Needle Phobia and Fainting

 

By: Dental Fear Central

 

😱 Do you feel anxious at the sight of needles? There is something you can do and your dentists can help you, too! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

Some people faint at the sight of needles. This may be common if you have what is called a blood-injury-injection phobia, where you get very anxious by seeing blood or an injury or by receiving an injection.

According to some sources, many people (70-80%) who have a blood-injury-injection phobia faint. But other studies have failed to find such a high incidence of fainting. For example, in one study by DeJongh and his colleages (1998), none of the people with blood-injury-injection phobia fainted during dental treatment. So it is unclear exactly how common fainting is.

Fainting is the result of a sudden drop in blood pressure. Psychologists don’t know exactly why some of us experience a drop in blood pressure when we see blood or have an injection. One theory is that it’s an evolutionary mechanism – back in the distant past, when someone was coming at someone else with a sharp stick, a genetic variation allowed some individuals to faint in response. Because a person who had fainted looked dead, they might have survived attacks by other warriors during battle. Also, the drop in blood pressure might have helped those who were wounded to avoid bleeding to death. Survivors then passed on the “fainting gene”.

There are some techniques you and your dentist can use to prevent fainting.

What your dentist can do:

“Fainting – it does happen. I would say a handful of my patients come over faint every year. This tends to happen just after giving local anaesthetic, especially when they have not eaten. Normally, I spot the signs and lay the patient either flat or with their feet slightly raised. I cannot recall the last time a patient actually properly passed out. These days I tend to give local anaesthetic with the patient reclined (if they are ok with that) and keep a close eye on them for the next few minutes.”

Lying down helps because the blood can flow to the brain more easily. It is much harder to faint when you are lying down. So if you are concerned about fainting, and don’t mind lying down, ask your dentist to give you the local anaesthetic while lying down.

What you can do:

If lying down on its own isn’t enough (or you hate the idea of lying down), you can learn a technique called Applied Tension. Ideally, to learn it, you would work with a therapist, because this will make it easier to get ideas for exposure exercises. But you can also learn it on your own. Read through all the instructions first before starting to practice.

Step 1: Find a comfortable place in your home where you can be alone without anyone interrupting. Sit in a comfy chair or lie down on a sofa or a bed. Focus on the muscles in your legs, arms and trunk. Now tense those muscles (make them contract). Hold the tension until you feel a warm feeling or a “rush” in your head. This usually occurs after 10 to 15 seconds. Then, relax and rest for about 30 seconds. Repeat this four more times.

Step 2: Repeat step 1 five times per day (this means doing it 25 times per day altogether). Do this everyday for one week. This may seem like a lot, but the better you get at this technique, the easier it will be when you put it to work in a stressful situation. You want to practice enough that it becomes automatic.

Don’t overdo it, though. If you are getting headaches it could mean that you’re tensing too hard. If this happens, do the tensing exercise less often or don’t tense the muscles as hard.

Step 3: It will be very helpful for you to know the physical symptoms you experience just before you faint. These will be different for different people. You may feel

  • light-headedness
  • clamminess
  • hot or cold flushes
  • nausea
  • or other symptoms (everyone is unique!)

If you can recognise the early warning signs, you can then start applied tension to reverse the fainting process and stop the faint before it happens.

Step 4: Now it’s time to practice applied tension while exposing yourself to things that make you feel faint. This exposure starts with “easier” things like looking at a picture of a toy syringe or a drawing of a syringe, for example. As you master each situation, you move on to more difficult things. This is where a psychologist comes in handy, because they can help with suggestions for exposure exercises, and with creating an exposure hierarchy. An exposure hierarchy means that you have a variety of scenarios that may make you faint (these could be thinking about a situation, looking at a drawing or photo of the feared situation, watching a video, or actually doing it for real).

If you’re not just practicing for dental injections, but for an injection in the arm (for example because you want to go on holiday to an exotic destination and need a vaccine), you’ll need to relax the arm where the injection will be given while tensing all of the other muscles in your body. This will require some extra practice.

