Why Do Teeth Become Discolored?
Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance produced by the human body, it is still susceptible to staining and discoloration. Because tooth enamel is porous, stain-producing substances can work their way into the teeth and cause discoloration. As an experienced cosmetic dentist, Dr. Berbari cam address various kinds of tooth staining and discoloration, which can be divided into two main categories:
These stains originate from an internal source, such as overexposure to fluoride (which produces chalky white spots or brown streaks in extreme cases); taking certain medications (such as the antibiotic tetracycline, which produces a characteristic brown or grey discoloration); trauma or infection; and even some dental procedures (such as root canal therapy). Intrinsic stains are located on the inside of the tooth, and cannot be eliminated with traditional teeth whitening systems. Instead, porcelain veneers, porcelain dental crowns, or cosmetic bonding can be used to conceal these stains and create an aesthetically appealing smile.
This type of discoloration stems from an outside source, primarily from foods, drinks, and tobacco products. Red wine, dark fruit juices, coffee, tea, berries, curry, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, spaghetti sauce, and any other foods that have a strong color profile can cause extensive staining to your teeth. While brushing and regular dental cleanings can help control these stains, they can still accumulate at a cellular level over the years, resulting in a smile that looks dull and yellowed. Professional teeth whitening treatments can effectively remove most of these stains, although severe discoloration from cigarette smoking can prove problematic. Dr. Berbari will evaluate your smile and give you a recommendation for the most appropriate treatment to help you reach your cosmetic goals.
In-office Whitening Treatments
At Montreal Smiles, we offer two kinds of in-office teeth whitening treatments. Both methods use a professional strength bleaching solution that is activated by either a specialized ultraviolet (UV) dental light or a diode laser. Depending on the type of staining and level of discoloration, Dr. Berbari will determine which technique will give you the best results.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Our true laser system uses a 40% concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel that is activated by a specific wavelength of light from our diode laser. Laser teeth whitening allows patients to achieve a dramatically whiter smile in a little less than an hour, with just a few short treatment sessions.
To begin your laser whitening treatment, a member of our team will place a barrier to protect the soft tissues of your mouth from the bleaching solution. Next, we will brush the whitening gel on to your teeth and expose it to the laser to activate its stain-removing power. After your first session, we will wait for about 20 minutes before repeating these steps to achieve the best results. Once all the sessions have been completed, you will receive a specialized tray to wear over your teeth. This tray contains fluoride and potassium nitrate, which will reduce any dental sensitivity following the procedure, while also strengthening your enamel. We will also give you a take-home whitening kit so that you can maintain your bright smile with touch-up treatments.
Zoom!® Teeth Whitening
For patients who prefer an alternative in-office treatment, we also offer Zoom!® whitening. This method uses high-strength hydrogen-peroxide-based gel and a UV light to remove stubborn discoloration. Similar to our laser whitening procedure, your Zoom!® treatment will begin with a member of our team placing a material to protect your gums from the professional-strength bleaching solution. After applying the whitening gel to your teeth, we will activate it with a specialized UV dental light for about 15 minutes. Each treatment will consist of three sessions to achieve a brilliant, dazzling smile. Following treatment, many patients choose to perform maintenance treatments with our take-home Opalescence® whitening kits.
The Convenience of Take-home Whitening
At Montreal Smiles, many patients prefer our Opalescence® take-home whitening kits. This easy-to-use system features custom-fitted trays, high-strength bleaching gel, and the convenience of whitening on your own schedule in the privacy of your own home. If you decide to choose take-home whitening, you will first receive a dental cleaning and polishing to remove any lingering plaque and tartar and prepare the teeth for the whitening process. Next, we will take impressions of your teeth that one of our dental assistants will use to fabricate your custom-fitting trays. When you return to our office, you will receive your trays and several tubes of whitening solution. You can plan on wearing your trays for approximately four hours every day while you are whitening your teeth. Many patients will even choose to wear them at night while they are sleeping. You will begin to notice a difference in your appearance in a few days, with the full results becoming apparent in about two weeks.
Teeth Whitening Results
With both of our in-office whitening treatments, you will be able to notice a dramatic improvement in the shade of your teeth immediately following the procedure. However, as your teeth will be dehydrated right after treatment, the results will stabilize over the next few days. If you are having any other dental work done, it is important to wait at least a week before choosing the shade of your porcelain veneer, composite bonding material, or dental crown. These materials will not respond to the whitening treatment so if you want to brighten your smile, the procedure must be performed prior the placement of your restoration.
Our main goal is to provide our patients with a beautiful, white smile that looks completely natural. No matter which technique we recommend for your whitening treatment, the process works by removing built-up stains and restoring the natural color of your teeth. Because the natural shade of enamel is different for everyone, it is difficult to precisely predict what your teeth will look like after treatment. Dr. Berbari will take before and after images so that you can compare your results with a shade guide to determine how effective the treatment was. By practicing good oral hygiene habits and performing periodic touch-up whitening treatments at home, patients are able to maintain their beautiful new smiles for years.
Schedule Your Next Appointment at Montreal Smiles
Professional teeth whitening is a fast, effective, and surprisingly affordable way to rejuvenate your smile. To learn more about our in-office and take-home whitening systems, please contact Dr. Roni Berbari and his dedicated team at Montreal Smiles today.