There are a lot of new “norms” these days that still feel like something of the future. If you weren’t already aware, for example, the youngest generations thrive off of the “photo or it didn’t happen” mentality—which, interestingly enough, has people thinking more about their pearly whites this holiday season. Read: Photo evidence of a not-so-bright-smile.
But if you’re here, there was a reason behind your curiosity. Happily, we here at Dr. Marchbanks’ office in Arlington, TX strive to ensure that when you open that beautiful mouth, your picture-perfect smile it is exactly that: bright and beautiful.
There are only so many techniques to achieve said “bright” smile in accordance to your teeth, and we’re here to talk about your options. Overall, hydrogen peroxide is going to be the key agent in breaking down stains on your teeth and polishing your smile.
Read on to understand the processes and options of tooth-whitening that will best suit your case. And, of course, be sure to meet with us for a consultation to ensure you receive the very best care!
Who’s a candidate?
Overall, teeth-whitening is a very low-risk procedure, which means it can suit a lot of different needs. Generally, the best candidates have mild to moderate discoloration. The following factors may rule out a patient from treatment:
- Patients with porcelain veneers, dental crowns, or dental bonding. These circumstances don’t always allow for the most uniform teeth-whitening, and physical replacements sometimes have to be done to achieve the level or white or bright you want consistently around your mouth.
- Intrinsic Stains are stains that can show as white spots, gray discolorations, or a “dead tooth” where an underlying layer in the tooth (underneath the enamel) has become discolored. Standard teeth whitening only works on extrinsic stains, so patients with intrinsic stains will have to seek other options. The good news is, there might still be hope with other treatments, so your consultation isn’t over yet!
- Extreme tooth sensitivity or worn enamel: Unfortunately, these conditions are sometimes exacerbated if teeth-whitening is performed.
- Bruxism or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD): Again, whitening may worsen these conditions, so consulting your dentist and doing an in-office whitening is often the best option.
Types of whitening treatments
For candidates who are a good fit, the following options are all procedures a patient can use to whiten, dependent upon their budget:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) – The cheapest from of tooth whitening can be convenient, but this also means it will be the least effective. Some of the over-the-counter options to brighten your smile include: toothpastes, gels, rinses, strips and pre-made whitening trays.
- Take-home treatment– The cost of take-home trays will be dependent upon the cost of the materials, including the gel and how many treatments the dentist recommends, but will be much more effective than OTC options.
- In-office– The cost will depend on the total number of sessions, and if you need advanced treatment, which can include laser. The greater investment does ultimately mean the strongest treatment your dentist is able to offer, and will reveal much more dramatic results using a combination of whitening gel and specially-formatted lights to achieve optimal results. Dr. Marchbanks may also send you home with the trays so you can perform treatments at home as well.
At the end of the day, everyone’s results will be different depending on the severity of the stains, the layer of the tooth the stains are on, plus lifestyle and dietary habits, oral care habits, the type of teeth-whitening system used, the number of treatments and consistent follow-up care.
We urge you to inquire here at our Arlington, Texas office about the best option for your case. When it comes to take that family holiday photo, you won’t have to be the one looking awkward or bashful, but instead boastful and beautiful!