 

Resource: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/needle-phobia/fainting/

Toddlers having teeth out because parents won’t take them to dentist

 

By: Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph UK

 

🤔 Most often, parents think their toddlers are too young to visit the dentist. The truth is, children should practice good oral habits as early as their first tooth appears. Read more! The Woodview Oral Surgery DC

Toddlers are increasingly having their teeth extracted because too many parents think they are too young for the dentist, leading surgeons have warned.

New figures show that 80 percent of one to two-year-olds in England did not visit the dentist in the last year, despite the fact NHS dental care for children is free.

It comes amid soaring numbers of children having teeth extracted in hospital, including those less than a year old.

Dental surgeons said parents were failing to bring babies toddlers for check-ups, with “widespread misunderstandings” about when infants should first visit the dentist.

Many parents do not worry about baby teeth, knowing they will be replaced by permanent teeth.

But dentists said getting children into the good habits early was important because otherwise they were likely to neglect replacement teeth and could become scared of going to the dentist.

Guidance states youngsters should have regular dental check-ups, starting from when their first teeth appear – which usually occurs around six months of age.

New figures collated by the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) at the Royal College of Surgeons show that 80 percent of one- to two-year-olds in England did not visit an NHS dentist in the year to March 31, 2017.

The figures also show that 60 percent of children aged one to four did not have a dental check-up in the same period, the RCS said.

The latest annual figures show that there were 9,220 cases of tooth extractions performed in hospitals in England on children aged one to four – a 24 percent rise in a decade.

They included 48 cases where infants were less than a year old.

The FDS said many of these cases are attributable to tooth decay – which is 90 percent preventable through good oral hygiene.

Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons, said: “In a nation which offers free dental care for under 18s, there should be no excuse for these statistics.

“Yet we know from parents we speak to that there is widespread confusion, even in the advice given to them by NHS staff, about when a child should first visit the dentist.

“Every child should have free and easy access to dental care from the point when their first teeth appear in the mouth,” said Prof Hunt.

“The earlier a child visits the dentist, the earlier any potential problems can be picked up, so it is easier to prevent children having to go through the trauma of having their teeth removed under a general anaesthetic,” he added.

The RCS said many of the most common dental problems were easily preventable if the right advice was followed – including twice-daily brushing sessions with fluoride toothpaste, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks.

And they said getting children “comfortable in a dental environment” early was important, to avoid them becoming frightened of going to the dentist.

“If a first dental visit results in a stressful, traumatic experience, this could have a serious life-long effect on a child’s willingness to engage in the dental process,” Prof Hunt said.

Rotting teeth is the most common reason for hospital admissions among children of primary school age.

 

Sources: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/08/toddlers-having-teeth-parents-wont-take-dentist/?

8 Foods to Eat After You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

 

By: Riverrun Dental

 

🍦 Eating the right kinds of food is highly recommended to aid in recovery. Aside from faster healing, they are healthy, too! The Wood Oral Surgery Team

About 90% of people have at least one of their third molars, commonly called the wisdom tooth, removed at some point in their life. Many people have all four taken out to prevent future dental problems. If you undergo this relatively minor procedure, knowing what to eat post-surgery can lead to a much smoother recovery. Try a few of these nutritious and tasty treats to help ease your recovery after a wisdom tooth extraction.

FOOD TO EAT AFTER WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL

1. Apple sauce

2. Ice cream

3. Soup

4. Jell-O or pudding

5. Mash potatoes

6. Yogurt

7. Smoothies or milkshakes

8. Instant oatmeal

1. APPLESAUCE

The smooth, pureed texture of applesauce makes it a great soft food to eat after wisdom teeth removal. Applesauce contains a lot of vitamin C and dietary fiber, which are both part of a healthy diet. Eating this nutrient rich snack uses very little jaw movement, which will aid in healing and prevent soreness. If you want to make it even healthier, prepare a homemade applesauce to cut back on sugar and use fresh ingredients.

2. ICE CREAM

After surgery, it is okay to spoil yourself a bit! Eating ice cream in one of your favorite flavors after wisdom teeth extraction is a nice treat. Be sure to stick to soft-serve, especially for the first couple days following the surgery, as it requires less effort to eat. This cool confection soothes the inflamed tissue and promotes a quicker healing process.

