Teeth whitening is the practice of using certain substances, such as hydrogen peroxide, to brighten the color of a patient's teeth. Professional teeth whitening treatments can help people enjoy better results than at-home kits for a whiter and brighter smile, and with fewer side effects as well. How long the treatment lasts depends on a…
Understanding Professional Teeth Whitening
If you have been dissatisfied with the shade of your smile for some time, it may be time to consider professional teeth whitening. Though there are many tooth whiteners available over the counter, procedures performed or supplied by a dentist typically work faster and have longer-lasting results.
Professional teeth whitening options
There is a lot of demand for professional teeth whitening that can be completed using one of several alternatives containing a chemical compound to bleach the teeth. Here is a description of the teeth bleaching processes available through the care of a dentist.
To change the color of your teeth, a chemical reaction that alters the color of the teeth is necessary. Most teeth whitening products contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide concentration varies from one option to another. The bleaching effect occurs when the hydrogen peroxide generates reactive oxygen molecules that then interact with the enamel.
Deciding which method to use
Meeting with your dentist to determine which teeth whitening method is appropriate for you is always wise. Your oral health care professional can tell you whether your teeth are healthy enough to withstand a bleaching treatment. Your dentist will look into the cause of discoloration, allergies, and any history of tooth sensitivity.
Teeth whitening treatments available through dental offices include trays and gels. There are trays available for purchase to be used by the patient at home in addition to trays that are utilized in-office. Treatments offered in-office may involve the use of light. Some methods involve light because it accelerates the bleaching and may enhance the results.
Another teeth whitening method used in dental offices is referred to as power bleaching. This treatment entails the use of concentrated hydrogen peroxide solutions mixed with water. Dentists may apply light activation with this process, which is normally applied to the teeth for as long as 30 minutes.
Another professional teeth whitening option is at-home trays. These are purchased in the office to be used by the patient in the comfort of their own home. However, these at-home alternatives are ineligible for the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance. These products entail a whitening gel that the patient places in a tray.
The trays differ from those available over the counter in that they are custom-fit to the individual's mouth. They are developed in the dental office to be comfortable and minimize the potential for the bleaching agent to come into contact with the user's gums. The peroxide concentration in these products is normally between 10% and 38%. Your dentist can assist you in developing a bleaching plan for you in your home. Follow the instructions given by your oral health care provider carefully to avoid any dental issues such as tooth sensitivity.
Teeth whitening complications
It is important to consider professional teeth whitening for safety reasons. While it does provide a better, more lasting result than what is achieved through an at-home kit, it also ensures that any problems that occur can be quickly addressed by a dental professional. There are a few side effects that could happen after teeth whitening.
It is normal for your teeth to experience extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods after the whitening procedure is done. This often subsides in a day or two, but using toothpaste for sensitive teeth can also help with this side effect. If your teeth are naturally sensitive, you may experience some pain or discomfort when the bleaching agent is first applied to the teeth. If this happens, tell the dentists right away so they can address your discomfort.
Irritation or inflammtion
After a whitening procedure, you may feel sensations that resemble light electrical shocks in your teeth. Although this could be a side effect of the chemical solution used to bleach the teeth, take notes of where these tingles occur and how often. You will want to share this information with your dentist during your follow-up visit, but if these sensations are excessive, you should call the office and find out what to do next.
It is also possible for inflammation to occur near the pulp of your teeth. While dentists take great care to ensure the teeth are not compromised before administering the solution, the bleaching agent could leak between cracks or breakage and cause pain.
There are multiple professional teeth whitening products available for purchase. If you feel your teeth have dulled in recent years, one of these treatments may be a good option to bring the radiance back into your grin.
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