Articles tagged with: Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Dental teeth whitening Bubnik Dental dentist Brenda Bubnik Azilda Chelmsford Sudbury

The risks of teeth whitening

Considering whitening (bleaching) your teeth? Before you do, discuss the possible risks of teeth whitening with your dentist – especially if you plan to whiten your teeth using an at-home bleaching system.

Risks associated with tooth whitening include tooth sensitivity and damage to the roots of teeth. Dentists may be able to predict if you will have problems with or sensitivities to the procedure. They also may be able to help you alleviate sensitivity by recommending certain procedures and toothpastes designed to treat sensitive teeth. Dentists can also check for signs of root damage caused by teeth whitening and treat the condition if detected in time.

Tooth coloration

Why do teeth change color and become darker or more yellow? The internal portion of teeth normally darkens over time. In addition, personal habits – such as tobacco use or drinking coffee, tea or wine – can cause staining. Certain medications also can discolor teeth.

Teeth cleaning by your dental office can often remove any external stains – and it promotes good oral health. Be sure to visit your dentist for a thorough cleaning and examination before you decide to whiten your teeth. You may find that a professional cleaning is all it takes to give you a whiter, brighter smile.

To bleach or not to bleach?

Generally, teeth whitening is successful in at least 90 percent of patients. As a rule of thumb, yellow-colored teeth respond well to whitening, while brownish-colored teeth don’t respond as well. Gray stains caused by smoking, taking tetracycline or fluorosis (ingestion of too much fluoride) most likely will not be dramatically changed by teeth whitening.

Likewise, teeth whitening may not enhance your smile if you’ve had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will not match your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding on other teeth.

Is bleaching a good option for you?

Before you decide to whiten your teeth, here are some issues to consider:

  • What does your dentist advise? Not all stains can be lightened by over-the-counter or professional bleaching, and your dentist will be able to give you guidance. If you have sensitive teeth, gum disease or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage tooth whitening.
  • Is bleaching worth the cost? Tooth whitening procedures in the dental office are not typically covered under Delta Dental plans. Always check your specific plan coverage before undergoing any dental procedure or treatment.
  • Should you have professional treatment or use an at-home bleaching system? Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or at home. (The Academy of General Dentistry recommends dentist supervision for any whitening treatment, even over-the-counter preparations.)

Although over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments are less expensive, they may require a longer treatment period, and the risks of gum irritation or damage to previous dental work are increased. If you want quicker and more reliable results, you should ask your dentist about in-office teeth whitening or laser teeth whitening. In-office whitening may require more than one visit to the dentist’s office. Results from a dentist-supervised whitening procedure can last anywhere from one to five years (depending on your eating, drinking or smoking habits).

Whether or not you decide to whiten your teeth, keep in mind that good daily oral health habits like brushing and flossing and regular checkups and cleanings go far in keeping your smile bright and healthy.

Teeth Cleaning

Dental cleaning Bubnik Dental dentist Brenda Bubnik Azilda Chelmsford Sudbury

What is dental teeth cleaning (scale and polish) and why have them?

Dental teeth cleaning involves removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will eventually build up over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Usually it is tooth coloured and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in colour.

If the scale, or calculus (tartar, as dentists like to call it) is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.

Also it leaves your teeth feeling lovely and smooth and clean, which is nice when you run your tongue around them. Actually, come to think of it, there’s nothing worse than someone you fancy running their tongue around your teeth and finding a piece of spinach or something! Still, if they’re hungry…

The professional cleaning of teeth is sometimes referred to as prophylaxis (or prophy for short). It’s a Greek word which means “to prevent beforehand” – in this case, it helps prevent gum disease.

How are dental cleanings done?

The dental hygienist or dentist uses specialized instruments to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. The instruments which may be used during your cleaning, and what they feel like, are described below.

Ultrasonic instrument

Commonly used first is an ultrasonic instrument which uses tickling vibrations to knock larger pieces of tartar loose. It also sprays a cooling mist of water while it works to wash away debris and keep the area at a proper temperature. The device typically emits a humming or high pitched whistling sound. This may seem louder than it actually is because the sound may get amplified inside your head, just like when you put an electric toothbrush into your mouth.

