Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dentistry practice that is performed by dentists all over the world in order to restore bright and healthy smiles. Its purpose is to lighten any discoloration to the teeth, which can be caused by a host of both external and internal factors, and to return teeth to their natural shade. Some individuals even choose to lighten their teeth beyond their natural shade, but this depends solely on the patient’s preference.
Teeth can become discolored by many of the things we put in our mouth. When teeth are discolored as a result of a build-up of surface stains, this is called extrinsic staining. This kind of surface staining can be caused by excessive plaque and dental tartar, tobacco, dark wines, tea, coffee, certain medications, and exposure to certain metals, such as iron and copper.
When a tooth becomes stained from the inside out, such as a result of tooth decay or after a root canal, the discoloration is called intrinsic staining. This type of staining can also occur as a result of dental trauma that produces staining due to pulp necrosis or internal resorption. Also, again can be responsible for both extrinsic and intrinsic staining.
Many Whitening Options to Choose From
If you believe you may benefit from teeth whitening, consult with your dentist to find out more about your options. There are several approaches to whitening available to the public today, including options that both do and do not contain bleaching agents. While a thorough oral cleaning may produce a brighter smile in some patients, others will need the power that is packed into the bleaching-containing solutions, such as the strips, pens, gels, trays, and whitening toothpastes. For extreme cases, Zoom! whitening, which uses intense light to activate the bleaching power in the hydrogen peroxide, may be recommended. Upon examination, your dentist will be able to suggest the best route of treatment for you.