Do you have a single tooth that has darkened due to trauma? The first step in determining if a damaged tooth can be lightened is to visit your dentist for a thorough examination.
Your dentist will need to identify what is causing the dark staining. To do this, your dentist may perform x-rays or other tests to learn if the pulp of the tooth is “vital” or alive. If the tooth is deemed to be alive, external bleaching may yield the whitening results you are seeking. Your dentist can create a single-tooth bleaching tray to whiten the traumatized tooth effectively. This type of tray keeps the bleach away from other teeth, producing the best color match for your overall smile.
However, if it is determined that the nerves have died and it is no longer a living tooth, your dentist may need to perform a root canal. Darkening of a dead tooth can happen immediately or may develop over time after a root canal procedure has been performed. For this type of tooth trauma, your dentist or endodontist may recommend bleaching the tooth from the inside.
Stains from a non-vital tooth come from the inside, rather than outside, of the tooth. Therefore, your dentist needs to put the bleach inside the tooth. This type of teeth whitening is a routine procedure that involves making a small opening in the tooth through which to bleach the tooth. Once this procedure is complete, you can assess with your dentist whether the desired results have been achieved. If the whitening is not enough, the tooth can then be bleached externally as well. If the results are still not acceptable, you may want to consider a tooth-colored veneer or crown.
If you have a darkened tooth marring your smile, consult your dentist to determine the best teeth whitening treatment to return your smile to its bright, white best.
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Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results. Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.
Whitening at your dentist’s office:
The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. This method is expensive, ranging between $500 to $1,200.
Home whitening supervised by your dentist:
A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. This method is convenient and less expensive at $300 to $500, but it produces slower results than in-office methods.
Repeating the process:
Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.
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Are you tired of your dark, dingy smile? Have you decided it’s time to brighten up your pearly whites? Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments to quickly and effectively improve the quality of your smile. However, there are many whitening options offered, and you may be confused about which type of whitening treatment will best help you achieve the look you desire. Whether you are deciding between at-home whitening treatments or professional teeth whitening, there are some things to consider when exploring your options:
- How quickly would you like to see results? If you are planning for a special event such as a wedding or trip, professional teeth whitening will offer quicker results than at-home treatment. With professional whitening, your dentist may be able to whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one visit.
- Are your teeth highly sensitive? With professional whitening treatment, your dentist can take extra precautions to avoid over-exposing your teeth and gums to bleaching gels, which may be harder to do with at-home treatments.
- Are you committed to your whitening treatment? If you are diligent and follow instructions, at-home treatment can be highly effective. However, if you neglect to wear the trays as directed or to follow whitening treatment instructions, you results will be diminished. If you are stretched for time, or forgetful, professional whitening treatment may be the best option to achieve optimal results.
- How severely are your teeth stained? Teeth with heavy discoloration may benefit the most and show the greatest improvement with more intense professional in-office treatments.
Talk to your dentist about whitening treatment options to find out more about what procedures would best suit your needs. Regardless of which type of whitening treatment you select, with diligent treatment and proper care, you are sure to enjoy the benefits of a whiter and healthier looking smile.
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Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.
We look forward to seeing you in our Longview dental office
A brighter smile can make a big difference in your appearance. There are lots of choices today for improving your tooth color. Here are details about some of the options so you can decide which way you may want to whiten your smile.
Eliminating the need:
One way to eliminate the need for teeth whitening is to avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause stains. These include items like coffee, tea, red wine, berries, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and curry. If you do consume foods that stain, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible before stains can attach to your teeth.
Whitening at home:
There are many products available at your drugstore to help you brighten your smile at home. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are two types of options, although it can take a while to see results from these methods. Whitening strips are a popular choice, which are covered in a bleaching solution and attached to the fronts of your teeth. Depending on the brand and strength, they might be in place from 5 to 30 minutes daily for a week or two in order to achieve the desired results. Overuse of these strips can increase teeth sensitivity, so be careful not to use them too often.
Whitening procedures performed at your dentist’s office are usually the fastest and most effective way to spruce up your smile. Custom trays filled with a higher strength bleaching gel may be made to be worn either in the office or at home later. Another method that must be administered in the office involves a bleaching agent applied to your teeth’s surface and then a bright light to speed up the process. You can typically expect dramatic results from this type of professional whitening.
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If you have to think twice about smiling because you’re embarrassed about your yellowed teeth, then it’s time to do something about it. You might consider having your teeth professionally whitened for quick and effective results, but first you may want to try whitening your smile at home with these natural methods.
Most teeth whitening products you find on store shelves contain hydrogen peroxide. The liquid creates bubbles on your tooth enamel that helps remove stains. The higher the concentration of peroxide and the longer you leave it on, the whiter your teeth will become. However, be careful because too much contact can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some people enhance the whitening properties of hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with baking soda to form a paste to put on the teeth.
Regularly using strawberries on your teeth can whiten them. Just cut them in half and rub them on your teeth, allowing the juice to penetrate. After a while of using this technique, you should notice your teeth becoming brighter.
Lemon or orange peels:
Rubbing the peels of lemons or oranges against your teeth and leaving the residue on for a few minutes can whiten your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Don’t leave the peel extracts on your teeth for too long because the acidic content may eventually harm your tooth enamel.
Apple cider vinegar:
Stubborn stains like those from coffee or smoking can be especially hard to eliminate. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your teeth is one way to combat persistent stains. Apply it for no more than ten minutes and then rinse your mouth, because you don’t want to damage your tooth enamel. It take one to two months of consistent daily use to achieve a whiter smile.
The most well-known way to maintain a white smile is to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as after drinking a dark colored beverage. This helps get rid of stains and prevent new ones from forming.
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