The purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to help patients achieve a smile that they can feel proud to show off. Perhaps the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure is in-office, professional teeth whitening. This article discusses what teeth whitening is and when it may be recommended as a part of a cosmetic dentistry treatment plan.The following…
What to Expect From Teeth Whitening in Cosmetic Dentistry
Professional teeth whitening in cosmetic dentistry eliminates stains or discoloration on the teeth. DIY whitening kits have become so popular and accessible that many people do not know what to expect when they visit a dental office for the procedure. Continue reading to learn more about the teeth whitening procedure.
Initial consultation with the dentist
Before the teeth whitening process, patients need to undergo a dental checkup, cleaning, and desensitization. The consultation will help the dentist determine if teeth whitening can work on the stains. Discoloration from foods, drinks, or tobacco can come off easily, but those caused by medication, disease, or infection may need more intense treatment.
The dentist will also perform a full dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that may have accumulated in hard-to-reach places and are irremovable with an ordinary toothbrush. The cleaning enhances the result of the whitening process. It is also a chance to ensure that there are no issues like cavities or gum disease; such issues need to be treated before the whitening.
The professional whitening process
In cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening is typically performed with hydrogen peroxide gel. Unlike regular at-home kits, the version used by dentists has a higher concentration and requires professional handling. Patients will undergo a final assessment before their mouths are prepared for the procedure.
First, the dentist will keep the mouth open during the treatment using a lip retractor. Patients will bite on the back area of the device to relax their jaw muscles. Gauze will also be used to keep the teeth free of saliva. After this, the dentist will cover the mouth with a rubber dam to protect the gum from the whitening agent and reduce sensitivity.
They will also clean the lips and inner cheeks with a muco-protectant gel to shield these tissues from the whitening agent. Considering the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide that is used, this process ensures that the agent does not burn or irritate the lips and cheeks.
Once the preliminary process is complete, the whitening treatment can start. The dentist will use a brush to apply the whitening gel over the teeth. Afterward, they will turn on a special light to activate and accelerate the whitening process. The light will activate the oxygen in the gel to penetrate the pores of the enamel and break down the stain pigments. The first process lasts about 20 minutes.
Afterward, the dentist will clean the gel from the teeth and apply another coat to begin the next round. Depending on the severity of the stains and the level of whitening required, patients may go through three to four rounds of treatment. The strength of the whitening agent and type of whitening also determine how quickly the results become noticeable.
One major advantage of choosing teeth whitening at the cosmetic dentistry office is that the results are immediate and dramatic. Under the dentist’s supervision, the risks of teeth whitening are also considerably lower. If you would like to improve your smile’s appearance, get started by booking an appointment with the general dentist.
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