You may not know it, but there are two different classes of tooth stains: Extrinsic and Intrinsic.
The extrinsic are easily found on the surface of your teeth, but intrinsic stains are more difficult, existing within the tiny cracks of enamel and deep inside our dentin (the layer beneath enamel). Although extrinsic stains are typically manageable with proper dental hygiene, some are too deep or complicated to fully remove through standard oral cleanings. The intrinsic is tougher still, being harder to see, and can lead to discoloration of one’s teeth.
The typical response by people in these situations is teeth whitening. Numerous choices are available to do this, from affordable whitening toothpaste that erases most extrinsic stains to whitening strips you place on your teeth for an instructed period and even light-activated methods that provide immediately noticeable results. If you or a loved one are considering teeth whitening and wish to know more about your options, please give Revive Dental and Implant Center a call or make an appointment at (304) 467-4265.
Teeth Whitening Techniques
To better understand the process of teeth whitening, we’ll flesh out each method in more depth:
Bleaching - This form of procedure alters your teeth’s natural color, usually between five to seven shades brighter to be exact.
Bleaches contain an active component (typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in concentrations of 10-22%) that helps get rid of extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Prices will vary depending on the treatment. These include:
||Light-activated whitening - Nicknamed “chairside bleaching”, this causes an immediate and often substantial increase in the brightness of one’s teeth. Be aware though that, after about a year or so of day-to-day eating and drinking (tea, soda, coffee, other soft drinks, etc), new stains will start appearing. You’ll have to get this treatment multiple times for as long as you want it.
||Custom mouthpiece - Modeled by Dr. Chad Boustany, it lets you practice in-home bleaching. Typically, a patient wears it for an instructed number of hours every day or overnight for two weeks. When fresh stains show, they can be removed by simply wearing the piece again for another night or two.
||Over-the-counter - Located at almost all drug stores, this type of product includes a boil & bite tray application as well as whitening gels used with a toothbrush and whitening strips applied onto the teeth. One strip is normally placed every day for however much time is specified in the directions.
Non-bleaching - These methods use physical and/or chemical reaction to eliminate extrinsic stains:
Whitening toothpaste - All variants of this toothpaste use mild abrasion to erase surface-level stains in between dental appointments. Specialized chemical or polishing agents make for more extensive stain removal. Professional cleanings use these same abrasions and polishing agents, which are a most efficient deterrent against discoloration from food or tobacco.
We must clarify that whitening techniques affect all patients differently to some extent, minor or major, and no one treatment is universally effective. Some people respond better to toothpaste, while others with more severe discoloration or gray teeth may require porcelain veneers or dental bonding to attain their ideal smile. Remember, to schedule a visit and discuss which treatment is most appropriate for your case, call (304) 467-4265 or click to schedule a free consultation.