If your teeth aren’t shining as brightly as they used to, it may be time to get them professionally whitened. Our teeth have to endure a lot of wear and tear over the years, so it’s natural that they sometimes need help to get back to their full potential.
Professional whitening services are one of the fastest and most efficient ways to make a noticeable improvement in the appearance of your teeth. As your Cedar Park, TX cosmetic dentist, Vista Ridge Family Dentistry offers both in-office and at-home teeth whitening solutions.
Teeth Whitening in Cedar Park, TX
Our office provides our patients with two teeth whitening options: in-office and take-home.
In-office whitening is ideal for getting a whiter smile fast, like for an upcoming event. It takes about an hour in our office, and you end up with teeth up to eight shades brighter. When we perform this whitening treatment, we start by protecting the soft tissue from the whitening solution. We also provide glasses to protect your eyes from the whitening light.
When properly protected, we paint the whitening gel evenly onto your teeth, ensuring full coverage. Then, we use a special UV light to activate the bleaching agent in the gel. Usually, we use the light in 15-minute increments for however long it takes to reach your desired result. You’ll see results immediately, and they’ll become even more apparent in the few days following the procedure.
Take-home whitening is a more controlled, gradual solution. We take impressions of your teeth to make custom whitening trays. Professional-grade whitening gel goes into the trays, and you wear them for a few hours each night for an allotted amount of time. The custom trays seal out saliva so that it doesn’t interfere with the whitening process. Since they’re custom to your mouth, they also ensure you get even coverage with the gel.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Tooth discoloration is something that all of us will experience at least once in our lives. That’s why teeth whitening is such a popular cosmetic dental procedure.
As we age, the bright white enamel layer on the outside of our teeth starts to wear away, exposing the off-white dentin layer underneath. Add a lifetime of consuming staining foods and beverages and possible lifestyle habits like smoking; our teeth definitely show our age. Teeth whitening can take years off your smile’s look, turning it bright white again.
The foods and drinks we consume impact the color of our teeth. If you regularly consume things with staining agents, your teeth will be more discolored than those who don’t. Examples include coffee, dark soda, strawberries, and red wine. Lifestyle habits like tobacco use also impact it. Chewing and smoking tobacco introduces tar and nicotine to your smile, causing yellow and brown staining.
Poor oral hygiene can show the same type of staining as tobacco use. When you don’t brush your teeth regularly, plaque and tartar build up, causing yellow and brown hues. Plaque is very sticky, causing more food particles to stick and attracting more bacteria. When it hardens to tartar, the rough surface makes it an ideal place for bacteria to hang out.
Trauma or injury can discolor teeth, too. When you get a direct hit to the tooth, blood vessels in the dental pulp can rupture. The tooth may become darker in color due to bleeding inside the tooth. It can also go a gray, “dead” color if the blood flow to the tooth gets cut off with the hit.
Professional Vs. Store-Bought Whitening Solutions
With so many over-the-counter whitening options, why should you go to a dentist for whitening treatment? It’s the only way to access the strongest and best whitening products available. Since anyone can access the drugstore solutions, companies take precautions to ensure safety if something goes wrong with them. Therefore, drugstore solutions take much longer to get the desired results.
Store-bought whitening solutions are made to be one-size-fits-all. You will get less than stellar results if your smile doesn’t fit into that mold. The whitening strips may be too big, bringing the bleaching agent into contact with soft tissue. This causes painful sensitivity. The results can also be splotchy and uneven because you can’t get the strips to align correctly on your teeth.
Professional whitening products are designed to minimize sensitivity. Sensitivity is the main side effect of teeth whitening. When you’re monitored by a dental professional with the highest quality ingredients, you’re less likely to suffer these side effects. Prolonged use is a trigger, so if you’re using multiple drugstore products to try and achieve your ideal result, you’re likely to suffer from sensitivity.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental treatment. Read the answers to these commonly asked questions and learn more.
Can yellow teeth become whiter again?
It’s common for teeth to yellow or darken over time, but it’s far from desirable. Yellowed teeth can damage your confidence and make you self-conscious about your smile. If you’ve tried basic over-the-counter whitening products and been unsatisfied with the results, it may seem impossible to fix yellow teeth. Fortunately, professional whitening can substantially impact and lighten your teeth by several shades.
Is professional teeth whitening better at home?
Ultimately, both options can provide good results, but there are some notable benefits to getting a professional whitening, including:
- Personalized Consultation: If a professional cosmetic dentist whitens your teeth, you’re benefiting from their expertise. They can discuss the results you want to achieve and ensure your teeth are in an ideal condition for whitening.
- Stronger Cleaning Solution: Our treatments can help speed the whitening process and last longer.
- Flexible Options: We also offer take-home teeth whitening kits for patients who want professional quality whitening at home. These whitening trays can be custom-made rather than the generic options you’d get from a store.
How long does teeth whitening take?
Because of the more powerful chemicals, a professional procedure generally only takes about an hour. Depending on the shade of your teeth, achieving the shade you want can take more than a single visit. You can also count on the results lasting for a good amount of time. Your teeth should maintain results from six months to two or three years. Minimizing dark beverages and maintaining your oral care routine will help extend that timeframe!
Get a Brighter Smile
Do you want whiter, brighter teeth? Call Vista Ridge Family Dentistry today at 512-866-9654 or request a teeth whitening consultation online.