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What is Teeth Whitening?
Tooth whitening is an effective and way of cosmetic lighting your natural tooth color without removing any tooth structure. Tooth whitening aids in safely removing stains and discoloration to brighten your smile.
How Does Whitening Work? The Simply Explanation
Whitening for Life Program for New & Existing Patients
Whitening For Life is an exciting new program we are offering to both new and existing patients! We would like to whiten your teeth and keep them white for life. As part of this program, and as an incentive for good home care and keeping up with your re-care visits, you will be rewarded with one FREE syringe of whitening gel at your second cleaning visit every year for life. You will also receive all whitening products at half cost for life.
Loose/break a whitening tray- it half the cost to replace.
Getting a new crown or dental restoration and now your old whitening tray does not fit, the new tray is half cost.
Have a big event coming up and need to purchase more whitening gel- half cost.
With the purchase of either one of our whitening procedures, Zoom or Customized Whitening Trays, you are automatically enrolled in the whitening for life program.
With the initial whitening procedure at our office, you will receive 4 take home whitening syringes.
Patients who complete two cleanings per year will receive 1 Free whitening syringe once per year. This is a $35 Value just for following the normal recommended routine cleanings per year.
All in office whitening supplies are half the regular price to members, i.e. additional whitening solutions, replacement of lost or destroyed trays.
Professional Teeth Whitening Specials
Whitening for Life at our office means Free Whitening for life. It’s the Best Whitening special you will find.
Teeth are porous and will absorb stains over time. So if you whiten your teeth, its likely you will want to touch up a few times per year depending on your desired color. At our office, we don’t believe that our patients should have to pay every single time they want to touch up the color of their teeth. Our professional teeth whitening is much more effective then the over the counter products and in the long run the whitening for life patients actually save money.
In addition to our Whitening for Life Special, our office occasionally offers teeth whitening specials to raise money for our survivors of domestic violence charity GBAS. If you are looking for the best price, or if you simply would like a portion of your payment go to a good charity, you can call our office periodically to inquire about our promotions.
Professional Teeth Whitening Average Cost
Custom whitening trays typically cost between $350 and $500. The final figure will include the cost of whitening trays, whitening gel and you are automatically enrolled in the whitening for life program.
In office laser whitening typically costs between $500 and $1000. The total cost will include your in-office whitening procedure, and custom whitening trays, whitening solution, and you are automatically enrolled in the whitening for life program..
Best Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment
Laser Teeth Whitening
Zoom in-office whitening is a fast, effective, and safe way to lighten the color of your teeth in one day! Your appointment will begin by taking impressions of your teeth so you can be fitted for customized trays while the Zoom whitening procedure is performed. Your gums and lips will be prepared leaving just the tooth structure exposed. Once the whitening gel is placed on your teeth, the Zoom light will penetrate the tooth structure to break up stains and discoloration. The gel will remain on the teeth for a total of four 15 minute sessions. Once the final session is complete you walk out with a bright new smile!
Professional Whitening Trays & Gels
Professional custom whitening trays are an effective and fast way to whiten your teeth at home on your own time. Impressions will be taken of both your lower and upper teeth, and your custom whitening trays are then hand crafted by our dental team to fit your teeth with comfort and precision. Once your whitening trays are designed you will then be given professional grade whitening solution to take home so you can whiten at home on your own time.
Fast One Hour in Office Teeth Whitening
Some of our patients simply do not have time to used at home whitening trays. For these patients we offer Fast One Hour Teeth Whitening. We have found our existing patients commonly scheduled this treatment on the same day immediately after a dental cleaning.
Customers Who Did Teeth Whitening Frequently Selected
Teeth Cleaning & Stain Removal Before Teeth Whitening
To get the best results from any whitening product, it is recommended that you have a professional teeth cleaning prior to the application. A professional cleaning will remove set in tarter and stains that could block the whitening material from being absorbed on the tooth structure.
Close Spaces by Gums that Collect Stain
If you have open spacing between teeth it can give an appearance that a tooth is missing or collect stain between the teeth. The stain can be removed with routine dental cleanings but can re-stain eventually.
