While tooth whitening doesn’t necessarily offer dental health benefits, it does make a big difference in the appearance of your smile. Sometimes teeth that are stained, yellowed, or discolored in any way can cause you to look older and feel less attractive. Regardless of how careful you are about your dental care, staining can become a problem. Tooth whitening is a cosmetic procedure which can address these issues and make you feel confident about your smile again.
Teeth can become stained for several reasons including aging. With age, the outer layer of the enamel grows thinner from normal wear. This causes the underlayer of a yellowish substance called dentin to show through. Other causes of staining include drinks such as the compounds in tea, coffee, and red wine called chromogens. Excessive tobacco in any form will also cause staining as well as certain medications.
Most tooth whitening products contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. This is a formula of bleach which lightens stains within the teeth. At-home whitening products can be purchased in toothpaste, gels, and strips. It should be noted that these products will only remove surface stains. Professional whitening from a dentist uses stronger concentrations of whitening agents which are usually much more effective. Sometimes lasers or special lights can be used to boost the effects of whitening.
When done by a professional, tooth whitening is very safe. However, there are some instances when the whitener gel gets through the outer layer of enamel into the dentin. This may cause increased tooth sensitivity. If you use at-home whiteners too frequently, this can damage the gums or tooth enamel. Bleaching treatments don't work for all conditions. While yellowed teeth respond well to bleaching, others like gray tones are less likely to be affected. Deep staining from medications or injuries may not respond to whitening treatments. Other dental procedures such as implants, crowns, and veneers should be done before you have your teeth whitened.
At Totowa Dental Center, we strive to make every service achievable and affordable for all patients. We only accept PPO plans. Along with our accepted insurance, Totowa Dental Center accepts Care Credit and Lending Club. For more information about our insurance policies or payment methods, please call our office.
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