Has a stained smile got you down? Not to worry—tooth whitening at Schultz Family Dental can help! Tooth whitening is a great, non-invasive option to obtain that brilliant white smile you’ve always wanted!
According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, “close to one in two (48%) people believe that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone—more so than the first thing a person says (25%).” That same survey also found that “more than a third of respondents view people with a flawed smile to be less attractive (37%) and less confident (25%) than those with perfect teeth.” Smiles make a lasting impression, and people seem to agree—nothing beats a beautiful smile!
What Causes Teeth to Become Discolored?
There are many factors that can cause tooth enamel to become stained. These include:
- Medications (taken while the teeth were forming)
- Tobacco use
- Darkly colored beverages—such as red wine, soda, tea, and coffee
- Injury to teeth
These stains can be classified in one of two ways: extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of your teeth. Intrinsic stains live between the microcracks in your enamel and deep within your dentin (the layer of your tooth underneath your enamel). Whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses may be able to remove some of the extrinsic stains on your teeth, but only teeth whitening agents can remove the stubborn extrinsic stains and the unsightly intrinsic stains that cause your teeth to look discolored.
Am I a Good Candidate for Tooth Whitening?
Although tooth whitening can be a great choice for some, not all patients are good candidates. If your gums have pulled away from the teeth, whitening may irritate these areas by causing additional sensitivity. Patients with tooth decay and/or gum disease must be treated before whitening can take place. Also, patients with fillings, veneers, crowns, or bridges on the front teeth must understand that the color of these restorations cannot be changed by tooth whitening.
The Tooth Whitening Procedure
In-office whitening is a relatively easy and non-invasive process, only lasting around one hour to complete. Dr. Schultz uses Opalescence Boost—an in-office, chemically-activated whitening treatment. It’s ideal for patients who want instant whitening gratification, or those who have that special event coming up that requires a bright, beautiful smile!
Opalescence tooth whitening gel contains PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride), which helps maintain the health of enamel throughout the whitening process. It’s also chemically activated—so no hot, uncomfortable light is needed.
Here’s how it works:
Dr. Schultz first uses a guide to determine the shade of your teeth prior to your whitening treatment. She also takes photos of your teeth, so that we can compare the color before and after the procedure.
Your gums will then be covered with a protective gel, and the whitening gel will be applied to your teeth, until your teeth reach the desired shade.
Opalescence gels contain an active whitening ingredient (either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) that penetrates your enamel to get to discolored molecules. Oxygen molecules from the whitening agents react with the discolored molecules in your teeth, breaking the bonds that hold them together. The oxygen molecules spread, whitening the entire tooth. As a result, you are left with a brighter, whiter smile!
Opalescence take-home whitening gel is perfect to maintain your bright, new smile! With four different concentrations and three flavors, you can wear Opalescence for as little as 30 minutes per day—to as much as overnight, in custom trays made by Dr. Schultz and her team. This whitening gel allows you to get professional results at your convenience—in a safe, effective, and customized way—and is a great supplement to our in-office bleaching procedure, to ensure that your results are lasting and effective!
If you are interested in obtaining a brighter smile with our tooth whitening treatment, contact us to schedule a consultation!