There are two types of teeth discoloration: external and internal.   External discoloration are on the enamel, the surface layer of teeth, cleaning and polishing in dental office or using abrasive toothpaste can remove it.  Internal discoloration are in the dentin of teeth, the inner layer of teeth, high concentration of peroxide products which are only provided or sold from dental offices  are needed to correct it.  A majority of teeth looking yellow or grey are due to discoloration in the dentin layer of teeth, not the enamel layer. To achieve whiter teeth, you can choose from ceramic veneer, composite bonding or teeth whitening by peroxide products offered in our dental office.  If you choose to whiten your teeth, the dentist will evaluate your teeth and make sure they are disease-free before the whitening procedure, as whitening teeth that have cavities and gum disease can exacerbate the problems.

We use Opalescence at Wilbraham Dental Associates, there are two options offered,  in-office procedure or a take-home kit. The in office whitening, takes about 90 minutes, using no light to process, will achieve a fast whitening result. If you prefer to do the whitening at home, we offer Opalescence take-home kit along with a pair of custom trays. The custom trays offer the best coverage on your teeth and are used in future touchups too to maintain the result.  Tooth sensitivity is not uncommon associated with whitening. If sensitivity occurs, it is usually temporary and can be relieved by desensitizing treatment.

A few words of caution about whitening toothpaste.   They mostly work by the heavy abrasive agents in them and sometimes low concentration of peroxide.  They can help remove the surface stain on the enamel of teeth but are not effective in whitening the discolored dentin of teeth.  Due to the abrasive nature of whitening toothpaste and the location it works, ie. Enamel of the teeth, It’s suggested not to use it for more than two weeks at a time and brush gently, because when enamel is worn, teeth begin to look worn, old, and discolored.

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