Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that can help to whiten teeth. The best type of teeth whitening is performed as an in-office procedure.
Below are starting prices for a teeth whitening procedure across several countries.
Teeth whitening is a procedure that whitens the teeth and brightens the smile. It can be used to whiten teeth that are stained from smoking, foods, and drinks. It is also helpful for whitening teeth that have become darker with age. The procedure is performed in the dental office. It may take up to three visits to get the best results, depending on which method is used.
The color of teeth is caused by the reflection of light on the enamel. A thin coating forms on the enamel that can pick up stains. There are also tiny pores in the teeth that can hold stains. As the enamel thins with age, more of the color of the dentin inside of the teeth can show through, which is why teeth may appear darker as people grow older. To make the teeth whiter, dentists apply a concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution to the teeth while protecting the gums during a visit that lasts between 30 minutes and 90 minutes, depending on which method is used. People will need to have between one and three treatments. The number of visits that may be required will depend on the chosen method, the severity of the stains and the desired whiteness.
A dentist may opt to whiten the teeth by applying a bleaching gel alone, or he or she may use an ultraviolet light in combination with the bleaching gel to accelerate the process. Another method uses a blue-diode LED light to help to activate the gel. For stains that are intransigent such as from taking tetracycline or having fluorosis, the dentist may opt to perform a deep bleaching. This is a three-step protocol involving the creation of customized vinyl trays, conditioning the teeth to be more permeable to oxygen, using specially filled trays at home for two weeks and finally, getting the standard whitening treatment in the dentist's office.
A standard in-office teeth-whitening procedure is not painful for most people. Many people are able to watch television or take a nap while it is being performed. Here are the steps that you might expect to happen.
The dentist will insert a cheek retractor into the mouth. This is an instrument that pulls the lips and cheeks back to expose all of the teeth that will be whitened.
The dentist will next either apply a hardening resin to protect the gums or paint on a liquid rubber. This helps to protect the surrounding tissue from the bleaching agent.
The dentist next paints on the bleaching gel on the aesthetic teeth, which are the teeth that people can see when the mouth is open. The gel will be left on for 15 to 30 minutes.
The gel will then be suctioned off of the teeth. Fresh gel will be applied and left on for another 15 to 30 minutes.
The dentist may use an ultraviolet or led light during the periods that the gel is on the teeth to accelerate and enhance the whitening process.
The dentist will check the teeth in between each gel application to see how many more applications might be needed. Some people may need several.
Following the last application of the gel, the dentist will remove the cheek extractor. The patient will then rinse his or her mouth, and the dentist will measure the color difference.
After professional teeth whitening, people can expect their teeth to be two to three shades lighter than before. Some people may see an improvement of up to eight times whiter teeth after teeth whitening.