A subtle change in your smile can make a big difference in
the way you look and feel about yourself. Talk to Dr. Wall
about the options most suitable for you, what your expectations
are and the dental fees involved.
Tooth Whitening Treatments
Tooth Whitening Treatments
Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety
of products and procedures available to help you improve the
look of yours.
Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from
brushing twice daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste,
cleaning between their teeth once a day and the regular cleanings
at the dentist’s office. However, if you decide you
would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter,
you should investigate all of your options.
You can whiten your smile in one appointment with Dr. Wall or you can use
an at home bleaching system (store-bought or from your dental
office) or whitening toothpaste.
What should you ask Dr. Wall?
You may want to start by speaking with Dr. Wall. He or
she can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective
for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration.
For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well,
brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued
teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may
not enhance your smile if you have had tooth-colored fillings
placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the
color of these materials, and they will stand out in your
newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate
other options, like porcelain veneers.
What is in-office bleaching?
If you are a candidate for bleaching, Dr. Wall may suggest
a procedure that can be done in our office. This procedure
is called chair-side bleaching and may require more than one
office visit. Each visit may take from sixty to ninety minutes.
During chair-side bleaching, the dentist will apply either
a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect
the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to
the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the
action of the agent.
A number of in-office bleaching agents have the ADA Seal
of Acceptance, your assurance that they have met ADA standards
of safety and effectiveness.
What are at-home procedures and products?
There are several types of products available for use at
home, which can either be dispensed by Dr. Wall or purchased
over the counter.
Bleaching solutions. These products contain
peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. These
products typically rely on carbamide peroxide as the
bleaching agent; carbamide peroxide comes in several different
concentrations (10%, 16%, 22%).
Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and
are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products
are used twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended
for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching
solution from Dr. Wall, he or she can make a custom-fitted
mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently,
only dentist-dispensed home-use 10% carbamide peroxide tray-applied
gels carry the ADA Seal.
You also may want to speak with the dentist should any side
effects become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive
during the period when you are using the bleaching solution.
In most cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen
once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience
soft tissue irritation — either from a tray that doesn’t
fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with
the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects,
you should discuss them with Dr. Wall.
Toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove
surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening"
toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special
chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain
removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted
products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.
How should I choose a whitening product?
When selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure
to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance—your assurance
that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.
Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns
There's no reason to put up with gaps in your teeth or with
teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. Today a veneer
placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistake or
the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored
materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. Typically
a dental technician makes them in a dental lab, working from
a model provided by Dr. Wall.
This is usually an irreversible process,
because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel
from your teeth to accommodate the shell.
Dr. Wall may recommend that you avoid some foods and
beverages that may stain or discolor your veneers such as
coffee, tea or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or
fracture. But for many people the results are more than worth
If you have any questions about veneers, feel free to discuss
them with Dr. Wall.