Tooth Bleaching

Tooth bleaching is offered for cosmetic purposes. Many individuals who have discolored enamel are not satisfied with the appearance of their teeth and go to great lengths to achieve the perfect smile. Tooth bleaching can be a solution. This can be done by a dental professional in the dental office or at home. Any person considering using home bleaching products should seek advice from an oral health professional such as your dental hygienist or dentist. This visit is crucial as home bleaching treatments may not be effective or preferable for every individual. For the best and safest results, the individual should be monitored by an oral health professional throughout either home bleaching or professionally applied treatments.
There are two types of tooth stains:
  • Intrinsic stain (internal stain) This means the stain occurs from within the tooth. This type of stain cannot be removed by brushing and flossing and sometimes even bleaching may not be effective. Some causes of intrinsic staining are injury to the tooth, certain medications (such as tetracycline) taken during tooth formation or an excess fluoride ingested during the formation of teeth. (Rural public water supplies are notorious for this).
  • Extrinsic stain (external stain) This is staining of the tooth surface. Some sources of extrinsic stains are cigarettes, cigars, coffee, tea, or foods that contain a lot of spices. This type of staining can sometimes be removed by good tooth brushing habits or by professional prophylaxis (cleaning).
Different stains require different solutions, therefore it is important to have a consultation with an oral health professional.
A small number of people experience temporary discomfort during the bleaching treatment series, such as gum or tooth sensitivity. These symptoms disappear within one to three days after completion of the treatment. It is important that the manufacturer’s directions are followed precisely. If any side effects are more than mild or persist, contact your oral health professional. Overall, tooth bleaching under professional supervision is an effective method for whitening the teeth.

This site is intended as general information only and should not
replace regular consultation with Dr.Talcott or the
Dental Hygienist. Copyright © 2003 Dr Bob Talcott, DDS

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