My Blog

Posts for tag: Teeth Whitening

By Ashley Harrison, DDS
April 10, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  
StainingWithinaToothRequiresaClinicalWhiteningApproach

Home whitening kits are a popular way to turn a dull smile into a dazzling one. But these self-applied products only work for teeth with outer enamel stains — if the discoloration originates inside a tooth, you’ll need professional treatment.

Known as “intrinsic staining,” this type of discoloration most often occurs within a tooth’s pulp or dentin layers. There are a number of causes like tooth trauma or tetracycline use at an early age. A root canal treatment used to remove infection from deep within a tooth can also cause discoloration: sometimes blood pigments left after tissue removal or the filling materials themselves can stain a tooth’s interior.

Intrinsic staining can often be treated by placing a bleaching agent, usually sodium perborate, into the tooth’s pulp chamber. But before undertaking this procedure on a tooth that’s undergone a root canal treatment, we want to first ensure the filling is intact and still adequately sealing the tooth from infection. We also want to make sure the supporting bone is also healthy.

If all’s well, we access the pulp in the same way as the root canal treatment, and preferably through the same access hole. We then clean out the pulp chamber of any stained matter and then ensure the root canals remain filled and sealed off from the pulp chamber.

We can then place the bleaching agent into the pulp, a process that will need to be repeated every three or four days to achieve the desired level of brightness. After each session we place a cotton pellet over the opening and held in place with a temporary adhesive; we can easily remove and re-apply this covering during subsequent sessions. Once we’ve achieved the desired color change, we seal the tooth with a permanent filling and restore the access cavity with a tooth-colored composite resin material bonded to the enamel and dentin.

There are other options for an intrinsically stained tooth like veneers or crowns that outwardly cover the discoloration. Internal bleaching, however, is a more conservative approach that causes less alteration of the tooth. If successful, it can restore a stained tooth to a brighter, more attractive shade.

If you would like more information on internal bleaching, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”

By Ashley Harrison, DDS
December 10, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Unhappy with the way your teeth look? Teeth whitening can help improve your smile and bolster your self-confidence. Ashley Harrison, DDS, your dentist in Chico, CA, discusses three common myths about this popular treatment.

There's no difference between professional whitening and drugstore productsTeeth Whitening

You'll find no shortage of whitening products at your local drugstore. Strips, gels and toothpastes all claim to brighten your smile and change your life. While you will probably notice some difference, you won't experience the same results you'll see with dentist-supervised whitening. The products your dentist uses contain stronger ingredients that can lighten teeth as much as eight shades in just one in-office session. Over-the-counter products may lighten teeth for a few weeks up to a few months, while the results of professional teeth whitening can last one to three years.

In some cases, drugstore whitening products can even make your teeth more prone to discoloration. Abrasive whitening toothpastes can wear away enamel, exposing the duller colored dentin underneath. Although a whitening toothpaste sounds like a nice, easy solution, using one can actually make your teeth look worse in the long run.

The stronger the better

It might seem to make sense that the strongest product is the best one, but that's not true when it comes to teeth whitening. If a product is too strong, it can irritate your gums and roots, causing considerable pain. Your dentist chooses a whitening agent that's strong enough to whiten teeth without irritating your mouth.

You can eat and drink whatever you want after whitening

Teeth whitening removes stains caused by wine, coffee, tea, tomato sauce, berries and other foods and beverages. Your newly whitened teeth will stay whiter longer if you avoid or limit these foods and drinks and stop smoking.

Interested in learning how teeth whitening can transform your smile? Call Ashley Harrison, DDS, your Chico, CA, dentist, at (530) 894-5454 and make an appointment today. A brighter smile awaits you!

Teeth WhiteningWhen it comes to the epitome of dental satisfaction, a pearly-white smile has to be it. Unfortunately, many of us don't have the confidence in our grins to show off that beautiful look. But at the dental office of Ashley Harrison, DDS, you can find the results you've been hoping for for your mouth, as teeth whitening solutions abound with professional in-office procedures that accomplish a safe, effective way to perfect the grin you're in.

Dr. Harrison's in-office whitening procedure can actually whiten teeth between three to eight shades in as little as one hour, as this professionally-supervised method for treating stained, discolored, or simply not-white-enough teeth has lasting effects that are superior for both gum protection and tooth-root protection than over-the-counter whitening options.

Take a look below at the two primary ways Dr. Harrison can whiten your teeth using the most highly concentrated bleaching gels that aren't offered elsewhere.

  • In-Office Whitening — During this procedure, your gums and tooth-root surfaces will have a protective barrier placed on top of them, while a dental retracting device is used to ensure that surrounding oral surfaces (your lips and the insides of your cheeks, for example) don't get in the way of your teeth during the treatment. A powerful hydrogen peroxide solution is applied to your enamel and is left there for an hour or so, whitening your teeth instantly for real results.
  • Take-Home Whitening — Your dentist will first require a mold of your teeth to be created, before dental technicians create a pair of plastic mouth trays that are individually personalized for your two sets of teeth. Using whitening gels that deliver lasting results, you'll be in charge of filling your trays with the solution before placing them over your teeth for an hour each time once you get home.

Once you've had your teeth professionally whitened, you must remember to maintain your results by continuing to practice a healthy dental routine, which includes:

  • brushing at least twice each day, though preferably after every meal
  • flossing daily
  • attending a routine schedule of professional cleanings
  • staying away from foods and drinks that discolor your teeth, like:
    • hard candies
    • berries
    • soy sauce
    • red wine
    • coffee
    • tea
  • avoiding tobacco use

For more information on how you can get lasting results for a whitened smile right here in Chico, CA, give one of Dr. Harrison's dental associates a call today at (530) 894-5454!