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Advancements in Teeth Whitening

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Back in during the 1970s, dental patients first benefited from the movement towards “cosmetic dentistry.” At that time cosmetic dentistry consisted primarily of advice. Patients who wanted whiter teeth were advised to try using Pearl Drops toothpaste.

Today a patient who wants tooth whitening can easily access lots of information on that topic. A number of different web sites sell teeth whitening products. Quite a few web sites have information on teeth whitening procedures that need to be done in a dentist's office.

After a short time at the computer, almost anyone can learn how to whiten teeth. A web surfer with yellow teeth would definitely feel compelled to try one of the available techniques. He or she would probably not realize just how rapidly changes have ushered in growing numbers of teeth whitening advancements.

Zoom! Teeth Whitening
The introduction of Zoom whitening handed dentists the first real major advance in the area of teeth whitening. Using Zoom whitening, a patient could have his or her teeth whitened in just over an hour. Of course, certain problems with the Zoom whitening procedure led to modification of that procedure. Those modifications expanded the number of existing teeth whitening techniques.

Some dental patients complained about gum problems, after undergoing Zoom whitening. The strong formula used initially proved to be too powerful. Patients had to sit for more than an hour, while that powerful formula worked its wonders on their teeth (and in the process damaged sensitive gums).

Eventually scientists developed an alternative formula. The alternative formula whitened teeth as well as the original formula, but it did not harm the gums. The alternative formula worked more rapidly, so that gums and teeth had a shorter exposure to the new whitening product.

Another complaint made by patients who underwent Zoom whitening concerned the ultra violet light used during the whitening procedure. Patients with sensitive skin developed sunburn, just from sitting under that light. Some of those patients had sensitive skin, because they were taking prescribed medication.

Laser Teeth Whitening
The water pills used to control blood pressure could make a patient's skin extra sensitive to ultra-violet light. At the same time, patients who used skin care products with Retin-A also exhibited an enhanced sensitivity to ultra-violet light. The technique of teeth whitening needed to find a way around this problem of skin sensitivity.

The solution to the problem came in the form of a laser light. The laser light could be focused on the teeth. It had no effect on the skin cells of the patient. Patients with sensitive skin thus had access to a new type of whitening.

Dentists also gained access to new types of monitors. They could monitor the sensitivity of a patient's gums. Dentists could then better judge which tooth whitening procedure would best meet the needs of a particular patient.

Alternative Whitening Methods
Advancements in teeth whitening thus led to the introduction of alternative whitening methods. Those alternative methods proved more satisfactory for patients who had sensitive gums or sensitive skin. Yet at that point all teeth whitening techniques used some type of bleaching. Bleaching could not give every dental patient a set of whiter teeth.

Some patients had crowns, veneers or older fillings that had become stained. Bleaching only worked on tooth enamel. Crowns, veneers and older fillings had no enamel. They did not respond to bleaching.

Again scientists went to work. Again they developed alternative whitening formulas. Scientists found other chemicals that could act on the typical tooth stain. They created formulas that contained those chemicals. Today even dental fixtures that lack enamel can be freed of unsightly stains; they can also be made whiter.

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