Having talked about the causes of tooth discoloration in our previous post, we at Emerald Dental Surgery Nairobi would like to tell you more about the treatment options available for discolored or stained teeth. In other words, today we would like to talk about the teeth whitening methods available.
The first step to teeth whitening is to seek professional opinion and advice from a qualified dentist. The dentist will assess the cause of tooth discoloration as well as the extent and give you a suitable teeth whitening option.
There are a number of treatment options available for discolored teeth depending on the cause of the discoloration.
For Extrinsic Discoloration:
Teeth cleaning / Scaling
Teeth cleaning or scaling is a procedure that involves removal of plaque with the intention of preventing gum disease. For extrinsic tooth discoloration, scaling gets rid of a large accumulation of tartar and bacterial plaque after which the teeth can have a lighter appearance if the teeth had a lot of stains on their outer surfaces.
For Intrinsic Discoloration treatment options include:
Tooth whitening and bleaching is a process that involves lightening of the tooth. It helps get rid of stains and discoloration from your teeth. It targets the stains that are underneath the external surfaces of the teeth. It is a cosmetic procedure which has grown in popularity over the years as it improves the appearance of your teeth to a great extent. It is usually not a onetime procedure and as such, you will need to make follow up visits to your dentist in order to maintain the white color. There are various ways in which you can do teeth whitening and bleaching. They can be in-office or at home methods.
At home bleaching options include:
Use of teeth whitening strips and gels
These gels are applied directly to your teeth with the use of a brush or a thin strip. These tooth bleaching products are often made with peroxide. It is recommended that you apply them once or twice a day for between ten to fourteen days for best results. The results usually last for about four or more months.
Tray-based tooth bleaching systems
For this tooth whitening option, a tray that looks like a mouth guard is filled with a peroxide-based paste or bleaching gel. It is then placed over the teeth for several hours every single day. This is done for a period of about four weeks to ensure you get the best results. In case you are interested in this option, you can purchase a tray-based tooth whitening system over the counter. Alternatively, your dentist can custom fit one for you.
Use of tooth whitening toothpastes
It can be said that due to the abrasiveness of toothpaste, they all help in stain removal from teeth. However, whitening toothpastes contain chemicals or polishing agents which play a big role in the scrubbing of stains from the teeth without you necessarily having to incorporate a bleaching agent. Their main advantage over a number of other methods is in their cost. They are relatively affordable. These will brighten your teeth by about one shade.
In-office tooth whitening involves:
Getting your teeth whitened by your dentist which actually helps you achieve brighter teeth faster. The solution your dentist will use will usually be stronger than that used in at-home kits. The dentist may also use heat, light and in some cases a combination of the both of them to make the process of your getting whiter teeth faster. Usually, in order to get the most dramatic results, which could be getting your teeth three to eight shades brighter, thirty minute to an hour in office visits are needed. In some cases, the dentist could opt for a technique that could be done during just one two-hour appointment. An example of such a technique is the zoom system.
Another tooth whitening option is dental veneers . They are sometimes called porcelain veneers because they are usually made of porcelain or resin composite materials. They are normally thin in appearance and are attached to the front surface of the teeth. They are permanently bonded to your teeth. When this is done, the appearance of your teeth is improved in the event that your teeth were discolored although veneers can treat other cosmetic concerns such as broken or chipped teeth.
Masking is a procedure that involves the use of a thin layer of white filling material which is placed over the natural tooth in order to give it a whiter appearance in terms of color. During this process, the natural teeth could be trimmed in order to accommodate the extra layer of filling being placed.
They are fixed prosthetic devices used by dentists to cap or cover your tooth to restore it to its normal size, shape and function. Crowns can also improve the appearance of your teeth in case your teeth are discolored or badly shaped. Porcelain or ceramic ones can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. In most cases, porcelain bonded to a metal shell will be used because it is both strong and attractive.
What To Expect From These Teeth Whitening Options
Teeth cleaning or scaling– You may experience teeth sensitivity. Your gums may also bleed or become tender.
Teeth whitening and bleaching– May also cause sensitivity especially during the first few treatments but the feeling may diminish with time. The procedure could also cause gingival irritation as a result of the contact between your gums and the whitening product. However, this side effect could go away after your treatment.
Veneers– They could also cause sensitivity because using them involves removal of some of the enamel before their placement. After their placement, you could also end up feeling some discomfort and having possible issues with placement. Veneers also put you at a higher risk of trauma because of the sensitivity.
Masking– It could also cause sensitivity and increased irritation of the teeth.
Crowns– With these you can expect infection of the gums or the mouth in general, bleeding in the area of crown placement, tooth decay under the crown in case it was wrongly placed or chipping of the crown.
While it is possible to experience some side effects, they are usually rare or not very serious and will usually go away with time.
At Emerald Dental surgery Nairobi, we treat tooth discoloration through various ways including the ones mentioned above. In case you are looking for a teeth whitening option suitable for you or generally a way to manage tooth discoloration, visit us on Rose Avenue, Hurlingham, Nairobi.
You can also give us a call on 0700609078 or 0731609078 to book an appointment.
Have a great week ahead.