Serving patients in North Dallas, Plano, Farmers Branch, Carrollton and the surrounding area.
North Dallas cosmetic dentistry provider Dr. Hampton treats many patients whose teeth have been discolored or stained with time. He helps resolve this problem by offering patients in North Dallas teeth whitening (bleaching) treatment. With noninvasive teeth whitening treatment, you can have brighter, whiter teeth and an inviting, confident smile.
Whitening vs. Bleaching
The term “whitening” can be applied to any dental treatment or product that restores the color of teeth’s surface by removing debris or dirt. Hence, any dental product that cleans teeth, such as toothpaste, can be called a whitener.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only allows the term “bleaching” to be used when referring to a dental treatment or product that whitens teeth beyond their natural color. This means that the term bleaching should be reserved for products that contain a bleaching agent, such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
Nonetheless, the term “whitening” is often used in place of “bleaching,” so keep that in mind when determining the best course of action for brightening your smile. At The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Hampton can rejuvenate a dull smile with teeth bleaching treatment.
What Causes Teeth to Become Stained or Discolored?
Teeth usually start out with a sparkling white enamel surface. Tooth enamel protects teeth from the effects that chewing, biting, trauma and the acid from certain foods can cause. However, enamel gets worn down and becomes more transparent over time. This allows the yellow color of a tooth’s core material, dentin, to show. This can cause teeth to appear discolored or yellowed.
Habitual chewing and biting also causes microscopic cracks to appear in tooth enamel. As time passes, debris and stains get stuck in these tiny cracks, resulting in the duller look of teeth.
The Two Types of Tooth Stains
Tooth stains can be broken up into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains occur with aging, trauma, exposure to certain minerals, such as tetracycline, and/or excessive fluoride ingestion. Although intrinsic stains are more deeply set in teeth, they can still be removed with certain whitening treatments.
People are usually more familiar with the concept of extrinsic stains, which are the stains that appear on teeth’s surface as a result of ingesting dark-colored drinks, such as coffee, tea and red wine, eating certain foods, smoking tobacco, and regular wear. Although mild extrinsic stains can be removed by brushing and visiting The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for regular teeth cleanings, Dr. Hampton must perform teeth bleaching to get rid of more ingrained extrinsic stains.
What to Expect During Teeth Whitening (Bleaching) Treatment
To begin in-office teeth whitening (i.e., bleaching) treatment, Dr. Hampton or his highly trained dental technician paints on a rubber dam to protect the gums. Then, he or she applies a high-concentration peroxide gel to teeth. Next, you relax for 15 to 20 minutes while the gel works its magic. This layer of peroxide gel is removed, and the process is repeated a few more times. Generally, the entire process takes an hour or less. If you have especially stubborn stains, you may be advised to come back for additional bleaching sessions. Another option may be to continue teeth whitening treatment with an at-home whitening kit.
Keep in mind that touch-ups may be required to maintain the whitening effects of treatment. This is especially true if you frequently drink coffee, tea or red wine, or smoke. You should consult with Dr. Hampton before starting any whitening treatment if you have extensive dental implants, porcelain veneers or other cosmetic dental enhancements.