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Questions about whitening treatments

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Questions about whitening treatments
Whitening treatments are used to improve the look of a smile. Here are some questions about whitening treatments.

Question: Can all stains be removed?
Answer: Most of the time, yes. Extrinsic stains can be removed easily with a bleaching agent. This kind of discoloration occurs on the enamel. The enamel can be stained by such things as drinking coffee, tea or red wine, smoking or even eating a lot of spaghetti sauce.

Sometimes the inner structure of the tooth, usually the dentin, becomes darker or yellowed. This is called an intrinsic stain. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove. Some can't be removed at all. For example, the tetracycline can cause intrinsic staining. This happens when it is used by children under 8 or women in the last half of their pregnancies. These are times when permanent teeth are developing in a child or fetus. These stains cannot be removed by bleaching.

Some stains are caused by nerve or blood vessel damage, usually as a result of some trauma. Root canal therapy may be necessary to prevent permanent staining. Even so, the tooth may darken. If external bleaching does not remove the stain, a bleaching agent can be applied to the inside of the tooth. Another option is to cover the tooth with a veneer or a crown.

A third type of stain is called "age-related." It's a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. As the aging occur, the dentin gets slightly yellow. The outer part of the tooth enamel gradually becomes thinner over time. This allows the yellow dentin to show through.

Yellow stains are the easiest to remove with bleaching. Gray or black stains tend to be more difficult. Generally, new stains are easier to remove than old ones.

Question: How white the teeth will get?
Answer: Well, that depends. Professional whitening can make your teeth up to seven shades whiter.

If you use an over-the-counter product at home, choose carefully to ensure it is safe, effective and reliable.
It is important to think about which shade most flatters you and not how white your teeth can get. Keep in mind that your habits also dictate how white your teeth will be. Your whitening results will last longer if you don't smoke and don't drink coffee or tea.

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