Posts for tag: Teeth Whitening
Whether performed in a dental office or using a home kit, teeth whitening applications are quite effective for bleaching exterior (extrinsic) stains on enamel surfaces. But what if your discoloration comes from inside the tooth? In this case, extrinsic teeth whitening won’t work — you’ll need to undergo an “internal bleaching” method, which can only be performed in a dentist's office.
There are a number of causes for “intrinsic” staining, including too much fluoride exposure or tetracycline use during childhood. One of the more common causes, though, occurs from root canal treatments used to remove the remnants of the pulp tissue inside a tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. Certain cements used during the procedure to help seal in the filling material and leftover blood pigments can cause the tooth to darken over time.
To alleviate this discoloration, we use a bleaching agent, usually sodium perborate mixed with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide to achieve a safe, accelerated color change. After determining that the root canal filling is still intact and the bone is healthy, we create a small cavity in the back of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The chamber is cleaned of any debris or stained material and then thoroughly irrigated. The original root canal filling is then sealed off to prevent leakage from the bleaching agent.
We then place the bleaching agent in the cleaned-out space with a cotton pellet and seal it in with a temporary adhesive. This step is repeated for several days until we achieve the desired shade of white. Once that occurs we then seal the dentin with a more permanent filling and then restore the cavity we created with a composite resin bonded to the enamel and dentin.
If we’re successful in achieving the desired color, intrinsic whitening could help you avoid more costly options like veneers or crowns for an otherwise healthy and attractive tooth. The end result would be the same — a beautiful smile without those unsightly stains.
If you would like more information on treating internal tooth stains, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”
Bright, naturally white teeth are a key component in a beautiful smile. But the opposite is also true: nothing diminishes an otherwise attractive smile more than stained or discolored teeth.
There is good news, however, about tooth staining: it can be greatly reduced with the right whitening technique. But before taking action we need to first uncover the cause for the staining — whether from the outside or inside of the tooth, or a combination of both.
If it’s an external cause — known as extrinsic staining — our diet is usually the source. Foods and beverages that contain tannins, like red wine, coffee or tea fall in this category, as do foods with pigments called carotenes as found in carrots and oranges. Besides limiting consumption of stain-causing foods and maintaining daily oral hygiene, you can also diminish extrinsic staining with a bleaching application.
There are two basic ways to approach this: with either a professional application at our office or with a home kit purchased at a pharmacy or retail store. Although both types use similar chemicals, the professional application is usually stronger and the whitening effect is obtained quicker and may last longer.
Discoloration can also occur within a tooth, known as intrinsic staining, and for various reasons. It can occur during tooth development, as with childhood overexposure to fluoride or from the antibiotic tetracycline. Poor development of enamel or dentin (the main sources of natural tooth color), tooth decay, root canal treatments or trauma are also common causes of intrinsic discoloration.
There are techniques to reduce the effects of intrinsic staining, such as placing a bleaching agent inside the tooth following a root canal treatment. In some cases, the best approach may be to restore the tooth with a crown or porcelain veneer. The latter choice is a thin layer of dental material that is permanently bonded to the outer, visible portion of the tooth: it’s life-like color and appearance covers the discoloration, effectively renewing the person’s smile.
If you’ve been embarrassed by stained teeth, visit us for a complete examination. We’ll recommend the right course of action to turn your dull smile into a bright, attractive one.
If you would like more information on treatments for teeth staining, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Whitening.”
Do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening kits are a popular option for restoring a healthy shine to stained and dulled teeth. They're relatively safe and generally live up to their packaging claims.
But a home kit might not always be your best option. Here are 4 reasons why DIY whitening might not be right for you.
You're on the early side of your teen years. Tooth whitening at home is quite popular with teenagers. For older teens it doesn't really pose a dental risk as long as you use the product appropriately (more on that in a moment). However, the immature enamel of younger teens' permanent teeth is still developing and can be vulnerable to damage by whitening processes.
You don't follow instructions well. Not to say you have this particular character quirk — but if you do you may run into trouble with DIY whitening. Home kits are safe if you follow their instructions carefully. If you use them to excess as one 13-year old boy was reported to have done, you could severely (and permanently) erode your teeth's protective enamel.
