Teeth whitening is one of the most sought-after cosmetic dental procedures in Sacramento, CA. It is easy to understand why – teeth lose their pearly white color with time. It can be due to a number of reasons; your teeth can start to yellow because of drinking too much coffee, smoking, or even due to age. Chemicals or lasers are used to whiten teeth. The procedure is not for everyone though; if you have veneers or any other dental procedure where bonding glue was used, you cannot whiten your teeth. There are different teeth whitening procedures that you can choose from:
Our Sacramento, CA dentists can choose to whiten your teeth using a teeth whitening tray. They will place a whitening gel that contains an active ingredient, carbamide peroxide, over your teeth. As the chemical breaks down, oxygen is released into the enamel, making it whiter. To make sure that your teeth are whitened properly, the dentist creates the tray based on a mold of your teeth. You will need several visits to the dentist to get your teeth whitened properly. In addition to that, your dentist will have you choose the shade that you want your teeth to be. Be careful – if you make them too white, they will not look right for your face. It is important to note that using this procedure to whiten teeth too often will eventually lead to gum recession and gum disease.
If you want to save some money and whiten your teeth, you can find teeth whitening trays and strips in pharmacies and even online. That said, you should be very careful when using such products. There is no guarantee that they are not harmful to your teeth and gums, and there is also no way of knowing whether they will be effective in whitening your teeth.
You can also choose to have your teeth whitened using lasers – it is more expensive, but it is faster. Your dentist will apply a 35% hydrogen peroxide solution on your teeth and then shine laser lights on them. The active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, is the one that whitens your teeth – the lasers just make the procedure faster. There have been no studies to definitively say whether laser teeth whitening is safer than tray teeth whitening.
It all depends on how discolored your teeth are, how you choose to whiten your teeth, and also the concentration of hydrogen peroxide that your dentist uses. If your teeth are very discolored, it takes a longer time to whiten them. If, however, they are only mildly discolored and you choose to use teeth whitening trays, it can take about two weeks to get them pearly once more. As we mentioned earlier, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide also matters. You can choose to whiten your teeth with a gel that is 16% hydrogen peroxide solution – it takes a longer time to get your teeth, but on the plus side, your teeth suffer less sensitivity. If you choose to use a 22% gel, it will take a shorter time, but you will have higher teeth sensitivity.
As we have just mentioned, whitening your teeth leads to increased sensitivity. This happens because the process of whitening exposes your dentin. If you already have sensitive teeth, you should talk to your dentist about how you can reduce sensitivity after whitening. There are also special toothpastes that are designed for sensitive teeth. Here are other side effects that you should look out for:
This often happens when you use a teeth whitening tray. The area that has been exposed to the teeth whitening chemical will turn white right afterward, and you will feel a little pain. Do not be alarmed – it all goes back to normal in a very short time. That said, it is always better to go to a Sacramento, CA dentist rather than do teeth whitening at home – they know what to do in case you suffer chemical exposure.
If your teeth are very heavily discolored, teeth whitening may not help them at all – the stains are too deep in the enamel. If this happens, you may want to consider some other form of treatment such as veneers.
If you bleach your teeth too often, they will get an undesirable grayish, translucent tint.
Teeth whitening is a good way to get a sunnier smile, but you want to get the best results, it is better to have your Sacramento, CA dentist do it.