Find Out if Tooth Whitening is Right for You
By : Dr. Samson Lee, D.D.S.
No matter how well or how often you brush and floss your teeth, you can still develop stains over time. There are two kinds of tooth discolouration, both of which eventually take their toll if you don’t get suitable professional treatment. Teeth whitening helps Scarborough patients present their best and whitest smile.
Causes of Stained Teeth
Intrinsic tooth stains develop inside the tooth enamel on the dentin, which is the hard layer of material that lies beneath the enamel. Common causes of these stains include:
- The use of medications such as tetracycline antibiotics, either during childhood or during your mother’s pregnancy.
- Oral trauma that caused internal bleeding or killed the roots of the tooth.
- Natural discoloration of the dentin as your tooth ages.
- Overexposure to fluoride during childhood.
Extrinsic or external tooth stains are typically caused by drinking tea, coffee, and other beverages, smoking, age, or the development of plaque and tartar.
Teeth Cleaning vs. Whitening
It’s essential for patients to understand the difference between a professional dental cleaning and a tooth whitening, and to get a dentist’s recommendation on the best treatment for your situation. Teeth cleaning is important for the ongoing health of your teeth and gums, whereas teeth whitening procedures are purely cosmetic.
Most people need to have regular teeth cleaning throughout their lives. While the procedure eliminates plaque accumulation and helps you avoid gum disease, it doesn’t necessarily leave teeth sparkling white. In our Scarborough office, teeth whitening is done using high-quality products to bleach the teeth to ensure that all discolouration is eliminated.
Eligibility for Teeth Whitening
The ideal candidate for teeth whitening has healthy teeth with a yellow tone, which responds well to the whitening process. Patients should be over 16 years of age and free from fillings, restorations like dental veneers, implants, bridges, or crowns. The reason for this is that restorations are not affected by the whitening process. If these were matched to your natural teeth during placement, they might no longer match after you whiten the stained teeth.
Anyone with gum disease or infection, tooth decay, cavities, or exposed roots should discuss their situation with our dentists before scheduling a teeth whitening procedure. If you have particularly sensitive teeth or are allergic to peroxide and other bleaching agents, you might be better suited to another type of cosmetic dentistry.
What Result to Expect
Teeth whitening in Scarborough delivers excellent results for patients who fit the eligibility criteria. You can see the full effects of a professional whitening after 24 hours have elapsed, and the procedure is most effective on extrinsic or surface stains. Deeper, intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove, and whitening may not be able to address them all. For these types of stains, you might want to consider porcelain veneers or dental bonding. The effects of your teeth whitening will last longer if you continue practicing good oral hygiene habits.
If you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening, our Scarborough office will be pleased to schedule an appointment for you. Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to book your whitening procedure today.