The most common causes of external tooth discoloration are dark colored foods and drinks, cigarettes and other tobacco products. In addition, the interior of a tooth can become discolored through trauma or certain medications. However, internal discoloration is not generally remedied through teeth whitening. In these cases, a crown is a better option.
Teeth whitening formulas contain hydrogen peroxide. This is the same whitening agent that is available in over-the-counter products. However, products sold in drug stores contain a significantly lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide and are therefore not as effective as professional teeth whitening from the dentist.
Patients with healthy gums and teeth and typical external staining or discoloration are excellent candidates for teeth whitening and are usually extremely satisfied with the results. Whitening only works on natural teeth, not veneers or crowns.
Dr. Hunte makes custom-fitted gel trays to be used with the professional grade Opalescence whitening gel. In addition to whitening teeth, Opalescence tooth whitening gel contains PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride) to strengthen tooth enamel. These trays and gel are provided in take-home kits that allow patients to whiten at their convenience.
Teeth whitening products are extremely safe, as demonstrated by countless studies. They may cause temporary gum irritation and hypersensitivity of teeth in some patients, but both usually clear up on their own quickly. Whitening products should not be used in patients under the age of 13, women who are pregnant or lactating, or patients with gum disease or broken and damaged teeth.
To learn more about teeth whitening, and/or the Philips Quick Pro Whitening System, please contact Dr. Hunte to make an appointment.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!