Cosmetic dentistry uses treatments like teeth whitening to enhance the way that a patient's smile looks. The appearance of your smile creates an instant subconscious impact on those you interact with. Pearly white smiles are often viewed as signs of warmth, happiness, good health, vitality and youth. Being perceived that way can have a drastic impact on your personal and professional life.
Teeth whitening treatments used in cosmetic dentistry
The American College of Cosmetic Dentistrysstates that about 99.7% of people in the U.S. agree that a white smile is an important social tool. About 96% of those surveyed say that it makes a person more appealing to romantic partners, while 74% percent think that an unhealthy-looking smile can hurt a person's career opportunities.
The number-one thing most of the people surveyed wanted to improve about their smile was its color. Professional teeth whitening treatments are an economical way to go about improving the color of a person's teeth, and many patients are happy with their results after a single session.
Most people start with pearly white baby teeth, then their teeth start darkening as they age. The older that a person is, the more likely they are to have darker, stained teeth. A white set of teeth can make a person appear young due to factors like this.
That is not the only way that a person's teeth can become discolored. Teeth can be stained by the coloring agents in foods and beverages called tannins. For example, drinking coffee regularly is certain to leave one with stained and discolored teeth.
Teeth can also become darker due to a person's genetics, tetracycline antibiotics, tooth decay, and habits like smoking. Smoking is especially bad for the color of teeth because it only takes a few months for tobacco smoke to turn white teeth yellow.
Teeth whitening options
There are two main types of teeth whitening treatments provided by dentists: in-office and at-home whitening kits.
In-office whitening: This involves applying highly concentrated bleaching products that contain hydrogen carbamide or hydrogen peroxide to the patient's teeth. These treatments are usually performed using a customized mouth tray, so the whitening product evenly coats the patient's teeth. In-office treatments normally last anywhere between 60 minutes to 90 minutes. Patients can expect their teeth to be eight shades whiter when it is over.
At-home whitening kits: The bleaching products found in at-home whitening kits provided by dentists are not as powerful as the prescription-grade whiteners used for in-office treatment, so they take longer to produce similar results. This type of teeth whitening is also done with a customized mouth guard and is a great way to maintain the results of in-office whitening treatments.
Laser whitening: This is a newer approach to whitening teeth and negates the need for a customized whitening tray. The bleaching paste is applied directly to the patient's teeth, and a laser is used as a catalyst to speed up the reaction. It produces similar results to in-office whitening, but the patient spends less time sitting in the dental chair.
Get your teeth whitened
Call or visit our Everett clinic to learn more about how cosmetic dentistry can improve the color of your teeth.
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