Teeth whitening is a fast, effective cosmetic treatment that can give you a beautiful, dazzling smile in just minutes. We offer both in-office and take-home teeth whitening options at the Newport Beach, CA, office of Dr. Peter T. Smrecek Jr. Dr. Smrecek and his team will evaluate your smile and help you determine what types of cosmetic treatments can achieve your goals. Contact Dr. Smrecek's office today to learn more.
Types of Teeth Stains
Extrinsic darkening is caused by surface stain. Much like coffee or tea will stain the inside of a cup, dark colored foods and beverages will stain the enamel of the tooth. For the most part, these stains can be managed by brushing and flossing frequently and removed by timely visits with the dental hygienist. Once again as time goes on, the surface of the enamel can become cracked, chipped or pitted. Stain that forms in these surface defects can be impossible to remove without abrading the enamel excessively which would amplify the intrinsic darkening explained above.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Applying a bleaching agent, like peroxide, to the surface of the tooth can lighten not only the stain that managed to get below the surface but also the inherent color from within the tooth.
A stabilized peroxide compound like carbamide peroxide can be applied to the teeth by means of custom fitted trays. Exposing the teeth to this solution for 1-2 hours per day for a period of about two weeks will get teeth noticeably lighter..
A more reactive form of peroxide can be used in our dental office. During a professional in-office treatment, a protective barrier is placed to isolate the teeth from the soft tissues. Then, the highly concentrated whitening gel sits on your teeth for 15 to 30 minutes. One treatment session seldom gets people the change they want, so it is recommended that they continue bleaching for several days with trays at home. The trays are also important for periodic touch up bleaching to continually manage the stain that gets below the surface and cannot simply be polished away.
Choosing the Best Treatment for You
All of the above methods for improving the color of teeth are offered in our practice. Sometimes these procedures stand alone as the only treatment needed but often some combination of bleaching –vital and non-vital- is used in conjunction with cosmetic restorative dentistry to restore a beautiful smile.
To learn more about teeth whitening options available at Dr. Smrecek's office, contact us.