There are a couple of ways you can get your teeth sparkling white. However, nothing is as quick and effective as the whitening procedure. Sure, you can purchase teeth whitening products at the nearest drugstore, but scheduling a teeth whitening session with a dentist is the surest way to brighten up your teeth in no time. After all, the dentist is trained to help you keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Before you get your teeth whitened, however, it is better to know the details on the what’s, how’s and why’s of this procedure. Even if teeth whitening is self-explanatory, taking a short lesson about the procedure will help you realize its benefits.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that removes or reduces visible stains on your teeth. People who inquire for this procedure either have old and damaged teeth or often have bad habits like:
- Drinking too much coffee, tea, or red wine
- Have bad dental hygiene
But not all dental cases are caused by these acts. Because people with weak enamels also go through the teeth whitening procedure. The enamels bring out the natural color of your teeth by reflecting and scattering light, combined with the color of the dentin under it. The thickness and smoothness of your enamels depend on your genes. And if your enamels are thin, it means that the color of the dentin is easily visible. Another thing you need to know is that your enamels contain pores. Every day, the pores of your enamels get coated with a thin pellicle, which picks up stains. If you don’t keep an eye on your dental hygiene, the stains on your teeth will start to discolor and begin affecting the health of your teeth.
How is the Procedure Done?
Teeth whitening has two types of procedures, and each one depends on the kind of teeth the dentist has to work with. The first one is called, vital whitening, and it is performed on teeth with live verves. This session will take 1 to 3 appointments. The most common type of in-office procedure includes the dentist applying a whitening gel to the teeth’s surface before bleaching it. To commence the bleaching process, the dentist will heat the gel by shining it with a laser light or special light. One session takes 30 to 90 minutes to complete.
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The second procedure is called, non-vital whitening, and it’s usually done on teeth that have undergone root canal treatment. Since the stain is coming from inside the teeth, instead of applying the whitening agent on the teeth, the dentist puts the gel inside. This procedure won’t need the help of any laser lights because once the dentist fills up the teeth, a temporary filling is placed over it. The teeth will be left like this for several days until it brightens. Non-vital whitening is often a one-time procedure but can be taken several times to achieve the desired whiteness.
If the dentist thinks that the teeth are severely stained, there will be a need to continue the bleaching process at home. First, the dentist will take impressions of the lower and upper teeth to make a custom mouthpiece. Next, each mouthpiece is filled with a whitening gel. Finally, once the dentist hands over the completed mouthpieces, the patient will then need to wear them several hours a day. This process can take up to four weeks.
How to Prep for the Procedure
Now that you know how the teeth whitening procedure works, you’re probably excited to get one. But going through this procedure is not a waltz in the park. You can’t come into your dentist’s office and demand for teeth whitening session immediately because you need to prepare your teeth beforehand. Teeth whitening will only work on teeth that do not have any cavities, gum disease, or any kind of dental problems. If the teeth are bad, to begin with, the dentist could encounter a multitude of problems during the procedure. And you would not want to go through all that stress. To avoid this problem, have your teeth professionally cleaned first before having them whitened.