It's normal for the teeth to yellow and lose their brilliance over time, but they don't have to. Teeth whitening treatment is highly effective at removing years of discoloration, restoring the smile's youthful beauty and luster. Teeth whitening treatment is quick and safe, making it suitable for many patients. If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening candidates and live in the Rancho Mirage, CA, Palm Springs, CA, or Palm Desert, CA area, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bruno Lemay.
Who Are Candidates for Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening treatment is highly effective at removing years of dental discoloration to reveal a more youthful, bright white smile. Although teeth whitening treatment is safe and gentle, it is not suitable for everyone. Candidates for teeth whitening include:
- Those with extrinsic stains: Extrinsic stains are essentially surface stains, most commonly recognized by a somewhat even discoloration of the teeth. Extrinsic stains respond well to teeth whitening treatments, making those with surface staining excellent candidates for teeth whitening treatment.
- Those with relatively healthy gums and teeth: When undergoing teeth whitening treatment, the gums and teeth must be relatively healthy and free of gum disease or decay.
- Those with yellowed or discolored teeth: It's common for the teeth to yellow or become stained over time, especially when certain foods and drinks, like red wine and coffee, are consumed regularly. Those with yellowed, discolored teeth may benefit from teeth whitening treatment.
- Those without dental restorations: The porcelain and composite resin used in tooth-colored restorations will not whiten along with the natural teeth when whitening treatment is performed. Candidates for teeth whitening should not have any front facing dental restorations because teeth whitening can lead to a mismatch in color between the restorations and natural teeth.
- Those who are unhappy with the color of their teeth: Those who are unhappy with the appearance of yellowed, discolored teeth often make good candidates for teeth whitening.
Poor Candidates for Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is suitable for most people, however, there are some patients who are not suitable candidates. Fortunately, there are alternative treatments, like porcelain veneers and dental bonding, which can be used to restore a vibrant white smile to those who may not qualify for teeth whitening treatment. Patients who may not be good candidates for teeth whitening include:
- Those with intrinsic stains: Intrinsic stains are deep stains commonly caused by trauma, excessive fluoride consumption, or certain medications, including the antibiotic Tetracycline. Intrinsic stains are localized stains that can appear as white spots or as a darkening of individual teeth. Teeth whitening treatments generally cannot penetrate deep enough within the tooth to reduce the appearance of intrinsic stains, making those with staining better candidates for alternative treatments.
- Those with sensitive teeth: Teeth whitening treatments can increase tooth sensitivity for a day or two after treatment. Those who already suffer from severely sensitive teeth should consider this before undergoing teeth whitening.
- Those under 16: Although teeth whitening is a safe and gentle treatment, those who are under 16 should postpone teeth whitening until they are older, especially since younger patients are more likely to experience increased tooth sensitivity after whitening treatment.
- Those with severe oral health issues: Those with oral health problems, including gum disease, enamel erosion, and cavities, will need to address these issues before undergoing teeth whitening.
- Pregnant or breast-feeding women: Although no ill effects have been observed in performing teeth whitening on pregnant or breast-feeding women, it is best to delay any cosmetic dental treatments until after pregnancy to ensure the safety of both mother and baby.
- Those with dental restorations: Those with dental restorations are generally not suitable candidates for teeth whitening because whitening could result in a noticeable difference in color between the natural teeth and restoration. With that said, restorations can be replaced in conjunction with whitening treatment to restore the smile's brilliance.
Discover Your Treatment Options
Dr. Lemay offers a range of treatments beyond teeth whitening to restore the health and beauty of your smile. If you would like to learn more about your treatment options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.