Dental whitening is a painless treatment but it can require several visits to the dentist to get the desired results. During your appointment, your dentist will likely photograph your teeth to provide a reference and to track the success of the treatment. Your dentist will check the health of your teeth to ensure that no further care is necessary before the whitening procedure. Next, the dentist and will ask you a series of questions to ascertain the source of the discoloration. Following that, the dentist or dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and eliminate any residue and bacteria that can interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment. The dentist can now proceed with whitening your teeth.
There are two primary methods of tooth whitening performed by most dentists:
The most popular type of teeth whitening is called vital whitening. This procedure is done on teeth that still have functioning nerves and entails bleaching the tooth on the outside only. Typically, the whitening solution is a gel containing a form of hydrogen peroxide that is added directly to the tooth’s surface. Your dentist will then beam a special laser or light onto the teeth, initiating the bleaching process. A vital whitening session could last between 30 and 90 minutes. Then, depending on the degree of the staining and the amount of whiteness desired, between one and three visits to your dentist’s office could be necessary.
Non-vital whitening is often used for teeth that are discolored from the inside out, often as a result of nerve injury. Your dentist will insert the whitening agent inside the tooth and cover it with a temporary lining during non-vital whitening. Again, several therapies may be necessary to obtain the desired level of whitening.