This month’s topic is on the most requested elective procedure in dentistry and that is teeth whitening. Those of you with thoughts of improving your smile for this New Year may find this most appropriate. Here’s this week’s question:
Thank you for your question. About one third of all adult patients I see inquire about whitening on the first visit. However, each person presents with a unique start off point. Some factors to consider when planning on whitening your teeth are as follows:
Neither porcelain nor fillings are affected by the peroxide in the whitening gel. If you currently have fillings in between the front teeth or existing crowns covering the teeth to be whitened, you need to keep in mind that all natural tooth structure in your smile will whiten except these areas. As you can imagine, if the before and after is dramatic, the crowns and white fillings will need to be replaced to achieve an exact shade match.
Most patients have discolouration due to stains built up over time from smoking, drinking wine, tea, coffee, etc. These patients respond to whitening very well since the gel will be very effective in removing these stains. On the other hand, some patients start off with heavy discoloration that is deeply embedded within the tooth. Such candidates will need more intensive whitening to realize an acceptable result and some will ultimately need porcelain veneers to achieve their desired goal. Root canal treated teeth fall in this same category.
I’ve found that the combination of a 45 minute dentist applied in-office whitening and use of take home custom fitted whitening trays works very well and predictably for most patients.
It is important to have a dental examination and hygiene visit prior to commencing whitening. The teeth need to be cavity free, and fillings need to be nicely intact. Also teeth need to be plaque free and well polished for optimal results.
The retention of the whitening effects is very dependent on stain producing activities previously discussed. The take home whitening trays are great for touch-ups afterwards.
Teeth whitening is a very popular dental procedure and will continue to be so. And why not? It is safe, non-invasive, and affects many teeth all at once. A discussion with your dentist can identify the best course of action for you.
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Dr. Shimi maintains a general dentistry practice in Richmond Hill with a strong emphasis on Cosmetic Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, Invisalign and All on 4. Yonge Smiles Dental centre serves clients from Richmond Hill, Oak Ridges, Aurora, Stouffville, Vaughan, Thornhill, and surrounding areas.