Teeth Whitening Serving Cincinnati, OH
How Do Teeth Get Discolored?
What is Teeth Whitening?
Many people struggle with tooth discoloration, especially if they enjoy dark beverages, foods and lifestyle habits known to cause stains, such as red wine and smoking. Professional teeth whitening, or dental bleaching, is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that brightens your smile to your desired shade. These treatments may be in-office sessions with immediate results or take-home trays fitted to your bite for gradual whitening. A combination of both options can provide extended results. Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products are available in most stores, but these often fail to deliver dramatic results.
Am I a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening technology has come a long way, but there are still limits on what it can achieve for certain classes of patients. If you were born with teeth that are naturally thin, the translucent appearance of your most visible teeth will be harder to whiten. If you were prescribed antibiotics at a very young age, or your mother took antibiotics during pregnancy, the resulting tooth stains will be resistant to whitening products. Yellow-looking teeth usually have the best results, while patients typically experience less satisfying outcomes with brown or grayish intrinsic stains.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
OTC whitening products, such as strips, trays and toothpaste, promise to brighten your teeth but often fall short. Results may be uneven because the strips and trays are not customized to your bite. The whitening agents may be too weak, causing little to no visible changes, or too powerful, leading to heightened tooth sensitivity. Professional teeth whitening ensures excellent results and safety.
Our dentists use medical-strength whitening agents to brighten teeth and take special care to protect the gums. We offer at-home whitening solutions with customized trays that won’t irritate surrounding tissues and provide consistent results because they fit your mouth.
Professional teeth whitening also offers precise results. You can choose how many shades brighter you’d like your teeth to be for a dramatic or subtle difference. People who are proud of their smiles are seen as more attractive and experience a boost in self-esteem in their work and social lives.
Types of Teeth Stains
Bright teeth give every unforgettable smile their sparkle. To truly understand how to maximize the wattage of your brilliant smile, it’s necessary to go deep — deep below the tooth surface, in fact.
That’s because discolored teeth typically get their dull, yellowish hue from the dentin below your tooth’s protective enamel. When enamel is worn away over the years, either from lifestyle choices, dietary picks or the genetics you inherited, the dentin begins to show through, and it’s not the dazzling white color you prefer. This type of discoloration is called an intrinsic stain.
Extrinsic stains, by contrast, are on the tooth surface, and are the type you hear most about in advertising from over-the-counter products. Toothpastes, whitening strips, rinses and retail home whitening kits focus on removing surface stains. Although this approach can slightly whiten your smile, it does nothing to improve the deeper stains below the surface. That’s why you need a professional medical solution, the kind offered at Pearce Dental Group.
While surface stains can be partially treated by various retail products, stains can also be avoided by many of the choices you make. Coffee, tea, red wine, smoking, vividly colored fruits or vegetables and even some curries can stain your teeth. Acids and sugars in food can also wear away the enamel. This includes sodas, vinegar and some juices.
Teeth Whitening Consultation at Pearce Dental Group
We can discuss your teeth whitening options during your regular dental exam, or you may schedule an appointment to go over the details. In-office dental bleaching can whiten your teeth several shades in an hour or less, and customized trays are created using a mold of your teeth for at-home treatments. Make sure you ask all your teeth whitening questions at your consultation and choose the option that best fits your lifestyle and smile goals.
Teeth Whitening Options and Procedure
Dr. Pearce can guide you in choosing among several effective professional-grade whitening treatments, ranging from in-office procedures to home whitening kits that are ideal for touch-ups. The process starts with creation of a customized tray that will be filled with a special gel that contains high concentrations of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These ingredients can make your teeth several shades whiter in a short period of time, in some cases less than a hour in the dentist’s chair. Home kits, some of which feature pre-filled mouth trays, allow you to benefit from this technology by wearing your mouth tray overnight over a period of weeks.
Because these whitening products are medical strength, it is important to have a dentist guiding your treatment. Used inappropriately, the active ingredient can irritate the gums and temporarily boost sensitivity. Dr. Pearce will ensure the gel is precisely targeted, and that your treatment plan is customized to fit your goals and expectations.
Some gel products also contain fluoride, to strengthen teeth, and potassium nitrate, a chemical that provides a powerful defense against tooth and gum sensitivity.
Risks and Safety Information
Teeth whitening is a safe way to improve tooth discoloration. The most common side effects are mild gum irritation and increased tooth sensitivity. The length of treatment, the composition of the whitening agent and its strength can heighten these risks. However, the best way to avoid unfavorable side effects of teeth whitening is to seek out a dentist for professional treatment customized to your needs.
Tooth sensitivity after dental bleaching is often temporary, and gum irritation or inflammation typically goes away several days after treatment.
Teeth Whitening Recovery
No recovery is needed after professional teeth whitening, and no follow-up appointments are required. You may experience heightened tooth sensitivity for the first 48 hours after dental bleaching and mild tooth pains.
Teeth Whitening Results
Teeth whitening results depend on your treatment at Pearce Dental Group in Cincinnati. In-office dental bleaching provides immediate results so you can enjoy a brighter smile when you walk out of our office. At-home teeth whitening treatments with customized trays provide more gradual results over several weeks and may be used after in-office whitening to touch-up results.
Depending on dental hygiene and lifestyle habits, teeth whitening results can last a year or longer. It’s best to avoid foods and beverages known to stain teeth, such as tea, red wine and tomato-based sauces.
Cost of Teeth Whitening Treatments
In-office dental bleaching is more costly than OTC brands and kits. However, professional treatments provide dramatic results and help you reach your desired brightness with even whitening that protects your teeth and gums. Our dentists or patient coordinators will discuss the cost of teeth whitening at Pearce Dental Group and go over your financing options so you can achieve your dream smile.
Teeth Whitening Alternatives
Severe tooth discoloration may not respond to dental bleaching, and aggressive teeth whitening may increase the risk of sensitivity and gum issues. In these cases, porcelain veneers are an alternative cosmetic dentistry option. Porcelain veneers are thin shells bonded to the front of one or more teeth to cover tooth flaws such as discoloration and tooth chips and cracks. Teeth whitening and porcelain veneers may be combined to reach your desired brightness because the shells are customized to your chosen shade to match the adjacent teeth. Dental crowns are another teeth whitening alternative.
Schedule a Teeth Whitening Consultation
To learn more about teeth whitening options, schedule an appointmentwith experienced southwestern Ohio dentist Dr. Troy Pearce by contacting his Cincinnati office today.