Do you want a smile that will light up a room? If so, teeth whitening may produce the effect you desire. Teeth whitening treatment is often effective in removing stains and brightening teeth multiple shades. As a result, patients who undergo whitening treatment tend to experience renewed self-confidence. Just imagine having a beautiful set of gleaming white teeth. The thought is enough to make you smile right now.
Is teeth whitening dangerous for my teeth?
A: The most commonly reported side effect of teeth whitening treatment is short-term tooth sensitivity. Thus, teeth whitening treatment is generally safe. However, there are circumstances in which teeth whitening treatment can prove damaging. For example, a whitening procedure may do lasting damage to teeth if they are in poor health while they are exposed to the whitening solution. If, for example, a filling is leaking or a tooth is cracked, the whitening solution can make its way into the inner portions of teeth, injuring them. Thus, Dr. Fondriest recommends that anyone who is interested in teeth whitening have their teeth examined by a dental professional before undergoing treatment. If you choose to whiten your smile with Dr. Fondriest, he will examine your teeth to ensure that they are in good condition before moving forward with any treatments.
Out of concern for his patients’ oral health, Dr. Fondriest also does not recommend or provide in-office bleaching. These procedures brighten teeth primarily by dehydrating them rather than removing the stains responsible for the initial discoloration. In-office whitening also carries the risk of negative side effects including gum tissue and pulpal irritation.
Will teeth whitening be successful in every situation?
A: The simple answer is no. The longer answer is that the success of teeth whitening treatment depends upon the type of stains that are responsible for teeth’s discoloration. Teeth stains are often divided into two broad categories of intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic stains exist deep within dark teeth. They are often the result of overexposure to fluoride, certain medications, or trauma. Because of where intrinsic stains are located, they are out of the reach of the whitening agents in teeth whitening treatments. Therefore, porcelain veneers are a better option for intrinsic stains as veneers seek to hide stains behind a new smile rather than remove them.
However, teeth whitening treatment proves very effective with extrinsic stains (stains that occur on the outer surface of teeth). Extrinsic stains are often caused by overexposure to dark pigments such as those found in coffee, soda, tea, and blueberries. Teeth whitening can lift these stains, leaving teeth brighter and more beautiful than they were before.
How long does whitening treatment take?
A: Dr. Fondriest offers two home bleaching kits for patients seeking to whiten their smiles. These kits yield overnight results. However, their best possible results come by using them daily (or nightly) for 1-2 months. The standard teeth bleaching system that Dr. Fondriest provides to his patients is called Nite White Excel 3. This system features a liquid gel designed for use while you sleep. The gel sits in a whitening tray that fits over your teeth. As you sleep, the whitening gel will lift stains from your teeth, bringing you closer and closer to the bright, white smile you’ve been dreaming about.
However, Dr. Fondriest does not recommend Nite White for all of his patients. For those with sensitive teeth, Dr. Fondriest recommends Day White Excel 3. This low-sensitivity whitener is designed to be worn twice a day for 30 minutes at a time. It is gentle on teeth, making whitening accessible to more people.
Enjoy a Brighter Smile
If your biggest concern is staining or discoloration of your teeth, then professional teeth whitening could be an ideal solution. Professional treatment is able to create more noticeable results, more quickly, than most over-the-counter products that claim to lighten teeth. In fact, most patients can enjoy teeth that are several shades lighter during a single course of treatment, by choosing professional teeth whitening/bleaching.
Why Professional Treatment?
Sure, there are over-the-counter options that promise to lighten teeth, and many are effective at reducing minor staining. But few can provide comparable results to the dramatic results possible through professional whitening provided by a cosmetic dentist.
That’s because a dentist can provide you with custom whitening trays and professional-strength whitening agents, which help to remove years of staining, often lightening teeth by ten shades.
So, if you have drastic staining causing your smile to look dingy, skip the drugstore products, and try professional whitening instead.
Things to Keep In Mind with whitening treatment
With any whitening product, it’s important to follow the directions given, to limit sensitivity and even damage to your teeth’s enamel. Stick to the allotted time frame to maximize effectiveness without causing yourself discomfort.
And remember, after reaching your desired results, the best way to maintain your brilliant smile is through regular preventive care, including twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and a dental checkup and cleaning every six months.
Learn more about the ends and outs of whitening treatments
Dr. James Fondriest has spoken and taught internationally on the topic of cosmetic dentistry. His advanced training and his involvement in a number of professional organizations including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry have made him into a widely recognized expert in the field of cosmetic dentistry. If you have any lingering questions about teeth whitening treatment or if you would like to take the next step in enhancing your smile, contact our Lake Forest IL dental office today by calling (847) 234-0517. We proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities.