Professional Teeth Whitening for Brighter Smiles
Many patients invest countless hours and dollars in products to whiten their teeth. Toothpastes, mouthwashes, strips, gels, the options are seemingly endless, and so are the variety of results. For some patients, over the counter whitening products can be effective, but for the majority of people seeking teeth whitening, the non-professional products will not be effective. The best way to determine what teeth whitening options are best for you is to visit Mitchell Smile Design in Oklahoma City, OK. Cosmetic dentist, Dr. Bradley Mitchell, can examine your smile and help you determine the most effective teeth whitening solution to fit your needs, budget, and timeline.
Types of Tooth Discoloration
There are three types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related. Each type requires specific treatment to restore the smile's natural beauty.
Surface level enamel stains from coffee, wine, and other acidic or staining foods and drinks as well as smoking or using tobacco. Mild surface level stains respond to over the counter whitening products, but can be more comfortably treated with our professional at-home whitening solutions and custom application trays with your choice of strength and wear times.
Beneath the thin, enamel layer is dentin. Intrinsic staining is the discoloration of the dentin layer and has many causes including:
- Over exposure to fluoride
- Tetracycline antibiotics taken younger than 8 or by your mother while you were in utero
- Traumatic injury in your childhood can discolor the developing dentin
- Internal bleeding from trauma to a permanent tooth
- If extrinsic staining isn’t removed it can be absorbed into the dentin layer
While tetracycline and traumatic injury discolorations do not respond well to tooth whitening, regular staining of the dentin layer is treatable with professional grade in-office or at-home whitening.
The dentin layer is yellow in color and that color darkens with age in conjunction with the natural thinning of tooth enamel giving teeth an older appearance. This type of discoloration does not generally respond to teeth whitening. Porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding may be good options for improving the color of the teeth.
Teeth Whitening Treatment Options
In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office teeth whitening is one of the most effective ways to remove stains from the enamel and dentin layers. While discoloration caused by age or trauma may not respond to this whitening method, most other stains can be lifted with in-office whitening. Professional whitening gel uses hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to remove stains. Typically, oxidation is considered a bad thing. Rust and rotting fruit are types of oxidation, but when it comes to teeth whitening, the oxidized reaction caused by the peroxide results in stain removal.
- Quick results
- Observation by dentist
- Most drastic changes
- Soft tissue is protected
In-Office Teeth Whitening Process
- Dr. Mitchell prepares your mouth by protecting gums, lips, and soft tissue from the whitening agent.
- Whitening gel is applied to the teeth and allowed to stand for about an hour.
- The whitening gel is removed and patients may choose to receive a fluoride treatment.
- Teeth are as much as 10 shades brighter.
Professional At-Home Teeth Whitening
Unlike over the counter teeth whitening products, professional-grade at-home whitening takes advantage of custom application trays to protect soft-tissue from potential damage by the peroxide, and keep saliva from affecting the solution. One-size-fits-all application trays allow saliva to mix with whitening gel. Saliva is the body’s natural acid neutralizer, and that is typically a good thing. When it comes to tooth whitening, saliva essentially deactivates the peroxide solution rendering it ineffective. Custom trays fit more comfortably protecting soft tissue from damage and keeping saliva from neutralizing the solution.
- Comfort of home
- Professional results
- Budget friendly
- Better for sensitive teeth
- Gradual lightening
- Great for touchups to extend the results of in-office whitening
At-Home Teeth Whitening Process
- Dr. Mitchell takes impressions of your smile, and these are used to create custom whitening application trays.
- You receive professional-grade whitening gel. There are a variety of strengths and wearing times available. The best option for your schedule, budget, and smile will be determined during a meeting with Dr. Mitchell.
- Patients apply the gel via custom application tray for a predetermined amount of time each day.
- In about two weeks, patients will see the most significant changes to their smile.
Contact Us to Learn More!
Mitchell Smile Design offers the in-office and at-home teeth whitening OKC area residents rely on for consistent, effective teeth whitening. If you don’t love your dull, discolored smile, call to find out more today.