One of the most common dental problems is pale, yellowing, discolored and stained teeth that may occur due to aging, smoking, certain medications, or consumption of colored foods and beverages. If the discoloration or staining is superficial, the ideal treatment to improve the color and brightness of the teeth is teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening is one of the popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry because it is a simple, effective and non-invasive way to improve the smile. A dentist offering teeth whitening treatment may usually give the option of either using home whitening trays or doing an in-office whitening procedure to remove the unaesthetic stains.
When patients go through an in-office whitening procedure, a marked difference in color can be seen almost immediately. Within a span of about an hour, the color of the teeth may become many shades lighter. For patients who desire to whiten their teeth even more, home whitening trays are often prescribed. When patients undergo teeth whitening through the use of home whitening trays, the end result is achieved within a week, whereas in an in-office whitening procedure, this same significant change will be visible within an hour.
Most patients who undergo the in-office whitening procedure respond very well to the treatment. It is possible to stop the procedure when a patient’s teeth get overly sensitive. Therefore, an in-office procedure is safe and most effective. If a patient experiences a higher form of sensitivity when they use home whitening trays, it is advisable to stop the treatment and contact the dentist for advice.
As with most other cosmetic dental treatments, if patients want to retain the whitened color for a longer time, good oral hygiene and maintenance is vital. Patients who have undergone teeth whitening should be careful not to drink too many colored beverages or eat strongly colored foods. If appropriate teeth whitening touch-ups and good oral hygiene practices are adhered to, the effect achieved from the teeth whitening process can be retained for a long time. The treatment can ideally be repeated once a year to achieve the best results.