If you feel that your smile is not as bright as it could be, you may be considering a teeth whitening treatment. These treatments are available from dentists or as self-administered products. In either case, talk to your dentist before trying a treatment. It's important to know if you're a suitable candidate for teeth whitening and to understand how the treatment might work for you. Your dentist may also be able to brighten up your smile in other ways.
How Will Teeth Whitening Work For You?
Teeth whitening treatments don't give everyone a stellar smile. They work well for some people, but others may find the results disappointing. A treatment works best if your teeth and gums are healthy. Problems like staining, discolouration and previous dental work may prevent the whitening process from working correctly or evenly.
For example, according to the Australian Dental Association, you won't necessarily be able to whiten existing dental work, such as fillings, veneers or crowns, as these won't change colour after a treatment. Your dentist can assess if this is likely to be a significant problem, and can talk to you about possible workarounds, such as replacing fillings with new ones to give a better colour.
Ask your dentist about the possible side effects of at-home teeth whitening treatments. Although many people have their teeth whitened without experiencing problems, the treatment may cause issues such as enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity and gum inflammation. Choosing to have your teeth professionally whitened by a certified dentist my be a better option.
Is Treating Stains and Discoloration a Viable Alternative?
Staining on your teeth can be external or internal. External staining is often due to lifestyle habits, such as smoking or drinking a lot of coloured drinks. Internal staining may be due to treatment on a tooth or trauma to it, both of which can lead to discolouration inside the tooth.
If you have a lot of external staining, your dentist may recommend that you start by having your teeth cleaned and polished. Then you and your dentist can talk about setting realistic whitening goals for your teeth.
Internal staining is more difficult to deal with. It is also something you should discuss with your dentist before you use a tooth whitening treatment, especially if the discolouration is on your front teeth. Internally discoloured teeth will not be the same shade as other teeth after whitening, which could leave you with different tooth colours that don't look good. Talk to your dentist about options for whitening internal discolouration, as it may be possible to use an internal bleaching treatment or a veneer to fix the problem.
For more information, contact a dentist like those at Collins Dental Image.