An inexpensive way to cut down on staining collecting in spaces is whitening. Professional whitening can help lighten the spaces between the teeth once the stain is removed, and also help decrease the amount of future staining with routine whitening maintenance.
Another way to reduce stain collection in open spaces between teeth is to have minor orthodontic work. Braces or clear tray align such as Invisalign, will bring the teeth closer together so stain is less likely to collect on the sides of the teeth.
Replace Old Dental Bonding
Old dental bonding can collect stains and thus discolor over time making the appearance of your teeth look warm or dull. Removing old bonding is a great way to brighten up the appearance of your teeth and esthetically improve your smile. We will carefully sculpt the bonding material so that it covers up cosmetic flaws and matches the shape of your teeth. Once dental bonding is placed it will not lighten in color with whitening products. If you are having dental bonding placed on any anterior teeth, it is recommended to have a professional whitening procedure done prior. You will also need to maintain your whitening with routine touch-ups.
Cover Exposed Yellow Tooth Roots
Over time our gums can start to recede due to natural causes or other factors. When the gum starts to recede, your root surface is then exposed. The roots of our teeth are not covered with the same hard enamel as the tooth crown. The coronal tooth structure is mostly enamel and the root is a yellowish tooth structure call dentine. The root dentine is porous, sensitive to the touch, stains easily, more susceptible to dental caries, and does not whiten much or stay white. If you root is exposed and visible at conversational distance, it will decrease the overall brightness of your smile. Expose roots conveys an aging or worn smile appearance.
Since you can’t whiten a tooth root, you will have two options. In most cases your best first option is to cover an exposes root is a microsurgical gum graft. At our office, covering your tooth root with your own natural gum tissue can be an easy procedure.
Another choice is covering the root with a white dental bonding. The bonding added will blend in with your natural coronal tooth color and it will also protect the exposed root.
Gum Lifts To Reveal White Tooth Enamel
If you have short teeth and a gummy smile, allot of the time beautiful white enamel is hidden from view underneath your gums. A smile that shows less of your gums and more of the beautiful tooth will create an overall whiter brighter smile and face. In addition to other benefits of a gum lift: a more healthy mouth that is more resistant to gum disease.
Replace Old Metal Fillings
When replacing an old outdated metal restoration or when filling a newly decayed tooth, there are a number of treatment options to choose from. If having an overall bright smile is important to you, cavities can be filled with a white filling material that blends in with your natural tooth color.
At our office we will offer you two types of white fillings: Dental composite or porcelain. Dental composite is a white plastic filling material that is great for restoring minor cavities on posterior or anterior teeth. It can also be used to restore minor cosmetic imperfections on anterior teeth, such as chipping or small cavities in between the teeth. The bonding material is crafted to match your tooth color so when you laugh or smile the filling goes undetected.
Porcelain Onlays are another option used for dental fillings. Porcelain is much stronger and is your best option when needing to restore a cavity that takes up a large portion of the tooth structure. It is one of the strongest filling materials used for dental restorations, is more stain resistant, and lasts quite a bit longer.
Replace: Old Metal / Yellow Crowns
Dental crowns or “caps” are restorations that cover the entirety of the tooth and are provided as an option to protect teeth weakened by decay or fracture. There are a number of material types that crowns can be made of.
Combination of alloys like nickel, chromium and palladium
Porcelain fused to metal
The two more popular options are porcelain fused to metal and all porcelain as they can be matched in color to the surrounding teeth.After a whitening procedure is completed people often find that their older crowns will no longer match in color. These crowns can be replaced with new porcelain fused to metal crowns or all porcelain crowns. These new crowns will not lighten in color if whitening is performed after they are placed, so it is advised to touch up color prior to replacing older crowns.
White Zirconia Post
Dental Posts are used to strengthen a weak tooth. Most of the older dental posts are make of metal. While there are many restorative options, in general the newer all porcelain crowns are translucent and often nuances of the unlined tooth may subtly show through. At our office we know that metal posts can make your tooth look dark grey so we offer to change these older type metal posts to White Zirconia posts. Zirconia is known in dentistry as the white metal.
