The number one aesthetic concern of most patients is having white teeth. Tooth whitening is a treatment used to lighten tooth enamel and enhance the natural beauty of a person’s smile. In comparison to other facial cosmetic procedures available such as Botox™ fillers, tooth whitening is the least expensive option with the most dramatic results!
One misconception many people have is that fillings need to be replaced after having their teeth whitened. This may be true in some cases but does not apply to everyone who whitens their teeth. Since whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, dental restorations such as crowns, composite/tooth colored fillings, amalgam/silver fillings and the like, will not lighten in shade throughout the whitening process.
In many cases, prior dental work will blend in just fine with the new shade of the teeth, however if someone undergoes a significant change in the level of whitening in relation to the shade of existing dental work, it may be necessary to have one or a few restorations replaced for that reason.
At Cameron Family Dentistry, we can perform a smile evaluation at an initial exam or check-up appointment to provide some indication as to whether any prior dental work might need to be re-done however the final determination would be made upon completion of whitening the teeth.
What the Whitening Procedure Entails
Tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions are made of the upper and lower dental arches to fabricate custom whitening trays.
The fit of the upper and lower trays are checked and delivered at the second appointment. Depending on the degree of discoloration and desired level of whitening, the trays are worn with special whitening solution for roughly 20-30 minutes each day for a couple of weeks or until the desired level of whitening is achieved.
It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during this time, but it will subside shortly after cessation of the whitening process. Once this initial phase of whitening is completed, it may be necessary to touch-up the upper and lower arches as needed roughly once a year to every other year, if at all. Different types of foods and beverages play a big role in determining how often touch-ups are needed, or if they are needed at all.