Teeth Whitening in Buffalo, NY
Providing Affordable Teeth Whitening Services Throughout WNY
Try as we might, there is only so much that we can do to preserve the whiteness of our teeth. Enamel is the hard, whitish, translucent substance that coats our teeth and prevents decay from setting in, but as we age, enamel naturally starts to gradually wear away. As enamel disappears, the yellow dentin inside the teeth becomes more visible, making the teeth appear more golden than ivory. Diet can also play a role in discoloration; beverages such as beer, coffee, red wine, soda pop, and tea contain substances such as acids, chromogens, and tannins, all of which adhere to and corrode enamel. Tobacco use, whether through smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, exposes the teeth to nicotine and tar, two major culprits in dental stains. Certain medications, such as antihistamines, chemotherapy treatment, and tetracyclines, can discolor teeth, and even blunt trauma can result in thickening of dentin, creating a yellowish appearance to a tooth.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic process. Unless there is a thinning of enamel, which attention from a dental health care professional should help to counteract, teeth do not have to be blindingly white in order to be healthy. There is nevertheless an appeal to white teeth, and safe treatments have been developed to encourage the lightening of teeth.
The process of teeth whitening is accomplished when a bleaching agent, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and urea), is applied to the surface of the tooth. The bleaching agent disintegrates the stains, making them easier to remove and exposing the naturally white enamel underneath. Using a whitening toothpaste is the cheapest way to whiten teeth. It should be noted, though, that these types of toothpaste can be effective in stain removal, but they do not change tooth color. Over-the-counter bleaching products, which can be purchased at any pharmacy, come in the form of a gel or a strip that is temporarily placed over the teeth. The quickest and most effective whitening method, chairside bleaching, can be accomplished only in a dentist’s office. After applying an insulating substance to your gums, your dentist will administer a concentrated bleaching solution to your teeth.
It may not be possible for an individual to whiten every discolored tooth, whitening can be ineffective on teeth with tawny or gray hues. Sometimes a simple dental cleaning can remove the stains and calculus (tartar) that have discolored your teeth, but other patients may benefit only from veneers instead of whitening. Crowns, fillings, veneers, and other types of dental implants will not be affected by teeth whitening products, and it is important to learn whether whitening would affect the integrity and the stability of these devices in the mouth. Temporary sensitivity in the teeth to cold, heat, and pressure is a common side effect of teeth whitening, as the bleaching agent has the potential to pass through the enamel and irritate the dental nerves. For all these reasons, before you begin to pursue a whiter smile, consult with your dentist to determine whether whitening would be the right choice for your teeth.
How long do the results of teeth whitening last?
Whitening teeth may be a quick process, but it requires long-term upkeep. An initial whitening takes about seven to 10 days, an hour at a time. We recommend doing a touch up once every two months, as your teeth will not maintain their whiteness if treatment does not continue at regular intervals.
How much does teeth whitening cost?
There are two types of whitening that we provide. We have a take-home option, in which we create models of your teeth and design trays and you whiten your teeth at home. This treatment costs $299. Our Zoom option, in which we bleach your teeth at our office and give you the trays afterwards, costs $499. We also have specials every month. If you are interested, our office will let you know if we are currently offering any discounts.
Does teeth whitening affect crowns or fillings?
Tooth whitening will not affect crowns or any fillings. If you have a cavity, it is recommended not to whiten your teeth while the cavity is active. What you have to keep in mind, though, is that if you have several teeth that have crowns and other teeth that you want to whiten, the crowns are not going to whiten as well as the other teeth will.
Does whitening toothpaste work?
Whitening toothpaste will not lighten your teeth to any measurable degree. The toothpaste can help reduce stains on the enamel, but it will not internally bleach the teeth.
Can teeth whitening damage your teeth?
As long as you follow the regular regimen that your dentist has assigned, there should not be any damage. If you over-bleach your teeth or whiten your teeth more often than you are supposed to, there may be complications.
If you have questions about teeth whitening, or would like to schedule a regular check-up, please contact our Buffalo dental office and schedule an appointment today.