Dr. Thomas G. Zarger has helped countless patients in the greater Knoxville area achieve smiles that are healthy as well as beautiful. One of the ways he routinely achieves these results is through teeth whitening treatment. Professional teeth whitening can brighten and whiten your smile, making it look pristine in the process.
Many people wonder if teeth whitening is right for them. Let's look at who the ideal candidates are for teeth whitening and what treatment alternatives are available for non-candidates.
Causes of Dental Stains and Tooth Discoloration
While many people don't realize this, there are a few different kinds of dental stains:
- Extrinsic Dental Stains: Extrinsic dental stains are stains that originate on the surface of a tooth. These tend to be caused by tobacco products, coffee, red wine, beets, and the other usual suspects when it comes to tooth discoloration.
- Intrinsic Dental Stains: Intrinsic dental stains are stains that originate within the tooth itself as a result of injury, infection, fluoride, or as a side effect of certain medications.
- A Mix of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors: Age-related tooth discoloration is often a mix of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, which can make treatment more of a challenge.
The right treatment for the patient will depend on the kind of dental stain that they're dealing with.
General Candidates for Teeth Whitening
The best candidates for teeth whitening treatment are people who suffer from extrinsic dental stains and are in otherwise good dental health. They should have realistic expectations about the treatment process as multiple whitening sessions may be required for serious cases of tooth discoloration.
Restorative Care Should Come Before Cosmetic Care
We mentioned above that candidates for teeth whitening should be in good health overall. If a patient's tooth discoloration is the result of tooth decay or tooth damage, or if the patient's teeth are stained and also decayed or damaged, it's important that the tooth damage be addressed before teeth whitening is performed.
Is professional teeth whitening better than over-the-counter whitening products?
Yes, very much so. In fact, there is no comparison when it comes to the overall results that can be achieved through professional teeth whitening. Just a single professional teeth whitening session can brighten your smile by up to eight shades.
Over-the-counter products are far inferior. It would take even the most sophisticated at-home tray systems weeks to achieve the same results as one session of professional whitening.
Alternatives to Professional Teeth Whitening
If a patient has very deep-set stains or intrinsic dental stains, professional teeth whitening will be limited in effectiveness or generally not ideal. In those cases, the best option for care will be an alternative treatment of some kind. Some common alternatives include:
- Porcelain veneers
- Dental bonding
- Porcelain dental crowns
During your visit to the practice, we will be more than happy to go over all of these alternatives with you in greater detail so you can make the best decisions with regard to your dental health and wellness.
Learn More About Teeth Whitening Treatments
If you would like more information about teeth whitening treatment and how it can help you have the smile that you have always wanted, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. During your visit with Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, you'll be able to learn more more about all of your options for advanced dental care.