Tooth whitening is a popular dental treatment that helps in removing teeth discoloration and stains. Tooth whitening is performed by most dentists and it is considered a type of cosmetic procedure. Tooth whitening is not just a one-time procedure, it involves series of sessions to maintain the brighter teeth color. The outer layer of our teeth is called enamel, and the teeth color is created from the color of the teeth and the light reflection and scattering off the enamel. Genetic factor greatly affects the smoothness and thickness of the enamel. The dentin shows more color with a thinner enamel, and a smoother and rougher enamel greatly affects the color of the teeth due to the amount of reflected light.
Our teeth create a thin coating or follicle forming on the enamel that picks up stains from the food and drinks we consume, and it also contains pores that hold stains., that’s why our teeth becomes yellowish or discolored over time. The most common causes of yellowish or stained teeth include tobacco smoking, poor dental hygiene, and excessive intake of dark-colored liquids like cola, coffee, tea and red wine. As people age, the teeth becomes less bright, wherein the dentin becomes darker, and the enamel becomes thinner. Intrinsic stains or stains found inside the teeth also occurs when there was excessive fluoride exposure when the teeth were still developing, and also because of tetracycline antibiotics. Tooth whitening procedure is very effective on extrinsic stains or teeth surface stains. Prior to teeth whitening treatment, it is important to treat any tooth cavities because whitening solution can pass through the decayed areas, reaching the inner parts of the teeth. Teeth whitening products cannot make the teeth whiter is the gums are receded with exposed yellow or discolored roots of the teeth. Your dentist will be taking a photograph of your teeth prior to the procedure to help in monitoring the progress of the treatment.
Your dentist will be cleaning your teeth to remove bacteria, food particles, and other substances that build up your teeth, contributing to staining, and after this, the whitening procedure starts. If you want to do it at home, your dentist can make trays used to hold the whitening gel that can fit your teeth properly. There are gel commercially prepared whitening gel to whiten teeth, or whitening agents activated laser light or heat. If vital whitening or surface teeth whitening will not improve the appearance of your tooth because of a previous root canal treatment or intrinsic stain, your dentist will be using different teeth whitening procedure such as placing a whitening agent inside the tooth and putting a temporary filling over it, left for several days and removed.