Ever wonder how movie stars get their dazzling white smiles? Chances are they weren’t born with it. For most people, coffee, tea, smoking, berries and other substances that get into microscopic cracks of tooth enamel cause discoloration over time. When the color of our teeth makes us embarrassed to smile, it’s most likely time to whiten them.
Teeth that have been discolored by age are the best candidates for whitening (bleaching) treatments. When done by a dentist, a bleaching agent is applied to your teeth and then activated with a special light. It may take several treatments at 30-60 minutes each to reach your desired level of whitening.
If you have tooth-colored resin or composite fillings in your teeth, those will not lighten and a whitening treatment is often not recommended. Porcelain veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry in which a layer of tooth-colored porcelain or composite is placed over the surfaces of your teeth. This is done in order to correct chipped and cracked enamel as well as any imperfections in color, alignment or spacing.
There are also a number of over-the-counter whitening treatments available but they often do not provide the level of whitening that a dentist’s office can. A dentist is your best resource when it comes to the health and brightness of your smile. If you have questions about what is right for your teeth, contact your local dentist for more information.
Cosmetic dental treatments, such as teeth whitening, may not be a covered benefit under your benefit plan. Contact your dental insurance company for more information.