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Teeth whitening is a common dental service found in cosmetic dentistry offices in San Jose. It can be done in the office or at home with professional and over-the-counter products. Patients often have many reasons to take advantage of this dental service, such as attending a wedding or special date. Before scheduling teeth whitening, patients should know the basics of treatment and how it can benefit them best. Here is a brief introduction to teeth whitening and all it can offer:

Types of Tooth Whitening

There are a few professional and over-the-counter teeth whitening options that have been proven effective. Cosmetic dentistry offices usually offer a bleaching gel, bleaching trays, or laser teeth whitening. Over-the-counter options include bleaching gels, trays, and whitening toothpastes. In-office and over-the-counter options are both effective, but in-office teeth whitening requires less time spent and product used. In-office products typically contain over 10% more bleaching agents than over-the-counter products, and patients’ desired results can often be met within one or two teeth whitening sessions.

Types of Tooth Discoloration

The two types of teeth discoloration are extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration occurs on the surface of the tooth. This discoloration can easily be addressed by most teeth whitening options. Intrinsic discoloration occurs within the dentin of the teeth, and it is more difficult to bleach. Professional teeth whitening is the only way to achieve any sort of whitening with extrinsic staining. However, a cosmetic dentist may suggest dental veneers if the discoloration cannot be erased.

When to Choose Tooth Whitening

There are various situations in which patients ask for teeth whitening. Patients may wish for a brighter and whiter smile before a big school reunion or wedding. Many patients will also schedule professional teeth whitening to avoid returning to negative habits, such as smoking or consuming staining drinks and foods. No matter the reason, professional teeth whitening can make patients feel better about their appearance and boost their self-esteem.