Teeth whitening can transform your smile by banishing severe tooth stains and discoloration. Our everyday lifestyle is constantly introducing our teeth to new stains through foods, drinks, and tobacco products.
Many of us start our day with a cup of coffee, which is one of the most staining beverages you can drink. A combination of chromogens and tannins found in common foods and drinks are responsible for staining and when we consume a lot of acids, this wears down our enamel, priming our teeth for discoloration.
While dental cleanings can remove surface stains, they’re unable to remove intrinsic stains that are located deep below the enamel layer of the teeth. This is where teeth whitening comes in to save the day.
Whitening treatments use chemical whitening agents that contain hydrogen peroxide to bleach the teeth by breaking down staining compounds by penetrating below the enamel. Contact us at Hlavaty Dental Arts to schedule a whitening consultation.
Dr. Hlavaty will consider the severity of your discoloration as well as the condition and sensitivity of your teeth to determine if you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening.
To prepare for take-home whitening, we will need to take impressions of your teeth to create whitening trays for you to wear.
In preparation for in-office whitening, we will place a cheek protractor that holds your mouth open to expose all of your teeth. Desensitizing gel protects your gums from the whitening agent.
The whitening agent is applied directly to the teeth during in-office whitening and activated with UV light, then rinsed out after an hour.
Take-home teeth whiteners will apply the whitening gel to the inside of their trays and place them over their teeth.
To maintain your newly whitened smile, you will need to avoid smoking and consuming staining foods and drinks. You should practice good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and attending regular dental cleanings.
Many of us become discouraged by the prospect of needing to sit for an hour-long appointment in the dental chair to improve our smile. That’s why take-home treatments were invented to make things more convenient for patients who wish to whiten their teeth from home.
You’ll need to come in for a short appointment with Dr. Hlavaty so he can take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab. They will fabricate custom whitening trays that fit directly over your teeth and don’t run into the gums.
Once they’re ready, you can pick them up and begin your treatment at home. Just follow the written directions on how to use the whitening gel and trays. This will require repeated usage each day for 1 to 2 weeks to achieve the best results.
The traditional gold-standard whitening treatment is still carried out in the dental chair. Just a single one-hour appointment will drastically improve your smile by bleaching the teeth by up to 10 shades.
After protecting your soft tissues from being exposed to the whitening agent, we will apply the whitening gel directly to your teeth and then activate this with UV light. An hour later, this will be rinsed off and you’ll see instant results.
This is a popular option for patients who need a quick and instant whitening boost for special formal events that are coming up or if they don’t want to wait to see results.
Fluoride treatments are easy to add to any routine preventive visit, and are great for helping keep dental decay at bay. After your cleaning, your dentist will apply a fluoride-rich varnish or gel to your teeth, and leave it in place for several minutes before rinsing it away. Fluoride helps to strengthen your enamel through a process called “remineralization,” which works by attracting minerals like calcium and phosphates to your teeth, helping to restore their hardness and increase their resistance to acids.
Dental sealants are most commonly recommended for children who may be high-risk for tooth decay, but they’re also a great option for patients of any age who wish to protect themselves from developing cavities. A relatively straight-forward procedure, dental sealants start with the application of dental resin, usually to the rear teeth, as they have more grooves and uneven surfaces where plaque and bacteria can easily hide. A UV light will be used to cure the resin, hardening it and creating a powerful barrier between your enamel and food debris, acid, or bacteria. When applied correctly, dental sealants can last for years!
Many patients struggle with gum disease, and if left untreated, can risk losing their teeth and other problems. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and is the only stage that can actually be reversed with deep cleanings and attentive at-home hygiene. If you have gum disease, keeping up with your regular cleanings and checkups will help you gain control over your oral health before it’s too late!
For patients with more advanced stages of periodontitis, we recommend scheduling deep cleanings at more frequent intervals, usually every three to four months. Although the effects of advanced gum disease can’t be reversed, deep cleanings, scaling, and root planing can halt the progression of periodontitis and help preserve your oral health.
Oral cancer screenings are an important part of every preventive care visit. Catching oral cancer in its early stages allows us to stop it before it spreads, and can save your life. That’s why we’ll always check for signs of oral cancer at every preventive visit.
Your dentist will examine your oral tissues, like your gums and tongue, keeping an eye out for abnormalities like lesions, lumps, discolorations. If we find anything unusual, we’ll take a biopsy and send it out to a specialist for a thorough analysis. Although oral cancer isn’t overly common, it’s important to remain proactive and consistent with your oral healthcare routine, so we can identify any issues before they become major problems.
Teeth grinding and clenching while sleeping is a common issue faced by many patients. Night guards are a great solution for this unconscious clenching, also known as bruxism. Night guards form a soft barrier that protects your teeth from damage caused by the pressure of clenching and grinding. Your dentist will take an impression or a scan of your teeth and gums to create a unique mold that will be sent to a dental lab, where your night guard will be custom-crafted. Night guards work by easing the tension in your jaw, alleviating the painful headaches and other side effects of clenching and grinding, so you can get the sleep you need and keep your teeth from wearing down.
Sports mouth guards are worn over the teeth, just like night guards. However sports guards are designed specifically to protect your smile from dental injuries that are so common when playing high-intensity impact sports. Custom-fitted sports guards can help protect athletes from oral trauma caused by collisions to the mouth, face, and head. If you play football, basketball, baseball, soccer, rugby, hockey, gymnastics, mountain biking, or other activities that put you at risk for injury due from falls, body contact, or flying objects, ask us about getting fitted for a custom sports guard today! Tailored to fit your unique smile, sports guards are comfortable, durable, and won’t stop you from playing the sports you love.