Teeth discoloration can be treated with professional cleanings, whitening products, and cosmetic services such as porcelain veneers and dental adhesives. The best teeth whitening method for you can be determined during your aesthetic dentistry consultation. In-office whitening is done in the dental office and is much stronger than whitening toothpastes and household whiteners. It usually involves applying a hydrogen peroxide gel and then pointing a special heating lamp to the teeth for three 20-minute intervals, with the reapplication of the gel between intervals.
A laser may also be used to speed up or activate the whitening process. A protective barrier is used during the procedure to keep the lips, gums and tongue away from the whitening gel. At-home whitening kits dispensed by dentists are also available and contain a higher percentage of bleach for better results. These products do not contain carbamide peroxide, much less than the products used by dentists.
It's important to talk to your dentist before you whiten your teeth as certain types of discoloration cannot be corrected with whitening treatments, and there are certain dental or medical conditions that may reduce the chances that teeth whitening will work for you. Your dentist can come up with the best whitening options for you and oversee a treatment plan to avoid complications. In-office teeth whitening by a dentist will give the best results in the shortest possible time, but it will cost you hundreds of dollars. For optimal results, your dentist may give you molded whitening trays for your teeth so you can follow up at home with whitening solutions.