Whiten Your Teeth Before New Dental Work
Dental bonding and dental porcelain come in many different shades and translucencies and is chosen to match your existing color of the coronal tooth. Important to note, once a dental restoration is placed it cannot be whiten or changed in color. So if you have not already whitened your teeth to the desired color, or if you plan to whiten you teeth some time in the future, you need to consider teeth whitening before the dental bonding. If you are happy with your existing tooth color, no worries, Dr Landers will select the dental bonding or porcelain to match your natural color. But if you want a whiter brighter smile, you should whiten before the dental work. Then Dr Landers will choose a whiter bonding material to match. In summary, if you are covering exposed roots on anterior teeth, and you are not happy with the color of your coronal enamel, it is recommended you choose a professional whitening procedure done prior to treatment.
Dark Grey Dead Tooth Treatments
A dead tooth is a tooth that does not have an active live nerve in it anymore. When the nerve inside the tooth dies it leaves behind the dead tissue as well. This can lead to an infection within the tooth, and this infection can then leak out of the tip of the root. Over time the tooth can turn brown or gray in color. In order to remove the bacteria from inside the tooth a root canal needs to be performed.
From there, depending on the location of the tooth a number of treatment options are available.
If it is an anterior tooth we can place a bleaching agent inside the tooth to make it appear whiter, but it may not match the color of your other teeth perfectly. We will then place a filling material to cover the exposure from the root canal.
Another treatment option is to crown or veneer the tooth. The crown or veneer will be able to conceal any discoloration from the damaged tooth. Once that crown or veneer is placed it will not lighten with bleaching agents. It is recommended to have a professional teeth whitening performed prior to a crown or veneer is placed on a front tooth.
When all else has failed, Dental veneers can be a great way to conceal severe intrinsic stains, tetracycline stains, stains from Fluorosis, or other dental problems which do not respond well to traditional whitening treatment. Thin Veneers can also be used to achieve a beautiful white color that is not possible with teeth whitening alone. Porcelain Veneers can also reshape your teeth, close gaps in your smile, conceal erosion, and make minor orthodontic adjustments.
Facts about Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are thin shells that are custom-made to match your smile and shape of your face. We take great pride in making sure your veneers appear natural while fixing minor cosmetic issues.
Dental veneers can be placed on one or up to ten anterior teeth (as needed we will offer veneers for back teeth as well).
Dental Veneers are usually completed in combination with professional teeth whitening treatments. Since natural tooth enamel will stain over time and veneers do not stain ie will remain the same color, patients with Veneers will have to maintain the natural tooth enamel color with routine whitening touch-ups.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
There are no long-term health risks associated with teeth whitening and tooth enamel is not damaged or harmed. Beut there can be adverse effects. The most common side effects are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation, which both are typically temporary. It is always recommended to consult with a dental professional before any whitening treatment to ensure the correct whitening method for you.
How Does Whitening Work? The Simple Answer
To better understand how teeth whitening works, you must first learn more about tooth enamel. The outer coronal tooth structure is called enamel. Enamel on a microscopic level looks similar to the structure of a honeycomb or lattice of straws laying side by side lengthwise. This enamel honeycomb structure is called enamel tubules. These tubules are open and over time collect stain. The teeth whiting works via an oxygenation process that pulls out the staining particles from the enamel straws or tubules. The enamel tooth structure is not altered by this oxygenation process. It is simply a cleaning process that pulls out the stain. After whitening the enamel straws or tubules are cleaned out and open. Pressure changes in the enamel tubules can be detected by the tooth nerve. Open tubules will increase the intensity of the pressure signal to the nerve. This is why your teeth can get sensitive from Teeth Whitening. This is a transient inconvenience because your saliva will naturally close up or remineralize these openings in the enamel tubules.
Whitening For Sensitive Teeth
If you already suffer from sensitive teeth any form of whitening, whether it is over-the-counter or professional, could increase the amount of sensitivity you experience. However, this increased sensitivity is only temporary. Other then sharing your personal history of sensitivity, there is no way to predict who will be sensitive or its severity during or after a whitening procedure. Our professional whitening solutions have an anti-sensitivity ingredients built-in to help reduce the outcome of sensitivity. It is also recommended to use sensitivity toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, before during, and after whitening is completed. Study results have shown that patients who brushed with Sensodyne toothpaste two times daily, two weeks before and during professionally-supervised, at-home whitening treatment, experienced less sensitivity. The study also indicated that Sensodyne did not interfere with the results of the whitening treatment. We do our best and use the highest quality products to decrease the risk of transient post treatment sensitivity.
