Unfortunately, your teeth will darken over time. We offer a variety of whitening options to combat the changes in the color of your teeth. The outer enamel layer of the tooth works together with the dentin layer inside the tooth to give your teeth their natural color. Over the years, the effects of aging and daily wear and tear of chewing can cause the enamel layer to become thinner, allowing the yellow dentin layer to show through and creating the appearance of a discolored smile. For this type of discoloration, whitening treatments may not provide the most optimal solution. Dr. Green offers her patients other solutions for treating this problem, including dental bonding and porcelain veneers.
Two types of stains can affect the color of patients’ teeth: intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains emanate from the inside of the teeth and may take more than just a whitening treatment to correct. While not as common as extrinsic stains, we have seen these stains cause our patients plenty of grief. Many whitening agents will absorb into the enamel and break up stains inside the tooth improving the color of your smile. Some root causes of intrinsic stains include:
Extrinsic stains affect the outside of the tooth. These stains typically respond very well to whitening treatments, and most dentists can remove them and brighten your teeth by several shades in as little as one treatment. Causes of extrinsic stains may include:
Patients looking for a brighter smile have several teeth whitening options to choose from. The local pharmacy will have several whitening toothpastes, gels and strips for patients to choose from, for an inexpensive, do it yourself option, but these will only work to a small degree. Dr. Green uses the Zoom!® whitening treatment in our office. We have in-office treatments, as well as take-home kits to provide patients with brighter teeth from the comfort of their own homes.
Dr. Green’s preferred whitening treatment is the Zoom!® teeth whitening system. The treatment takes place in our Ft. Worth office, and takes about 90 minutes total. Dr. Green likes to start with a professional cleaning before the treatment and will take the time to examine your teeth to determine the cause and severity of the stains. Then we will prepare you for the treatment by covering your lips and gums, leaving the teeth exposed.
The doctor will apply the Zoom!® whitening gel, which comes in regular, mint, or melon flavors, to your teeth and use a special lamp to activate the hydrogen peroxide contained in the whitening gel. As it breaks down, oxygen molecules enter the enamel and dentin, breaking apart the molecules that make up stains, while making no change to the structure of the tooth. After the treatment is complete, we will apply a fluoride gel to your teeth to reduce sensitivity. In just one visit, we will apply the solution, wait for the allotted time and reveal your brighter, whiter smile!
Dr. Green will provide you with a take-home touch-up kit with custom fitted trays to help maintain your glowing smile. To keep your smile bright, you should stay away from coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining foods and beverages, or at least consume them in moderation. Maintaining good oral hygiene at home will help keep your teeth healthy and white.