It should come as no surprise that teeth whitening is the most commonly requested cosmetic dental service — after all, your smile is usually the first thing other people notice about you. Professional teeth whitening is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to brighten your smile and improve your appearance. At Arcadia Dentistry in Phoenix, Dr. Matthew Milana offers a full scope of cosmetic dentistry services, including customized teeth whitening. If you’re looking for a whiter, more vibrant smile, call the office or book your appointment online today.
Much the way that hair and skin come in a variety of shades, teeth also come in various shades of white, some of which are naturally brighter than others. No matter what shade of white your teeth are normally, discoloration can make them look dull, yellow, or gray.
Whether your tooth discoloration is a recent change or something that’s happened gradually, there are several possible reasons why your pearly whites may not be so bright anymore, including:
Age: Tooth enamel gets thinner with age, allowing the yellowish dentin layer underneath the enamel to show through and make your teeth appear less white.
Diet: Coffee, tea, red wine, and berries are all known to stain teeth with their intense pigments, which easily stick to enamel.
Medication: Certain prescription medicines, including antihistamines and blood pressure drugs, are linked to tooth discoloration.
Cigarettes: Smoking is a common cause of tooth discoloration, as both tar and nicotine can leave stubborn stains on tooth enamel.
There are a variety of effective teeth whitening methods available, including professional in-office procedures such as chairside bleaching and laser whitening. At Arcadia Dentistry, Dr. Milana offers a customized take-home treatment so you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits.
During your first appointment, Dr. Milana makes impressions, or molds, of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic trays.
During your second appointment, you’ll try on the trays to ensure they fit, and Dr. Milana will make any necessary adjustments.
To whiten your teeth, you’ll put a special whitening solution inside each tray and wear them either twice a day for 30 minutes, or overnight for a couple of weeks. Your personal treatment recommendations depend on the degree of staining and your desired level of whitening.
Before you have a professional whitening treatment, it’s important to undergo a dental exam to make sure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure. That’s because dental bleaching isn’t effective for all types of discoloration: Yellowed teeth typically bleach well, while brown teeth bleach poorly, and grey teeth may not bleach at all.
Whitening treatments are also only effective on natural teeth, and don’t work well on veneers, bonding, crowns, or bridges.
It’s normal to experience tooth sensitivity for the period of time that you’re whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.