Teeth whitening can have a tremendous impact on your smile and how you feel about your appearance. Professional teeth whitening administered by a dentist or under his or her supervision, returns the best results with minimal risk. Dr. Sameet Koppikar and his team at Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix recognize that teeth, lifestyles, and schedules differ, so they offer several teeth whitening options. In-office whitening, often called “one hour whitening” is a popular method. Let’s take a look at when it is the best choice.
Whitening vs. bleaching
These terms are used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference. Whitening refers to abrasives that scrape stains from the surface of tooth enamel. Whitening cannot improve the intrinsic color of the enamel. Bleaching methods, however, remove surface stains and those pigments that are deeply embedded in tooth enamel. “One hour teeth whitening” is more accurately called “one hour teeth bleaching” because, properly administered, it can lighten teeth many shades brighter.
Stains that respond to in-office bleaching
The enamel on your teeth looks pearly and feels smooth. However, the surface contains thousands of microscopic tubules that reach through enamel to the dentin layer underneath. Beverages like tea, coffee, cola and red wine contain tiny specks of pigmentation, as do berries and other dark colored foods. Those pigments work their way into the tubules, stubbornly resisting the abrasion of toothpaste and toothbrush at the surface. Acidic foods like apples and potatoes generate chemical reactions that leave stains behind. Some medications (antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline, antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic drugs) may leave deep internal stains. These situations all respond well to the bleaching effect of in-office treatment.
Tobacco (cigarettes or smokeless) leaves both surface and deep stains, as well as endangering your oral health and overall wellness. Please don’t use tobacco, but if you do, Dr. Koppikar recommends a combination approach to remove discoloration.
Other benefits of in-office bleaching
The process is fast, convenient, and painless. Your teeth are treated with prescription strength bleaching agent. You simply relax for about an hour while it loosens and lifts stains. Because the gel is precisely applied, soft tissues are not at risk. Dr. Koppikar uses a chemically triggered formulation that does not require light or laser activation (which can cause sensitivity). The Biltmore Dental Center team monitors your comfort and progress. When teeth reach the desired shade, the gel is rinsed and you leave the office with a dazzling smile.
To maintain that gorgeous grin, Dr. Koppikar may also recommend custom fit take home trays. You fill them with gel and wear the trays for an hour or so periodically, to keep teeth white.
The important fact to remember is that no one whitening method is best for every type of stain, patient, or situation. Call Biltmore Dental Center today at (602) 954-8200 to get professional teeth whitening advice.