Tooth bleaching is the most common cosmetic dental treatment performed today. There are several options for whitening your teeth, including those available only from your dentist and a variety of over-the-counter options.
Before beginning any bleaching procedure, it is important to understand why the teeth have become discolored. Tooth enamel is discolored by aging as well as staining substances such as coffee, cigarettes, wine, and food. Some types of medication cause staining of the teeth, and certain types of discoloring from medications will not respond to any type of bleaching. In those cases, porcelain veneers can be placed on the stained teeth to give you a bright, white smile.
Another tooth whitening option offered by Dr. Wilcox involves the use of custom fitted trays that are filled with bleaching gel and worn for a short time each day. This system of dental bleaching allows for total control over the final result. If your teeth are not the shade of white that you want, you simply wear the trays for a few more days. This method is usually less expensive than in-office whitening systems.
Many people think they will save money by purchasing over-the-counter bleaching strips or kits. However, you will get what you pay for. Over-the-counter products are not nearly as effective as professional tooth whitening products, and they also result in greater tooth sensitivity.