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Posts for tag: Teeth Whitening

Maintaining a White Smile

Do you wish your teeth were a little whiter? Aging and stains from foods, beverages, and tobacco products can all make it challenging to maintain a bright, white smile. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry services and treatments offered by your dentists at CenterCare Dental Group in Phoenix, AZ, can improve the appearance of your smile.

Ways to Brighten Your Smile

These five tips can help you brighten your smile:

  • Stay Away from the Dark Stuff: Some foods and beverages deposit dark pigments in the microscopic pores in your tooth enamel. Coffee, tea, red wine, cola, dark berries, candy, sports drinks, and soy sauce are common culprits. Limiting these foods and beverages can help you reduce stains.
  • Use a Straw: Staying away from coffee and tea isn’t practical for many people who rely on caffeine to start their days. Luckily, you can reduce stains on your teeth from these beverages simply by using a straw.
  • Try Whitening Products: Whitening toothpaste may help reduce stains on your teeth, but it probably won’t lighten your smile dramatically. Over-the-counter whiteners can be helpful but can take a long time to work or might not produce the desired results.
  • Give Professional Whitening a Try: Your Phoenix dentists can help you get rid of dental stains in just about an hour with professional teeth whitening. Your dentists use a whitening gel that contains higher formulations of hydrogen peroxide than over-the-counter whiteners for more impressive results. Hydrogen peroxide breaks apart and removes stain-causing pigments, whitening your teeth by three to eight shades. Your results will last several years but can be extended if you avoid foods and beverages that contain dark pigments.
  • Cover Stains with Dental Veneers: Veneers are the cosmetic dentistry solution that both famous and not-so-famous people turn to improve the whiteness of their smiles. The thin, tooth-shaped plastic or porcelain shells are affixed to your teeth with dental cement. Veneer preparation is minimal and may only require removal of a tiny amount of tooth enamel in some cases. Veneers are stain-resistant and available in nearly any shade of white imaginable. With proper care, your veneers can last 15 to 20 years or longer.

Whiten your smile with cosmetic dentistry treatments and services! Call your CenterCare Dental Group dentists in Phoenix, AZ, at (602) 671-3956 to schedule an appointment.

Teeth Whitening Illustration

Home whitening kits are a popular way to turn a dull smile into a dazzling one. But these self-applied products only work for teeth with outer enamel stains — if the discoloration originates inside a tooth, you’ll need professional treatment.

Known as “intrinsic staining,” this type of discoloration most often occurs within a tooth’s pulp or dentin layers. There are a number of causes like tooth trauma or tetracycline use at an early age. A root canal treatment used to remove infection from deep within a tooth can also cause discoloration: sometimes blood pigments left after tissue removal or the filling materials themselves can stain a tooth’s interior.

Intrinsic staining can often be treated by placing a bleaching agent, usually sodium perborate, into the tooth’s pulp chamber. But before undertaking this procedure on a tooth that’s undergone a root canal treatment, we want to first ensure the filling is intact and still adequately sealing the tooth from infection. We also want to make sure the supporting bone is also healthy.

If all’s well, we access the pulp in the same way as the root canal treatment, and preferably through the same access hole. We then clean out the pulp chamber of any stained matter and then ensure the root canals remain filled and sealed off from the pulp chamber.

We can then place the bleaching agent into the pulp, a process that will need to be repeated every three or four days to achieve the desired level of brightness. After each session we place a cotton pellet over the opening and held in place with a temporary adhesive; we can easily remove and re-apply this covering during subsequent sessions. Once we’ve achieved the desired color change, we seal the tooth with a permanent filling and restore the access cavity with a tooth-colored composite resin material bonded to the enamel and dentin.

There are other options for an intrinsically stained tooth like veneers or crowns that outwardly cover the discoloration. Internal bleaching, however, is a more conservative approach that causes less alteration of the tooth. If successful, it can restore a stained tooth to a brighter, more attractive shade.

If you would like more information on internal bleaching, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”

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