Discoloured teeth can be due to several different reasons, from certain foods and drinks to tobacco smoking and prescription medicines. Fortunately there are solutions, and with in chair tooth whitening you could soon have a beautiful white smile again.
Types of Tooth Discoloration
There are three basic types of tooth discoloration. The first type, known as extrinsic discoloration, affects just the outer enamel part of the tooth. This is the kind of discoloration that occurs due to staining by tobacco smoke and by drinks such as tea, coffee, wine or cola, but even fruit juices and natural foods can also contribute towards discoloration.
The second type, known as intrinsic discoloration, affects the inner part of the tooth known as the dentin. Causes include excessive exposure to fluoride in childhood, tetracycline use during mother’s pregnancy or childhood, or trauma during childhood.
The third type, known as age-related discoloration, is due to both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration as the dentin yellows and enamel thins.
In Chair Tooth Whitening
In chair tooth whitening is an alternative to bleaching kits that can be used by dental patients at home. Because it is performed by qualified dentists in the surgery, in chair whitening is able to offer patients quicker, more convenient and more effective results. In contrast to bleaching kits that require several treatments, in chair treatments give patients bright white teeth in just a single visit of around one hour. This makes the treatment extremely popular and the service is in high demand.
In chair tooth whitening is able to whiten both the outer enamel and the inner dentin of the tooth so can be used for all three types of discoloration, whether it is caused by drinks, food, tobacco, age or other factors.
How In Chair Tooth Whitening Works
The process takes place in the dental surgery. Patients can simply sit back and relax as the dentist performs the procedure, which involves applying a light-activated gel to the teeth. The gel contains hydrogen peroxide as the active bleaching ingredient. Once the gel is applied, it is exposed to a laser. This breaks it down and the oxygen in the hydrogen peroxide penetrates the tooth enamel and dentin and bleaches discoloration in both areas of the tooth.
Most teeth can be bleached to pearly whiteness in a single treatment, which typically lasts around an hour. However, severely discoloured teeth may need two applications. They can be carried out one after the other so can still take place in a single dental visit, and the full procedure should not last more than one and a half hours. Whitening gel to be used at home can be applied after the treatment in the surgery.
Once teeth have been whitened, the results will last for several years and the original discoloration will not return. However, if teeth were originally discoloured due to factors such as coffee or smoking, they may become yellowed again over time. A touch up gel can in most cases restore whiteness, and it is also important to maintain a good level of oral hygiene, with regular brushing and flossing.
Safety of In Chair Tooth Whitening
The procedure has been thoroughly tested through laboratory and clinical studies and has been validated as perfectly safe, though it is not advised for children under 13 years or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The teeth may become slightly sensitive after the treatment, but this should only last a few days and can be helped with the application of a calcium gel.
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By Nick Davison
Nick Davison writes about a wide range of health related toptics, including dentistry, psychology, and medical science. For more interesting health related info, follow me on Google plus.