Although you may want to go for the deluxe dessert option, avoid cones. The crunch can overwork the jaw and small bits can get lodged in the extraction site, causing irritation or infection. Postpone eating flavors like Rocky Road and Mint Chocolate Chip until at least five days into recovery, when the surgical area has had time to heal.

3. SOUP

Broth-based soups are a great source of relief for wisdom teeth removal patients. Although you may not feel up to eating soups until 1-2 days after the surgery, it can provide plenty of protein, as well as an alternative to the sugar-filled foods typically suggested after wisdom teeth extraction. Enjoy warm soup (not hot!) to get plenty of nutrients and maintain a healthy diet after your wisdom teeth surgery.

While you should steer clear of soups that contain large chunks of meat or vegetables, some small bits in the broth are acceptable. A few good options to eat after your surgery include chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, beef broth, or cream of celery soup.

4. JELL-O OR PUDDING

This easy-to-eat food comes in a variety of flavors, preventing “taste bud boredom” that frequently occurs with a restrictive post-operative diet. Use the instant packets or quick recipes on the box for faster and easier preparation.

Another great benefit of Jell-O and pudding mixes is their long refrigerator shelf life. If you do not have a caretaker with you at all times during your recovery, these packets can be mixed before your wisdom teeth surgery and kept in the fridge for over a week.

5. MASHED POTATOES

Containing lots of fiber, mashed potatoes are great to eat after having your wisdom teeth removed. All you need to do is whip the potatoes to a smooth consistency and you’ll have created a delicious meal that’s super easy to eat. Creamy mashed potatoes are easy to eat and can be topped with extras like gravy, butter, and sour cream to allow for more variety in your post-operative diet.

Make sure the potatoes do not contain large lumps that make chewing more difficult. If you prefer sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, try mashed sweet potatoes with butter and a little bit of cinnamon.

6. YOGURT

The smooth, light consistency of yogurt makes it an ideal food for patients recovering from wisdom tooth surgery. Avoid yogurts with granola or any added ingredients that have to be chewed. Eating a creamy light yogurt flavor like lemon or strawberry gives you some of the nutrients you need while making it easier to take medications prescribed for pain or discomfort.

7. SMOOTHIES OR MILKSHAKES

Packed with proteins and nutrients, smoothies and milkshakes provide a delicious and easy to eat snack for post-operative dental patients. For added nutritional benefits, supplement your shakes and smoothies with a meal replacement packet or protein powder. Add fresh, seedless fruits like bananas to your smoothie to keep things healthy. Small seeds found in fruits like raspberries can get impacted in the surgical areas, causing additional discomfort and lengthening the recovery period. Mix yogurt and ice with these ingredients in a blender for a healthy smoothie. Blend milk, ice cream, and any additional protein powders or supplements to create your milkshake. One word of caution when it comes to enjoying smoothies and milkshakes after wisdom tooth surgery: Don’t consume them through a straw! The pressure can disrupt the healing site and lead to dry sockets.

8. INSTANT OATMEAL

Instant oatmeal packets offer a quick snack that is easy to eat and can be flavored with sugar, syrup, or jams to create many enjoyable flavors. Save instant oatmeal for at least the third day, as the wisdom teeth sockets may still be healing and the oats may cause irritation. Although sliced fruit should not be added, packets that have small bits included can be eaten. Instead of oatmeal, try instant cream of wheat or grits for a smoother consistency.

FOOD TO AVOID AFTER WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL

In addition to knowing what you can eat after wisdom teeth surgery, it is equally important to know what to avoid. Don’t eat any thick grains or foods that can get caught in the surgical sites. Straws should never be used after wisdom teeth extraction, as the suction can remove clots that aid in healing and lead to dry sockets, a painful side effect that sometimes occurs after surgery. You should wait at least a week to eat any crunchy, chewy, or spicy foods. Avoid acidic foods that can irritate tissue and cause pain in the healing surgical sites.

