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Whitening

Tooth whitening is an extremely popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that delivers beautiful results quickly and easily. With the latest advanced whitening techniques, we at Westmoreland Family Dentistry can give you a dazzling, long-lasting white smile in almost no time.

How does it work?

Whitening is a safe and effective way to deliver a dramatic change to your smile quickly. As we age, minerals penetrate the enamel of our teeth and darken them. Certain factors also affect the whiteness of our teeth.

Whitening is accomplished by applying a bleaching gel directly to the teeth. The active ingredient in this gel, usually hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, breaks down and forces oxygen into the enamel and dentin of your tooth structure. The oxygen breaks down the stains and makes teeth whiter without hurting the structure of the teeth.

Factors that affect the whiteness of your teeth include:

Age
Some staining and discoloration are natural as we age since we accumulate stains from foods and beverages and other elements over the years.

Tobacco Use
Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco all stain teeth, especially after long-term repeated exposure. These stains can be minimized and often virtually eliminated by professional dental whitening. However, continued use after the whitening process will affect how long the whitening lasts.

Food and Beverages
Some foods, like colas, red wine, tea and coffee, stain teeth, especially after long-term repeated exposure. These stains can be minimized and often virtually eliminated by professional dental whitening. However, continued use after the whitening process will affect how long the whitening lasts.

Medications
In some cases, medication can cause stains or tooth darkening. These stains can be some of the most stubborn and difficult to remove. Fluorosis, a condition caused by too much fluoride, can cause discoloration, as can tetracycline and some antibiotics used during childhood years. We can explain how professional whitening can help in these situations.

How long does it take?

With take-home whitening procedures, results can typically be seen in as little as three to four days, with the final result commonly taking about two weeks. Of course, the degree of staining and the level of desired whiteness are factors in the total time.

Is whitening for me?

Whitening produces results in over ninety percent of patients, and it doesn’t hurt teeth. Different factors will affect the process, and some people are better candidates than others. In general, yellow and light brown teeth, stained over a period of years, make excellent candidates, while darker brown or grayish stains require special techniques. Whitening will not lighten artificial material in your mouth like bonding, fillings, and veneers. Those with sensitive teeth, damaged teeth, gum disease, and pregnant women are encouraged to discuss their conditions with us.

What is the whitening option Westmoreland Family Dentistry offer?

We offer take-home whitening kits.

Take-home whitening kits are an affordable and effective way for many people to achieve excellent whitening results. After preparing your teeth for whitening, we will take impressions of your teeth and fabricate plastic trays molded specifically to fit your mouth. At home, you will fill the trays with the whitening gel and fit them over your teeth. The trays hold the gel in contact with the teeth and are worn for a specified period of time. Some treatments are specifically designed to be worn overnight while you sleep. The trays are typically worn daily for ten to fourteen days (or nights), or until the desired whiteness is achieved.

Why is whitening from us better than using an over-the-counter product?

Over-the-counter products are not as effective or long-lasting as the take-home whitening kit offered by us at Westmoreland Family Dentistry. Additionally, the trays that hold the whitening gel are not custom fitted and could allow leakage that irritates gums.

What results can I expect?

Whitening produces results in over ninety percent of patients, and it doesn’t hurt teeth. Typical results can produce a change of several shades of whiteness, lasting three to five years. Different factors affect how long the process takes, what method is used, and how long the whitening lasts.

Is whitening safe?

The American Dental Association has approved whitening products, and clinical trials and studies have found them to be safe and effective. Most people suffer no side effects from whitening procedures, but some sensitivity to hot and cold foods is possible. This typically lasts for less than 48 hours.