"I know it's only cosmetic," Sarah said, "but it really bothers me that my teeth are so off-white."
We had just finished scaling and polishing her teeth. The coffee and tea stains were gone, but her teeth weren't as bright as she had hoped.
"Scaling and polishing removes plaque, tartar, and superficial stain," the hygienist explained,” but it can't change the overall shade of a person's teeth."
When we saw her disappointed face, we knew it was time to talk to her about tooth whitening.
Here are three simple facts about tooth whitening:
1.Teeth whitening is safe. The American Dental Association (ADA) has been monitoring the safety of tooth whitening products for over 20 years, and studies continue to show how safe the process is. In a Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products, it reported that "Dentist-dispensed" and OTC home-use tooth whitening bleaches are eligible for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The products in this category that currently bear the ADA Seal contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide," the concentration commonly dispensed by most dentists.
2. Teeth whitening is relatively inexpensive. Prior to the development of teeth whitening products and procedures, the only options for lightening teeth involved placing expensive crowns and/or veneers. Now patients can lighten all their teeth for a fraction of the cost of even one permanent crown.
3. Tooth whitening is non-invasive. Unlike crowns and veneers, which usually require a dentist to remove valuable tooth structure, tooth whitening doesn't remove any enamel from the tooth. The most common teeth whitening procedure utilizes a hydrogen peroxide based gel to safely lighten and brighten tooth enamel.
If you, like Sarah, feel self-conscious about your teeth and wish they were lighter, we can help. Contact us to set up an appointment to talk about how tooth whitening can improve the beauty of your smile.