How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening is done through the chemical cleaning of the teeth. There are various treatments that can be purchased or we can provide a prescription strength treatment through our office with both in office treatment and customized take-home kits. Our staff at Myers Dental can review the status of your teeth and discuss the various treatments, along with their effectiveness, with you. Many patients will find significant success with whitening options, some patients may find that they require a different route, we are happy to explore this with you.
Are the Stains Extrinsic?
Extrinsic stains are the most common dental stains, they are external and come from normal use. Extrinsic stains accumulate from the consumption of foods and beverages or the use of tobacco products. Our teeth are exposed to so many stain causing elements, from the acid in tomato-based sauces or soy sauces, from berries, the tannic acid in sodas, coffee, tea, and more. Teeth can look worn and dingy pretty quickly. These stains are removable. We can perform a chemical treatment using carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth. These chemicals are also found in store-bought products but in a much less dosage level than we can prescribe.
Some stains can not be removed. These are known as intrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains are the discoloration of the inner dentin portion of the tooth. This can occur from certain medications that you are taking, from over fluoridation as a child, or just genetically having darker dentin. We can not alter the color of your dentin. For patients with intrinsic stains, we can discuss other options including dental veneers.
Dentist Prescribed Teeth Whitening
Working with our staff, we have two options for whitening your teeth; we can whiten in our office, or with a take-home kit.
Having your teeth whitened in our office is the fastest and most controlled option. We can prescribe a high level of hydrogen peroxide, giving the fast patient results under our watchful eye. This level of peroxide can cause chemical burns to your soft tissue, so we are close at hand. We apply the peroxide gel and then use pulses of laser to instantly activate the gel. Treatment is completed about one hour, and the results are perfectly white and bright teeth.
Prescribed At Home Kits
We can prescribe a lower level of peroxide gel to be used in a tray that we customize to fit your mouth. This allows the patient to have control over when they want to whiten and how much they want to whiten. It puts the control in your hands.
Store Bought Whitening Products
There are some store whitening products available; they will vary vastly in what they do and how they do it. Store bought products do generally work, though they will require more applications and longer time. We are happy to provide our opinions on products based on the active ingredient.