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Cosmetic Dentist Services: Dental Bleaching

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures requested at Dr. Killian's dental office in Carlisle, PA. Also known as dental bleaching, teeth whitening removes dental staining, restoring the shine and brilliance of your smile.

Dental Bleaching Treatments

You can have your teeth bleached either in Dr. Killian's office or at home. In-office whitening usually only takes a single appointment, although stubborn stains may require more than one visit. Your gums and soft tissue are protected from the bleaching agent by a gel or rubber shield. Dr. Killian then applies the bleaching agent to the teeth and activates the agent with a special light.

As an alternative, you can purchase at-home whitening kits. The bleaching agent in these kits is usually a gel containing ten percent carbamide peroxide. The gel goes into a mouthpiece that covers your teeth for a set period of time. Dr. Killian can custom make a mouth guard that will fit your teeth exactly.

Teeth whitening kits are also available over-the-counter, but such products tend to be less effective than in-office treatments or kits prescribed by dentists. The bleaching agent in these over-the-counter kits can cause temporary tooth sensitivity to heat, cold and even air. The agent can also irritate soft tissue within the mouth.

Teeth Whitening Considerations

Dental bleaching can have excellent results, but Dr. Killian cautions that individual results depend on stain color. Teeth stained yellow by age, smoking or drinking coffee or tea respond well to teeth whitening procedures. Brown stains prove more difficult to remove, and gray stains may completely resist the bleaching process.

In addition, whitening agents only works on natural teeth. The color of composite resin fillings, dental bonding and dental veneers does not change with bleaching. Your teeth may whiten more than surrounding dental work, which can look unsightly. For many people, however, teeth whitening offers a quick and relatively inexpensive method of brightening their smile.

A dental whitening treatment can last for decades, depending on your diet and personal habits. Dr. Killian can help you keep your smile white for as long as possible by recommending lifestyle changes and oral hygiene products.

Alternatives to Teeth Bleaching

If you're not a good candidate for teeth whitening, Dr. Killian offers alternative treatments to improve your smile. Dental bonding uses the same tooth-colored resin used in cosmetic fillings to cover tooth discoloration and seal gaps between teeth.

A second option, dental veneers, covers the teeth with a thin layer of porcelain or composite resin. Both options are more invasive and expensive than bleaching agents, and therefore usually only considered if bleaching proves unviable.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Carlisle, PA

Dr. Killian's office in Carlisle, PA offers you the latest advancements in restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Our office staff are knowledgeable and professional, and work hard to make the office a relaxing and friendly one so you feel at home. Whether you need a routine dental exam, cosmetic dentistry or emergency dental services, Dr. Killian's office is ready to serve you.

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