Teeth whitening can be a quick, economical way to whiten teeth and boost your confidence. Dr. Sahil Goyal can whiten and brighten your smile with safe, professional treatment at the Frederick Center for Dentistry. We offer in-office and take-home teeth whitening in Frederick, MD that we will tailor to your aesthetic needs and dental health condition. Our whitening treatments can deliver whiter teeth to give you a more youthful appearance and a boost of confidence.
Causes of Discolored Teeth
Teeth may become yellowed, stained, or discolored for a number of reasons. It may be for an obvious reason or simply from aging or genetics. There are actually two types of stains that can occur on the teeth. On the surface stains are called extrinsic dental stains. An extrinsic stain affects the outer most layer of the tooth, or the enamel. A stain on the inside of the tooth is called an intrinsic stain. This type of stain stain creates discoloration on the inside layer of the tooth, or the dentin.
The Causes of Extrinsic Stains
Extrinsic stains are by far the most common type of tooth stain. The enamel is the first line of defense for the tooth and it can be vulnerable to many types of outside forces. Using any type of tobacco, especially smoking, can lead to yellow or dull looking teeth. There are many types of foods and drink that can cause stains on teeth including tea, coffee, red wine, dark berries, dark sodas, dark sauces such as pasta sauces, and more. To avoid extrinsic stains, you should limit tobacco use and teeth staining foods and beverages.
The Causes of Intrinsic Stains
Intrinsic stains are less common and also more permanent. Since the occur inside the tooth, they are much harder to treat. Even though the dentin layer is inside the tooth, it can still be seen. It can make the entire tooth appear discolored. Intrinsic stains are caused by dental injuries or blows to the mouth, certain medications (especially ones containing tetracycline), or overexposure to fluoride.
Even if you have you have impeccable oral hygiene, you are at risk of developing discolored teeth. Tooth enamel wears over time, exposing a layer of darker dentin underneath.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Zoom Teeth Whitening: This non-invasive and safe treatment can whiten teeth up to 8 shades in as little as one hour. Dr. Goyal will apply a special whitening gel to the teeth. Then, a special light is applied to the teeth activating the whitening agent.
Zoom Pen: Zoom pens contain a whitening gel that is directly applied to teeth. Dr. Goyal will apply a thin layer of gel directly onto the front surfaces of the teeth.
Laser Whitening: Laser teeth whitening is a safe and effective whitening treatment. This method breaks down stains on the tooth enamel using heat.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Many patients prefer the convenience of professional at-home teeth whitening kits. We will create custom bleaching trays that will fit perfectly against your teeth and gums for minimal sensitivity. At-home teeth whitening trays are typically worn overnight. This treatment is also great for touch-ups and patients who want to maintain their Zoom or laser teeth whitening results.
Over-the-Counter Vs. Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening provides many benefits compared to drugstore methods. Over-the-counter whitening solutions are meant to be one size fits all. But this usually means that it doesn’t fit anyone in the correct way. Ill-fitting whitening strips or trays can cause sensitivity to the gum tissue and uneven, splotchy results for whitening. They also don’t have the whitening power that professional solutions do. The bleaching gel we use is stronger than what’s offered over the counter. Drugstore solutions are more likely to cause teeth sensitivity, too.
When we whiten teeth in the office, we apply safeguards to protect the gums and soft tissues from sensitivity. Take-home options use trays that are custom-made to fit your smile perfectly. The trays protect your gums and soft tissues, and they seal out saliva so that it doesn’t interfere with the whitening process. Since they’re custom-made, the trays also offer the ability to ensure a result that’s even and complete.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Please review our most commonly asked questions about professional teeth whitening. If you still have questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
Are in-office teeth whitening treatments painful?
No, we will ensure that the gums and enamel are protected. Dr. Goyal also uses a gel that is beneficial for patients with gum and tooth sensitivity. Some patients report temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods, but this symptom goes away in a couple of days.
Will bleaching gel whiten my dental veneers or crowns?
No, a whitening gel is not effective on these restorations. We cannot bleach them but we can replace them. You also have the option of whitening your teeth before having the restoration placed. If you have an old veneer or crown and would like whiter teeth, we can help you choose the best method to achieve this. It may involve a complete smile makeover with porcelain veneers, crowns, or other cosmetic treatments.
Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?
Most patients over the age of 14 are considered candidates for teeth whitening as long as there are no other dental problems that could impact results. We recommend that you begin with a clean, healthy foundation for the best outcome. Existing concerns such as decay and gum disease could result in sensitivity or damage to tissues.
Does dental insurance cover tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is considered an elective cosmetic treatment and is not covered by dental health benefits. We will provide all treatment cost information for your consideration before your treatment. Our helpful office staff will also review all of our convenient payment options with you.
How long do tooth whitening results last?
The impact of tooth whitening depends on many factors. Genetics plays a part. Some people’s teeth retain the whitening effect longer than others. Your lifestyle habits play a big part as well. If you smoke or drink coffee regularly, the whitening treatment is going to last for a shorter time than others. Professional whitening can last anywhere from six months to a few years.
Is professional tooth whitening worth it?
Yes. It’s worth it to go the professional route and ensure that you’re whitening your teeth safely. Relying on over-the-counter whitening can damage your teeth and make them sensitive for long periods of time. You also get better results with professional bleaching products. In the long run, you will achieve better results in a much safer manner.
Who is not a good candidate for teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening treatment might not be best for patients with hypersensitive teeth and gums, deep tooth stains, dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or other cosmetic restorations. The treatments will already cause sensitivity and if you already suffer from that, it may be unbearable. Deep tooth stains, or intrinsic stains, will probably not respond to treatment. Professional teeth whitening works best on extrinsic stains. Any whitening treatment will also not work on any type of dental restoration. So, if you have any, the shade of them will remain the same while the surrounding teeth will whiten giving you an uneven smile.
Schedule An Appointment
Do you want to transform your smile? Call us or schedule a consultation online to get started. Dr. Goyal will take the time to discuss your goals and evaluate the condition of your smile to determine if this cosmetic dental treatment is the best solution for your needs. Request a dental exam with us online or call 301.264.5680.