Teeth Whitening Specialist
Teeth Whitening Q & A
What makes teeth look yellow or stained?
The most common causes of tooth yellowing and staining are tobacco products and foods and beverages, like coffee, tea, red wine, dark berries, and natural and artificial food colorings. Plus, foods and beverages high in acid content like citrus juices and sodas can temporarily soften the tooth enamel so stains can penetrate more easily. Stains affect the more superficial layers of the teeth, and they can be successfully treated with professional tooth-whitening treatments, including in-office and professional-strength take-home whitening kits. Stains in the deep portions of the tooth usually occur as a result of decay, infection, or traumatic damage or following long-term use of certain medications. These types of deep stains require veneers or crowns to hide them.
How is professional teeth whitening performed?
Optima Dental offers 2 types of whitening treatments:
- Take-home whitening kits use a special gel and a custom-fit tray to enable the gel to cover the entire tooth surface for more consistent and better-looking results compared to over-the-counter kits available in drugstores. The gel is applied to the tooth surfaces during daily treatments that take about 10-30 minutes each day, with results appearing within about 7-10 days. Take-home kits can also be used to prolong the results of in-office teeth whitening treatments.
- In-office whitening takes just about an hour to perform, and it can provide dramatic results in just one appointment. In-office whitening uses special whitening gels applied to the tooth surfaces. A light is used to activate the gel so it can penetrate more deeply and whiten more quickly.
Is teeth whitening safe? Does it make teeth sensitive?
Professional teeth whitening is very safe, and Dr. Seetharaman has extensive experience using the most advanced whitening methods for superior results. Some patients may notice temporary sensitivity following teeth whitening, but any sensitivity is temporary and resolves soon after treatment. Dr. Seetharaman evaluates teeth before whitening to look for tiny fissures, cracks, or cavities that can increase the chances of sensitivity so they can be repaired.
What if I have restorations? Can they be whitened?
Teeth whitening agents are designed to work on porous tooth enamel, and in most cases, they won’t have any effect on restorations. Discolored veneers, crowns, or fillings can be replaced after whitening to ensure they match.