or extrinsic stains, are on the surface of your teeth and are caused by frequent exposure to staining agents
Intrinsic stains are on the inside of your teeth and form due to trauma and natural wear and tear. While more difficult to remove than surface stains, at-home bleaching kits can be effective solution
We provide our patients with three options for tooth whitening. During an initial consultation, we will discuss your cosmetic goals and determine the option which is best for you.
Tooth Whitening Options:
In-office plus tray whitening (to maintain your bright new smile)
At-home bleaching trays or in-office trays are two of the most common methods of brightening tooth enamel and we provide our patients with both options. Before proceeding, your teeth and mouth will be examined to make certain that there are no oral health problems, such as cavities or tooth sensitivity that must be first addressed.
After a thorough tooth cleaning, we take impressions of your teeth, which are used to fabricate a custom, flexible dental tray that is filled with the whitening agent. The trays are used at home and your teeth will gradually lighten. The trays are used daily until you are happy with the shade of your teeth. The efficiency and speed with which the whitening occurs depends on the concentration of the whitening solution and the length of time it’s on your teeth.
When teeth are whitened in our office, teeth are examined, checked, cleaned, your teeth are isolated, and the gums are protected with block-out material. A highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide is applied to your teeth. This method takes about an hour and a half to do the top and bottom teeth. This is not Zoom! and does not need light activation. The efficiency and speed with which whitening occurs depends on the concentration of the agent used and the amount of time the whitener stays on the tooth. In-office tooth whitening can lighten your teeth a few shades and you leave with a brighter smile.
With some patients, we may combine in-office and take-home whitening. In-office whitening can quickly lighten your teeth a few shades, however, maintaining the desired shade typically requires the use of a take-home kit.
With the numerous tooth whitening options available, there is no reason to hide a yellow smile out of embarrassment.