Many people suffer from dental discoloration to varying degrees. Even those who brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly may find that food, environmental factors, and the passage of time will eventually take their toll on the natural radiance of their teeth.
Professional cleaning, air polishing or teeth whitening can be an effective way to lighten or eliminate stains and achieve a white smile.
There are many over-the-counter products to choose from however Dr. Dirk recommends that professional, dentist-supervised treatments are safer and offer more dependable results.
Results vary depending on your dental health and the treatment you choose. However, the vast majority of patients are satisfied with the outcome.
Side effects are rare and mild, and the treatment is convenient and non-invasive. Following a professional whitening regimen, you could enjoy a dramatically improved smile and a huge boost of self-confidence.
Candidates for teeth whitening typically have mild to moderate discoloration but there are certain factors that may preclude patients from being good candidates for treatment. These include:
- Patients with fabrications or restorations on the front facing teeth (such as porcelain veneers, dental crowns, or dental bonding) unlike natural teeth, restorative material does not respond to bleaching agents. Typically, if these patients choose teeth whitening, they will also need to replace any restorations. The new crowns or veneers will then match the enhanced colour of their smile.
- Patients with intrinsic stains: Intrinsic stains are gray discolorations, white spots on the teeth, or discoloration that results from a “dead” tooth. These stains affect the underlying layers of the tooth. In general teeth whitening is most effective on extrinsic stains (the yellow or brown stains) that affect the outer enamel.
- Patients with extreme tooth sensitivity or worn enamel: Whitening may exacerbate these conditions.
- Patients with bruxism or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD): Whitening trays may worsen these conditions.