Teeth Whitening
Towson, MD

Before and after whitening smile at Keith A. Boenning, DDS in Towson, MDTeeth whitening is by far the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, about 90 percent of Americans who visit the dentist request teeth whitening procedures. If you believe that your pearly whites are lacking some of their sparkle, we at Keith A. Boenning, DDS can help you bring back your smile in all its glory.

What Causes Teeth To Stain?

Your teeth may change color and look more yellow, brown, or grey due to a number of reasons:

•  Food: Dark-colored food like coffee, cola, tea, red wine, and berries have dark pigments called chromogens that can stain your enamel.
•  Tobacco: Tobacco contains nicotine and tar. Tar is black while nicotine turns yellow when exposed to oxygen. Both of these things can stain your teeth.
•  Age: As you age, your outer translucent layer of enamel becomes thinner and thinner and more of your yellowish dentin shows through.
•  Medication: Certain prescription drugs like antipsychotics, antihistamines, and blood pressure medication can darken teeth. Small children exposed to doxycycline and tetracycline may develop discolored teeth as they grow older.
•  Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy and radiation of the head region can darken teeth.
•  Trauma: A blow to the mouth can cause nerve damage in the teeth, which can result in intrinsic staining.
•  Fluoride: Small children overexposured to fluoride can also develop discolored teeth.

How Teeth Whitening Works

We can perform whitening procedure on your teeth with excellent results. Whitening involves bleaching of the teeth. Bleach includes active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or hydrogen carbamide in a concentration of 10-20 percent. By applying bleach to your teeth, we can make your teeth five to seven times brighter. Teeth whitening, however, is not a permanent process and your teeth will become discolored again after a year or two if you continue to consume dark foods.

Types of Tooth Whitening Treatments

Vital Whitening

Vital whitening is performed on a tooth, which has a live nerve. To whiten these teeth, we will apply the bleaching gel, solution, or varnish to your teeth and will accelerate the whitening process with a laser light. Vital whitening takes about 30 to 90 minutes and may require multiple sessions, depending on how stained your teeth are. Keep in mind, however, that whitening only reveals the natural bright white color of your teeth; if your teeth are naturally yellowish, it cannot change their color.

Non-Vital Whitening

Non-vital whitening procedures are performed on teeth whose nerves are dead. These teeth may have intrinsic stains that stem from inside the tooth. To whiten these teeth, we may place a bleaching gel inside your teeth and cover it with a temporary filling. We may have to repeat the procedure until your teeth are adequately brightened. Keep in mind, though, that not all intrinsic, or even extrinsic, stains respond well to whitening procedures. If this is the case with you, we may recommend other procedures like dental bonding or dental veneers to improve the look of your teeth.

Risks of Teeth Whitening Procedure

Teeth whitening procedure is an incredibly safe procedure. However, it may pose a risk for some people and may offer limited effectiveness to others.

•  For example, expecting and nursing women are not advised to have teeth whitening procedure in at least the first trimester of pregnancy.
•  Additionally, people who have restorative dental procedures done, like bonding, veneers, bridges, and crowns, should know that teeth whitening cannot lighten the color of these restorations.
•  Some people with very sensitive teeth may also experience slight tooth pain after getting a whitening treatment, though this will be resolved in a few days.
•  If the bleaching agent comes into contact with your gums, it can also cause gum irritation.

Teeth whitening is a cost-effective and safe procedure, which can brighten your smile. If you feel interested in whitening your teeth, call us today (410) 828-1717 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Keith A. Boenning.
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