What is Teeth Whitening?
Everyone wants sparkling, bright white teeth. Unortunately, the foods we eat, the beverages we drink, and even simple aging all conspire to make our teeth yellow and dingy. At Ridgeview Family Dental, we offer both in-office and at-home options to help you achieve that dazzling white smile.
Why do my teeth become stained or darker?
Every person’s tooth enamel is naturally a different shade. The porosity of enamel also varies between people, making some teeth more prone to staining. The staining that changes month to month is staining in the enamel layer of the teeth. This staining responds well to teeth whitening. There can also be stain in the dentin, the interior of the tooth. These stains can be the result of age, trauma to the teeth, or taking certain medications such as tetracycline, usually as a youth. This deeper staining can not be addressed by whitening, as it is an internal issue. In these cases, porcelain veneers or dental bonding may be an option to cover the deep staining.
Teeth Whitening options
At Ridgeview Family Dental, we have two options for teeth whitening:
- In-office Zoom Whitening
- At-home whitening
While both options achieve a similar degree of whitening, the difference is the amount of time involved. Each of our whitening options begins with a full exam to ensure that you are a good candidate for whitening as well as a cleaning to remove any tartar or surface stains present.
In-office Teeth Whitening
During in-office teeth whitening, a protective barrier is placed over your gums, to avoid contact with the whitening agent. The whitening gel is then applied to the teeth, and combined with the Zoom light. The gel and the Zoom light work together to break down stains and discolorations. This process is repeated in four, fifteen-minute sessions. Custom whitening trays for touch-ups are included. Zoom whitening can whiten your teeth up to eight shades lighter.
Teeth Whitening at home
If you opt for at-home whitening, we begin by taking impressions of your teeth to use for the creation of customized whitening trays. These custom trays will ensure a tight, yet comfortable fit to maximize the contact between your teeth and the whitening gel. When your trays are ready, we provide you with syringes of carbamide peroxide gel (a weaker strength than our in-office gel). We give you thorough instructions on the home whitening procedure. The trays are worn for 30-60 minutes per day for approximately two weeks or until desired results are achieved.
Can teeth whitening damage my teeth?
The American Dental Association has done numerous studies on teeth whitening, covering decades of procedures. It has concluded that teeth whitening, when used in moderation, is safe and has given its approval to various products.
Will whitening make my teeth sensitive?
Whitening can cause sensitivity during the whitening process for a brief period of time after the application. If you have particularly sensitive teeth, be sure to tell the team at Ridgeview Family Dental beforehand.
How long will my teeth stay white?
No whitening system is permanent. When you feel your teeth are becoming stained again, you can simply purchase the at home whitening syringes for touch up. Good home hygiene makes a difference in the amount of time that whitening will last. Avoiding certain foods and beverages, brushing for two minutes twice daily, as well as coming in for twice-yearly professional cleanings will aid in keeping your teeth their whitest.
Does insurance cover whitening?
Insurance does not cover teeth whitening, as it is a cosmetic procedure. However, there may an allowance with a flex spending or health savings account.
Schedule an Appointment
We would love to discuss your teeth whitening options! Please call 660-747-9117 to make an appointment. We serve Grain Valley, Odessa, Bates City and surrounding areas. Thanks to our convenient locations in Warrensburg, Oak Grove and Windsor.