Medical dental care in Sharjah: Tooth whitening
Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discolouration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening.
Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter colour.
Reasons for tooth whitening
The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. The colour of natural teeth is created by the reflection and scattering of light off the enamel, combined with the colour of the dentin under it. Your genes affect the thickness and smoothness of the enamel. Thinner enamel allows more of the colour of the dentin to show through. Having smoother or rougher enamel also affects the reflection of light and therefore the colour.
Every day, a thin coating (pellicle) forms on the enamel and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains.
The most common reasons for teeth to get yellow or stained are:
• Using tobacco
• Drinking dark-coloured liquids such as coffee, cola, tea and red wine
• Not taking good care of your teeth
Ageing makes teeth less bright as the enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker.
It is also possible to have stains on the tooth. These are called intrinsic stains. For example, intrinsic stains can be caused by exposure to too much fluoride as a child while teeth are developing. Other causes include tetracycline antibiotics. They can stain a child’s teeth if taken by a mother during the second half of pregnancy or by a child who is 8 years old or younger. Teeth are still developing during these years. Trauma may also darken a tooth.
Other dental problems can affect the success of tooth whitening. For example, cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened. That’s because the whitening solution can pass through decayed areas and reach the inner parts of the tooth. If your gums have receded, the exposed roots of your teeth may appear yellow or discoloured. Whitening products will not make them whiter.
If you have tooth decay or receding gums, whitening may make your teeth sensitive. Whitening also does not work on ceramic or porcelain crowns or veneers.
Types of tooth whitening
There are two main types of whitening procedures:
Vital whitening is performed on teeth that have live nerves. The most common type of vital tooth whitening uses a gel that is applied directly to the tooth surface. This product contains some form of hydrogen peroxide.
Tooth whitening can be done in the dentist’s office or at home. In-office whitening allows your dentist to use a more powerful whitening gel. A specialized light or laser activates the gel and allows bleaching to happen faster.
In-office whitening usually takes 30 to 90 minutes. You will need 1 to 3 appointments. The number will depend upon the method used, how severe your stains are and how white you want your teeth to be. Different types of stains respond differently to the treatment.
Non-vital whitening is done on a tooth that has had root canal treatment and no longer has a live nerve. Vital whitening may not improve the appearance of a tooth that has had root-canal treatment because the stain is coming from the inside of the tooth. If this is the case, your dentist will use a different procedure that whitens the tooth from the inside. He or she will place a whitening agent inside the tooth and put a temporary filling over it. The tooth will be left this way for several days. You may need this done only once, or it can be repeated until the tooth reaches the desired shade.
If you find that your gums are white or sore, follow up with your dentist. Whitening is not a permanent solution. The stains will come back. If you smoke or consume a lot of staining foods or drinks, you may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. If you avoid these sources of staining, you may not need another whitening treatment for 6 to 12 months.
Re-whitening can be done in the dentist’s office or at home. If you have a custom-made mouthpiece and whitening agent at home, you can whiten your teeth as often as you need to. Discuss your whitening schedule with your dentist. You can talk about what whitening products would work best for you.
Whitening is unlikely to cause serious side effects, although some people’s teeth may become more sensitive for a short while. You may get mild gum irritation as well. Women should not have their teeth whitened while pregnant. The effect of the whitening materials on the development of the fetus is not known. Since the procedure is cosmetic, it should be postponed until after delivery.
We want you to love your smile! Our offer is good for as long as you keep up with your recommended dental visits every six months. Al Saha al Shifa provides high-quality dental care in state-of-the-art facilities, which feature a modern look, coffee bar, and special play and treatment rooms for kids.
Our doctors and dental team provide a thorough professional exam, every time, taking special care to:
• Deliver a comfortable, hassle-free dental visit
• Attend to any immediate issues you may have, including relieving pain from dental emergencies
• Answer your questions so that you can make informed health decisions
• Explain any procedures in your language of preference
• Teach you how to keep your mouth healthy
Source: www.colgate.com, www.dentalhealth.org