What is Professional Teeth Whitening?
Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that removes stains from your enamel and bleaches your teeth to help them appear whiter. The procedure can help your teeth return to their natural shade of white. Another way to think about teeth whitening is by giving your teeth a clean, stain-free slate to work with.
To understand how tooth whitening works, it’s important to first understand how your teeth become stained and discolored in the first place. Although the enamel of your tooth is hard, it’s porous. This means it absorbs anything it comes into contact with that your saliva doesn’t wash away like coffee, wine, or tea. When tiny amounts of pigment enter the enamel and lodge, over time, your teeth will start to show a more yellow color.
Most professional tooth whiteners use hydrogen peroxide to brighten your teeth. Once our cosmetic dentist applies the whitening gel to your teeth, it begins to work its magic like laundry detergent on a stain. The hydrogen peroxide penetrates the enamel to break up the pigment in the stains and then rinses away the pigment once removing the gel. As a result, your teeth look whiter.
Am I a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Most patients are a good candidate for teeth whitening, however, there are a few requirements. To start, we only perform teeth whitening treatments on patients who have healthy teeth. If you have a noticeable amount of tooth decay or signs up gum disease, we will recommend addressing these issues first before whitening your smile.
In addition, we also require patients to have a limited amount of dental restorations like fillings, crowns, veneers, and bridges because most restorations won’t change in color. This means that if you want your teeth a shade brighter than the color of your restorations, your restorations will remain their current color and stick out. If you’re really unhappy with the color of your restorations, you might need to get them replaced with your desired tooth color.
Aside from having a healthy mouth and a limited number of restorations, almost any patient can benefit from professional tooth whitening.
Why Do Teeth Stain?
There are a few different reasons your teeth become stained. Listed below are the most common reasons.
- What You Eat – Eating foods like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and even dark chocolate can stain your teeth.
- What You Drink – Drinks such as coffee, red wine, tea, juices, colas, and other dark drinks can stain your teeth.
- Smoking/Tobacco Use – The nicotine in tobacco products leave yellow stains on your teeth.
- Tetracycline – This antibiotic had heavy use in the 60s and 70s and has left many people with severely stained teeth. This type of staining is so deep that the stains require veneers or bonding to cover them.
- Fluorosis – When the body produces too much fluoride, fluorosis occurs which can stain the teeth.
- Genetics – Some people genetically have darker enamel than others.
Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments in Naples, FL
We want to help our patients achieve their smile goals so we offer both in-office and take-home whitening kits to whiten at their convenience.
Our in-office whitening treatment begins with looking at a shade guide to find your “before” shade. We then cover your gums and apply the whitening solution to each tooth. Then, using a special light, we activate the whitening gel and leave the light on your teeth for an extended period of time. Once the time is up, we remove the gel. If you have severe staining, we will repeat the process for a second time. This entire treatment generally takes about an hour to complete, making it the perfect treatment to have on your lunch break!
If you would prefer to whiten your teeth on your own time, we can give you a kit that allows you to complete the process on your own time. We will first need to take impressions of your teeth to create the custom bleaching trays. We custom-make the bleaching trays to ensure the tooth whitening gel covers your teeth completely and so the bleach doesn’t escape onto your gums. After we take a 3D x-rays of your teeth, we will send the impressions off to the lab to create the trays.
Once the trays return, we will send you home with the bleaching product and trays to complete your treatment. You will then apply the whitening gel to the trays and wear them overnight for two weeks, depending on your desired shade of white. If you prefer we also have a Day Whitening gel, a higher concentration whitening gel that allows a patient to wear for 30 minutes during the day as an added convenience. Make sure to brush and floss before using the whitening kit and avoid eating, drinking, and smoking for at least 30 minutes after your treatment.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
One of the top questions our patients at Massa Dental Center ask us is if professional teeth whitening is safe. Yes. Professional teeth whitening is safer than over the counter products or products you find online. This is because you have our supervision for your entire treatment. We use professional products that deliver amazing results. We would never recommend a treatment that harms your teeth.
If you’re ready to achieve a dazzling white smile, contact our dental office in Naples for a professional tooth whitening treatment to say goodbye to stains for good. Please call (239) 597-7333 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Massa and Dr. Cocris or contact us online.