Professional Teeth Whitening
If you’re looking to brighten your smile, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening is easily the most popular cosmetic dentistry service we provide. Watch commercials on television or take a walk down the oral hygiene aisle of your local grocery store, and you’re likely to see teeth whitening products. Unfortunately, most patients can’t achieve the teeth whitening results they want using the whitening products they see on TV or in their local pharmacy. As is the case with any change to your oral hygiene routine, the Elite Smile Dentistry of Carmel team encourages Carmel dental patients to visit our team before trying these whitening products. We can help you find the right cosmetic dentistry treatment to safely deliver your desired results. For some patients, the best option is professional teeth whitening. For others, another cosmetic dentistry service like porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding is a better option. Our team will help you find the right treatment to leave you with a brilliant white smile. If you want to get started down the road to a bright white smile, giver our Carmel dentist and team a call to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation. We’ll examine your smile, provide recommendations for treatment, and partner with you to achieve your desired results.
Causes of Dental Discoloration
Teeth may become stained or discolored for a number of reasons. In order for our team to provide predictable teeth whitening results, we need to first determine the underlying cause of your tooth staining. Some of the most common causes of dental discoloration include:
- Consumption of staining foods and drinks
- Aging or enamel wear that reveals the yellow colored dentin layer of the tooth
- Smoking or using tobacco leads to yellow or dark staining
- Overconsumption of fluoride during dental development may cause brighter white stains on teeth
- Taking tetracycline medications during dental development may lead to dark staining
Professional Teeth Whitening vs Store-Bought Whitening Kits
If you’re anything like the majority of patients who come to us for teeth whitening, you’ve likely tried one or more store-bought teeth whitening products already. Patients can invest countless hours and dollars in these products and find themselves very frustrated when they can’t achieve the desired results. The problem with store-bought whitening products is two-fold. For your safety, the FDA only allows a very small amount of active whitening agent, hydrogen and/or carbamide peroxide, to be added to these products as peroxide can damage soft tissue and is toxic if consumed in high doses. Unfortunately, these low doses of the active whitening agent are not typically effective. Additionally, the application methods do not prevent the peroxide from accessing your soft tissue, which may cause damage, and they allow neutralizing saliva to stop the whitening process almost immediately. That means your whitening agent only remains active for a very brief period. Professional teeth whitening addresses both of these concerns.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office teeth whitening is the best option for patients who want to brighten their smiles quickly. Performed completely under the watchful eye of your skilled dentist, in-office teeth whitening is fast, safe, and predictable, delivering results up to ten shades brighter. We begin by placing plastic barriers that protect your lips, gums, and other soft tissue from damage. Then, we apply a coat of whitening gel. The whitener will stay in place for about twenty minutes. We remove the gel and examine your results. If you have not quite achieved the shade you’re looking for, we reapply and repeat the process until you achieve your desired results.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Take-home teeth whitening kits are also available. Unlike the store-bought kits, professional at-home teeth whitening uses a personalized dose of professional whitening gel and custom crafted application trays to deliver the same results possible with in-office teeth whitening over the course of about ten to fourteen days of application. You simply place a small amount of whitening gel into the application tray and wear the two together as directed for about thirty minutes a day. At the end of two weeks of treatment, you should see a brighter smile. At-home teeth whitening is a popular option for patients who have sensitive teeth or who want to brighten their smiles more gradually.