Cosmetic Dentistry  Tooth WhiteningCosmetic Dentistry Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is used to correct the discoloration of the teeth. This is done by removing the brown and yellow staining that occurs over time. There are a number of procedures that are used to correct the discoloration and they include: chemical whitening, mild acid whitening, abrasive teeth whitening and laser teeth whitening. With such a large number of alternatives available to the general public, it is now possible to re-discover that eye catching smile with confidence. Let's now look at some of the more common methods of achieving whiter teeth.

For the most part, dentists use peroxide based materials to whiten teeth. This can be done in the surgery or at home depending on what the patient desires. However, before this procedure can be done, all cavities must be filled and gums must be healthy. The in-surgery procedure uses 35% hydrogen peroxide gels combined with a very high intensity light to whiten the teeth. Once the gels are placed on the teeth, a laser or plasma arc light source activates the peroxide which then oxidizes stains on the teeth. You can expect your teeth to become approximately 4-6 shades whiter, an hour after treatment.

The at-home system is a little different but can be extremely effective. Here's what happens. You will be given the materials and instruction necessary and the dentist will makehim/herself available to answer any questions that you may have. The dentist must make molds of the mouth and then has soft mouth trays made to ensure the correct amount of gel is used. Once the patient is fitted with the trays, the dentist instructs the patient to insert a thin ribbon of gel (Carbamine peroxide gels 10-20%) into the tray. The session can last 2-3 hours although dentists recommend that the trays be worn while sleeping. Whitening of the teeth will begin to show within 1-2 weeks.

Best results seem to occur with a combination of both procedures resulting in a whitening of up to 12-15 shades. However, be aware that white fillings, porcelain crowns and bridges will not whiten to the same degree with either method.

by Greg Culver
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Greg Culver is the owner of the website: a website dedicated to providing quality information, resources and news on cosmetic dentistry.

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