Many people have discoloured teeth to a lesser or greater degree. This discoloration can be due to a combination of many causes, for example from smoking, drinking tea and coffee and even from mineral deposits found in normal drinking water. The effect of all these things is cumulative over time. But help is at hand with a variety of tooth whitening procedures now being available, ranging from inexpensive home treatments, to much more expensive techniques performed by your dentist. It might also be worth mentioning at this point that tooth whitening is a purely cosmetic dental procedure and that if your teeth aren't entirely brilliant white, then your health isn't going to be affected in any way at all.
Broadly speaking teeth whitening embraces a range of cosmetic dental procedures the objective of which is to change tooth color to a whiter shade. The most basic procedures involve simply the efficient use of a whitening toothpaste, gels or strips, a variety of which can be found at pharmacies and stores in most towns. These can in fact be very effective for reducing lesser discolorations in many cases.
Then there are also the various surgery procedures, including bleaching and whitening by laser. The outcome of teeth whitening procedures will vary depending upon the type of discoloration present, and also the health of the teeth themselves. The only thing in which there is any certitude is that the teeth will be a whiter shade than before.
Using some products will only create a small change whilst others, particularly bleaching and laser whitening, will have a significantly more pronounced effect on the degree of whiteness obtained. Several products easily obtained in the shops will have only limited effect, only really addressing surface discoloration of the teeth without actively working more deeply. For a more penetrating whitening, the bleaching process can be much more effective, dealing with discoloration even caused by other health issues and even inherited discoloration.
One problem which ought to be mentioned is that, with all basic whitening procedures such as described here, obtaining a uniform white color across all teeth is difficult to achieve, if at the outset the discoloration itself is not uniform. Basic teeth whitening procedures will simply remove stains. However in the dental surgery, the most frequently used whitening procedure is bleaching. This is carried out by fitting a tray over the teeth which contains a carbamide peroxide gel. As the gel chemically decomposes, oxygen is released into the teeth, which then has the effect of bleaching the discolorations. No change is made to the tooth structure and no effect will be seen in the color of crowns, fillings, bonding agents, etc.
Bleaching tends to succeed well with yellowing teeth, but much less well with brown or graying teeth. Teeth can also become temporarily more sensitive after the bleaching procedure. A more sophistic procedure for addressing a variety of discoloration issues is laser whitening. To maintain the whiteness, it will be necessary to continue with the whitening treatment at regular intervals, otherwise the discoloration will start returning. Some whitening procedures can be carried out in one session, for others it will be necessary to return to the surgery one or more times until the desired degree of whiteness is obtained. As for cost, this can vary considerably from procedure to procedure and dentist to dentist.
Whilst whitenening toothpaste and gel can be relatively inexpensive, bleaching and laser treatments can run into many hundreds of dollars. Clearly the cheaper solution is to whiten your own teeth at home using one of the many available whitening kits. There might also be available some more powerful whitening agents, often obtained through your dentist.
However the best results will be obtained by your dentist using the latest available technological solutions, in particular laser whitening. So we've now discussed several of the tooth whitening options available. However, before deciding upon a course of action to whiten your teeth, you would be well advised to consult with your dentist first, who will be able to advise which treatments will be the most effective for your particular situation and the nature of your tooth discoloration and tooth health.
For further information on tooth care, oral hygiene and dental porcelain veneers, please contact a professional holistic dentist and cosmetic dentist london.