Recovering from wisdom tooth surgery can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks, but most people begin to feel better after about three days. The surgery affects everyone differently, but it is important to take it easy and let your mouth heal at its own pace after wisdom teeth extractions. Plan your diet in the following weeks around healthy, soft foods that won’t strain your mouth post-surgery. As always, consult your dentist or oral surgeon if you have any questions before or after your wisdom tooth surgery!

 

Sources: https://riverrundentalspa.com/food-to-eat-after-your-wisdom-teeth-are-removed/?

Sedation Dentistry: Anesthesia Administered by a Medical Doctor

 

By: iCare Oral Surgery

 

🙂 Sedation dentistry is a relaxing dental procedure you should not be afraid of. Don’t hesitate to discuss your fear with your dentist so he can give you options for a better dental experience. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

When your oral health care involvesoral surgery, the thought of sitting in a dentist’s chair and having major work done can be daunting. There is a way to conquer the nerves. Sedation dentistry not only makes it possible for oral surgeries to be completed efficiently, the sedation is intended to ease a patient’s mind, allowing you to “sleep” through your dental repairs and wake up with a brand new smile. Sedation dentistry is a deep state of relaxation. You will wonder why you ever had any anxiety about the dentist when under anesthesia.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

It is understandable to be leery of anesthesia in any form, but knowing that you are heading into an oral surgery without having to be fully awake for it can be a relief for many patients. Deep and moderate sedation are available for patients of all ages. Oral sedation, IV sedation, and laughing gas are common types of sedation dentistry. You and your oral surgeon will discuss the options together to determine what is best for your individual situation, needs, and overall health.

Some sedation will put the patient into a conscious but euphoric state that allows for relaxation and comfort. You will still be able to hear your oral surgeon and respond to any comments he may have, but you will be calm. Other types of oral sedation create a drowsy condition – some patients will fall asleep, others will be awake but groggy.

What Procedures Call for Sedation Dentistry?

Nearly any dental procedure, from dental cleanings to getting a cavity filled, can warrant the use of sedation dentistry, especially for the incredibly anxious patient. In general, sedation dentistry is used to make oral surgeries more tolerable in all ways. Because some oral health procedures require more than one dental appointment, sedation dentistry can make the process far more tolerable.

Here are just some of the instances when sedation dentistry is called upon:

  • Dental implants: Perhaps you have missing or loose teeth due to an accident or periodontal disease. You may have ill-fitting dentures and are ready to trade them in. In some situations, patients are receiving All-On-4 dental implants for their entire jaw. Whatever the reason for getting dental implants, these surgeries can be accelerated for you and simplified for your oral surgeon with the use of sedation dentistry.
  • Sleep apnea treatment:Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that blocks airways, contributes to lack of oxygen to the brain, and prevents the sufferer from getting a good night’s sleep. Soft tissue can be reduced by being surgically removed from the back of the throat and soft palate to help prevent sleep apnea from occurring.
  • Bone grafting: If you are not prepared to get dental implants and are still living with dentures, it may be necessary to undergo bone grafting to help improve the fit of the dentures. This procedure is done under sedation.
  • Wisdom teeth extraction: Depending on the position of your wisdom teeth, this procedure can be more than just pulling teeth out of the gums. Third molars may be impacted, under the gum line, or partially showing. Sedation dentistry makes the removal of wisdom teeth an easy-to-navigate rite of passage.
  • Corrective jaw surgery: A misaligned jaw may require the repositioning of the bones of the upper and lower jaw, whether to increase the size of the airway to relieve sleep apnea sufferers, or to get a mouth ready for orthodontic treatment. Without question, this orthographic surgery requires sedation.
  • Emergency dentistry:In situations where a patient is so distraught after an accident, fall, or injury, sedation dentistry is able to relax them while repairs are being made to their teeth or mouth to reduce interruptions or delays in treatment.

Are You a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Before you undergo any type of oral surgery or sedation dentistry, your surgeon will review your full medical history. It is important to confirm that you have good overall health so that your dentist knows your body is able to handle any type of sedation.

