There is no permanent solution to tooth discoloration, including in-office whitening, however, it is the fastest and safest form of teeth bleaching.

In-office teeth whitening

In-office whitening is much faster than home treatments or do it yourself kits. In-office whitening can produce results with as little as one office visit. During the bleaching, your dentist will apply gel or a rubber shield to your gums before applying bleach, thus protecting the gums. At home or over the counter whitening options use a low concentration of bleaching gel, while in-office whitening uses a higher concentration of bleaching gel because it is monitored and in a safe environment. The higher concentration is what allows the teeth to get whiter quicker.

Causes for tooth discoloration

Here are some of the common causes of teeth discoloration:

  • Age
  • Certain antibiotics taken as a child
  • Certain foods (foods with tannins, oranges, carrots)
  • Coffee and tea
  • Genetics
  • Red wine
  • Tobacco
  • Trauma

Are they candidates?

Not everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening. There are certain factors that contribute to the success potential of in-office whitening while there are other factors that dictate when it won’t work or won’t result in the desired outcome. Here are two potential candidates; one is a good candidate and the other isn’t.

Jake is in his mid-forties. He has never been a fan of coffee and doesn’t smoke. His teeth have yellowed over time naturally. Knowing how important smiles are, he wants to pursue in-office tooth whitening to step up his smile – he already has straight teeth from all those years of braces. He also has mild tooth hypersensitivity.

Jennifer is in her mid-thirties. She works crazy hours and relies on at least two cups of coffee a day to get through her to-do list. She recently quit smoking. Her job relies on customer interaction so she wants to put her best foot (and smile) forward. Her teeth have darkened due to the constant coffee consumption and her previous smoking habit. She wants to pursue in office tooth whitening for a fast, visible change.

Who did you choose as the good candidate for in-office whitening? Jake? While it may seem that Jake is the better candidate as there aren’t a lot of external factors affecting his tooth color, Jennifer is actually the better candidate. Since her tooth discoloration is from external factors (coffee, smoking) and not something genetic or trauma related, the whitening is more likely to be successful. Jake is not an ideal candidate for in-office whitening because he has tooth hypersensitivity. In-office teeth whitening could cause an extreme reaction for Jake, which his dentist wants to avoid. Jake may be a candidate for a take home or over the counter whitening solution.

If you are interested in a whitening procedure, schedule a consultation today to see if it is a good option for you.