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What is Teeth Whitening?

If your teeth are starting to make you self-conscious due to staining and discoloration, perhaps it is time to consider a professional whitening treatment. These procedures restore your bright white smile without increasing the sensitivity of your teeth the way home whitening treatments can. These whitening treatments use carefully controlled conditions to restore the original color of your teeth without the use of damaging agents and ingredients. Dr. Haynes offers whitening treatments at Radiance Smiles Center to help our Durango-area patients achieve a more brilliant smile and the self-confidence that accompanies the improved appearance.

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure performed today. This treatment is both safe and effective, yielding nearly instant results that can last many years. Unlike bleaching solutions in the past that were left on teeth for an extended period, today’s treatments do not cause damage to the tooth enamel that can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and discomfort. While professional in-office treatments tend to be a bit more expensive than home options, fewer side effects and more natural, durable results tend to make these procedures worth every penny.

Reasons Whitening is Necessary

Discolored teeth can impact your smile, which can be a significant cosmetic concern for many people. In fact, as many as 99 percent of adults believe a smile is an important benefit socially, while 96 percent agree that a beautiful smile is one of the more important ways to make yourself attractive to the opposite sex. Unfortunately, stains and other types of discoloration interfere with your smile, making you self-conscious about your appearance overall. There are different reasons why your teeth may become discolored:

  • Genetics, which means if one or both of your parents have stained teeth, you are more likely to as well
  • Use of antibiotics, particularly in children when the teeth are still developing
  • Certain foods, such as coffee, tea and red wine
  • Regular use of tobacco, either through smoking or chewing
  • Age, because over time, the outer shell of the tooth can wear away, revealing the yellower interior
  • An injury to the mouth that causes the tooth to react to the harm by changing color

Some of these types of discoloration respond well to professional whitening procedures, while others do not. If Dr. Haynes determines your discoloration cannot be eliminated through whitening alone, he can recommend other treatments like veneers or crowns to restore the health and beauty of your teeth.

Is Teeth Whitening Right for You?

In-office teeth whitening tends to work best on teeth that have been discolored due to foods, genetics or tobacco use. These stains are set in the outer layers of the enamel where the whitening agents can have the greatest effect. Tooth whitening is not usually recommended for patients with acute tooth and gum sensitivity or teeth that have significantly thinned and become transparent over time. Dr. Haynes will assess your discoloration personally to decide if whitening will help you reach your cosmetic goals or if another treatment would be more effective.

About the Process

Before your whitening procedure, Dr. Haynes will perform a comprehensive cleaning and examination to ensure there are no other health concerns involving your teeth and gums. If you have cracked teeth, decay or gum disease, whitening agents can exacerbate your condition. Dr. Haynes will likely recommend treating these issues first before proceeding with the whitening process.

If Dr. Haynes determines you are a good candidate for whitening after your cleaning, he will place a retractor in your mouth to expose all the teeth that will be treated. A protective solution is applied to the gums to prevent irritation from the whitening agent. Next, the bleaching gel is meticulously applied to the teeth and left on for a prescribed amount of time. A light may also be used to activate the gel solution and increase its effectiveness.

After the set time, the bleaching agent is removed from the teeth, and Dr. Haynes will check to see whether you have achieved your full whitening results. If not, he will repeat this process additional times until your teeth are the appropriate shade of white to meet your expectations. Once your procedure is completed, you will be able to return to your regular activities right away with no sign you just had a cosmetic procedure performed other than your brilliant white smile.

The Cosmetic Benefits of Whiter Teeth

The whitening results you receive from your dentist’s office can last up to one year or longer in most cases. Dr. Haynes will provide you with instructions on how to maintain your teeth at home to prolong your results even longer. If you experience any side effects from your whitening treatment, Dr. Haynes will be equipped to help you manage those as well.

Don’t hide your smile because you are embarrassed about discolored teeth. Contact Radiance Smiles Center today at 970-247-9549 to find out if you are a good candidate for one of our in-office whitening treatments.