What is a tooth whitening procedure?
Teeth whitening is a process by which a chemical is used to alter the color of your natural tooth. Keep in mind that this chemical only works on your natural tooth and cannot change the color of any fillings, crowns, or other dental materials.
Why would I want teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a great option for patients who are looking to improve the appearance of their entire smile in a short period of time with low cost.
There are several different options depending on your situation, and its usually best to discuss these in the office so you choose a method that works with your lifestyle and timeline.
How does it work?
The tooth whitening chemical penetrates through the outer surfaces of the tooth and changes the appearance of the underlying tooth structure so that the entire tooth appears whiter.
Again, this chemical cannot change the color of a crown or a filling, but works very well on natural teeth.
The most common side effect is increased tooth sensitivity. Don’t worry! Any sensitivity of tooth whitening will go away within about 48 hours after your most recent treatment.
There are many ways to whiten teeth, and we typically recommend against whitening toothpastes that are very abrasive. Abrasive toothpastes can wear away the physical structure of your tooth over time, whereas whitening chemicals penetrate the tooth to whiten the core of the tooth rather than scrubbing off surface staining.
If you’re concerned about surface staining, we recommend you see our hygienist to have the stains removed, or potentially doing a restorative procedure where we can often remove the stain with a drill and replace that area with a filling.
Also keep in mind that whitening procedures do not change the color of your dental restorations, only your teeth, so talk to Dr. Matthew Lee before doing whitening to ensure that you get the result you’re wanting.