Regardless of how well you maintain good oral hygiene, some yellowing or discoloration of teeth will occur over the years.
Extrinsic stains, or stains on the outer surfaces of the teeth, can usually be removed by regular prophylaxis or professional tooth cleaning. However, Intrinsic stains, which are stains within the tooth itself, must be removed through whitening or bleaching.
Even if you have excellent oral hygiene, intrinsic stains can appear in your teeth due to factors such as age (some yellowing or discoloration will occur), diet (coffee, soft drinks, tea), tobacco use, excessive fluoride intake, the use of some antibiotics (such as tetracyclines), or damage into the nerve of the tooth.
Drs. Hawkins utilize two different methods, a take-home application or in-office treatment for creating whiter teeth.
In office/take home
During your dental visit, we take an impression (mold) of your teeth and fabricate a custom-fitted bleaching tray. The mouth tray holds a mild solution of carbamide peroxide for whitening. The mouth tray is placed inside the mouth and sits only against the teeth, avoiding contact with the gums. Patients can choose to wear the mouth tray throughout the night or during the day for a period of 2 to 4 hours. The total time for this procedure depends on the results desired, and ranges between 40 and 50 hours. Results may vary depending of the color of your teeth.
Is important to be evaluated by your dentist before whitening your teeth to avoid sensitivity after this procedure. It may be necessary to replace old fillings before a whitening treatment. Porcelain and tooth-colored fillings do not bleach, so you may want to replace them after bleaching your teeth in order to improve aesthetics.
Bleaching may cause sensitive teeth, so your dentist can change the concentration of the bleaching solution or administer fluoride.
In-office whitening or One hour bleaching
Our patients choose this method for the convenience of the time, with visible results in just one hour. This whitening method begins with application of a material that isolates and protects the gums from contact with the bleaching gel. Then, a high concentration of bleaching solution is applied over the surface of the teeth and this gel is activated with a Plasma Arc Light for a period of one hour. Finally, the solution is removed by rinsing thoroughly.
People commonly ask how white teeth can become from a bleaching procedure. Some whitening procedures claim they can whiten your teeth by up to nine shades, but the results are often subjective. But a change of just two or three shades will make a significant difference in anyone’s smile. Not all your teeth are the same natural color. Usually the cuspids (eye teeth) tend to be darker than the others, the front teeth are usually the whitest, and the molars tend to be a shade between the two. How white teeth will become varies from person to person. The structure of your teeth and the type of procedure implemented will affect the outcome.