This is one of the more common elective procedures that we provide to our patients at our Waterloo dental office.
The colour of teeth generally darkens as we age. This is a process that occurs within the tooth itself. Also, surface deposits of stains from eating/drinking certain things and smoking can deposit stains on the surface of teeth.
A whitening toothpaste will serve to only remove the more stubborn surface deposits on your teeth. They will not whiten the inside of the tooth, which is usually the complaint of most patients.
To whiten the inside of a tooth, you have to expose the tooth to a bleaching agent, usually a form of hydrogen peroxide. This can be done by purchasing an over-the-counter kit at a retail store (there are many available on the market). However, these over-the-counter kits have a shortcoming in that the concentration of the bleaching agent is low and therefore you may not experience the whitening you desire. In our experience, an over-the-counter kit meets a patient's expectations about 30% of the time.
The most predictable way to whiten your teeth is with a dentist-prescribed bleaching system that utilizes a more effective, stronger concentration of bleaching agent. This can be done with a take-home system using custom trays that takes a couple of weeks to work, an in-office system that takes about an hour to complete, or a combination of the two. We find that the combination technique is really the best way to whiten and maintain the whiteness.
Feel free to discuss your whitening options with the dentists and hygienists at Dentistry At University Downs.