Types of Dental Stains
Before you consider teeth whitening options, it is helpful to understand the different types of dental stains.
- Extrinsic Stains
- Extrinsic stains are caused by smoking and staining agents in the foods and beverages we consume. This includes tea, coffee, colas, red wine, and fruit juices, among other things. Fortunately, extrinsic staining is incredibly responsive to teeth whitening.
- Intrinsic Stains
- Intrinsic staining occurs deep in the tooth structure, affecting the inner layers. Certain medications, such a tetracycline, can cause this type of discoloration. Patients with intrinsic stains will be better suited for alternative cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding.
Take-Home Whitening Kits
Professional take-home teeth whitening is an effective way to brighten your smile on your own schedule. Before the treatment can begin, impressions must be taken of your teeth so your custom bleaching trays can be fabricated. The trays are typically crafted in a dental lab, a process that takes about one to two weeks.
For most at-home kits, you will simply apply the bleaching gel directly into the trays and place them in your mouth. How long you wear the trays each day, as well as the duration of your treatment, will vary depending on the system you are using and the strength of the bleaching gel. Most patients should see results within one to two weeks and Dr. Kinder will provide you with specific guidelines.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Performed in the dental office, whitening is safe, effective, and incredibly fast. Before the process begins, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned to remove plaque and tartar. The dentist will then carefully and evenly apply the bleaching gel to your teeth. Because our in-office gel is much stronger than take-home kits, a barrier will be placed over your gums so they do not become irritated during treatment. Generally, treatment will be performed in intervals and the entire appointment should take less than an hour and a half.
Performed in the dental office, whitening is safe, effective, and incredibly fast.
In-office teeth whitening offers the fastest, most immediate results. Patients can enjoy their new smile as soon as they leave our office. In order to maintain the brightness of your smile, Dr. Kinder may recommend occasional at-home whitening treatments to keep your smile looking its best.
Professional Whitening vs. Over-the-Counter Options
With the abundance of store-bought teeth whitening options, making a choice can be overwhelming. It is important to understand that not all of these products are proven to be safe and effective. Various whitening toothpastes, rinses, and strips currently available on the market can actually harm the enamel on your teeth, making them more vulnerable to sensitivity. For this reason, professional teeth whitening is the safest choice.
Schedule a Consultation with Us
If you are interested in brightening your smile, professional teeth whitening can be an excellent option. To find out if you are a candidate, schedule a visit with Dr. Kinder. You can contact a team member online, or call our office at (865) 539-6030.