If you're considering having your teeth whitened, and you've never experienced this cosmetic dentistry procedure before, you probably have some questions. Dr. Matthew Knutson and Dr. Richard Knutson are cosmetic dentists in the Vermillion, South Dakota area, and are proud to offer dental whitening as part of the services in their practice. Below, are a few of the questions you may have if you are considering having your teeth professionally whitened.
How do teeth get discolored?
Your teeth aren't completely smooth on the surface, although you wouldn't be able to tell without the use of a microscope. Each tooth has tiny cracks and grooves on its surface, all of which are too tiny for a toothbrush to reach. These spaces trap food particles which can build up over time and leave the teeth stained.
How does whitening work?
Your Vermillion cosmetic dentist will start your whitening treatment by applying a gel that is made up of peroxide, a chemical mostly made up of oxygen. The peroxide solution is activated when it comes into contact with the embedded food particles, creating a chemical reaction that produces oxygenated bubbles. This reaction causes the particles to break down further, where they can be rinsed away and your best, brightest smile can be revealed!
Will my teeth be sensitive after whitening?
Not everyone will experience tooth sensitivity after whitening, but it is a potential side effect. The process of whitening essentially deep-cleans the tiny grooves of the enamel. Unfortunately, even the best quality whitening treatment can also temporarily remove important minerals that insulate the nerves inside of the teeth. This can cause mild to moderate sensitivity that only lasts as long as it takes for the teeth to remineralize, typically within a few days. In the meantime, you can use anti-sensitivity toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush and avoid very hot, cold, or acidic foods and beverages.
If you have more questions about whitening, or any other cosmetic dentistry procedure, your best bet is to contact Knutson Family Dentistry in Vermillion, South Dakota for a consultation appointment today!