It’s not unusual to feel self-conscious when your smile is dull and yellow. Whiter teeth can make such a difference in a person’s life that teeth whitening ranks as the leading cosmetic treatment used by dental patients.
Teeth whitening treatments can help virtually anyone achieve the white and dazzling smile that many people consider ideal. While off-the-shelf whitening strips and toothpaste can deliver some improvement, you’ll enjoy the most dramatic results with professional teeth whitening. These products include combinations of professional-grade chemicals that can produce the whitest teeth possible.
Working with a dentist who specializes in this type of cosmetic dentistry is the best way to improve the color of your teeth safely. Teeth whitening specialists George Kontoveros, DMD, and Anthony Klobas, DMD, of 2K Dental, are experts in helping patients improve their self-image with professional teeth whitening. Based on a thorough examination, they can determine the cause of your yellowing and recommend a customized treatment plan to whiten your teeth.
How teeth become yellow
There are many reasons for having teeth that aren’t white. The source of your yellow teeth may be stains that develop on the exterior or interior of your teeth. Depending on where your stains occur, you may or may not be able to prevent the yellowing.
Extrinsic stains are the types of stains that are most common. Extrinsic stains describe stains that discolor the enamel or exterior surface of your teeth. The general look of your teeth can range from yellow to brown.
Extrinsic stains develop as a result of the following preventable actions:
- Consuming dark-colored beverages and foods like berries, coffee, or red wine
- Poor dental hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
Intrinsic stains damage the dentin, which is the tooth surface under your enamel -- this material yellows over time as a result of aging. Over time, tiny dental cracks or fractures naturally develop in your enamel. This natural process reveals more of the yellowish-brown dentin inside your teeth. As a result, it casts an overall yellow effect on your teeth.
Genetics, tooth trauma, tetracycline antibiotics, or too much fluoride can also cause intrinsic tooth stains.
Teeth whitening products are most effective on extrinsic stains. If you have intrinsic stains, you may achieve optimal whitening with other types of cosmetic dentistry like veneers, which cover the entire surface of your teeth.
Benefits of professional teeth whitening
Professional teeth whitening achieves results with bleaching, a chemical reaction that improves the color of your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide are the most common and effective chemicals involved in teeth whitening.
The gels used in professional whitening can contain up to 40% hydrogen peroxide solutions. This is the maximum strength of whitening chemicals that can safely deliver results without damaging your teeth. Professional whitening gels can also contain fluoride and potassium nitrate, desensitizers that can help you avoid damaging your teeth or the tissue surrounding them.
Since a dental professional administers professional teeth whitening, you can be sure that you’re achieving the dramatic results you desire without risking harm to your teeth and mouth.
It’s challenging to obtain the same impressive whitening results with over-the-counter products because the whitening agents aren’t as strong. This prevents consumers from damaging their teeth and gums with unsupervised use.
In-office teeth whitening
Professional in-office teeth whitening delivers the whitest teeth possible with the fastest results. The team at 2K Dental practices careful monitoring and safety precautions to ensure that you achieve the level of teeth whitening you desire without damage to your teeth and gums.
In-office teeth whitening can deliver results using the strongest whitening agents that make your teeth three to eight shades lighter. The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour.
The treatment involves cleaning and coating each tooth with a protective layer. Each tooth is then coated with the whitening agent.
A cheek retractor is used to prevent the chemicals from damaging your cheeks and lips. A specialized light aimed at your teeth helps the bleaching agents penetrate each tooth’s deeper layers.
The results you achieve with in-office teeth whitening can last from six months to a year. Taking precautions like maintaining proper oral hygiene, avoiding dark food and beverages, and tobacco products can extend your results.
At-home professional teeth whitening
Professional at-home teeth whitening can improve your yellow teeth in the convenience of your home. This treatment uses a set of custom-fitted dental trays. When the trays are filled with a professional-grade whitening gel, your teeth’ upper and lower arches are whitened simultaneously.
The customized gel trays are made to fit your teeth snugly. This allows the whitening solution to reach every tooth surface and prevent the gel from leaking onto your gum tissue. While at-home whitening can deliver results similar to in-office whitening, at-home treatments usually require several sessions over a few weeks.
Find out more about ways to improve the appearance of your yellow teeth. Call our office in Parma, Akron, or Cleveland, Ohio, today to arrange a consultation.