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Who Is a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening Treatment?

By Eugene D. Stanislaus on August 05, 2014


A woman in a sun hat smiles while enjoying the outdoorsMany people come to Brooklyn Heights Dental® to get a beautiful smile, and oftentimes that means they'd like to get rid of stains and discoloration. Teeth whitening is a great way to brighten and beautify your smile, though you may be surprised to learn that it's not always for everyone.

If you've ever wondered who is an ideal candidate for teeth whitening, you should continue reading.

About Teeth Whitening Treatment

Whether it's professional teeth whitening or an over-the-counter bleaching tray system, the overall principles of teeth whitening treatment remain the same.

The teeth are exposed to a special bleaching gel, which has chemical compounds that penetrate the enamel in order to whiten surface stains. The stains themselves aren't removed per se, but the discolored tooth structure of the enamel is whitened in order to leave the teeth looking brighter and cleaner.

General Candidates for Teeth Whitening

General candidates for teeth whitening are people with extrinsic dental stains. They should be in good dental health overall and have realistic expectations about the teeth whitening process and its side effects. The most common side effect of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity, which is generally mild and only lasts for two days or so. Realistic expectations means greater chances of patient satisfaction.

Extrinsic Stains vs. Intrinsic Dental Stains

You may have noticed that we specified a certain kind of dental stain in the above section. There are two kinds of stains, extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic Dental Stains: These kinds of dental stains originate at the surface layer of the teeth in the enamel.
  • Intrinsic Dental Stains: These kinds of dental stains originate within the tooth structure, either in the pulp chamber or the dentin layer beneath enamel.

Given the delivery method of the bleaching agent, professional teeth whitening will only be able to address extrinsic stains.

Teeth Free from Decay and Damage

It's also important that patients who are considering teeth whitening have no tooth decay or tooth damage. Tooth sensitivity can be made worse when a patient suffers from a tooth injury and undergoes teeth whitening treatment. It's ideal for any damage or decay to be dealt with using a restoration of some kind before cosmetic treatment is initiated.

Alternatives to Teeth Whitening

If a patient is not a good candidate for teeth whitening treatment, there are plenty of other options to consider that can help brighten and whitening a smile.

When tooth discoloration comes as a result of decay or damage, the use of a restoration such as a filling, an inlay, an onlay, or a crown may be most ideal. These restorations come in tooth-colored form, allowing them to blend in with your teeth and look seamless.

For major stains that do not respond well to teeth whitening, it may be possible to use a tooth bonding resin or to place a porcelain veneer. Both of these can mask the stain from view and make your smile look pristine.

During your consultation at Brooklyn Heights Dental®, we'll be sure to cover all of your treatment options so that you can get the smile that you've always wanted.

Find Out If Teeth Whitening Is Right for You

Would you like to have a smile that looks its absolute brightest and whitest? If so, it's important that you contact our dental care center today. By speaking with Dr. Eugene D. Stanislaus and Dr. E. Lisa Reid, you will be able to learn more about all of your options for advanced cosmetic dentistry and how your smile can look its very best.

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