Many patients want to enhance and brighten their smile through bleaching or whitening. From over-the-counter products to in-office or at-home treatments, whitening options are available for most patients.
A dental exam and cleaning prior to whitening is recommended, as some surface staining can initially be removed during a professional cleaning. Contraindications, expectations and whitening choices can also be discussed during the exam.
How Does Whitening Work?
To understand how whitening actually works, it is important to first understand how staining works. Teeth have multiple layers; enamel is the outer-most layer. After years of enamel being exposed to various chemicals, foods and drinks, a film called pellicle film is formed. After time, the material in this pellicle film penetrates deeper into the enamel, where neither a patient nor a dental professional could easily remove it. Whitening works by removing surface and deep stains with solutions containing an active ingredient of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching solution permeates the enamel and causes a chemical reaction which breaks down the material in the pellicle film (stain). As a result, patients are left with whiter teeth.
Dr. Miller and his team offer different types of whitening based on patient preferences like time, cost and convenience.