The ultrasonic instrument tips are curved and rounded and are always kept in motion around the teeth. They are by no means sharp since their purpose is to knock tartar loose and not to cut into the teeth. It is best to inform the operator if the sensations are too strong or ticklish so that they can adjust the setting appropriately on the device or modify the pressure applied.

Fine hand tools

Once the larger pieces of tartar are gone, the dental worker will switch to finer hand tools (called scalers and curettes in dental-speak) to remove smaller deposits and smoothen the tooth surfaces. These tools are curved and shaped to match the curves of the teeth. They allow smaller tartar deposits to be removed by carefully scraping them off with a gentle to moderate amount of pressure. Just like taking a scrubbing brush to a soiled pot, the dental worker has to get the areas clean and smooth.

Polishing

Once all the surfaces are smooth, the dental worker may polish your teeth. Polishing is done using a slow speed handpiece with a soft rubber cup that spins on the end. Prophylaxis paste – a special gritty toothpaste-like material – is scooped up like ice cream into the cup and spun around on the teeth to make them shiny smooth.

Fluoride
Your dentist may also apply fluoride. This is the final part of the dental teeth cleaning! Fluoride comes in many different flavours such as chocolate, mint, strawberry, cherry, watermelon, pina colada and can be mixed and matched just like ice cream at a parlour for a great taste sensation! Make no mistake though, this in-office fluoride treatment is meant for topical use only on the surfaces of the teeth and swallowing excessive amounts can give a person a tummy ache as it is not meant to be ingested.

Fluoride foam or gel is then placed into small, flexible foam trays and placed over the teeth for 30 seconds. Afterwards the patient is directed to spit as much out as possible into a saliva ejector. The fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth since the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque will have weakened the surfaces. It is best not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after the fluoride has been applied.

Is it going to be painful?

Most people find that teeth cleaning is painless, and find the sensations described above – tickling vibrations, the cooling mist of water, and the feeling of pressure during “scraping” – do not cause discomfort. A lot of people even report that they enjoy dental teeth cleaning and the lovely smooth feel of their teeth afterwards! There may be odd zingy sensations, but many people don’t mind as they only last a nanosecond.

Be sure to let your dentist/hygienist know if you find things are getting too uncomfortable for your liking. They can recommend various options to make the cleaning more enjoyable.

In case you may have had painful cleaning experiences in the past, a spot of nitrous oxide can often make all the difference. You could also choose to be numbed. If you find the scaling a bit uncomfortable because the gum tissues (rather than the teeth themselves) are sensitive, topical numbing gels can be used.

Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant Bubnik Dental Dentist Brenda Bubnik Azilda Chelmsford Sudbury
A dental assistant is a dental health professional who works closely with and under the supervision of a dentist.

They work with patients by performing tasks before and after the dentist meets with the patient as well as assist the dentist during certain dental procedures.

A Level I dental assistant is classified as a “chair side” assistant, which means they prepare and seat patients. Other duties they may perform include: charting patient information, sterilizing instruments and the clinical area, preparing dental materials and cements, assisting in dental procedures, processing and mounting radiographs, pouring and trimming cast models, providing patient education and post-operative instructions as well as maintaining and ordering dental supplies.

Level II dental assistants obtain additional training in intra-oral duties, which means they are able to do everything a Level I dental assistant can do along with; dental radiography, mechanical polishing of the coronal portion of the teeth, placement and removal of rubber dams, taking of preliminary impressions of teeth for study models, topical application of anti-cariogenic agents, oral hygiene instruction with an intra-oral component, dietary counseling relative to dentistry, application of materials topically to prepare the surface of the teeth for pit and fissure sealants, application of pit and fissure sealants, application of topical anesthetics, desensitizing agents and whitening of the coronal portion of the teeth. There are also option Level II duties, which include polishing restorations and oral irrigation.

Dental Assistants across Canada are governed by different rules and regulations, which are established by the Health Professions Act and their provincial dental assisting regulatory authorities. Education and training coupled with provincial registration and licensing make dental assistants qualified to perform their trained skills.