Teeth whitening is a practice of lightening the discoloration of the teeth’s enamel or dentin. Teeth can become darkened as a result of both extrinsic staining–a buildup of surface stains which covers the tooth’s natural color–and intrinsic staining, where the tooth itself becomes discolored from the inside out.
Causes of extrinsic staining include:
Causes of intrinsic staining include:
Age can cause both extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Fortunately, advances in tooth whitening have made it possible to improve and remove these stains in order to restore a brighter and whiter smile.
Whitening processes can be used to both restore natural tooth shade and to whiten beyond natural tooth shade, depending on the treatment method that is utilized. There are many different techniques and approaches to this common dental procedure, most of which are used nationwide in dental offices today. Dr. Plumb is the dentist St. George, Utah patients trust with all of their professional dentistry services and teeth whitening needs.
This depends on the individual’s needs and the chosen service. At Plumb Dental, we offer many bleach and non-bleach-containing whitening options, including our in-office bleaching process, Zoom!, which produces an immediate transformation. We also offer take-home kits and other at-home methods, which produce results gradually over time.
Upon examination, Dr. Plumb will help determine which whitening method is best for you. When restoration of natural color is the desired effect, results can oftentimes be achieved without the use of bleach. In these instances, one of our dental professionals will clean, or “scale and polish” the teeth in order to remove surface stains and tartar, which can include stains caused by coffee, red wine, tobacco, and tea. The use of certain medications, some diseases, and aging can also contribute to a lackluster smile and may require the use of whitening methods in order for the stains to be fully removed.
However, when an individual wishes to whiten their teeth beyond their natural shade or for more severe cases, the use of bleach is required. Bleaching solutions generally contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, though hydrogen peroxide has nearly triple the strength of carbamide peroxide. Both, however, are safe and effective with minimal side effects. These solutions work by bleaching the tooth enamel to change its color. The peroxide oxidizing solutions penetrate the porous or “voided” areas in the structure of the tooth’s enamel and break down stain deposits within the dentin.
Whitening methods can be done in the office or through the use of take-home kits. In the office, we offer laser-accelerated bleaching, which uses light energy to speed up the bleaching process, and internal bleaching, which is used to reverse discoloration of the teeth caused by internal staining of the dentin. This method is commonly used in treating patients who have undergone endodontic procedures, such as a root canal.
We offer several take-home bleaching treatment options, which can be applied directly or indirectly to the teeth. These options include the use of bleaching pens, bleaching strips, bleaching gel, and whitening toothpastes. Unlike chairside cleaning and in-office bleaching which produce immediate results, our at-home kits are designed to brighten and whiten your smile gradually over the course of a few weeks. Despite taking longer to produce obvious results, these bleaching techniques are safe and effective, and offer few side effects, including increased sensitivity to the teeth and irritation of the gums.
For patients desiring an immediately whiter smile, there is Zoom!. This highly effective and wildly popular in-office bleaching process is used by dentists all over the world. During this procedure, the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp–which accelerates the whitening process– is used to jump start the 25 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening. While the hydrogen peroxide is being broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin and works to bleach the stained surfaces. Despite the obvious change in shade, the tooth’s surface remains unchanged.
When done correctly, whitening of the teeth can be achieved no matter how extreme the stains. Whether the discoloration is a result of age, disease, eating and drinking habits, or a result of smoking, you can rely on the dentist St. George Utah patients have been trusting with all of their dental and tooth whitening needs to help you achieve your goal for a whiter and healthier smile. Call our office today at 435-673-9606 to set up an appointment that is convenient to your schedule!