This is also the best time to discuss any anxiety or fears you do have about the procedure you’ll be undergoing. When you are aware of the exact steps that will be used to administer the sedation and complete your oral surgery – from the tools used to the sounds the tools will make – that can ease your mind. However, there are also plenty of patients who would rather not know anything that is happening, in which case sedation dentistry is really a wonderful option to “remove” you from the situation for a little while.

When you are scheduled to undergo multiple restorative dentistry treatments at one time, including oral surgery, sedation dentistry is a given. This choice allows your dentist to work as efficiently as possible and prevents patients from focusing on time spent in the dentist’s chair.

 

Source: https://icareoralsurgery.com/sedation-dentistry/? 

 

Teeth Whitening & Health: Are Coffee and Tea Bad for Teeth?

 

By: Park Avenue Dental

 

☕ Can’t start your day without coffee or tea? This article helps you figure out its impact on your teeth. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Coffee and tea provide much-needed pick me ups in the morning, but if you’re interested in getting whiter teeth, you might be wondering if you need to give up your go-to caffeinated beverage. Read on to find out whether coffee and tea are friends or foes to a beautiful, healthy smile. First, let’s take a look at staining.

 

Does Tea Stain Your Teeth?

The short answer is yes, tea stains teeth. The darker the tea, like black tea, the more of a staining effect it will have. Herbal and green teas tend to stain less, but they can still contribute to yellowing of your teeth.

Tea stains teeth because of its high tannin content. Tannins are also responsible for the staining effect of red wine. Brushing immediately after drinking tea can help reduce staining. Professional teeth whitening in your dentist’s office is a great way to lighten stains from tea.

 

Does Coffee Stain Your Teeth?

Coffee’s caffeine content might put a smile on your face in the morning, but it can also contribute to a duller smile. Coffee contains fewer tannins than tea, but it has enough pigment and acids to give your teeth a yellowish tinge over time. If quitting coffee isn’t an option for you, consider rinsing your teeth with water or brushing your teeth after you drink it. The same advice applies to drinking tea.

 

In addition to staining and discoloration, coffee and tea can have other negative consequences, like the ones listed below.

Enamel Erosion

Acidic foods and drinks can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay. Coffee is acidic by nature, and sweetened tea and sugary coffee are both culprits in tooth decay. When you drink a sugary beverage, the sugar adheres to your teeth. Then, natural bacteria in your mouth start to eat at the sugar and produce acid that erodes the enamel, leading to tooth decay. To reduce your risk of tooth decay, cut down on sweetened teas and sugary coffee.

Teeth Clenching

If you drink too much caffeine or drink it too close to your bedtime, it can interfere with the quality of your sleep. It’s also been found to lead to jaw clenching during sleep. Clenching your jaw can put stress on your teeth that leads to jaw pain and tooth erosion. The obvious solution is to cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink or to stop drinking early in the day. A general recommendation is to stop drinking all caffeinated beverages at least six hours before bedtime.

 

The Good News: Benefits of Drinking Coffee and Tea

Scientific research is showing that there seem to be significant benefits to oral health from coffee and tea consumption. In a study conducted in Brazil, coffee was demonstrated to destroy the bacteria that lead to dental plaque formation. Plaque is the primary offender when it comes to tooth decay and gum disease. Researchers used an extract of Robusta coffee, which contains a high amount of caffeine and polyphenols, in their study and found that teeth that were treated with the coffee extract had lower levels of the plaque-forming bacteria than teeth that were treated with plain water.

 

Tea and Gum Disease

The polyphenols that are present in tea may also help protect your dental health. Their anti-inflammatory effect may contribute to the prevention of the gum inflammation that can lead to gingivitis. One study found that men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a decrease in all three indicators of gum disease. To reap these benefits, you need to keep your tea sugar free.

