Many patients want to get their teeth whitened, which involves removing the stains from the teeth and helping make the teeth a whiter, more natural color. These treatments are available for both men and women alike. Some people get them done professionally at the dentists’ office, while others want to get their teeth to look whiter but don’t have or are not willing to spend the money or time in the dentists’ office for just professional whitening process. Teeth whitening procedures are growing in popularity due to their ability to greatly reduce the appearance of stains on the teeth while providing the person with a more confident smile.
This is a great tool for everyone to keep in mind as most Americans will experience yellow or stained teeth at some point in their lives. It’s caused when the surface of the tooth covered in enamel gets stained giving teeth a yellowed or discolored appearance. Any number of factors can cause this to happen including sugars our teeth are exposed to, colorings in flavored drinks, acids in foods that chew away enamel and stain the actual tooth, or the effects of chewing.
There are two types of stains your teeth can get:
Extrinsic Staining: these are stains on the surface of the tooth caused by things you consume like dark liquids such as coffees, tea, soda, or even red wines. These are part of life to have these kinds of stains however, they are unsightly and can be removed relatively easily. These are the reasons we go for routine cleanings and checkups, and user teeth whitening strips or at-home treatments periodically when the stains start to set in. More stubborn stains may need in-office whitening or bleaching treatments.
Intrinsic Staining: the intrinsic stains are much deeper and form on the interior of the teeth — this is resulting from aging, excessive exposure to certain minerals, or exposure to excessive levels of fluoride.
According to the FDA, the difference between a whitening and a bleaching treatment are that when a “bleaching” treatment is done the teeth can be made whiter than their natural color only through products that actually contain a bleaching product and whitening refers to only restoring the tooth’s natural colors by removing junk and debris.
These terms are mistakably interchanged frequently even though both have separate and distinct meanings. Whitening is preferred by some dentists as it sounds less harsh even though many of these whitening agents contain bleach. It’s more of a marketing technique to get the patient to believe one thing over another based upon preferences and the situation
OTC treatments and bleaching can be done several ways including the following:
The strength of Bleaching Agent: the strength of the bleaching agent is regulated as the OTC products and take-home products usually contain 7 to 43% hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent whereas in-office bleaching agents contain 15 to 43% hydrogen peroxide.
Mouthpiece Trays: the mouthpiece trays from the dentist as opposed to OTC trays is that they are custom-fit to fit the exact mold of your teeth allowing for maximum contact with the whitening agents and gel that is put into the trays versus the ones that are take-home and are just standard and may not custom fit your teeth the way you want them to. At-home treatments are also, consequently much cheaper as well.
Additional Preventative Measures: In an office setting, irritation and concerns associated with the irritation of the gums and mouth that may occur with the contact of the gels are also able to be monitored and handled more smoothly than with the absence of the dentist in the at-home treatment options.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has approved the use of dentists providing at-home products that use up to 10% carbamide peroxide whereas office solutions can use up to 35% hydrogen peroxide. Over-the-counter bleaches are not endorsed by the ADA because of the organization’s belief that it is not as safe and effective when it is used. Just because the ADA does not endorse it does not mean you cannot try it personally as such products are plentifully available. Talk to your dentist about the products you plan to use.
Remember that diet and food consumption are the main causes of tooth staining and discoloration, but a number of sources can contribute to the problem. The main reasons teeth become discolored or stained according to the ADA can include medications you take, excessive fluoride being present in your diet, consuming a lot of darkly-colored foods/liquids in your diet, and poor oral hygiene including lacks of flossing/brushing.
There are considered to be 3 treatment options available for tooth-whitening today! One is the at-home treatments that generally are the cheapest options including toothpaste, gels, rinses, strips, or trays and these treatments are recommended for people who have no fillings and otherwise healthy teeth. They usually just whiten teeth a few shades and cost $20-$100 depending on the product used.
Take-home kits are often available from dentists’ offices to use at your own leisure. These will be a bit more expensive and run $100-$400. These are usually the trays you put in your mouth overnight while you sleep to help whiten teeth.
Finally, you can get in-office treatments often called Zoom Whitening, and these are usually the most whitening of all and they are the most expensive as well. These are your best option if you are hesitant to use these products or have a lot of cavities, fillings, bridges, implants, or other teeth issues. These will run generally from $500 or more per cleaning. These are the treatments designed to maximize patient results.
If you’re interested in our Zoom Special for $199 instead of $500 Click Here.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about us visit us here or call us 909-465-1016. The Ramona Dentistry Team “Where Family Comes First”