Tooth discolorations can be caused by diet and lifestyle choices, ages or exposure to certain medications. Most stains are caused by consumption of staining food, drinks and tobacco products and are located in the upper, enamel layer of the tooth. However, some stains are located deeper inside of the tooth in the dentin layer and can be caused by hereditary of medicine-related discolorations.
Teeth whitening action is accomplished by release of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that becomes hydrogen peroxide. The whitening agents are available in various concentrations ranging from 10% carbamide peroxide (equal to 3.4% hydrogen peroxide) to 38% hydrogen peroxide.
The whitening process allows the oxidizing agent to enter the enamel and dentin to produce a chemical action with discolored particles within the tooth structure. The result makes the molecules reflect less light so the tooth appears lighter.
Many patients worry teeth whitening will harm their teeth or soft tissues or produce a systemic problem. At Serenity International Dental Clinic, we are using the latest model of Zoom! Whitening system, which has the most advanced light filtration system of any power whitening system to ensure patient safety and comfort. Moreover, it operates at a lower temperature than other similar products, therefore, lowering the risk of developing tooth sensitivity after treatment.
With a powerful 150-Watt halogen bulb emits a high-intensity blue light (480-520 nanometers wavelength), it can effectively whiten teeth that have been stained by smoking or by consuming staining substances such as coffee, tea, or red wine, or even those discolored by certain medicines, such as tetracycline, or speckled by fluoride
Before beginning any whitening treatment, you will be consulted by our dentist and develop a suitable whitening plan to treat your individual whitening case effectively. Treatment times are tailored to produce the best whitening results, however most treatments are around 45 minutes from start to finish.
Chairside whitening removes organic stains or discolorations primarily caused by:
- Aging. Over time, the teeth darken with a yellow, brown, green or grey cast (which may be due to heredity and/or eating habits). Yellowed teeth tend to whiten most readily.
- Consumption of certain foods (notably coffee, red wine, sodas and dark-colored vegetables and fruits).
- Tobacco use.
- Teeth with certain stains – typically those that are inorganic – do not respond well to in-office whitening. In fact, these teeth may look even darker after the surrounding teeth have been whitened.
- Trauma, which causes the dentin to darken.
- Tetracycline antibiotics ingested during tooth-formation. These drugs chemically bind with the crystalline structure of both the tooth’s enamel and underlying dentin.
- Overexposure to fluoride, which can cause fluorosis, resulting in tooth discoloration.
This procedure is not suitable for those with the following conditions:
- Tooth and gum hypersensitivity. To avoid a hypersensitive reaction, your dentist is likely to recommend take-home bleaching trays with a low concentration of carbamide peroxide – which is not as potent as hydrogen peroxide.
- Deep and intractable staining. Some stains are resistant to high-concentration in-office bleaches. In such cases, dentists may recommend a supervised regimen of intensive take-home bleaching or alternatives to peroxide bleaching such as bonding, crowns or porcelain veneers.
- Teeth that have become transparent with age. This is particularly true of the front teeth, which are thin to begin with.
A comfort cheek retractor will be inserted and protective eye goggles are placed on.
Determine the existing tooth shade to assess the cycles required for optimum whitening.
Polish teeth, then apply whitening gel to the teeth surface.
Position the laser power whitening lamp to teeth and begin first 12 minute treatment cycle.
Repeat up to 4 x 12 minute treatments. At the end of treatment, you will be shown your new white teeth.
How often can I have the treatment done?
This depends on what kind of whitening results you want to see from the whitening treatment. If you want to see additional whitening results from the treatment, you can talk to Dr. Emily about coming back in a bout a week after the first treatment for an additional touch-up treatment (either one or two more 8-10 minutes sessions). Keep in mind that there is a greater risk of sensitivity from performing a touch up treatment so soon after the initial treatment, but this is transient and will pass within 24-48 hours.
Many patients prefer to do a touch-up session after about three months. Again, the entire treatment is not recommended, but an additional 8-10 minute touch-up can help you maintain your shiny, white smile. Other options to explore include at-home whitening maintenance with at-home bleaching kit.
How white will my teeth get after laser teeth whitening with BEYOND Whitening Accelerator?
After undergoing whitening with a BEYOND™ Whitening Accelerator, teeth shades can brighten between five to 14 shades, with an average improvement of eight shades on the VITAPAN® classical or VITA Bleachedguide 3D-MASTER® shade scales. Although individual results will depend on how discolored the teeth were originally, the end result will be white, shiny teeth.
Will the treatment change the structure of my teeth?
Cosmetic tooth whitening is a 100% safe treatment with NO permanent side effects or changes to your tooth structure. The active ingredient in all whitening products, hydrogen peroxide, has been used to whiten teeth for decades and extensive research has been performed to ensure that the process is safe.
Will my teeth be sensitive during or after the treatment?
BEYOND™ systems filter out all harmful heat and ultraviolet (UV) light, greatly reducing the risk of treatment sensitivity. Most patients experience no pain or sensitivity during or after the treatment. However, a very small percentage of patients may feel some minor tooth sensitivity, especially if he or she consumes very cold or hot foods or drinks within a few hours after the treatment. Therefore, it is recommended that patients avoid consuming extremely hot or cold food or beverages for the first 24 hours following the treatment.
If I have veneers, bonding or caps, will this treatment still whitening my teeth?
As with all cosmetic teeth whitening treatments, this treatment is only effective on natural teeth. If your dental work is visible when you smile, you should discuss your appropriate recourse for matching these items with your surrounding enamel with your dentist. Please also note that BEYOND™ treatment will not damage any existing dental work.
What can I do to make the results last as long as possible?
Keep up with your regular oral hygiene routine at home and your professional cleanings at the dentist’s office. Avoid tobacco and beverages that stain, such as red wine, tea and coffee. You can also consider a bleaching touch-up once or twice a year at home or at the dentist’s office. Your dentist can advise you about maintenance protocols that best serve your particular needs. It is important to remember that all aspects of tooth whitening are best performed under professional supervision.