Teeth Whitening Walnut Creek
Many patients wonder what the difference between teeth whitening and teeth cleaning is. While both the procedures may basically sound to have the same objective, they are miles apart.
Teeth cleaning, better known as scaling and polishing, is a routine dental procedure that removes dental plaque and tartar along with extrinsic stains present on the outer surfaces of teeth. Teeth whitening is a purely cosmetic dental procedure that lightens the pigmentation present inside the tooth structure. Scaling and polishing, however, is a part of the procedure for teeth whitening.
Types of Teeth Cleaning:
(i) Supragingival Scaling (Normal cleaning)
(ii) Subgingival Scaling (Deep cleaning)
(i) Over-the-counter methods: These include toothpaste, rinses, gels, and strips. Although these are the cheapest method available, they have the least whitening effect.
(ii) At-Home methods: These involve fabrication of custom made trays which have to be worn for 30 minutes to several hours each day, according to the dentist’s instructions. Such methods have a more dramatic effect than the over-the-counter methods. However, the whitening gel is of lesser concentration to avoid sensitivity to the gums etc.
(iii) In-Office Whitening: This method has the most appreciable and dramatic results of teeth whitening. A much stronger concentration of peroxide is used and involve the use of special lights or lasers to carry out the procedure. In-office whitening usually takes about one hour to complete and may be split into cycles of 15-20 minutes each. This is usually preceded by a session of scaling and polishing.
After teeth whitening, there are some foods that one is required to avoid whereas there is no such need after scaling and polishing. Any aesthetic restorations that need to be done are also recommended to be carried out 24 hours after the teeth whitening for better shade matching.
As teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure, it is not advisable to get it done too often as it may lead to sensitivity and weak enamel. Additionally, teeth whitening is best avoided in people who already have sensitive teeth, hypocalcified teeth or fluorosis.
If you are a candidate for teeth whitening, it is advised to get teeth cleaning done once in every six months.
To learn more about these treatments or to schedule an appointment with your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist, call us today at (925) 937-9017!