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Tooth Whitening Options

By pamelali, in Articles, on January 23, 2011 | Comments (0)

Ottawa, ON – Having whiter teeth is most patients’ number one concern about the way they look. In fact, the number of Americans who whiten their teeth has grown more than 300 percent since 1997. But, the Ottawa dental practice of Dr. Pamela Li offers a simple tooth whitening (sometimes called bleaching) process to brighten the color of your natural tooth enamel and enhance your smile.

A number of factors can cause staining or yellowing of the teeth, including: excessive fluoride, use of certain medicines during childhood, age, and consuming a lot of coffee, tea, or wine. “Many people find their teeth yellow as they get older,” explains Dr. Li  Ottawa tooth whitening specialist. “The enamel on your teeth thins out and just doesn’t give you that bright white look anymore. These patients are simply looking for a way to restore their teeth to their previous color.”Dr. Li points out that tooth whitening has become a very common aesthetic procedure. The most popular method for whitening teeth is an in-office whitening procedure followed by additional treatment at home, but Dr. Li, an Ottawa cosmetic dentistry specialist, also offers a kit to do all the whitening at home.  Because tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.  Some of these restorations may need to be replaced after whitening so they will match the newly brightened teeth.

In Office Whitening: First, your gums are coated in a special gel to protect them. Then the dentist applies a very concentrated peroxide gel on your teeth. The gel is rinsed off after 15 minutes. During one office visit, this procedure will be repeated three times. The whole appointment takes approximately 1 1/2 hours. The staff at Dr. Li’s Ottawa dental clinic will create molds and trays customized to your teeth. You leave with a special whitening gel along with the trays so you can complete the treatment at home.

Take Home Whitening: This method usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions – or molds – will be made of your teeth to create customized plastic trays. During the second appointment, the trays will be fitted and adjusted if necessary. Depending on the amount of staining and the desired degree of whitening, the patient will wear the trays with a special whitening gel either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks. Some patients experience tooth sensitivity during this time, but it subsides when they finish bleaching, notes Dr. Li, an Ottawa veneers provider.

Neither method is permanent and you may require a touch-up every few years. “Our patients are amazed at how fast and convenient the process is and they’re very happy with the results,” says Dr. Li, an Ottawa dental implants expert.

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