10 Tips to Reduce the Sensitivity Caused by Teeth Whitening Procedures:
Use a lower concentration or % of whitening product.
Reduce the amount of tray bleaching wear time -Avoid whitening for an extended periods of time.
Increase the time between individual bleaching treatments.
Use Sensodyne, before during, and after whitening is completed
After treatment use a desensitizing root treatments chair-side at our dental office.
Use an at home Prescribed gel or toothpaste for tooth sensitivity after treatment.
Gentle brushing with a soft-bristled brush, using lukewarm water.
Change diet by avoiding hot or cold foods for a day or two after whitening.
Avoid excessive additional use of other at home whitening treatments.
Use bleaching gels or products with added desensitizing agents.
Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth
Baking soda is a common household product used to remove stains and odors from the house and is now commonly found in some toothpaste. Baking soda can remove surface stains from the teeth when used with equal parts water to form slurry. However, it will not whiten the underlying tooth structure to remove deep-set stains or discoloration.
If you are considering using this method to brighten your smile you need to be aware of the side effects.
Baking soda removes the stains by being abrasive, which in turn can cause gum recession and damage the enamel that coats your teeth. This recession or breakdown of enamel can result in tooth sensitivity. Another disadvantage of baking soda is that it does not contain fluoride, which helps strengthen teeth and prevent dental cavities. Baking soda can also weaken orthodontic glue if you have braces or a permanent retainer. Because of the later, it is recommended that you use regular toothpaste, proper home care, professional cleanings, along with recommended whitening solutions to whiten your teeth. It is always a good idea to consult your dental professional if you are considering any type of whitening procedure.
Is Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Safe?
A new trend in at home whitening is the use activated charcoal paste. Activated charcoal is a purifying agent that absorbs impurities. It has been used in a number of ways for treatments with poisoning or overdoes, reducing intestinal gas (flatulence), lowering cholesterol levels, preventing hangovers, and treating bile flow problems (cholestasis) during pregnancy, and now teeth whitening. Activated charcoal toothpastes have been known to reduce surface stains from the tooth structure but in no way can they reduce the stains soaked into your teeth. There are no known research studies to show the effectiveness of activated charcoal for tooth whitening.
The concern with active charcoal whitening products is that there is no way of knowing how safe or effective they are for the tooth surface and gingival tissues. Whether you are trying a DYI method or a paste you buy over-the-counter, more times than not you will end up brushing longer and more vigorously causing potential damage to your tooth structure and gums.
If you are using activated charcoal toothpaste, keep in mind it should not take place of your normal brushing and flossing. Activated charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride and thus does not have any cavity fighting ingredients. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can cut tooth decay by up to 40 percent.
Teeth Whitening Pros & Cons
Whiter Brighter Smile
Removes Stains -Clean & Healthy Looking Smile
Safe And Non-Invasive
Whitening Solution Kills The Bacteria That Causes Gum Disease And Bad Breath
Temporary Tooth Sensitivity
Temporary Gum Irritation
Advances in Professional Teeth Whitening
Built in Desensitizers: The Whitening gel contains PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride) to help decrease sensitivity.
Since the advent of desensitizers patient can used higher concentration of gels and whiten in a shorter period of time.
Efficacy of in-office whitening: With laser teeth whitening you can have a white bright smile in just one day.
Different percentages of gels are created to match the level of sensitivity each patient may experience.
Better taste with a variety of Flavors
Sticky thick whitening gel sticks to teeth with less migration to soft gum tissue
Formulated to prevent dehydration and shade relapse
Worthy of note: Some patients may experience more sensitivity for a longer period of time. For these patients Dr Landers will offer one of the new professional tooth root desensitizers. We have found these in office root treatments are very effective.
See What Teeth Problems Whitening Can Correct
Does Teeth Whitening Work For Enamel Defects From Fluorosis
Enamel fluorosis is a cosmetic condition in which the tooth enamel has not fully developed. Fluorosis of tooth enamel occurs when too much fluoride is ingested during tooth development. Once the enamel is damage, it cannot regrow.