 

Coffee and Cancer Prevention

There’s another very encouraging study published by the American Cancer Society stating that people who drank four cups of coffee a day or more had half the risk of death from mouth and throat cancers than those who only drank coffee now and then or not at all. Those findings apply to caffeinated coffee only. They credit the variety of antioxidants and polyphenols in coffee for its potentially protective benefits. Tea was not shown to have the same kind of benefit in regard to mouth and throat cancer. However, the abundance of antioxidants it contains can help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain other kinds of cancer. The antioxidants can also help support a healthy mouth by protecting your teeth from erosion and decay.

 

Teeth Whitening, Coffee and Tea

If you’re interested in getting whiter teeth, you may be considering a professional teeth whiteningprocedure. The standard protocol recommended by dentists is to avoid all potentially teeth-staining drinks, including coffee and tea, for 48 hours after a professional teeth whitening treatment. After those two days, you can go back to your regular routine.

As research shows, there are several significant benefits to drinking coffee and tea. To counteract the potential negative effects, including teeth staining and erosion, don’t add sugar to your beverages, consider drinking coffee and tea through a straw, and rinse your mouth out with water when you’re finished with your drink. As always, don’t forget to brush regularly and visit the dentist at least twice a year to keep staining under control.

 

Source: http://www.parkavenuedentalfl.com/teeth-whitening-health-are-coffee-and-tea-bad-for-teeth/?

Teeth Whitening: How it Works and What it Costs

 

By: Your Dentistry Guide

 

🤐 Tooth discoloration is a common problem that also affects our smile. Find the best teeth whitening option for you and bring back your confidence! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Teeth whitening offers a quick, non-invasive way to enhance your smile.  Universally valued by men and women alike, whitening (or bleaching) treatments are available to satisfy every budget, time frame and temperament. Whether in the form of professionally administered one-hour whitening sessions at your dentist’s office, or home-use bleaching kits purchased at your local drugstore, solutions abound.

Virtually everyone who opts for a teeth whitening solution sees moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile. That said, it’s not a permanent solution to discoloration and requires maintenance or “touch-ups” for a prolonged effect.

In this article we break down everything related to teeth whitening, including the process of tooth discoloration, what causes staining, the various treatment options available, and their risks and costs.

Bleaching vs. Whitening: What’s the Difference?

According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach — typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

The term “whitening” on the other hand, refers to restoring a tooth’s surface color by removing dirt and debris. So technically speaking, any product that is used to clean the teeth (like a toothpaste) is considered a whitener. Of course, the term whitening sounds better than bleaching, so it is more frequently used — even when describing products that contain bleach.

The bleach preference for in-office whitening, where time is limited, is powerful and fast-acting hydrogen peroxide. When used in bleaching teeth, hydrogen peroxide concentrations range from approximately nine percent to 40 percent.

By contrast, the bleach of preference for at-home teeth whitening is slower acting carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide has about a third of the strength of hydrogen peroxide. This means that a 15 percent solution of carbamide peroxide is the rough equivalent of a five percent solution of hydrogen peroxide.

An Examination of Enamel

Most of us start out with sparkling white teeth, thanks to their porcelain-like enamel surface. Composed of microscopic crystalline rods, tooth enamel is designed to protect the teeth from the effects of chewing, gnashing, trauma and acid attacks caused by sugar. But over the years enamel is worn down, becoming more transparent and permitting the yellow color of dentin — the tooth’s core material — to show through.

During routine chewing, dentin remains intact while millions of micro-cracks occur in the enamel. It is these cracks, as well as the spaces between the crystalline enamel rods, that gradually fill up with stains and debris. As a result, the teeth eventually develop a dull, lackluster appearance.

Teeth whitening removes the stains and debris, leaving the enamel cracks open and exposed. Some of the cracks are quickly re-mineralized by saliva, while others are filled up again with organic debris.

Tooth Discoloration: The Two Types of Tooth Stains

There are two categories of staining as it relates to the teeth: extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining.

Extrinsic stains are those that appear on the surface of the teeth as a result of exposure to dark-colored beverages, foods and tobacco, and routine wear and tear. Superficial extrinsic stains are minor and can be removed with brushing and prophylactic dental cleaning. Stubborn extrinsic stains can be removed with more involved efforts, like teeth whitening. Persistent extrinsic stains can penetrate into the dentin and become ingrained if they are not dealt with early.

