Ryan T. Williams Education Ph.D. Candidate, Research Methodology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (ABD, Expected Completion - 2011) M.A., Research Methodology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois Thesis Title: Measurement Properties of the Study DIAD: An Evaluation Using IRT B.A., Psychology, Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana Distinctions
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Brighten your smile withBRIGHTEN YOUR SMILE WITH LASER BLEACHING Your wedding is coming up and you want your smile to be its brightest. Or maybe you have an important speaking engagement. Whatever the reason, tooth bleaching isn’t just for the movie stars, and it isn’t just for one day. Many people have had their teeth whitened, and probably millions more are thinking about it. The desire for a brighter smile with whiter teeth is very strong, and tooth bleaching safely lightens the colour of the teeth, lasting for up to 3 years. The most effective and safest method of bleaching is dentist-supervised. Q. What is the whitening process doing to my teeth?
A. The whitening agent soaks into the tooth's dentin and enamel and the laser energy
activates the process. It removes stains that have also soaked into the tooth, as well as
changes the color of the inside of the tooth by an oxidation process. The structure of
the tooth is not changed; only the tooth colour is made lighter and whiter. Fillings,
Crowns, and Bonding will not lighten.
Q. Is laser bleaching better than home bleaching?
A. Yes, in that stubborn stains can be addressed directly and a consistent balance of
color can be achieved. Laser bleaching results are also immediate. Home bleaching is still
very effective, it just requires more time to accomplish the desired results.
Q. How long does it take?
A. Laser bleaching can be completed in one visit. Often times teeth will continue to
whiten for a few more days. Some patients will also benefit from combination of laser
and home bleaching, where you are given custom trays and a whitening solution to apply
for two or three days at home. This is usually to extend the whitening effect and handle
any residual color problems.
Q: Is bleaching for me?
A: Generally, bleaching is successful in at least 90% of patients, though it may not be an
option for everyone. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age,
coffee, tea, or smoking. Teeth darkened with the colour of yellow, brown or orange
respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking, or
tetracycline can be lightened, but results are not as dramatic. Veneers are sometimes
placed when bleaching does not produce satisfactory results. Your dentist will
determine whether you are a candidate for tooth bleaching and what type of system
would provide the best results.
Q. How long does the whitening last?
A. Although some stain removal may be permanent, the average duration of the color
change is from 1 to 3 years before any darkening is noticed. After that time, there is
some color lapse, but not back to the original stained color. The rate of re-staining is
usually dependent of diet and habits (tea, coffee, smoking, etc). Recovering the whitened
color generally takes only a few days of re-treatment with take home bleaching gel.
Q. Are there any reasons I should not whiten my teeth?
A. Yes. Restorations (fillings such as composites, bonding, or crowns) do not change
color. If you have many fillings on your teeth that show when you smile, they may
become more noticeable (look darker) after the teeth get lighter. Your dentist will
examine you and advise you as to whether the improvement from whitening is worth
the cost and risk of replacement of those restorations.
Q. Don't whitening toothpastes do the same thing as the professional dental
A. No. Toothpaste is primarily intended for stains on the outside of the tooth. The
dramatic change in tooth color inside the tooth has not been duplicated by whitening
tooth-pastes. Some of the toothpastes that contain peroxide may be used to help
maintain white teeth after they have been lightened by the dental whitening technique.
Other toothpastes are merely cosmetic and add white "paint" to the teeth, or are
abrasive and actually remove good tooth structure. Your dental team will work with
you to find the best fluoride-containing toothpaste and proper toothbrush habits to
maintain your whiter teeth for a lifetime.
Q: What are the side effects?
A: Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the
treatment. Others report discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the
gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days
of the treatment finishing.
Figure 1. Warfarin Dose Reminder Chart Your doctor has highlighted a row below showing the total amount of warfarin (Coumadin) you should take each week. Look at the highlighted row and find the number under today’s day of the week. Take that number of 5-mg warfarin tablets at approximately 5 p.m. Number of 5-mg tablets to take on each day of the week NOTE TO THE PHYSICIAN: The initial