The Nature of Teeth Stains/Discoloration
Teeth whitening is most effective against stains that develop on the outer layer, or enamel, of your teeth – known as extrinsic stains. They can develop from the food and beverages you eat, including dark sauces, wine, coffee, soda, etc., or from unhealthy habits like smoking and chewing tobacco.
If you exhibit intrinsic discoloration, which originates within your tooth structure underneath the semi-translucent enamel, then teeth whitening may not be the best option. Intrinsic discoloration can develop from;
- Excessive fluoride exposure as a child
- The use of certain antibiotics, like tetracycline
- A traumatic injury to a tooth (causing internal bleeding or darkening of the tooth structure)
- Certain congenital conditions, such as dentinogenesis imperfecta (which causes dark discolorations in one or more teeth)
- Internal tooth infections, or tooth decay
During your initial consultation, we will perform a comprehensive examination to assess the nature and severity of your teeth stains/discoloration, and then recommend teeth whitening or a more appropriate cosmetic enhancement, such as porcelain veneers.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Professional teeth whitening treatment involves a professional-strength bleaching agent applied to the surfaces of your teeth. The whitening gel is comprised of a peroxide-based compound that systematically breaks up stains on and underneath the layers of tooth enamel. With our teeth whitening system, the bleaching agent also oxidizes the tooth structure, called dentin, that is directly underneath enamel, brightening the main body of each tooth.
The Philips Zoom Whitespeed Teeth Whitening System
Unlike other teeth whitening systems, Philips Zoom Whitespeed combines a one-hour treatment in our office with custom-made whitening trays and a gel kit that you take home. The whitening trays fit over your upper and lower teeth, and allow you to apply the bleaching agent evenly while sealing away saliva. After your in-office treatment, you can wear the trays and continue to apply touchups as needed to keep your smile permanently bright.
FAQs About Teeth Whitening
Who needs their teeth whitened?
- Engaged couples about to be married
- People attending a class reunion
- High School students heading to prom
- Job candidates attending an important interview