ST is a photographer. He is known to be very quiet. He smiles with caution and talks in whispers because of his discolored teeth. His reduced social interaction affects his day-to-day work. His challenge is treatable through teeth whitening.
Discolored teeth can cost some people their sense of pride. The following are things to note about teeth whitening.
It is readily available
Teeth whitening can be for therapeutic purposes in the case of those who have discolored teeth that embarrass them, or it may be purely for aesthetic reasons for those that want a ‘million dollar’ smile despite their relatively ‘white’ teeth.
It is not the same thing as scaling and polishing
Some patients expect that scaling and polishing would whiten their teeth or that it is the same thing as teeth whitening. This is an erroneous thinking. Scaling and polishing basically cleans the teeth, by getting rid of plaque and calcified debris on the teeth. These debris can on occasion, have a discoloring effect on the teeth and so when scaling and polishing is done it appears as though the teeth have become whiter.
It is not painful
Teeth whitening is not painful but there is usually some teeth sensitivity during the procedure and for a short while afterwards. The level of teeth sensitivity varies depending on the individual. Your dentist will guide you on how to manage this tooth sensitivity. It however usually resolves within a few days after the procedure.
There are no permanent side effects
Apart from the aforementioned tooth sensitivity, there are no other long term side effects associated with teeth whitening.
It is not always a permanent procedure
The resultant whitening effect is not permanent. It can last from 6 months to 2 years depending on the patient. There is no way to predict how long the improved colour of the teeth would last. However the teeth don’t return to their previous color. So you still end up with whiter teeth than when you started.
Dr ‘Emeka Nwachukwu is a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and an Associate Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons. He is a Consultant Dental Surgeon with specialization in Restorative Dentistry. He currently provides general and specialist dental services at Skky Dental Services, Ikoyi. He is passionate about providing excellent dental services in a compassionate and pain free manner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org