How Teeth Whitening Works
The color of your teeth is created by the scattering of light off the outer layer, known as enamel. Over time, the enamel may darken, become thinner, or collect stains. There are also genetic factors that affect the smoothness and thickness of the enamel. Thin enamel allows more of the dentin, the tissue underneath the enamel, to show through. This can cause your teeth to appear yellow or gray in color.
Many of our patients are concerned with the brightness of their smile, which is why we offer in-office whitening treatment. Our whitening treatment here at Anchorage Dental Associates can lighten your teeth and remove extrinsic stains or discolorations. We can whiten your smile by up to eight shades in just a single appointment!
Teeth Whitening Options
Our enamel is made up of hydroxyapatite crystals, making it porous and vulnerable to staining agents. While deep stains are harmless, many people find them unattractive. These stains usually cannot be removed with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Instead, we recommend the whitening process.
Most whiteners involve the use of two chemicals: hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. When applied to the enamel, carbamide peroxide breaks down into urea and hydrogen peroxide, which is the active whitening agent. This process is most effective on extrinsic stains.
In-Office Whitening Treatment
Before we can proceed with in-office whitening, we must address any oral health issues that may be present. Cavities and gum recession can affect the success of your whitening treatment. A cavity can cause the whitening solution to reach the inner area of your tooth, while exposed yellow roots remain unaffected. Once your teeth are properly prepared, we can begin the whitening process.
Whitening treatment begins with photographs so that we can document your progress. Next, our dental hygienist will clean your teeth. This ensures plaque and tartar deposits do not disrupt the whitening solution. It also helps to remove minor stains and food debris.
Once your teeth are clean, Dr. Charles Michael will apply whitening gel directly to the surface of the tooth. Then, we will use a specialized light to activate the gel. The light expedites the process and provides more effective results. After about 15 minutes or so, we will apply a fresh coat of whitening gel and repeat the process. Most in-office whitening treatments usually take about 30 to 90 minutes.
After Whitening Treatment
Whitening treatment is an ongoing process. The number of treatments you receive depends on your desired results and the severity of your stains. We may also recommend an at-home whitening kit, complete with custom-designed mouth trays and a high-concentration whitening agent. Store-bought whitening products, including gels, strips, and mouth rinse, are not as successful as the services we provide. If you want safe and effective results, choose Anchorage Dental Associates.
Whitening is a low-risk procedure. While side-effects are rare, they do occur. You may have sensitive teeth or mild gum irritation at first. If your gums are white or sore following treatment, please contact us as soon as possible.
Schedule Your Whitening Treatment
If you would like a whiter, more beautiful smile call (907) 276-7366, and schedule your whitening treatment today!
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