The most commonly noticed side effect of fluorosis is visible enamel defects that are commonly intrinsic. Which means the defects are deep into the enamel. These defects are more porous then fully developed enamel, i.e. look chalky white, stain easily (yellow, or brown in color), and are more prone to dental cavities.
The overall effects of fluorosis can range from minor color changes to surface irregularities of the teeth. Concerns about appearance can be addressed with professional whitening to remove yellowish surface stains or decrease the brown color, but patients should be aware that the any white chalky area might get extremely bright from the teeth whitening procedure. This usually fads back to a normal whitish color after a few weeks. But please take note that whitening teeth with these chalky white defects can be unpredictable. Depending on the severity of the enamel defects, dental bonding or and porcelain veneers may be your best option to cover the defect or discoloration.
Does Teeth Whitening Work for Tetracycline Stained Teeth
Adult teeth or baby teeth can be stained by Tetracycline exposure. Tetracycline staining of tooth structure occurs as a result of exposed to the tetracycline antibiotic during tooth development. Baby teeth, or primary teeth, can be exposed if a pregnant mother takes tetracycline during pregnancy. The age the drug is taken strongly influences the location of stains, extent of the tetracycline stain, or which teeth are stained (Baby Teeth or Adult Teeth). The staining can be blue, gray, brown or yellow stains. There are two options when it comes to treating your tetracycline stained teeth: cosmetic veneers or deep bleaching.
Tetracycline stained teeth are by far the hardest teeth to treat with whitening products and results vary based on the severity of the stains. Deep bleaching by combining multiple at-home professional treatments and in-office professional treatments can be tried first. But you should know, depending on your desired results, you may only see a little improvement. You can expect that yellow colors will decrease and some parts of the tooth enamel will brighten up, but the grey colors will remain. In summary, the deep bleaching may not remove the entirety of tetracycline stains and you should consult a dental professional before whitening.
Whitening for Coffee Drinkers
If you love coffee, you may suffer from dark stains or a warmer, yellow color of your tooth structure. Aside from routine dental cleanings to maintain stain or discoloration, whitening is also an option. Professional whitening products will not only brighten your teeth but help keep stains from reappearing. No matter which type of professional whitening procedure you choose, you will have to maintain your whitening at home in order to stop the new coffee stains from reappearing. To help aid in keeping a bright white smile, you can also rinse with water or more ideally brush with a whitening toothpaste after enjoying your coffee. In our office, we routinely review oral hygiene instructions and teach you techniques for the removal coffee stains.
At our office we have a Keurig in the back kitchen. In the am, we all enjoy our morning coffee. We know most of our patients enjoy their coffee routines. In addition to the before mention routines, we also know that coffee drinkers will need to do more whitening touch ups then non-coffee drinkers. The later is just another reason why we offer Free whitening touch ups for the Coffee drinkers who are part of our family of patients and who have joined the whitening for life program.
Is Whitening Permanent?
Any form of tooth whitening is not a permanent procedure, but with at home maintenance it can have lasting effects for a long time. The duration and brightness of your teeth depends on your daily habits of introducing staining factors to your teeth. If you drink dark liquids or smoke, your teeth may not stay as bright as opposed to someone who does not. You may be able to wait a full year before touching up, or you may benefit from treatment after four months.
5- Tips To Keep Your Teeth White For a Longer Period of Time
Keep Your teeth clean and healthy with professional Dental Cleanings
Learn home care techniques at our office which will help you to keep your teeth clean
Maintenance at home with Whitening tooth pastes
Joint our Whitening for life Program
Avoid Foods That Stain Teeth or at least rinse afterwards or more ideally brush after these foods.
Foods That Stain Teeth
There are certain types of food/beverages that can darken the overall tooth making them appear warmer in color. There are also food/beverages that can cause discolored staining on the teeth making between the teeth appear darker. Staining can be caused by not only the color of the source but also the acidity of the source, weakening tooth enamel and making it easier to stain your tooth structure. Here are a few of the most common products that stain teeth:
- Dark sodas
- Red / white wine
- Sports drinks
- Balsamic vinegar
- Curry / turmeric
- Smoking tobacco products