Teeth Whitening in Naples, FL
We all want gleaming white teeth. It’s just that what we eat and drink seem to get in the way. That glass of red wine with dinner. Those tasty raspberries and blueberries. And who can wake up without a morning cup of joe?
All of these foods and drinks stain the enamel, the outer layer of our teeth. But thanks to our teeth whitening treatments at Massa Dental, we can get rid of those stains and make your teeth up to eight shades whiter. That’s something to smile about!
Why do teeth stain?
When you look at people’s teeth, you assume they are all about the same, but they’re not. Human tooth enamel, like our fingerprints, is unique. No two people have exactly the same color and degree of porosity. Our teeth become stained for many reasons, and you cannot control all of them. Most stains are on the enamel, the outer protective covering on the teeth. Other staining occurs in the dentin, the tooth’s second layer. This is usually the result of a reaction to tetracycline as a kid or trauma to a tooth. Staining in the dentin can’t be whitened with external whitening gels only internal whitening.
These factors can impact the whiteness of your teeth:
- What you eat — Foods such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries have natural pigments in them that stain the teeth.
- What you drink — Coffee, tea, red wine, some juices, and colas also stain your teeth.
- Smoking — Nicotine leaves yellow stains on the teeth.
- Drugs — Tetracycline is the main culprit in stained dentin. This antibiotic used heavily in the 60s and 70s left the teeth of many children who had taken it stained. Often this staining is so deep and pervasive that the only way to address it is with bonding or porcelain veneers.
- Fluorosis — If a child has too much fluoride, it leads to fluorosis, which stains the teeth. This is very rare, despite the claims of conspiracy theorists.
- Your genes — Each of us has a different shade of the enamel on our teeth. Some is more yellow than others.
What is teeth whitening?
At Massa Dental Center, we offer two teeth whitening procedures for our Naples patients to remove the stains and return your teeth to their natural whiteness. Our in-office treatment uses a special light to activate our professional whitening gel. Our at-home whitening trays accomplish the same degree of whitening, but at a slower pace. We provide custom trays and whitening gel for those patients.
How does teeth whitening brighten my teeth?
Our tooth enamel seems ultimately hard, but it’s actually slightly porous. That’s how stains accumulate. When we have that glass of wine while watching the sunset, our saliva washes away most of the pigment present, but tiny amounts penetrate the enamel and lodge. You don’t notice any staining immediately, but over time it makes your teeth more and more yellow and dingy.
Hydrogen peroxide is the common whitening agent in most whitening gels. When the whitening gel is applied to the teeth, it works in a similar manner to how laundry detergent removes stains from a shirt. Like the staining agent, the hydrogen peroxide penetrates the enamel and breaks up the pigment in the stains. They are then rinsed away when the gel is removed.
What are the teeth whitening treatments at Massa Dental Center?
At Massa Dental Center, we offer two teeth whitening options. Here’s how they are done.
- In-office whitening — For our in-office teeth whitening, we start with a shade guide to establish a “before” benchmark. Next, we cover your gums. We then paint our hydrogen peroxide gel onto each tooth by hand. This ensures even, complete coverage. Next we activate the whitening gel by applying a special light across the teeth. This does so without irritating the nerves and causing tooth sensitivity. The gel is then removed. For more involved staining, we may repeat the procedure a second time. Our in-office teeth whitening takes about one hour.
- At-home whitening —We have everyone start the whitening process at home. We provide custom trays and professional-strength peroxide gel. This is stronger gel than you’ll find in over-the-counter whitening strips or other products. For our at-home whitening, we also start with a shade guide. We then take impressions of your teeth to use to make custom bleaching trays that precisely fit your teeth. 3D scanning to make custom trays is also possible for those who have trouble with taking impressions.
When your trays are finished you return for a brief second visit and we check the trays for fit. Then we give you detailed instructions on how you will use your trays and our special whitening gel at home. When home, you will put the whitening gel into the trays and wear them overnight for approximately two weeks, depending on how much whitening you need.
Before you place the trays in your mouth, you’ll need to brush and floss your teeth. Obviously, you can’t eat or drink anything while the trays are in your mouth, but also for 30 minutes after removing them. The same goes for smoking.
Would teeth whitening help me?
Teeth whitening really only works on stains in the enamel layer of your teeth. You may have heard claims touting whitening of interior staining, but these claims are dubious at best. If your teeth are dingy from food and drink, or maybe from smoking, our Massa Dental Center whitening treatments will remove the stains and whiten your teeth dramatically.
However, if your staining is in the dentin layer of the teeth, caused by either a drug reaction when you were a child or from trauma to a tooth, teeth whitening will not remove this grey staining. It is too deep in the tooth for the whitening gel to penetrate. Really the only way to whiten this type of staining is for Dr. Massa or one of our other dentists to apply porcelain veneers to the front side of all of your stained teeth. Veneers will give you a bright white smile, plus they can correct cosmetic flaws such as chips or misshapen teeth. If you have just a single tooth that has turned grey from trauma, a porcelain crown can be placed over the tooth to change its color. Crowns can also mask cosmetic issues.
How long before I see the results of teeth whitening?
Our Massa Dental Center in-office whitening provides instant results. In just an hour, your teeth will be up to eight shades whiter. If you opt for at-home whitening, your whitening process will take from one to two weeks, wearing your custom trays overnight. We find our patients have the best results using the at-home whitening technique.
What Our Patients Have To Say
Thank you so much for giving me such a beautiful smile with no pain before, during, and after the procedure. My experience with you and your staff was incredible and wiped out my dental phobia. My teeth are white and they look so natural! I get a lot of compliments and smile even more. You are the best and you deserve the utmost respect.
Does teeth whitening affect composite resin fillings, or porcelain crowns or veneers?
Resin fillings can stain somewhat, but not to the degree of tooth enamel. They can be whitened to a degree. Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are very resistant to staining, so whitening has no effect on them.
Is teeth whitening safe for my teeth?
Yes, it is safe! Teeth whitening has been a common dental treatment for over 20 years now, and there hasn’t been a single case of permanent tooth damage. After your whitening treatment your teeth may be a little sensitive to hot and cold for a day or two. This is normal because the hydrogen peroxide has to slightly penetrate your tooth enamel to remove the stains. This quickly passes, though, and you can simply enjoy your beautiful white teeth!
Give Massa Dental Center a call today to schedule your teeth whitening appointment.