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Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening Pinecrest Dental

Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural teeth and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth is the number one cosmetic concern of dental patients, many products and treatments to whiten teeth have entered the marketplace. A great deal of confusion as to which of these treatments are both effective and safe has resulted.

Surface Staining Treatments

It is important to know that there are two main reasons for teeth to become discolored and that these two reasons are unrelated.

Surface staining of the teeth is a common cause of discoloration. Tobacco, red wine, coffee, tea, colas, fruit juices, berries and tomato sauces deposit a layer of stain that binds to the outer surface of the teeth.

Most over-the-counter products for teeth whitening are designed to treat surface staining. These include power swabs, stain eraser sticks and whitening toothpastes.

Swabs and sticks can bleach surface stain to a degree, but it is important to know that they do not remove bacterial and calcium deposits from the teeth. These deposits are the cause of both cavities and gum disease. So, the teeth may appear whiter, but are no cleaner than before the application of the product.

Whitening toothpastes fall into this same category of surface stain treatments. These toothpastes have a level of abrasiveness that is two to four times higher than standard toothpastes. Although some reduction in surface stain may be possible, microetching of the tooth enamel is likely, creating small surface scratches that will trap new stain more easily. Further, many patients report a marked increase in teeth sensitivity to temperature and touch from microetching of sensitive, exposed root surfaces after the use of whitening toothpastes.

The most effective, safe and healthy way of treating surface staining is with a professional dental cleaning. All harmful bacterial and calcium deposits will be removed, and the teeth will be professionally polished to a high shine, removing all surface stain.

Coffee-Drinker

Age-Related Darkening Treatments

The second major cause of teeth discoloration is age-related darkening. The color layer of the teeth is the dentin, about two millimeters underneath the enamel. The color of the dentin is largely genetically determined and unaffected by what we eat, drink or smoke.

We see the dentin’s color through the “frosted glass window” of the colorless enamel. As we age, the color of the dentin slowly deepens and darkens, resulting in darker teeth, even when free of surface stain.

Treatments for age-related darkening include over-the-counter home bleaching kits and trays and professional in-office whitening treatments.

All these systems are somewhat similar, in that they use a bleaching gel, placed in contact with the teeth for a period of time, that penetrates through the enamel and lightens the colored dentin layer of the teeth.

The effectiveness and permanence of these systems largely depends on the formulation of the bleaching gel, its strength, how it’s activated and the length of time it’s in contact with the teeth.

Over-the-counter at-home systems use a relatively diluted version of bleaching gel, usually applied in a generic tray or adhesive strip. These systems can have some moderate, short-term success, but results vary greatly, depending on how well the user is able to apply the bleaching agent and keep it in place for the hours and days required.

The at-home bleaching gels are diluted to protect the user from damaging the gums, cheeks and lips, but this decreases its effectiveness and permanence. The increased time necessary for at-home systems usually leads to temporary teeth sensitivity to temperature, usually for several days.

Women with perfect smiles

Age-Related Darkening Treatments

The second major cause of teeth discoloration is age-related darkening. The color layer of the teeth is the dentin, about two millimeters underneath the enamel. The color of the dentin is largely genetically determined and unaffected by what we eat, drink or smoke.

We see the dentin’s color through the “frosted glass window” of the colorless enamel. As we age, the color of the dentin slowly deepens and darkens, resulting in darker teeth, even when free of surface stain.

Treatments for age-related darkening include over-the-counter home bleaching kits and trays and professional in-office whitening treatments.

All these systems are somewhat similar, in that they use a bleaching gel, placed in contact with the teeth for a period of time, that penetrates through the enamel and lightens the colored dentin layer of the teeth.

The effectiveness and permanence of these systems largely depends on the formulation of the bleaching gel, its strength, how it’s activated and the length of time it’s in contact with the teeth.

Over-the-counter at-home systems use a relatively diluted version of bleaching gel, usually applied in a generic tray or adhesive strip. These systems can have some moderate, short-term success, but results vary greatly, depending on how well the user is able to apply the bleaching agent and keep it in place for the hours and days required.

The at-home bleaching gels are diluted to protect the user from damaging the gums, cheeks and lips, but this decreases its effectiveness and permanence. The increased time necessary for at-home systems usually leads to temporary teeth sensitivity to temperature, usually for several days.

The LaserWhite System

Pinecrest Dental uses an in-office, state-of-the-art whitening technique, featuring the Biolase LaserWhite 20 system. The professional-strength LaserWhite whitening gel is activated by a Biolase Epic X diode laser, capable of delivering 6-12 shades of whitening (varies by patient) with less than 20 minutes of gel-to-tooth contact time. In one 45-minute visit, patients receive a professional whitening treatment, applied thoroughly and safely, for the highest effectiveness, comfort and longevity.

Remember that all age-related darkening treatments are only effective on natural teeth. Ceramic, composite and other tooth-colored restorations will not whiten, no matter what product is used. If necessary, replacement of discolored restorations can be done after bleaching, so they will match the newly whitened teeth.

Schedule a consultation today with Pinecrest Dental, to see what whitening treatment is best for you.

Teeth Whitening

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I have been a patient of Dr. Kenward for over 30 years. His professionalism and skill makes dental appointments easy. My entire family sees him and Clara, his dental hygienist, and we have every confidence in their ability to maintain our dental health. His office environment is attractive and clean. His staff is friendly and very helpful.
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I love this dentist!!! I have been to 5 others here in South Florida, and Dr. Mayoral is by far the best. This practice is exceptionally clean and and the staff is incredibly professional and friendly. I don't know what else to say except that I recommended everyone I know, especially my family and friends, and all of them are very happy. I also got my Invisalign 6 months ago and have received many compliments on how nice my teeth and smile look. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!
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Pinecrest Dental Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry makes it a pleasure to go to the dentist. They are caring, professional and comforting. They put the patient first, make sure nothing is overlooked and make sure you are on top of your dental care. Every procedure is explained and discussed and all of the outcomes I have had have been wonderful.
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