Intrinsic stains are those that form on the interior of teeth. Intrinsic stains result from trauma, aging, exposure to minerals (like tetracycline) during tooth formation and/or excessive ingestion of fluoride. In the past, it was thought that intrinsic stains were too resistant to be corrected by bleaching. Today, cosmetic dentistry experts believe that even deep-set intrinsic stains can be removed with supervised take-home teeth whitening that is maintained over a matter of months or even a year. If all else fails, there are alternative cosmetic solutions to treat intrinsic staining, such as dental veneers.

What Causes Tooth Staining?

Age: There is a direct correlation between tooth color and age. Over the years, teeth darken as a result of wear and tear and stain accumulation. Teenagers will likely experience immediate, dramatic results from whitening. In the twenties, as the teeth begin to show a yellow cast, whitening may require a little more effort. By the forties, the yellow gives way to brown and more maintenance may be called for. By the fifties, the teeth have absorbed a host of stubborn stains which can prove difficult (but not impossible) to remove.

Starting color: We are all equipped with an inborn tooth color that ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey, and intensifies over time. Yellow-brown is generally more responsive to bleaching than green-grey.

Translucency and thinness: These are also genetic traits that become more pronounced with age. While all teeth show some translucency, those that are opaque and thick have an advantage: they appear lighter in color, show more sparkle and are responsive to bleaching. Teeth that are thinner and more transparent – most notably the front teeth – have less of the pigment that is necessary for bleaching. According to cosmetic dentists, transparency is the only condition that cannot be corrected by any form of teeth whitening.

Eating habits: The habitual consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges and other deeply-colored beverages and foods causes considerable staining over the years. In addition, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar contribute to enamel erosion. As a result, the surface becomes more transparent and more of the yellow-colored dentin shows through.

Smoking habits: Nicotine leaves brownish deposits which slowly soak into the tooth structure and cause intrinsic discoloration.

Drugs / chemicals: Tetracycline usage during tooth formation produces dark grey or brown ribbon stains which are very difficult to remove. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes fluorosis and associated areas of white mottling.

Grinding: Most frequently caused by stress, teeth grinding (gnashing, bruxing, etc.) can add to micro-cracking in the teeth and can cause the biting edges to darken.

Trauma: Falls and other injuries can produce sizable cracks in the teeth, which collect large amounts of stains and debris.

What are Your Whitening Options?

Three major teeth whitening options are available today. All three rely on varying concentrations of peroxide and varying application times.

In-Office Whitening

Significant color change in a short period of time is the major benefit of in-office whitening. This protocol involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by the dentist or trained technician after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam. Generally, the peroxide remains on the teeth for several 15 to 20-minute intervals that add up to an hour (at most). Those with particularly stubborn staining may be advised to return for one or more additional bleaching sessions, or may be asked to continue with a home-use system.

Cost: $650 per visit (on average) nationwide.

(Read more about in-office whitening)

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Kits

Many dentists are of the opinion that professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits can produce the best results over the long haul. Take-home kits incorporate an easy-to-use lower-concentration peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. The gel is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays that resemble mouth guards.

Cost: $100 to $400.

(Read more about take-home whitening)

Over-the-Counter Products

The cheapest and most convenient of the teeth whitening options, over-the-counter bleaching involves the use of a store-bought whitening kit, featuring a bleaching gel with a concentration lower than that of the professionally dispensed take-home whiteners. The gel is applied to the teeth via one-size-fits-all trays, strips or paint-on applicators. In many cases, this may only whiten a few of the front teeth, unlike custom trays that can whiten the entire smile.

Cost: $20 to $100.

How White Can You Go? A Matter of Esthetics

Results are subjective, varying considerably from person to person. Many are immediately delighted with their outcome, while others may be disappointed. Before you embark on any whitening treatment, ask your dentist for a realistic idea of the results you are likely to achieve and how long it should take to achieve them.

