Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic procedure that can correct the look of stained teeth in a single office visit. Almost anyone with staining or discoloration to the surfaces of their front teeth can benefit from the procedure. Some types of staining, however, do not respond to whitening treatment.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening treatment can be administered in the dentist’s office. Each treatment takes about an hour, and in most cases one treatment is sufficient to lighten your teeth as much as five to ten shades. The whitening agent bleaches the surfaces of the teeth, so any staining that affects the interior of the tooth usually requires a different sort of treatment.
You can benefit from whitening treatment if your tooth discoloration is due to:
- Exposure to dark-colored foods
- Staining from colored beverages such as coffee, tea, or wine
- Nicotine staining from smoking
Some discoloration affects deeper layers of the tooth. This is typically caused by exposure to fluoride or certain medications. Normal wear and tear or damage from a root canal treatment or traumatic injury can also lead to discoloration that affects deeper layers of the tooth. This type of staining typically does not respond well to traditional whitening treatment.
Deciding on Teeth Whitening
If you are uncertain about whether your teeth will respond well to whitening, you should consult with your cosmetic dentist. He can help determine if your discoloration is extrinsic—that is, on the surface of your teeth—or intrinsic—affecting the deep layers of the tooth.
If your teeth are not likely to respond to whitening treatment, your dentist can recommend another type of treatment that is more likely to be successful. This might involve placing veneers or other cosmetic treatments. However, if you have extrinsic staining due to smoking, drinking coffee, or from exposure to fruit drinks or wine, whitening can give you a white, brilliant smile. With occasional touch-up treatments, your new smile can last for a long time.
Call the office of Dr. Nicholas Kemp at 416-922-1012 to schedule a teeth whitening consultation today.