Teeth whitening, also known as tooth bleaching, is a cosmetic treatment to improve the natural color and aesthetics of our teeth. There are different types of whitening procedures depending on how the process is carried out and the teeth whitening product used. They can be divided into two main categories: In-office and At-home teeth whitening.
Stains develop on the teeth over time due to various causes. Some of the biggest culprits include smoking or chewing tobacco, drinking coffee, tea, aerated beverages, or red wine, eating foods with solid colors, such as berries and curries, etc. Consuming certain types of medications can also discolor the teeth.
Conventional whitening procedures involve using a bleaching (or desensitizing) agent, such as a whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide. Typically, the process can take up to 90 minutes depending on the extent of treatment necessary and may require multiple visits. The tooth enamel is bleached by the oxygen molecules released, which neutralize the stains from within the tooth. This method is used for moderate to heavy staining and can be effective in dramatically lightening the color of teeth.
Laser whitening is a more advanced form of teeth whitening treatment. It has many advantages over conventional methods and can be completed in as little as one visit. The laser targets the stains present on your teeth, penetrating them with intense light and speeding up the procedure. This treatment can have dramatic results and is suitable for most patients, including those who have previously had conventional teeth whitening done.
The process is quite simple. The tooth enamel is applied with a special bleaching agent (generally hydrogen peroxide), and an intense laser light is focused on them. It increases the liberation of oxygen molecules within the whitening gel, which helps to bleach the stains in the teeth quicker. The whole procedure takes just 30 - 45 minutes and can be completed in only one visit to the dentist. Individuals who have a busy schedule or need a quick smile makeover in a short time span usually choose laser teeth whitening. Also, the effects of the procedure last significantly longer than conventional whitening, provided you avoid unhealthy oral habits that stain the teeth.
Please reach out to our dental practice in Greenwood, IN, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Austgen. Please call us at (317) 885-6400 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.