Shade Guides

In the dental office, before-and-after tooth color is typically measured with shade guides. These are hand-held displays of wide ranges of tooth colors. (Dentists also use them in choosing crown and other restoration shades.)

The standard-setter among them has long been the Vitapan Classic Shade Guide. This shade guide standard incorporates 16 shades, systematically arranged from light to dark into four color groups, and provides a universal tooth-color terminology.

While whitening can occasionally lighten tooth color by nine or more shades, most of those who bleach their teeth are likely to see a change of two to seven shades.

Risks

Teeth whitening treatments are considered to be safe when procedures are followed as directed. However, there are certain risks associated with bleaching that you should be aware of:

  • Sensitivity: Bleaching can cause a temporary increase in sensitivity to temperature, pressure, and touch. This is likeliest to occur during in-office whitening, where higher-concentration bleach is used. Some individuals experience spontaneous shooting pains (“zingers”) down the middle of their front teeth. Individuals at greatest risk for whitening sensitivity are those with gum recession, significant cracks in their teeth or leakage resulting from faulty restorations. It has also been reported that redheads, including those with no other risk factors, are at particular risk for tooth sensitivity and zingers. Whitening sensitivity lasts no longer than a day or two, but in some cases may persist up to a month. Some dentists recommend a toothpaste containing potassium nitrate for sensitive teeth.
  • Gum irritation: Over half of those who use peroxide whiteners experience some degree of gum irritation resulting from the bleach concentration or from contact with the trays. Such irritation typically lasts up to several days, dissipating after bleaching has stopped or the peroxide concentration lowered.
  • Technicolor teeth: Restorations such as bondingdental crowns or veneers are not affected by bleach and therefore maintain their default color while the surrounding teeth are whitened. This results in what is frequently called “technicolor teeth.”

Maintaining Your Results

To extend the longevity of newly whitened teeth, dentists are likely to recommend:

  • At-home follow-up or maintenance whitening – implemented immediately or performed as infrequently as once a year.
  • Avoiding dark-colored foods and beverages for at least a week after whitening.
  • Whenever possible, sipping dark-colored beverages with a straw.
  • Practicing excellent oral hygiene – brushing and flossing after meals and at bedtime.

Caveats

In addition to the aforementioned risk factors, a number of caveats should be considered before undergoing teeth whitening:

  • No amount of bleaching will yield “unnaturally” white teeth.
  • Whitening results are not fully seen until approximately two weeks after bleaching. This is an important consideration if you are about to have ceramic restorations and want to be sure the color matches that of your newly bleached teeth.
  • If cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers or other restorations are part of your treatment plan, they should not be placed until a minimum of two weeks following bleaching to ensure proper adhesive bonding, function and shade matching.
  • To avoid the technicolor effect, tooth-colored restorations will likely need replacement after bleaching.
  • Recessed gums often reveal their yellowish root surfaces at the gum line. That yellow color has proven difficult to bleach.
  • Pregnant or nursing women are advised to avoid teeth whitening. The potential impact of swallowed bleach on the fetus or baby is not yet known.

How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?

The cost of teeth whitening can vary quite significantly from product to product, procedure to procedure.

Professional, in-office teeth whitening is the most expensive option with a national average of $650 per visit. However, it does have the benefit of being performed by an experienced dental professional, helping to ensure that you get the sort of results you’re looking for.

At the other end of the cost, spectrum are over-the-counter strips and trays that you can buy at your local pharmacy or grocery store. These products can range from $20 to $100, making them an attractive option for those looking for a bit of smile enhancement without the higher cost of professionally administered whitening. However, it’s important to keep in mind that results can vary drastically when using these cheaper, low-concentration peroxide whiteners.

If you’re looking for a middle-ground between professional whitening and over-the-counter products, you might be a good candidate for professionally dispensed take-home kits. Prescribed by a dentist, these kits range in cost from $100 to $400, and can potentially deliver results similar to those you’d get in-office at the hands of a dentist.

Keep in mind that whitening results are not permanent, meaning that if you want to maintain your whitened smile, you’ll need to continue getting treatments as the effects wane.

 

Source: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/teeth-whitening/?