Why whiten your teeth?
Teeth whitening can help reverse the effects of aging and create a dramatic difference in the way you look to others and the way you feel about yourself. Discoloration of the teeth is part of the natural aging process. Over the years you may have noticed a build up of stains on your teeth from drinking dark colored liquids, eating colored foods, smoking or taking certain medications that have stained the natural whiteness of your teeth. More than removing surface stains teeth whitening actually lightens the color of your teeth leaving you with whiter teeth and a more attractive, youthful, brighter smile.
Who can benefit from tooth bleaching?
The best candidates for tooth bleaching are people with stains on their natural teeth caused by coffee, tobacco or aging. The degree of whiteness which may be achieved varies from patient to patient depending on the composition of the tooth structure, cause for discoloration and individual response to the whitening agents.
Tooth bleaching is not recommended for:
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Patients with translucent teeth
- Children less than 13 years old
Tooth bleaching will not:
- Lighten cosmetic restorations – tooth colored fillings or porcelain crowns, bridges and inlays.
- Eliminate severe gray/blue banded tetracycline (antibiotic) or dietary mineral staining. The degree of lightening here is variable.
- Whiten exposed root surfaces or deep stains at the neck of the teeth.
- Whiten teeth darkened by metallic or dark tooth colored fillings.
- Whiten teeth discolored internally due to nerve damage or pulp degeneration.
- Permanently whiten your teeth. For permanent changes, consider the placement of porcelain veneers.
How is teeth whitening accomplished?
First, visit your dentist to determine the health of your teeth and gums before you start whitening your teeth. If you have cavities or exposed root surfaces placing bleaching agents on your teeth can be quite painful. Also the cause of your tooth discoloration needs to be assessed in order to determine whether tooth whitening will work for you. Once it has been determined that teeth whitening can work for you we will take an impression of your teeth in order to make your custom fitted whitening tray.
Are there any side effects to teeth whitening?
Some people who have been approved for tooth whitening will experience temporary increases tooth sensitivity to cold, heat or pressure as a result of tooth whitening. Individuals with receding gums appear most likely to experience tooth sensitivity. These symptoms normally disappear within 1 – 3 days after interruption or completion of teeth whitening. Use of potassium nitrate or fluoride gel, both available in our office, is more than 90% effective in reducing this sensitivity, if it occurs.
How long do teeth whitening results last?
By following simple post whitening instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. Results for people who don’t smoke, drink coffee, tea or red wine and who have good oral hygiene habits are best. Their smiles usually stay bright for one to three years. After consulting with your doctor during your periodic exam and cleaning appointment you can also easily “touch-up” your tooth whitening as needed.
Dr. Sharon Albright offers one hour tooth whitening and at home teeth whitening kits in her Oakland / Berkeley dental office, phone (510) 658-1996 for an appointment.
Dr Sharon Albright, Dentist Berkeley / Oakland, CA. Also serving Emeryville, Alameda, San Leandro, Piedmont, the Rockridge and Montclair Districts and the surrounding San Francisco East Bay, CA areas.