Saying goodbye to your dental stains may seem like a far-fetched wish, especially if you have never considered professional teeth whitening treatments. However, with help from your dentist, you can have a smile you love in just a single dental appointment. Find out more about professional teeth whitening treatments with Dr. Julie Forte at Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, MI.
Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening can benefit almost anyone. However, there are some people who do not make a good candidate for this procedure. Dentists recommend teeth whitening for those patients older than 18 who want to improve the appearance of their smile. Good candidates should have realistic expectations for their results. Patients should also have a healthy smile, free from teeth decay and gum disease and a good at-home oral care routine which can help prevent these issues in the future.
What can I expect during a teeth whitening procedure?
Your dentist will first section the teeth off from the oral tissues using a dental dam. This prevents irritation from the whitening gel. Next, your dentist places the whitening gel onto the teeth and lets it sit for about an hour. Your only job during the treatment is to sit back and relax while the whitening gel does its work. Depending on the type of whitening process your dentist uses, a special light directed at the teeth may help the whitening process along.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, MI
Teeth whitening is a fast and easy procedure which only lasts about an hour. A small portion of patients report some sensitivity after the treatment, but it usually clears up within a day or two. You will notice immediate results after your procedure. However, most teeth whitening patients come back every six months to a year for touchup appointments to maintain their bright white smiles.
For more information on teeth whitening and how it can benefit your smile, please contact Dr. Julie Forte at Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, MI. Call (248) 546-2030 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Forte today!
Getting your teeth whitened professionally can be a life-changing experience. Whiter teeth are associated with youth, health, vitality and even your level of professionalism in the workplace. Your dentist have the ability to improve the appearance of your teeth by up to eight shades in one short visit. Explore the following FAQs about teeth whitening so that you can decide if this cosmetic treatment is right for you.
Why is Professional Teeth Whitening the Best Option?
Over the counter whitening products are convenient but problematic for a number of reasons. For one, they take a long time to show results (sometimes weeks or months), if they ever do. Whitening kits that come with trays are ill-fitting and uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. When you have your teeth whitened professionally, the treatment is finished within one day, in one appointment. There’s no need to disrupt your schedule by wearing a tray every day and little to no concerns about irritation of the gums since the procedure will be handled by a skilled dentist.
Who Is a Candidate?
Any patient with generally good dental health may be a candidate for professional teeth whitening. Keep in mind that some patients aren’t eligible for this treatment because they have stains that can’t be cleared with whitening gels. This is the case when the stain is “intrinsic,” which means the discoloration is at the inner layer of the tooth. You dentist can tell you if your teeth can be successfully whitened at your initial consultation.
What Will Happen at the Whitening Appointment?
Set aside at least an hour of your time for your teeth whitening appointment. You’ll sit back in your chair as the dentist inserts a device to keep your lips separate from your teeth then applies the gel. You’ll wait for anywhere between 60-90 minutes until the whitening effect has set in. Many patients choose to have this treatment performed on a lunch hour.
How Long Will the Teeth Stay White?
You can expect to enjoy your new whiter smile for about one to two years or longer. The length of time your smile will last depends on you and your dental habits. If you go back to eating the same foods and drinking the same beverages that stained your teeth in the past, the problem is likely to return more quickly. Use a straw, brush regularly and see your dentist for cleanings twice per year.
Contact Your Dentist
You will be happy with the way that your smile looks after going to your dentist for a teeth whitening treatment. If you have more questions, call for an appointment today.
The Academy of General Dentistry stresses that people should do everything they can to keep their teeth for a lifetime. Natural teeth retain jaw bone density and size, normalize speech and eating, keep teeth from drifting and of course, maintain youthful facial appearance and structure. Furthermore, with advances in modern general dentistry and access to quality care, this goal is easier to keep now that it was for previous generations.
Yet, Julie Forte DDS, and her dental colleagues realize that circumstances sometimes warrant tooth extraction. With need confirmed on visual inspection, patient symptoms and x-rays, the dentist performs most extractions right in the dental office with benefit of local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious or IV sedation medications.
Reasons for considering tooth extraction
Oral health, with its significant impact on systemic health, may warrant a tooth extraction. A tooth may be too compromised to save because of:
- Periodontal Disease (advanced gum disease) which has deteriorated gums and jaw bone to the point where teeth are loose. While root scaling, gum treatment with antibiotics and even tooth splinting can spare and strengthen loose teeth, sometimes the disease process is too advanced, and the patient loses teeth.
- Tooth Abscess or infection of the inner pulp. Decay which progresses from tooth enamel to inner dentin and finally to the blood supply, nerves and connective tissue of the pulp can destroy a tooth's root structure. Deep decay often advances to the bone, necessitating an extraction.
- Accident (fracture or evulsion). Teeth that are knocked out can be re-implanted, but there is a small window of time in which this succeeds. After that, the re-implanted tooth likely will fail and need to be removed. In addition, a severely fractured tooth may not survive repair and need extraction.
- Impaction Wisdom teeth, the back molars which typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, often compromise the function and integrity of their neighbors. Also, an impacted wisdom tooth, or a tooth that stays fully below the gum line, can push on the roots of other teeth, causing pain, swelling, bleeding gums, bad breath and even jaw joint issues. When symptoms develop, the individual should get to the dentist.
Sometimes, healthy teeth should be removed to improve orthodontic treatment. Some individuals simply have teeth that are too large for the size of their jaws, and teeth become crowded and overlap. Baby teeth can stay in mouth of a teenager, impeding the eruption of adult teeth. With these situations, your Berkley, MI family dentist may recommend extraction.
Julie Forte DDS
From preventive to restorative to cosmetic dental services, Dr. Julie Forte and her staff have your optimal oral and overall well being in mind. If you are experiencing problems with a tooth, see Dr. Forte right away for accurate diagnosis and treatment of the problem. Call (248) 546-2030 for a consultation.
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”
More than likely your child already receives fluoride from your drinking water or toothpaste. So, is it really necessary for them to receive topical fluoride during their regular office checkups?
We highly recommend they do. A naturally occurring chemical, fluoride has the ability to make enamel more resistant to acid attacks that lead to tooth decay. It’s most effective when it works its way into the structure of the enamel during early teeth development.
Both fluoridated drinking water and dietary fluoride supplements (recommended by a doctor or dentist) can be the vehicle for this to occur while the teeth are still forming in the jaw before eruption (when teeth become visible). After the teeth have erupted, fluoride applied directly to the enamel surface (topically) can become infused with it as it continues to develop during early growth.
But can’t fluoride toothpaste accomplish the same result? No — the fluoride added to toothpaste and other hygiene products is relatively low, and only strong enough to maintain and protect enamel. The fluoride levels in topical applications like gels, foam or varnishes are much higher (in the tens of thousands of parts per million) and remain in contact with the teeth during a treatment session for much longer. Some fluoride varnishes, in fact, will continue to leach fluoride into the tooth surface for a month or more.
Topical fluoride applications are especially beneficial for children who are growing up in an area without fluoridated drinking water or without the proper means for good oral care and hygiene. But even for children with access to fluoridated water and oral care, a topical application can still be helpful.
A topical fluoride treatment isn’t a stand-alone application, but a regular part of your child’s dental care of daily brushing and flossing and semi-annual dental cleanings and checkups. Topical fluoride enhances the care they already receive to help produce stronger enamel for future healthy teeth.
If you would like more information on topical fluoride applications, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Topical Fluoride: How Fluoride will Benefit Your Child.”
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.