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A Detroit Dentist Explains In-Office Teeth Whitening

Christine O'Kelly
Aug 6, 2008
Your teeth are likely to make a lasting impression on the people you meet. While a gorgeous smile that showcases dazzling white teeth is attractive, discolored teeth can be off-putting. In the past, your options for whitening your teeth were limited. Today, a myriad of products and services are available to help you regain a beautiful smile. In this article, I'll describe how teeth become discolored and how teeth whitening works. Once you've made the decision to enjoy a great smile, you can approach a Detroit dentist with confidence, knowing the procedure will remove any discoloration.

Causes Of Discolored Teeth

There are several ways your teeth can become discolored. Most people realize that habitual smoking and drinking coffee can gradually cause your teeth to lose their whiteness. However, there are lesser-known causes. For example, soy sauce and berries can also stain your teeth. As we age, our teeth begin to have an absorbent quality that can exacerbate the problem. Often, certain medications can cause discoloration from the inside of your teeth. When this is the case, brushing to whiten your teeth is largely ineffective.

How Tooth Whitening Works

Procedures for whitening your teeth at the dentist's office will vary slightly depending upon the professional who is performing the job. For example, a Detroit dentist may prefer using a hydrogen peroxide solution with a higher concentration than another dentist. That being said, most dentists follow a similar process when whitening their patients' teeth.

Usually, a device is often inserted into the patients' mouth to help isolate the gums and teeth. Sometimes, a shield is placed upon the gums to prevent the hydrogen peroxide gel from irritating them. Next, the gel is placed on the teeth for up to 30 minutes. Then, the dentist will check your teeth to note the progress of the whitening. It's common among Detroit tooth whitening professionals to apply the gel multiple times.

Benefits Of In-Office Tooth Whitening

Though you can purchase whitening toothpastes and at-home bleaching solutions, they're often less-effective and more harmful than having a professional perform the bleaching. For example, a Detroit dentist will have access to materials that are more potent, safer and longer-lasting than the solutions you'll see on most store shelves. Not only will they take precautions to ensure that your gums aren't irritated, their bleaching agents won't wear down the enamel on your teeth like many at-home solutions.

Potential Drawbacks of In-Office Tooth Whitening

There are a few disadvantages to having your teeth whitened at your dentist's office. First, the cost may be prohibitive for many patients. Because high-quality gels and equipment are used for the procedure, it's usually more expensive than performing the procedure at home. A Detroit dentist may charge $700 to whiten your teeth while whitening strips purchased at the grocery store may cost less than $100.

Also, the level of whitening that your teeth experience will depend upon your age, the types of stains and even your heredity. That being said, you'll likely experience the same varying levels of success at home. That is, if a Detroit tooth whitening procedure is only mildly successful, using an in-home solution will result in mild success, too.

Enjoying A Beautiful Smile

There are several options for whitening your teeth. You can purchase special toothpastes or whitening strips that promise to eliminate some of the discoloration. Alternatively, you can ask your dentist about buying whitening trays and gels that you can use at home. Many people prefer to have their teeth whitened at their local dentist's office. The method you choose will depend upon your budget, the quality of gels and materials you want to use on your teeth and the availability of teeth whitening services near you. If you're looking for a Detroit dentist, you'll find that many can perform teeth whitening services in less than an hour.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is an author for the Southfield Family Dental Center, a Detroit dentist with a wide breadth of expertise. Their services include Detroit tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and root canal therapy.
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