Even if you have good oral health and structurally sound teeth, you may still be disappointed with the appearance of your smile. Tooth discoloration can be embarrassing and can make you look several years older than you are. In some cases, it may even affect personal relationships and professional success. Fortunately, your Philadelphia cosmetic dentists offer several teeth whitening options, including the Brite Smile system. This innovative treatment is available for both in-office and at-home treatment. Both are very effective, so you can select the method that fits your lifestyle and budget.
What Causes Dental Discoloration?
There are two types of dental stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the outer layer of enamel. They can be caused by dark colored or acidic foods like wine, coffee, tea, berries, or tomato products. Smoking and genetics are also contributing factors to extrinsic stains. Intrinsic discoloration affects the underlying dentin. These stains can result from certain drugs, metal fillings, or dental trauma, among other factors. Teeth whitening is extremely effective in treating extrinsic stains, although it may not be the most effective way to treat intrinsic discoloration. (If you have these kinds of dental stains, you should ask your dentist about other options such as veneers and dental crowns.)
What Is Brite Smile?
Brite Smile uses a hydrogen peroxide-based gel to chemically break down stains on your dental enamel. While most whitening products use hydrogen peroxide, Brite Smile only contains 15 percent of the compound, making it gentler than similar treatments. If you have sensitive teeth or gums and have previously been unable to undergo whitening, Brite Smile may be the solution you have been looking for.
In-Office Brite Smile Treatment
If you choose to receive whitening treatment in our office, your cosmetic dentist will coat your teeth in the whitening gel and leave it on for about 20 minutes. To accelerate the whitening process, he will shine a cool blue light on your teeth. He will typically repeat this process three times, and after your one-hour session, you could enjoy a smile that is up to nine shades lighter.
At-Home Brite Smile Treatment
When you select at-home treatment, Dr. Wilderman will provide you with whitening trays made specifically for you to fit snugly yet comfortably around your teeth. You will fill the trays with whitening gel and wear them for two hours a day over several weeks. After your treatment, your smile may be up to six shades lighter. Although the whitening gel used during at-home treatment is more powerful than any over-the-counter whitening products, it is still quite safe and should not cause any undue sensitivity for the average dental patient.
Which One to Choose?
Because both in-office and at-home teeth whitening treatments are safe and effective, there really is no right or wrong choice. However, there are advantages to each option. The advantages of in-office treatment include:
- You can enjoy immediate results.
- Your teeth may be slightly whiter following office treatment as compared to at-home treatment.
- You will have complete supervision during the entire process (a fact that is often reassuring to patients with more severe tooth sensitivity.)
The advantages of at-home treatment include:
- At-home treatment can be a great option if you are on a budget
- You can whiten your teeth on your own time, when it is convenient for you.
- At-home whitening can be a great option for patients who are truly committed to their whitening treatment and do not feel the need for ongoing dentist supervision.
Schedule Your Consultation
To learn more about whitening treatment and which option may be right for you, schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist today. Dr. Wilderman will be happy to answer all of your questions and to explain our other whitening treatments, including Zoom® and KöR teeth bleaching.