Dr. Bob Merrill
112 S. Stone St.
Augusta, WI 54722
is a bleaching case in progress of teeth with extreme
tetracycline internal staining
is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens discolorations
of enamel and dentin. The system uses a mild gel retained
in a custom-fitted appliance that is worn over your teeth.
What causes tooth discoloration?
There are many causes. External stains may be caused from
aging, consumption of coffee, tea, colas and smoking. Internal
stains may be from the use of tetracycline (or some other
medications) during the time when the teeth were forming.
Ironically, some of the older toothpastes that have advertised
"for whiter teeth" in the past were too abrasive, and eroded
the enamel (the whitest part of the tooth) actually making
the teeth more yellow over the years.
Who may benefit
Almost everyone. However, there are some cases where treatment
may not be effective or may take longer than usual. A thorough
examination and diagnosis before bleaching is important. In
general, tooth lightening is ideal for patients who have healthy,
unrestored teeth (no fillings) and would like a brighter smile.
Here is another
example of professional bleaching. The change in the
upper teeth is apparent even after just one week of
wearing custon trays and professional strength bleaching
Is Home Bleaching safe?
Research indicates that whitening teeth with 10 to 16% carbamide
or hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of a dentist is
completely safe for your teeth and gums.
How does it work?
A bleaching gel is placed in a thin bleaching tray made by
your dentist that fits over the teeth. As the active ingredient
in the gel, carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, is broken down
oxygen enters the enamel and dentin and bleaches them. The
tooth color is made lighter.
How long does it take?
Results are usually seen within the first week. For most patients,
maximum results occur over the next 14-21 days. In rare cases
of extremely dark teeth (tetracycline or other internal
stains), it is not unusual to require several months for maximum
Are there any side effects?
Some people have experience increased tooth sensitivity to
cold during treatment. Others have reported discomfort in
the gums or a sore throat. These symptoms always disappear
within 1-3 days after stopping or completion of treatment.
Many of the latest professional bleaching formulas contain
ingredients that will prevent tooth sensitivity during the
How long do the results
The teeth will remain lighter, but some patients may need
periodic re-bleaching once or twice a year
This dark (intrinsic stain) tooth, after
having had root canal therapy, was lightened in about 3-4
This dark bottom tooth was lightened
in a single visit.
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