At Troy Dental Studio in Michigan, teeth whitening has become the biggest and fastest growing trend in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Although many people are satisfied with the sparkle that they receive from brushing twice daily, flossing, and regular professional cleanings at their dental offices, there are a variety of products and procedures available that go beyond “the norm” to improve the look of most individual’s smiles at our dentist in Troy.
It is important to understand these products and procedures in order to make an informed decision on whether or not you should bleach your teeth and which options suit your needs the best.
What are teeth whitening or bleaching?
“Whitening” is any process which will make teeth appear brighter. This can be achieved in two ways. A product can bleach teeth, which means that it actually changes the natural tooth color. Bleaching products contain peroxides that help to remove deep (intrinsic) and surface (extrinsic) stains.
By contrast, over the counter bleaching products contain agents that work by physical and chemical action to help remove surface stains only. Different options for tooth whitening include in-office bleaching, at home bleaching, and whitening toothpaste and/or rinses.
This type of procedure, as seen on many reality shows, can often claim up to 64 hours of tray bleaching professionally performed in a matter of one to two hours – sometimes even sooner! Frequently referred to chair side bleaching, the dental professional applies the bleaching agent, in a protective and controlled environment and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. The American Dental Association (ADA) does approve many in-offices bleaching agents, assuring their safety and effectiveness.
There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by the dentist or purchased over the counter (OTC). Bleaching agents contain peroxide which bleach the tooth enamel. The percentage of this agent varies and is responsible for “whitening” teeth. These agents are typically dispensed in a gel form and are placed in a custom-made tray. It is very important that the tray is made to fit your mouth and teeth precisely to ensure protection of the gum tissue and any oral structures against the bleaching agents. The trays are custom designed by your oral health care provider and usage regiments vary from one to two weeks.
These products help to remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes/rinses, which have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, contain special chemical or polishing agents that may provide surface stain removal. Unlike professional grade bleaching products, they do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.
Dr. Shikha Batra is a general/cosmetic dentist in Troy. She offers a variety of each of these methods for tooth whitening in her dental office. For any questions – feel free to contact her office at 248-362-1100