A broad smile can relieve stress, lower your blood pressure, and change your mood and the mood of those around you. You can have a dazzling, brilliant smile when you whiten your teeth. There are different options available, with the quickest being an easy and safe in-office laser dentistry and teeth whitening service from your local dentist, South Temple Dental in Salt Lake City.
Stain Causing Agents
There are a number of factors that can result in your teeth becoming stained and yellowed, both internally and externally. Some of the most common staining elements that may result in the need for teeth whitening are:
- Red wine, tea, and coffee – they contain chromogen pigments that penetrate the enamel
- Tobacco – tar is naturally dark, while nicotine is clear but has a yellowing effect when exposed to oxygen
- Medications – antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline used when children are young and their teeth are developing can result in the discoloration of teeth
- Aging – as your enamel thins, the soft yellow-tinted dentin that protects the nerve is more visible
- Injury – trauma can cause a tooth to darken
Teeth Whitening Options Available
Tooth whitening demand has grown exponentially in the last 20 years, with nearly 90% of dentists having patients that requested professional teeth whitening. As a result, there are more teeth whitening methods becoming available. You can choose from:
- Whitening toothpaste that removes surface stains
- At-home OTC teeth whitening systems that come in strips, trays, brush on, or rinses
- At-home teeth whitening systems provided by your dentist
- In-office chairside whitening
The Pros & Cons of the Teeth Whitening Systems
The benefits of the different systems really come down to time and money. Obviously, teeth whitening toothpastes will be the least expensive, but they have only a short-term effect. Here’s how the other options measure up:
- At-home OTC teeth whitening systems cost $40-$100 and only have 3-20% peroxide, so they can take a few days up to a couple of weeks to achieve the whitening shade you desire, and it will only last a few months.
- Dentist-provided at-home systems will range from about $100 to around $400. The peroxide content is much higher at 15-43%, so you will reach your desired shade much more quickly, and it is longer lasting.
- Chairside whitening averages $650 and up, depending on shade desired and coloring of teeth at the start of teeth whitening. It takes about 60-90 minutes per session, and dramatic results are usually seen after one session, though multiple sessions may be needed.
Steps In the Teeth Whitening Process
To optimize results, your dental professional will take a few steps to make sure you not only get the whitening shade you desire, but that it is done safely and with little or no discomfort. Your initial appointment will include:
- Noting the current shade of your teeth
- Polishing the teeth to prep them for the solution
- Using gauze or retractors to keep the teeth dry and keep lips and tongue away from teeth
- Protecting the gums with a gel or rubber liner
- Applying the solution
- 30-60 minutes of laser activation
- Rinsing of the teeth
A Couple Quick Tips
Your teeth may be sensitive for a few days after a teeth whitening session, and your gums can become irritated. If you are experiencing severe sensitivity or pain, or if the pain persists, see your dental professional as soon as possible.
After a teeth whitening treatment, avoid those stain-causing agents for at least 24 hours, or better yet a few days.
Remember, most dental work like crowns, caps, and bridges cannot be whitened.
For all of your dental needs in Salt Lake City, including spectacular laser teeth whitening services, contact South Temple Dental today!