It is one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your smile, which is why it is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the world. The results are immediate so that you can come in for a whitening treatment in preparation for a big meeting, your wedding day, or a family photo shoot.
It is also an affordable way to look years younger, simply by erasing the damage caused by drinks like coffee and red wine. Although the results are immediate, they won’t last forever. Resuming the same habits will stain the teeth again, and you will need to come in from time to time to maintain the desired level of whiteness.
Unstained teeth look naturally white because light reflects and scatters off the clean outer layer, called the enamel. Initially, tooth enamel is beautifully clean, but it has tiny pores that capture colourants. As the pores stain, less light can reflect off the surface. If we clean these pores, our teeth can regain their brilliant whiteness.
The most common cause of stained teeth is drinking dark-coloured liquids like coffee, tea, and red wine. Smoking is also a well-known cause of yellow teeth, as well as poor oral hygiene. We also lose lustre in our teeth as we get older. The enamel becomes thinner, which reveals the dark layer of dentin below. We can improve the look of our teeth later in life by taking good care of them during our youth.
It is also possible for the teeth to stain beneath the enamel. These are called intrinsic stains, and they usually occur when we consume too much fluoride while our teeth are still developing during childhood.
Some tetracycline antibiotics can increase the risk of intrinsic staining in children under the age of eight. They can even lead to stained teeth in a child if their mother takes such medication during the third and fourth trimester of pregnancy. Trauma to a tooth can also cause dark intrinsic stains. While teeth whitening is very effective in removing stains from the enamel surface, it does not help with intrinsic stains.
Pedro uses two of the world’s most reliable teeth whitening systems — Philips Zoom® and Enlighten Evolution. These options offer different methods for whitening both vital and non-vital teeth.
This is the whitening procedure that Pedro prefers to use. It is both fast and effective, and results can be seen before you even leave the practice.
Pedro will begin by examining the teeth and discerning the primary causes of staining. He will then clean your teeth to remove any bacteria and food from the surface before performing the whitening procedure. He will also take before-and-after photographs of your teeth, to keep a record of your whitening progress.
It is also possible to whiten your teeth at home while you sleep. If this option is suitable for you, Pedro will give you special trays that contain a whitening gel and fit snugly over the teeth. While at-home treatments cost less than power whitening, they can take two to four weeks to achieve the desired results.
Combination whitening allows you to experience the benefits of both. It consists of a power whitening session with Pedro, followed by at-home whitening to maintain the results.
Teeth whitening has limitations for patients with cavities, prosthetic teeth or receding gums. Cavities must be fixed before starting the teeth whitening treatment so that the whitening solution does not pass through a cavity and reach the inside of the tooth.
Whitening treatments will not whiten tooth roots that lie against a receding gum line. In fact, if you have receding gums, the whitening procedure may make your teeth more sensitive. Teeth whitening will also not work on veneers or crowns. Be careful not to whiten natural teeth beyond the colour of veneers and crowns, as they will be more discernible among your newly brightened natural teeth.
Vital whitening refers to a whitening treatment for teeth that have live nerves. Non-vital whitening, on the other hand, is whitening treatment for teeth that no longer have live nerves due to root canal therapy.
Vital whitening uses a gel that is applied directly to the surface of the tooth. This gel contains a form of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Pedro can perform vital whitening treatment for you, or you can do it yourself at home with a special kit he will prepare for you.
If you opt to have your teeth whitened by Pedro, he will use a powerful gel which usually takes between 30 and 90 minutes to work. You may need to repeat the process once or twice, depending on the severity of the stains. Pedro will apply a protective substance to your gums before he applies the whitening agent to your teeth. He will then use a special light to activate the gel and speed up the bleaching effect. You can then continue the whitening process at home.
You may also opt for at-home treatment if your stains aren’t severe. Pedro will take an impression of your teeth and make a custom mouthpiece for you. The mouthpiece must fit properly for the whitening agent to stay in contact with your teeth. Fill both parts of the mouthpiece with whitening gel and place them in the mouth as instructed. The mouthpiece must be worn for a few hours every day, as at-home whitening treatment doesn’t benefit from the quickening effect of the special light.
Most patients find they achieve the right shade of whitening within two weeks. You may need to wear the mouthpiece for a month or even longer to eliminate darker stains. There are also whitening toothpaste’s that can help to remove very mild stains.
tains on a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment are most likely on the inside of the tooth and not on the surface enamel. If this is the case, bleaching gels will not remove the stain.
Pedro will perform a procedure on the teeth that whitens them from the inside. He will access the inside of the tooth and place a whitening agent in the centre, where the root once was. He will then fill the opening with a temporary filling and leave the whitening agent inside for a few days. After the stain is gone, Pedro will clean out the tooth and replace the filling.
Teeth whitening treatments are not a permanent solution. Your teeth will stain again if you continue to do whatever caused the stains in the first place. The whitening may even start to fade within a month if stain-inducing foods continue to be consumed.
However, if habits are changed, and staining foods are replaced with the alternatives recommended by Pedro, follow-up treatments may only be necessary after six to 12 months. Teeth can be re-whitened at home or at an appointment with Pedro.
Some people experience tooth sensitivity or gum irritation following their whitening treatment. However, this is uncommon and generally subsides within a few days.
Research has not yet concluded whether teeth whitening procedures affect a pregnant woman or her unborn child. Pedro recommends that pregnant women postpone teeth whitening treatments until after the birth of their baby.
Enlighten Evolution is a whitening process that combines in-chair and at-home whitening. It involves two weeks of at-home whitening followed by a one-hour appointment with Pedro for a more intense whitening session.
This combination increases the permeability of the teeth, which makes them more open to absorbing oxygen and increases the breakdown of stain molecules. The active ingredient in Enlighten passes through your dental enamel, where it begins to break down stains via chemical oxidation.
The first step is a visit to Pedro so he can custom-make a pair of Enlighten whitening trays that will fit your teeth perfectly. These whitening trays containing the special Enlighten whitening agent are then worn every night for two weeks, proceeded by an hour-long follow-up treatment with Pedro.
Enlighten is one of the most effective whitening systems on the market. It has a 98% success rate and is the only system to guarantee a Vita shade B1 result. The brand also boasts long-lasting results and low sensitivity, which no other system can currently claim. Even though the treatment works through the enamel, it does not damage the tooth surface or cause any sensitivity.
With over 15-years experience and a strong commitment to excellence, Pedro provides top-quality dental care with special attention to detail so that you can enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile.
His practice revolves around cosmetic and restorative dentistry including smile makeovers, cosmetic braces, Invisalign, dental implants, porcelain crowns & veneers, composite bondings, teeth whitening and more.
Pedro is enthusiastic and dedicated to providing a personalized and professional service. He will treat you like a family member. You will be in very good hands.