What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth bleaching products brighten teeth that have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco use, age or injury. There are a variety of in-office and take-home teeth whitening products to reduce or eliminate such stains. In-office bleaching, also called chairside bleaching, takes place over a series of one-hour appointments at Dr. Garza’s Gilbert, AZ office.
Am I a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Most people are excellent candidates for professional teeth whitening. However, a thorough dental examination and consultation are conducted before we recommend a whitening procedure. This is because dental restorations like crowns, tooth-colored fillings and veneers will not whiten. Additionally, if the gums are inflamed due to gingivitis, the whitening agent may cause further irritation and unnecessary discomfort.
If your teeth are dull or yellow and you can commit to a dental exam and cleaning before whitening treatment, we would love to speak with you about the value of professional teeth whitening. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we recommend that you postpone your consultation until your journey into motherhood is complete.
Teeth Whitening Benefits
The primary benefit of professional teeth whitening is obvious: you get to feel better about your smile. However, studies suggest that this improvement leads to others. People who whiten their teeth do feel better about their smile, which means they feel better about their appearance. This increases self-confidence. Subsequently, increased confidence can have a positive effect on interpersonal relationships.
According to research findings, cosmetic enhancement of the smile such as teeth whitening can lead to greater professional and social success. Furthermore, the results of teeth whitening stimulate heightened commitment to oral care in many patients, leading to the additional benefit of better oral health.
In-Office Teeth Bleaching Process
Benefits of In-Office Teeth Whitening
Advantages of in-office teeth whitening over take-home whitening include:
- Professional supervision
- Safe and simple
- No sensitivity
Teeth Whitening Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a well-known side effect of professional teeth whitening. This stems from the higher concentration of bleaching agent in medical-grade peroxide solutions. The amount of peroxide is necessary, though, to achieve the desired outcome, which is a more radiant smile.
During teeth whitening, the applied bleaching agent reduces the invisible biofilm that protects enamel from damage. Peroxide then permeates the tiny dental tubules that exist between the pulp chamber and the outer layer of enamel. Reduction and penetration are necessary to break apart the particles of debris that have caused discoloration to occur. However, this is also the reason why tooth sensitivity may occur during or after teeth whitening.
Managing Sensitive Teeth
- Start using toothpaste for sensitive teeth before teeth whitening and continue after treatment.
- Let toothpaste sit on teeth for a few minutes to increase effectiveness.
- Take a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory before teeth whitening treatment. Use this medication as directed for the first 48 hours after teeth whitening.
- After teeth whitening, consume tepid foods that are neither hot nor cold.
- Brush and rinse with lukewarm water if sensitivity occurs.
Risks of Teeth Whitening
The risks of professional teeth whitening are minimal. Before conducting this procedure, we perform a thorough examination to ensure there are no dental conditions that may react to the bleaching agent. If Dr. Garza finds cavities, gingivitis, or gum disease during the initial examination, he will repair these problems before conducting teeth whitening.
Also, it is imperative to discuss how to handle existing visible restorations such as veneers, crowns, or bonding. Dental materials including porcelain and composite resin are not porous and therefore will not whiten. To achieve the best result from teeth whitening, it may be necessary to either color-match existing restorations or replace them to match the lighter shade of teeth.