Diet, age, and the passing of time are all factors that contribute to stained, dull, or yellowed teeth. If you are looking for a way to brighten your teeth up to eight shades lighter, professional teeth whitening at Maidu Dental may be the solution for you. Dr. Luminita Markham has over 20 years of experience as a cosmetic dentist, and she can help you determine personalized treatment options to achieve the dazzling smile you desire.
Why Do Teeth Stain?
Before we discuss teeth whitening options, it is important to understand the different reasons that teeth stain. There are two primary types of dental stains: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Extrinsic stains affect the outer layers of a tooth, and are caused by the foods and beverages we consume. Cola, tea, coffee, red wine, dark fruit juice, and other staining agents can lead to discoloration over time. Fortunately, extrinsic stains respond remarkably well to teeth whitening.
Intrinsic stains affect the internal layers of a tooth. This can be caused by trauma, excessive exposure to fluoride, or certain medications. Many individuals have experienced intrinsic staining due to tetracycline, an antibiotic. Unfortunately, patients with intrinsic staining are typically not candidates for teeth whitening. The discoloration is too deep, and the bleaching is not effective. If you have intrinsic staining, you may want to explore other treatment options, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
If you are looking for immediate, dramatic results, in-office teeth whitening could be a solution for you. This procedure can be performed in our office in about 90 minutes. During your treatment, a skilled dental assistant will apply a highly-concentrated whitening gel to your teeth. The oxygen molecules in the gel will penetrate deep into your enamel, and break the chemical bonds that cause staining.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Another professional option is our take-home whitening kits. This method allows our patients to whiten their teeth at their convenience. Dentist-dispensed home bleaching kits can offer results just as dramatic as our in-office option. However, it will take approximately two weeks to achieve your desired outcome.
Before you begin treatment, we will fabricate custom bleaching trays for you. In order to do this, we will need to take impressions of your teeth. Once your trays are ready, you can begin your whitening treatment at any time.
Our kits contain a high-quality whitening gel that you will simply dispense into the trays before placing them in your mouth. Depending on the strength of the gel, you will leave the trays in for 30 minutes up to several hours every day. There are even some overnight options if you prefer to whiten while you sleep.
Professional vs Store-Bought
There are many over-the-counter whitening options available today. In addition to whitening kits, there are strips, rinses, toothpastes, paint-on whiteners, and more. While these products can be effective, it is important to ensure they are safe. Some whitening products can damage natural enamel and porcelain restorations. If you decide to use a store-bought brand, consult with our doctors first to make sure the product will be safe and effective. Just because an item is being sold does not mean it is harmless. Therefore, at the very least, we recommend checking for the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval.
Schedule a Visit with Us Today
To learn more about professional teeth whitening, or other treatments in cosmetic dentistry, schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham at our Auburn, CA practice. Call us at (530) 823-8771 or contact us online.