Your teeth are in need of dental work. Tooth whitening can't fix everything that may be contributing to an unattractive smile. It's always better to have issues like dental disease or chipped teeth addressed first before whitening. And, if your tooth discoloration originates from inside your tooth, a whitening kit won't help — they're only designed for staining on the enamel's outside surface. You'll need a special dental procedure to whiten internal (or intrinsic) tooth staining.
You want to control the amount of brightness. Home kits don't have the level of fine-tuning that a clinical procedure can achieve. While the bleaching agent in a professional whitening solution is much stronger than a home kit, your dentist is trained in techniques that can vary the amount of bleaching, from a softer white to dazzling “Hollywood” bright. And clinical whitening usually takes fewer sessions and may last longer than a home kit.
If you're interested in teeth whitening, see your dentist for a dental examination first before purchasing a DIY kit. Even if you decide to do it yourself, your dentist can give you buying advice for whitening kits, as well as how-to tips.
If you would like more information on tooth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”
Need to get a brighter smile? Consider getting your teeth whitened in downtown Atlanta.
Is your wedding coming up fast? Do you suddenly have an important job interview? A whiter smile could make all the difference. If you are dealing with yellowing or stained teeth and are desperately looking for a way to whiten your smile fast, it’s time you considered getting professional in-office whitening from your downtown Atlanta, GA dentist, Dr. Thomas Kauffman.
While at-home whitening systems can also get you a whiter smile, these low-dose whitening gels are often not enough to get the results you want fast. Plus, because the gels aren’t as strong as what your downtown Atlanta cosmetic dentist can offer, you won’t get the same visible results that you would with in-office whitening.
While in-office whitening is more expensive than our at-home whitening system, or certainly commercial whitening kits that you get from your drugstore, it’s definitely worth it when you can walk out of our office an hour later with a smile that’s up to eight shades whiter (or even brighter!). No other whitening procedure can boast the same fast and effective results. Plus, it’s also the safest way to brighten smiles.
How is it safer? Say you experience tooth or gum sensitivity, which may make you a bit wary about getting your teeth whitened. If so, the best way to get the smile you want is through dentist-supervised whitening where we are able to control the strength of the gel used and the amount of time it stays on your teeth to reduce any sensitivity. Additionally, a desensitizer is also applied to your teeth after your treatment. This is something you won’t get with drugstore whitening products.
In-office whitening only takes about 45 minutes and can get you the results you want for that upcoming interview, wedding or other special occasion. If you want to find out if professional teeth whitening is the best option for your smile, it’s time you called Thomas W. Kauffman, DDS, PC in Atlanta, GA today!
Find out how effective professional teeth whitening in Atlanta can be and whether it will give you optimal results.
As we age we often notice that our once dazzling smile has become a bit lackluster and faded. Years of consuming foods and drinks that leave behind stains can take a toll over time. If you are looking for a way to quickly revive your smile then you’ve probably been less than impressed with commercial whitening products. If you are interested in getting professional teeth whitening in downtown Atlanta, then it’s time to talk to Dr. Thomas Kauffman about how quickly you’ll get the results you want.
When will I see results of professional teeth whitening?
Results will vary based on the severity of your stains and the type of whitening treatment you opt for. Many patients are thrilled by the results they receive from their downtown Atlanta dentist after whitening. One in-office whitening session can get some smiles up to 10 shades whiter. Yellow and brown stains are the easiest to treat with in-office whitening and patients with these stains tend to get the best and fastest results. Keep in mind that additional whitening session may till be necessary to obtain the ideal shade. This is more likely to occur in those with heavy stains.
How long will results last?
Again, this will vary between patients but how long your results last will depend on how well you care for your smile following your teeth whitening in downtown Atlanta. By practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding foods and beverages that could cause stains your results could last up to one year. Some patients even opt for additional whitening touch-ups. Those who are coffee, wine and soda drinkers may benefit the most from periodic touchups. Your Atlanta dentist will be able to help you determine how often you should keep up with your whitening treatments or whether at-home whitening could be beneficial.
Is in-office teeth whitening for you? Are you ready to get a more brilliant smile fast? Then it’s time to call your downtown Atlanta dentist Dr. Kauffman today to schedule your first whitening session. Get a smile that truly dazzles.