Even patients with meticulous brushing and flossing habits can experience stained or dingy teeth. The standard American diet consists of staining agents, such as tea, coffee, wine, and colas, that can discolor your teeth over time. At Walnut Pond Dental, Drs. Carson Ferris-Zeolla and Victoria Uryniak provide professional teeth whitening for patients in Annandale, NJ and surrounding areas. For the convenience of our patients, we offer both in-office and take-home treatments. Achieving a dazzling smile has never been easier!
Types of Dental Stains
Before we discuss methods of teeth whitening, it is important to differentiate between the two types of dental stains. These include:
- Extrinsic Stains: The outer layers of a tooth can become discolored due to the foods and beverages we consume. These stains do not reach deep into the tooth structure. Therefore, extrinsic stains respond exceptionally well to professional teeth whitening.
- Intrinsic Stains: Certain medications, such as tetracycline, can result in intrinsic staining. These stains occur deep within the tooth structure, affecting the innermost layers. Trauma to a tooth can also cause intrinsic stains. These types of stains do not respond as well to professional teeth whitening. If you have intrinsic staining, you may be a better candidate for porcelain veneers.
In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening
When you choose our in-office option, the clinician will carefully apply bleaching gel –containing either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide – to all exposed surfaces of your teeth. To protect your gums from the concentrated gel, a protective barrier may be placed. Typically, the procedure is performed in 15-minute intervals, applying the gel three times. The oxygen molecules in the gel penetrate deep into the tooth structure and break up the bonds that hold the stains together. In-office whitening brightens natural teeth up to eight shades lighter in one office visit.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Dentist-supervised take-home whitening treatments are just as effective. (The gel included in our take-home kit is the same ingredient used in our in-office option. However, it is a lower concentration.) Most patients achieve their goal in approximately 30 cumulative sessions. To perform professional teeth whitening at home, you will first need custom bleaching trays. Impressions of your teeth will be taken and custom trays will be fabricated.
You will apply the gel directly to the bleaching trays, and then place them in your mouth. The duration of treatment will depend on the strength of the gel. Typically, they should be worn daily for 15 minutes up to an hour. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions precisely.
Candidates for Teeth Whitening
As is the case for any cosmetic treatment, it is important to have healthy teeth and gums. If you are experiencing any serious issues, such as tooth decay or periodontal disease, you will need to address those problems first for successful treatment.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
Teeth whitening is an excellent way to brighten your smile. However, the effects do not last forever. Patients who exercise moderation when consuming foods and beverages that stain teeth can often wait a year or even longer before another treatment is necessary.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in attaining a brighter, lighter, more dazzling smile, professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective treatment option. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, call our office at (908) 200-7007 or contact us online.