Yes. Many dental offices can use the latest technology to offer you computer imaging, giving you a good idea of what you can look like after cosmetic dental improvements.
The first step is to get a cleaning using a "prophy jet", with a baking soda spray, for tooth polishing to remove superficial stains as the last step. This will help your dentist evaluate the type and amount of “real” discoloration present in your teeth. Then, a two-step, in-office bleaching technique using heat/lamp or the new laser approach, is combined with the usual "matrix home bleach" for the safest, quickest way to whiter teeth. Subsequent follow-up is recommended to maintain your new tooth color.
A good cleaning in the dental office with the "prophy jet" using baking soda spray is a good start. In-office bleaching using heat/lamp or the new laser technique, especially when combined with matrix home bleaching can also help. If your teeth are very dark it may take several treatments in-office, plus up to three months at home. You may also want to consider replacing old fillings with tooth colored bonded restorations and/or porcelain laminate veneers. If the stains are bright orange, they may be caused by chromogenic bacteria and may need polishing and/or antibiotics to correct the condition. Another technique called mircoabrasion, which involves polishing the stains with a mild acid in combination with bleaching, may be useful, especially for white stains. The most important thing is for you to have a consultation with your dentist, who will help you make the correct decision and avoid problems.
Bonding and composite resin fillings do not bleach. Usually, polishing may help, but if not, you can have the surface of the fillings redone. Otherwise, it's time to replace with newer bonding or porcelain laminates for longer lasting results. Remember, only replace these fillings after bleaching in order to match the new, improved color of your own natural tooth.
Each person is different. It depends on many factors including your diet, the original color of your teeth, and each individual tooth's ability to absorb the bleaching products.
Yes. The in-office option is an external light source or new laser techniques. An at-home matrix or nightguard used with a carbamide peroxide gel will also bleach teeth, but not as quickly. The combination of in-office followed by at-home seems to provide the best results.
External bleaching may not help. Internal bleaching may be the solution if the tooth has had the nerve removed (root canal treatment). If not, consider bonding, porcelain veneering, or capping the tooth to mask the darkness.
Yes. Our external bleaching may or may not help. If not, the teeth can be covered with a light composite resin bonding or beautiful "stick on" porcelain laminates. However, continued heavy smoking will unfortunately shorten the longevity of any treatment result.
Most "whitening toothpastes" remove some surface stains, but they will not bleach the teeth as effectively as bleaching gels or solutions that contain the bleaching agent carbamide peroxide. Even if the toothpaste does contain some bleaching chemicals, the length of time in which the paste is in contact with the teeth is insignificant compared with using a bleaching solution and a form-fitted matrix, or especially an in-office treatment. Also, these toothpastes may have harmful abrasives that can wear away tooth structure over time.