The most popular teeth whitening alternatives are dental bonding and dental veneers. Dental fillings may be recommended as well for patients that have eroded enamel. It is helpful to understand all available cosmetic treatment options to determine the best way to improve your smile long-term.
Types of teeth whitening and alternative solutions
Some patients may not be eligible for teeth whitening due to severe teeth stains, oral health concerns, or different treatment goals. This review discusses the different types of teeth whitening that are available and the alternative solutions dentists may recommend for patients that are not eligible for teeth whitening.
In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening is a professional form of treatment that can target and remove mild to moderate stains on highly visible teeth. The procedure involves isolating the teeth using a lip retractor and dental dam over the gums. A bleaching agent is applied to the teeth and the dentist shines a dental laser (or dental light) over the teeth. This activates the bleaching agent and whitens the teeth. After twenty minutes, the whitening agent is removed and additional applications can be applied until the desired results are achieved.
At-home teeth whitening kits
Some dentists provide at-home teeth whitening kits. There are different types of kits. Many of them consist of a dental tray that is worn by the patient each day for approximately two weeks. A whitening gel is used to remove the stains and make the teeth brighter. There are also store-bought teeth whitening kits, but they are far less reliable and may cause side effects if applied without consulting with a dentist first.
Dental bonding is an affordable alternative for patients that are not eligible for teeth whitening. Bonding involves applying a tooth-colored composite material to teeth to cover teeth stains. This does not require any alteration of the teeth, and the procedure is reversible. Bonding is a good option when the stains are intrinsic and too severe to be improved by teeth whitening.
Dental veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are fixed onto teeth. Each veneer is customized to fit perfectly for optimal comfort and appearance. The color shade is determined using a shade guide, ensuring the smile looks bright and natural. Among other uses for dental veneers, they are great at covering severe teeth stains and making the patient's smile brighter.
Dental fillings may be necessary for patients that have certain types of cavities, including those that occur to the visible surface of teeth. When fillings develop, it can make teeth whitening no longer an option. Amalgam fillings closely match the color shade of natural teeth for an improved appearance.
Talk to our team about achieving a brighter smile
If you are not happy with the way your smile looks due to discoloration or teeth stains, then contact our dental practice today. We help our patients achieve a better smile through teeth whitening and alternative treatment solutions such as dental veneers, composite bonding, and dental fillings with tooth-colored material.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Columbia, MD.
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