When considering whitening your smile, you may have some tooth whitening questions. Below are some frequently asked questions from our patients.
Staining, aging, or chemical damage can cause tooth enamel to become discolored. Some of the more common causes of teeth staining are medications (such as Tetracycline), coffee, tea, cigarettes, and cola drinks.
There are other factors that can also affect the color of an individual's teeth. One factor is genetics -- some people have naturally brighter enamel than others. Another factor is disease. If you suspect that there is an underlying medical cause for your teeth discoloration, be sure to inform Dr. Kissinger-Blakeley or Dr. Braasch.
There are two basic categories of tooth whitening procedures—In-Office and At-Home.
In-Office techniques typically take just one office visit, after which there will be a very dramatic, sudden change of color. At Willow Creek Dental we use ZOOM!, which involves a translucent bleaching gel that is applied to the teeth, after which a special activating light is used. Crystals in the gel absorb the energy from the light and penetrate the tooth enamel, which lightens the color of the teeth. The procedure typically takes about two hours, although times may vary based on the degree of discoloration you may have.
The In-Home technique involves the creation of a custom-fitted tray. A small amount of bleaching gel is then placed in the tray and worn for a brief amount of time during the day. Sometimes the tray is worn for a few hours each day, other times it is worn during the night, while you sleep. This is a more gradual process than in-office procedures, with results usually finalizing in about one to two weeks.
Yes. Professional whitening, done under the supervision of a cosmetic dentist, produces results which are tailored towards the individual patient.
Professional whitening can be done both in the dentist’s office and at home. The teeth are whitened according to specific desires, and use a highly concentrated whitening process which creates dramatic results. The in-home whitening products are not available over-the-counter, and are supervised for optimal results. Over-the-counter products will not produce the level of whitening or length of results that our treatment provides.
Additionally, we will create custom molds of your teeth, so you will have applicator trays designed specifically for your mouth. This results in whitening which is much more even and natural-looking than over-the-counter treatments.
The goal is to achieve a brighter smile without forsaking a natural look. Typically, your front teeth are the whitest, your eye teeth are the darkest, and molars are a shade between the two. How white your teeth will become varies depending upon their current condition, structure and the type of procedure implemented.
Over-the-counter products tend to whiten teeth to the point where they become unnatural looking. Also, over-the-counter products can increase tooth sensitivity. The preferred method of whitening involves a trained cosmetic dentist, who not only supervises the tooth health during the procedure but can also adjust the whitening process to achieve the most natural look possible.
Generally, your teeth will be whitest immediately after bleaching, and will slowly fade over the course of about a year. After that, a visit to your dentist for maintenance -- to touch up your smile -- is recommended about once every six months, although individual results may vary greatly.
The standard fee for ZOOM! in-office whitening is $550 and In-Home treatments are $225. Typically, dental insurance does not cover the cost of teeth whitening procedures.
If you have questions about tooth whitening, contact us at 303-779-2797. A brighter, whiter smile is just around the corner.