Tooth bleaching is the most common cosmetic dental treatment performed. There are several options for whitening your teeth including those available only from your dentist and a variety of over-the-counter options.
Before beginning any bleaching procedure it is important to understand why the teeth have become discolored. Tooth enamel is discolored by aging, staining from coffee, wine and food. Cigarette smoking causes severe yellowing of the teeth. Some types of medication cause staining of the teeth, certain types of discoloring from medications will not respond to any type of bleaching. In those cases, dental veneers can be placed on the stained teeth giving you a bright, white smile.
For bleaching normally stained, aged teeth at the dentist office you can opt for whitening using the ZOOM! whitening system which will bleach your teeth by using bleaching gel which is activated by a special light. This system allows you to bleach your teeth in a very short time (just over an hour) but the dentist cannot control the final shade of white that will be achieved.
Another option for dentist supervised tooth whitening uses custom fitted trays that are filled with bleaching gel and worn for a short time each day. This system of dental bleaching allows for total control over the final result. If your teeth are not the shade of white that you want you simply wear the trays for a few more days.
Many patients try to save money by purchasing over-the-counter bleaching strips or kits. Some products are more effective than others but it normally takes wearing the strips or trays for two weeks or so to see any results. Because it takes longer to see the effects of this type of bleaching you may run out of product and have to repurchase before your final level of white is reached.
Please contact your Columbus, Ohio cosmetic dentist, Dr. Mark Levy, at 614-476-6696 to discuss your tooth whitening options. Dr. Levy and his team will help you decide on the best whitening method for your smile and your pocketbook.