What is teeth whitening?
A rapid way of improving your appearance is a bright, white smile. Teeth whitening is a dental treatment applied and controlled by a professional in order to seek whitening of the teeth by using a gel. The active agents of the gel, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide are safe to apply under professional supervision.
Do the products sold over the counter work as well?
Teeth whitening has become very popular in recent times, leading lead to a massive growth of commercial “products” highly advertised and with direct sales in shopping centers.
This bit of a fashion has caused users to take action without a professional supervision, often leading to failed results even jeopardizing the user’s health.
Dr. Vargas recommendation for teeth bleaching starts with professional diagnosis to rule out conditions. These conditions not necessarily hurt the patient so are overlooked: gum disease, tooth decay, maladjusted restorations, nerve tooth problems and even oral cancer.
What is the importance of supervision from a dentist?
Nowadays, it is more frequent to find patients with eroded teeth caused by acid diets due for example for excessive consumption of sodas, citrus beverages and alcohol.
Patients with gastro-esophageal reflux deposited in oral cavity cause problems in the teeth enamel. Bulimia and anorexia, now more common conditions, also can damage the teeth.
Similarly, in cases where the person has a single gray tooth, can be because of a bad condition in the nerve. Therefore diagnosed and treated differently than simply whitening.
Further consideration for teeth whitening products is the caustic effect it can have in the mouth’s soft tissues. Unknown effects relative to oral cancer may be difficult to identify from unsupervised use. Should a patient have some lesion, integral diagnosis must be made prior treatment.
Is this safe and succesfull treatment?
Yes, teeth whitening is safe and its success depends on the correct diagnosis made by the practitioner. Dr. Vargas carefully diagnose and establishes a treatment plan to correct the different pigmentations of the teeth.
Where do the stains start?
As stated, correct diagnosis is necessary for the right treatment. Stains can be because of inner causes of the tooth or an external factor. External factors such as smoking and consuming drinks such as tea, coffee, wine, sodas with artificial coloring; in most occasions respond easily to a whitening session. Inner causes affecting the optical properties of the tooth enamel and dentine regarding absorption or refraction of light. Usually those stains are acquired during the stages of tooth formation, as seen in cases of tetracycline stains intake, amelogenesis and dentinogenesis imperfecta, enamel hypoplasia, fluorosis, erythroblastosis fetalis. On these occasions teeth whitening treatment is specific and most likely will require special procedures.Other colorations are the ones associated with tooth aging. Then, more secondary dentin and enamel thickness decreases, affecting tooth translucency and color perception. The combination of thinner enamel and an even more opaque dentin creates a darker aspect. Thus, a professional must determine the cause and apply the appropriate treatment.
What treatments are available?
Whitening involves applying a gel on the front of the teeth. This gel, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide usually, penetrate the enamel reaching the tooth dentin which is what gives color. Once there decomposes the dark pigments to bleach the tooth. There are two methods of this gel application. At the dental office in controlled cycles of 15 to 20 minutes up to about one hour. The second method also controlled by a professional but at home application by user. Tailored to the patient’s teeth, trays are made to use with gel according to specifics given by the doctor. This will be applied by user subsequently supervised and attend appointments corresponding to control.
Is teeth whitening painful?
Not directly. However, dental bleaching tends in most cases, as a side effect, to tooth sensitivity. This can be mild to moderate, giving intermittent feeling of discomfort in different teeth. Dr. Vargas promotes an individualized treatment, thereby reducing and controlling this sensitivity.
How long does the whitening effect last?
As with any other dental procedure, whitening depends on the user’s care of teeth, eating and cleaning habits. Avoiding artificial colored food/drink such as sodas, coffee, red wine, tea and so on will help lengthen the whitening results. Under professional supervision tailor made trays could remain in use by patient.