Your teeth can become discolored for many reasons. Even with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing your pearly whites might take on a different hue over time. The main causes of tooth discoloration are plaque, tobacco, liquids (cola, coffee, tea, red wine), exposure to metals (iron, copper, nickel, cadmium), and even some antibiotics, particularly tetracycline. Genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis can also lead to tooth discoloration.
Here at Singing River Dentistry we have seen countless cases of tooth discoloration. This is why we offer targeted whitening solutions which are far more effective than the results you see with over the counter products. The other benefit is that you will see these results much more quickly. Please note that while we do accept several different insurance plans most dental insurance does not cover tooth whitening.
What to Expect during Teeth Whitening
Tooth whitening is a simple, non-invasive process. We will start by recording the current shade of your teeth and work with you to find the desired level of whiteness. The next step is to remove any plaque on the surface as this will impede the treatment. We perform a dental exam during this step to make sure your teeth are healthy enough to undergo the treatment. Problems like cavities, unhealthy gums, cracked teeth, and decay can be further irritated by tooth whitening thus need to address first.
It is very important to protect the gums from the whitening solution so tools called retractors might be used around your cheeks, lips, and tongue. A barrier-like shield will provide additional protection along your gumline. In the event you have very sensitive teeth and/or gums, a whitening tray might be a better option. Though you will see results, they will not be as noticeable as those from our non-tray procedure.
This is when the whitening agent is applied to the front of your teeth. The active ingredient in this substance is a form of peroxide, usually hydrogen or carbamide, and concentrations can vary. This solution works by penetrating the enamel, thus beginning an oxidation process to remove discoloration.
Depending on which product is used, we might use a light or laser to activate the whitening agent. At this point all you have to do is relax and wait for 30-60 minutes. During this time, we might need to reapply the agent a few times depending on how the whitening is progressing.
Once the maximum time has passed or the requested shade of white is achieved, we will rinse your mouth and remove the retractors. After gauging the results additional treatment(s) might be necessary, especially if you are looking to whiten your teeth by several shades. After the first treatment you might see two to three shades brighter. Some of our patients have seen an improvement of eight shades after just one treatment!
Schedule an Appointment
Singing River Dentistry is here to help you get the bright, beautiful smile you’ve been longing for. We understand that teeth can lose their luster but is can be restored with our whitening services. Call us today at 256-712-3549 to book your appointment or for additional information.