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Primarily, tooth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth, while removing unwanted stains or discoloration, and perhaps the most common and most popular cosmetic dental procedure nowadays. It is performed by licensed dentists. This process is not only a one-time session as repeated sessions are necessary so as to achieve the desired color and maintaining at the same time.

Who Needs Tooth Whitening?

The enamel is the outer tooth layer, and its smoothness and thickness may be affected by hereditary factors or some other environmental variables. When there is thinner enamel, the dentin color will appear more or show through. The enamel pellicle or thin coating tends to pick up stains from food, beverages, or anything that is consumed on a day-to-day basis. The pellicle contains pores, which could likewise hold stains for some time. Many people who undergo this cosmetic dental procedure are those smoking since the use of tobacco affects the enamel significantly. Other reasons for stained tooth include the drinking of carbonated beverages, red wine, tea, and coffee. The aging process also contributes to the color changes of the teeth.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Stains

The teeth may also suffer from inside stains, called intrinsic stains. These issues are usually caused by excessive use or exposure to fluoride, especially among the kids’ developing teeth. Some intrinsic stains are also caused by the use of tetracycline antibiotics, while other studies indicate that trauma may also cause these stains. Meanwhile, extrinsic stains are only on the tooth surface, and tooth whitening is most effective in treating these stains.

Tooth Whitening Procedure

The two types of tooth whitening procedures include the non-vital and the vital whitening. The non-vital procedure is performed on a tooth that has undergone a root-canal treatment, wherein the nerves are no longer functioning. The cosmetic dental procedure of vital whitening involves a tooth that still has live nerves.

Risks Involved

Tooth whitening does not involve too much risk or any serious side effects. However, the main issue among those who undergo such procedure is that their tooth tends to become more sensitive after the procedure, although for a short while. Moderate irritation is also experienced by some, while expectant mothers are advised not to go through such cosmetic dental procedure as the whitening materials to be used may affect the unborn child.

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