Teeth Whitening

Why Teeth Stain

Tooth stains fall into two categories – extrinsic and intrinsic stains. The extrinsic, or external, stains only impact the surface of the teeth. Intrinsic stains are present inside the teeth and are harder to remove than extrinsic stains. Usually, extrinsic stains look yellow or brown, while internal stains are typically gray or blue in color.

You can develop teeth staining from a variety of causes including:

  • Beverages such as coffee, teas, and colas
  • Aging
  • Medication (antibiotic) staining
  • Trauma
  • Disease
  • Genetics
  • Tobacco
  • Excessive fluoride
  • Insufficient oral hygiene
  • Nerve degeneration

A brilliant, attractive smile conveys confidence and vitality. As we age, our teeth naturally darken. Sometimes all it takes to feel more confident is a whiter, brighter smile. We can brighten discolored, stained or aging teeth with one of two state-of-the-art whitening systems.

In-office system

Need to brighten up your smile for a wedding or special event? Get dramatic results in as little as an hour with ZOOM!, Zoom! Whitening Gel is carefully applied to your teeth and activated by a special whitening lamp. The gel breaks down and releases oxygen into the teeth’s dentin (the main, hard part of the tooth) and enamel, bleaching away stains without affecting the structure of the teeth. After three applications (all part of one visit), the gel is removed, and a five-minute fluoride treatment is administered. The end result? Whiter teeth that make you look fresher, younger and give you the confidence you need to smile big.

At-home whitening

This whitening process can be done in the comfort of your own home. Whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stains. Unlike commercially available whitening strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth (not just the ones in the front) and has ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes 10-14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.

So which option is right for you? The best way to begin any teeth whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment, and talk to us about the approach that suits your teeth, your budget and your lifestyle.

FAQs about Teeth Whitening

Does teeth whitening work?

Professional teeth whitening can safely and effectively remove surface stains and renew your smile. Products like Zoom! Whitening can lighten your teeth 10 to 12 shades in no time. Good oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and avoidance of products that stain will keep your smile looking fantastic.

What is the difference between professional teeth whitening and the kits I can by from the drug store?

Drug store whitening kits don’t have the strength that professional grade whitening provides, so many times, patients won’t achieve the results they desire. As well, these whitening kits often irritate gums and soft tissue because they aren’t customized to fit your mouth.

What if teeth whitening won’t work?

In some cases, especially where deep intrinsic stains exist, teeth whitening may not be the best option. We will review your case and can recommend other alternatives, like porcelain veneers or cosmetic crowns, if teeth whitening doesn’t fit your situation.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Many dentists consider teeth bleaching the safest cosmetic procedure available today. With careful supervision, you can lighten your teeth up to 10 shades and take years off your appearance.

What about side effects?

Some patients develop mild sensitivity after whitening. Time and toothpaste that alleviates this sensation will help minimize any discomfort you feel.