Teeth Whitening

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Teeth Whitening – Chicago IL

Teeth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can significantly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening.

Why Do Teeth Stain?

The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. Every day, a thin coating forms on the enamel and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains. Whitening is not a one-time solution. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color. The most common reasons for teeth to get yellow or stained are aging, tobacco, tea and coffee. All of these can stain the surface of the teeth. It is also possible to have stains that are inside the tooth. These are called intrinsic stains. For example, intrinsic stains can be caused by exposure to too much fluoride as a child while teeth are developing. Other causes include tetracycline antibiotics. They can stain a child’s teeth if taken by a mother during the second half of pregnancy or by a child who is 8 years old or younger. Teeth are still developing during these years. Tooth whitening is most effective on surface stains caused by age, foods or drinks.

Tooth Discoloration: The Two Types Of Tooth Stains

There are two categories of staining as it relates to the teeth:

  • 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 bleaching. 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.

Teeth Whitening Options

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 whitening system.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening 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.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

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, whitening 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.

Why People Love Wicker Park Dental Group

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Ryan M
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I went in yesterday due to cavity pain on one of my molars, I was very scared due to Covid-19 and just going to the dentist in general but knew the pain was only going to get worse if I didn't take care of it soon. I ended up needing a temporary crown and will be back in 2 weeks for my permanent crown and some other work. From start to finish everyone in the office made me feel very relaxed, welcomed, and safe. They seem to be taking every precaution for Covid-19 and included a symptom questionnaire before the visit as well as a temperature check prior to being checked in for the appointment. Doctor wore a mask the whole time as well as directed me on when to take mine off and on for his safety. The office was very clean and without dental insurance they clearly laid out my payment options. I'm glad I chose their office during this time and look forward to getting my dental health on track.
Michael C
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Visited due to my dentist not being open after 2pm(???...) so had an emergency and called them up. They took me in within 30 minutes of calling and started the process for a root canal. Came the next day and got second of 3 phases done. One thing, they are open late. Second, the staff is extremely nice and helpful as well as understanding with insurance concerns. The Dr. and assistant were very courteous to my pain needs and did everything they could to alleviate any pain. This is not some scam in an out place. They do take their time. They give you a shot then let you sit and watch tv for a little while to let it come on. So this is not exactly the fastest dentist you will go to if you have work needs. But they are absolutely thorough. They are gentle and caring. I recommend 100%. We all fear the dentist but this is a place that I don't feel judged, they care for my pain, and have a definite plan to get me on the right path.
May B
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I was SO incredibly nervous about having a root canal done because I always really struggle to stay numb during dental procedures. I am such a baby that I am more scared of tooth procedures than I am of actual surgery... I talked to the docs at Wicker Park Dental and they worked with me to make sure I was comfortable the entire time, and they really made sure I was at ease. I had less pain with this root canal than I've had in the past with even small cavities, and I'm so thankful that they listened to my concerns and helped get me taken care of! Everyone inside was incredibly nice, they checked on me constantly and adjusted any time I needed anything, and the office is clean and beautiful. Highly, highly recommend!
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