Cosmetic teeth whitening from a dentist in Scottsdale, AZ is a fast, easy way to brighten your teeth and enhance your smile. At AZ Dental Wellness, we offer two types of teeth whitening services: in-office and at-home solutions. The best way to begin your teeth whitening regimen is to call and schedule an in-office consultation, where we can help determine which method is right for you.
Reasons for teeth whitening
While most people generally think of teeth as being white, the truth is that enamel can be many different shades. Over time, enamel can become stained or discolored for a variety of reasons. The most common are:
- Aging – Dentin naturally yellows over time, while at the same time, enamel begins to get thinner, allowing the dentin to show through.
- Genetics – Your genetics play a role in the natural color of your teeth.
- Foods and Beverages – Dark-colored foods and drinks such as coffee, wine, soda, and red sauce can all stain the enamel.
- Certain antibiotics – Tetracycline can darken the inside of the tooth. This can occur if you took tetracycline-based antibiotics as a child, or if your mother used them later in pregnancy.
- Trauma / Injury – Injuries, such as a fall, can cause trauma to the tooth, which can impact permanent tooth development. Internal bleeding in a permanent tooth can also cause discoloration.
- Smoking – Over time, smoking can cause stains and yellowing of the enamel.
- Fluoride – Too much fluoride at a young age can lead to teeth stains.
In-office whitening is a procedure that is performed in our dental office and can usually be done in about an hour. Treatment is done with a specialized professional bleaching agent that is much stronger than over-the-counter strips, trays, or whiteners.
During the procedure, the patient’s gums will be properly protected from the whitening agent. The gel is applied to the teeth, and then activated with a specialized light. In just a single appointment, patients can leave with a brand-new smile that is many shades whiter.
For individuals who would prefer a more gradual whitening, we offer professional-strength whitening products for home use. We will provide patients with special whitening trays for the upper and lower arches of teeth. Individuals will apply the whitening gel to the trays and place them over the teeth for a specified amount of time. Wearing the trays too long can cause irritation. After doing this every day for just a couple of weeks, patients will enjoy a dramatically whiter smile.
Side effects of teeth whitening
Following teeth whitening treatment, it’s normal to experience some sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. If this does not disappear within a few days, please call the office. If your teeth become very sensitive, you experience gum irritation, or have sores in the mouth, it’s important to call the dentist.
There is such a thing as “over-whitening,” which can cause discomfort and severe irritation to your teeth and gums. Always make sure to use the professional whitening gel at home as directed.
It’s important to know that dental restorations such as crowns or bridges do not respond to whitening treatment. If you need dental work done, you should consider having teeth whitening before the procedure. This allows the dentist to match the restoration to your newly whitened teeth.
Over the counter versus professional whitening
Many patients ask us why they should choose professional whitening instead of the options available at the grocery store. Many over-the-counter whitening methods are not as effective, because the bleaching agent is weak. On the other hand, some are strong and can be dangerous to the teeth and gums when not used correctly.
It’s always good to choose professional teeth whitening, because it’s safe, effective, and performed under the supervision of your dental team.
Keeping your smile white
To maintain your whitening results, it’s important to avoid stain-causing foods and beverages for a few days after treatment. Over time, teeth can return to their original shade before whitening, so try to avoid stain-causing foods and beverages as much possible and maintain good oral hygiene.
To learn more about cosmetic teeth whitening services in Scottsdale, AZ, please call us today at (480) 747-1352.
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